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 →

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 →

Justices Scalia and Kennedy — Their Impact on Bankruptcy Court Authority

By Donald L. Swanson Two long-standing members of the U.S. Supreme Court—each served three decades—are recently departed from the Bench: Justice Antonin Scalia served from September 26, 1986, until his death on February 13, 2016; and Justice Anthony Kennedy served from February 18, 1988, until his retirement on July 31, 2018. Both of these Justices had... Continue Reading →

The Constitution’s Bankruptcy Clause — A Struggle for Judicial Recognition

By: Donald L Swanson Bankruptcy laws in these United States have always struggled for acceptance by the judiciary. Judicial Restrictions on Congress’s Bankruptcy Power Federal courts, in many respects since 1800, have tried to restrict the bankruptcy power granted to Congress by the U.S. Constitution [Fn. 1]. For example: --In the 1800s and early 1900s, courts... Continue Reading →

Unbridled Credit-Bidding vs. Maximizing Value: U.S. Supreme Court and First Circuit Cases

By: Donald L. Swanson Imagine you’re at an auction and multiple parties are bidding on an item.  At a certain price, all bidders drop out except two.  These two keep bidding, and the price goes up. One bidder finally prevails—at a very high price. This happens.  It’s called competitive bidding at a fair auction.  This... Continue Reading →

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