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 →

Appeal Deadline in Consolidated Bankruptcy Cases: Supreme Court Adopts Minority View (Hall v. Hall)

By:  Donald L. Swanson A new, and unanimous, decision from the U.S. Supreme Court is Hall v. Hall, Case No. 16-1150 (Decided March 27, 2018). A first read of this opinion seems like a, “What’s the big deal here?” The opinion: Is about a technical issue of appeal procedure; Reaches back, for historical authority, to... 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 →

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 →

An Oddity: Supreme Court Decides Nothing in its U.S. Bank v. Village at Lakeridge Bankruptcy Opinion

By Donald L. Swanson On March 5, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court issues its latest bankruptcy opinion in the case of U.S. Bank v. Village at Lakeridge, LLC., Case no. 15-1509. The Facts Village at Lakeridge has a single owner: MBP Equity Partners.  And it has two creditors: it owes “over $10 million” to U.S. Bank... Continue Reading →

Supreme Court’s Bankruptcy Opinion on § 546(e): Merit Management v. FTI Consulting, and an Important Footnote 2

By Donald L. Swanson On February 27, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an eagerly awaited bankruptcy opinion on the § 546(e) safe harbor defense against trustee avoidance actions. The new opinion is Merit Management Group, LP v. PTI Consulting, Inc., Case No. 16-784. The opinion, at first read, appears to dramatically narrow the reach and effect... Continue Reading →

U.S. Supreme Court and Statute of Frauds for Nondischargeability (§ 523(a)(2)): In re Appling

By: Donald L Swanson On Friday, January 12, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Lamar, Archer & Cofrin, LLP v. Appling (In re Appling), Case No. 16-1215, to resolve an indistinct legal standard. The case is about a statute of frauds for nondischargeability. Generally, a statute of frauds requires that certain promises be in... Continue Reading →

Eight Unfortunate Ninth Circuit Words in Sunnyslope: “We Take the Supreme Court at its Word.”

By Donald L. Swanson The case is In re Sunnyslope Housing Ltd. Partnership, 859 F.3d 637 (9th Cir. 2017). It’s before the U.S. Supreme Court on Petition for a Writ of Certiorari, which is set for conference on January 5, 2018. In Sunnyslope, the Ninth Circuit’s ruling is based on a Chapter 13 valuation standard established... Continue Reading →

Puerto Rico is a “State” under U.S. Bankruptcy Law: Foreshadowing Bankruptcy-Type Relief for Other “States”?

By Donald L. Swanson "We must decide whether Puerto Rico is a “State” for purposes of this [bankruptcy] pre-emption provision. We hold that it is." --Commonwealth of Puerto Rico v. Franklin California Tax-Free Trust, U.S. Supreme Court Case No. 15-233 (Decided June 13, 2016). The Bankruptcy Code definition of "State" is contained in Sec. 101(52) and... Continue Reading →

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