Legal Standard for Imposing Civil Contempt

By: Donald L. Swanson On June 3, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in the Taggart v. Lorenzen case. The Question The question before the Supreme Court, in Taggart v. Lorenzen, “concerns the legal standard for holding a creditor in civil contempt when the creditor attempts to collect a debt in violation of a... Continue Reading →

How Bankruptcy Reorganization is Good for Local Communities: aka, Why S. 897 & S. 1091 Need to be Enacted at Once

By: Donald L. Swanson Business reorganization in bankruptcy gets a bad rap. Here’s why: “bankruptcy” deals with failed promises to pay (if you google synonyms for “failure,” the first word to appear is “bankruptcy") and implies a moral shortfall in the minds of many. That’s unfortunate because business reorganization can be a good thing.  When utilized... Continue Reading →

Finality of Bankruptcy Court Orders for Appeal: U.S. Supreme Court Will Weigh In (Ritzen v. Jackson)

By: Donald L. Swanson “Appellate deadlines cannot serve their purpose when their trigger is unclear.” --U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Ritzen v. Jackson. This should be interesting. On May 20, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to decide whether the denial of a motion for relief from automatic bankruptcy stay is appealable as a... Continue Reading →

Rejected Executory Contracts Made Simple: Mission v. Tempnology

By: Donald L. Swanson “Rejection of a contract—any contract—in bankruptcy operates not as a rescission but as a breach.” Essential declaration of law from U.S. Supreme Court opinion on trademark issues in Mission Product Holdings, Inc. v. Tempnology, LLC, (Case No. 17-1657), issued May 20, 2019. Photocopier Lease Illustration The Supreme Court’s opinion illustrates and clarifies how... Continue Reading →

Are Stern & Granfinanciera Going The Way Of Dewsnup: Being Limited To Their Narrow Holdings?

By: Donald L. Swanson “Movants are asking this Court to extend the holdings of [Stern v. Marshall and Granfinanciera] in order to find that 28 U.S.C. § 157(a) is unconstitutional . . . The Court declines to make that leap.” Chief Judge Christopher S. Sontchi, Delaware Bankruptcy Court, in Paragon v. Noble Corporation, A.P. No. 17-51882,... Continue Reading →

Can Obeying a Court Order Prevent Contempt Sanctions? (Taggart v. Lorenzen)

Note:  This article was published, originally, by the American Bar Association, in its "Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases," Issue No. 7, Vol 46, page 50, on April 15, 2019.  By: Donald L. Swanson CASE AT A GLANCE Let’s say you sue a defendant in state court for injunctive relief. The defendant then files bankruptcy and receives... Continue Reading →

Getting Away With Corporate Raiding: A New In re Tribune Opinion and § 546(e) Safe Harbor

By: Donald L. Swanson The Tribune Company (yes, the formerly-venerable Chicago Tribune newspaper) filed bankruptcy in 2008, after being crippled by a corporate raid in 2007 Here’s What Happened Tribune’s dominant shareholders (they owned 33%) wanted to cash out their shares of stock. So they engineered a scheme, whereby Tribune borrowed money to buy its own... Continue Reading →

The Problem of Mediating While a Court Ruling is Imminent

By: Donald L. Swanson “[W]e are unaware of any authority suggesting that a district court may not rule on a pending motion for summary judgment while the parties may be attempting to settle the matter outside of court.” --Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Myrick v. Discover Bank, Case No. 16-1966, fn. 6 (10/7/2016). The... Continue Reading →

Congress Needs to Help Family Businesses in Financial Stress — Not Punish Them!

By: Donald L. Swanson We live and work in a market economy, here in these United States. The market is our economic judge: it validates—or invalidates—business decisions, and it picks winners and losers. The market is an efficient, impartial and unbiased judge. But it is also cruel and unforgiving. The result is that many businesses succeed.... Continue Reading →

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