Sports Gambling and U.S. Constitution: The Ball is Back in Congress’s Court (Murphy v. NCAA)

By: Donald L. Swanson Football fan: “You just cost me $1,000.” Coach Tom Osborne: “I didn’t make the bet.” Steven M. Sipple, Lincoln Journal Star, May 15, 2018. Question: Can Congress command a state’s lawmakers to outlaw sports gambling? Answer: The U.S. Supreme Court says: "No," Congress has no such authority under the U.S. Constitution; but Congress... Continue Reading →

Clients Want To Be Involved in Settlement Negotiations: An Empirical Study’s Finding

By: Donald L. Swanson Finding from an empirical study: litigants "have great enthusiasm" for participating directly in settlement negotiations and have little enthusiasm for negotiations involving “only the attorneys.” --Prof. Donna Shestowsky in, “Research Report: How Litigants Evaluate Legal Procedures at the Start of their Cases,” 50 Court Review 126 (2014). Common Negotiation Practice I started... Continue Reading →

“Public Rights” Doctrine for Bankruptcy Court Jurisdiction is Dead and Buried: Supreme Court’s Oil States Opinion

By Donald L. Swanson “Marley was dead, to begin with . . . dead as a doornail.” Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol About a year ago, I published this linked article declaring, “the ‘public rights’ doctrine for bankruptcy court jurisdiction, while always tenuous, in now dead and buried.” Now, I’m restating that declaration—this time based on... Continue Reading →

“Undue Hardship” Discharge — The Top Priority for Student Loan Solutions

By:  Donald L. Swanson The student loan crisis and potential legislation to solve it are in the news these days.  Lots of ideas are bandied about on what legislation might look like. Top Priority There is a top priority for such legislation that dwarfs all others.  The number one priority, bar none (and it’s not... Continue Reading →

Oral Arguments in Appling Case: Writing Requirement for Nondischargeability

By: Donald L. Swanson In our uncommonly vicious and partisan political culture, it’s refreshing to hear oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court on a non-partisan and apolitical issue.  Here’s one: --Oral arguments held on April 17, 2018, in the bankruptcy case of Lamar, Archer & Cofrin, LLP v. Appling, Case No. 16-1215 [here’s the transcript] .... Continue Reading →

No Quorum on U.S. Supreme Court?! And § 546(e) Issues Heading Back to Courts Below? (Deutsche Bank v. McCormick)

By: Donald L. Swanson On April 3, 2018, Justices Kennedy and Thomas issue this Statement for the U.S. Supreme Court in Deutsche Bank v. McCormick, Case No. 16-317 [photo of entire Statement is above]: “consideration of the petition for certiorari will be deferred . . . given the possibility that there might not be a quorum... Continue Reading →

Prosecution of Presidents for Political Revenge: A Bankrupt System

By: Donald L. Swanson “Any judicial process brought about as the direct consequence of . . . a political struggle is political.” “Score-settling, blood-letting, revenge and political calculation played a crucial role in these and many other post-war trials and purges.” Tony Judt, Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945, at 49 (Penguin Press 2005). One... Continue Reading →

Footnote 5 in Supreme Court’s Merit Management Opinion: “Settlement Payment” Under a “Securities Contract”

By: Donald L. Swanson Whenever a court goes out of its way to say in an opinion, “We aren’t deciding issues X and Y,” it’s time to take notice. The omitted issues must be significant, in some way, to what’s being decided; otherwise, there’s no reason to mention them. And when the opinion is from the... Continue Reading →

Enforcing Arbitration in Bankruptcy: Second Circuit Puts Pressure on a Slam-Dunk Issue

By: Donald L. Swanson “[T]he Supreme Court has time and time again held: where parties have agreed to arbitration, . . . the agreement of the parties is to govern. There is no reason to think that, with time, the bankruptcy courts will not get there too.” --Collier on Bankruptcy, ¶ 9019-05 (15th Ed. 1998). Bankruptcy... Continue Reading →

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