Merit Management’s Footnote 2 and Justice Breyer’s Point Prevail in Second Circuit (In re Tribune)

By Donald L. Swanson “The parties here do not contend that either the debtor or petitioner in this case qualified as a “financial institution” by virtue of its status as a “customer” under §101(22)(A). . . . We therefore do not address what impact, if any, §101(22)(A) would have in the application of the §546(e) safe... Continue Reading →

Are US Trustee’s Increased Quarterly Fees Constitutional?

By: Donald L Swanson The Office of the US Trustee administers the bankruptcy system in these United States.  To fund its efforts, the US Trustee receives quarterly fees from Chapter 11 debtors, which fees are a major (and often a problematic) expense for debtor’s to pay. Back in October 2017, Congress increased the amounts of such... Continue Reading →

What To Do When No One Supports A Rule The U.S. Supreme Court Wants to Decide: Rodriguez v. FDIC

By: Donald L Swanson What should the U.S. Supreme Court Justices do when, (i) they grant certiorari to resolve a circuit split on whether a rule of law is valid, but (ii) no party to the appeal argues in favor of that rule? That’s exactly the circumstances in Rodriguez v. FDIC, Supreme Court Case No. 18-1269... Continue Reading →

Office of Solicitor General: A Biased and Conflicted Protector of Bankruptcy Laws (Ritzen v. Jackson Oral Arguments)

By: Donald L. Swanson “every creditor in the country should be lining up behind our side of the podium.” --Respondent’s counsel in Ritzen v. Jackson oral arguments at U.S. Supreme Court on 11/13/2019. Here’s a link to the transcript. On October 11, 2019, the Office of Solicitor General files an amicus brief in Ritzen v. Jackson... Continue Reading →

Highlights from Oral Arguments at U.S. Supreme Court on Constitutionality of Puerto Rico’s Oversight Board

By: Donald L Swanson The case before the U.S. Supreme Court is Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico v. Aurelius Investment, LLC (Case No. 18-1334). Oral arguments occurred on October 15, 2019. Here is a link to the official transcript. An Oddly Important Case This is an oddly important case: it’s resolution turns on... Continue Reading →

Dividing Secured Claims from Under-Secured Claims: A History

By: Donald L Swanson There are things we take for granted in bankruptcy cases: like concepts of fresh start and of absolute priority and of adequate protection. But the source of such concepts is often murky. One of those take-for-granted things is this: the division of a secured claim into, (i) an allowed secured claim that... Continue Reading →

Look “Outside Bankruptcy”: A U.S. Supreme Court Standard for Resolving Bankruptcy Questions

By: Donald L. Swanson In 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court issued two opinions on bankruptcy-specific topics that identify a common legal standard. The standard is this: In deciding a question under the Bankruptcy Code, look to legal standards that apply “outside bankruptcy” for guidance Both opinions do just that.  Here’s how. FIRST OPINION The U.S. Supreme Court... Continue Reading →

Chapter 12: In re Knudsen Revisited, After a U.S. Supreme Court Ruling

By: Donald L. Swanson Congress adopted Chapter 12 in 1986. Then, in 2005, Congress added special tax provisions to Chapter 12 at § 1222(a)(2)(A). Those provisions made taxes arising from sales of farm assets dischargeable as general unsecured claims. In re Knudsen The IRS didn’t like this new law and worked to limit its effect. That... Continue Reading →

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