Bloomberg Law discusses pending petitions for certiorari seeking the U.S. Supreme Court’s review of lower courts’ application of the “equitable mootness” doctrine, which places significant limits on dissenting parties ability to appeal from orders confirming Chapter 11 plans of reorganization.   One such petition arises out of the Nuverra Environmental Solutions case, which we previously discussed here.  The Bloomberg article, which quotes Mayer Brown Restructuring partner and Real Bankruptcy Intel editor Aaron Gavant, notes that equitable mootness is a judge-made doctrine that, as a practical matter, tends to preclude any meaningful appellate review of an already-confirmed plan.  The article also predicts that the doctrine may come into play in the context of the Purdue Pharma reorganization plan in the event that the plan is not stayed pending forthcoming appeals. [Bloomberg Law; September 27, 2021]

Reuters reports on the U.S. Federal Reserve’s plans to begin tapering its $120 billion in monthly bond purchases.  The reduction will depend in part on another month of strong jobs data, according to Fed Chair Powell and Governor Brainard. However, Fed Governor Brainard has also warned that August’s slower-than-expected jobs growth and the prevalence of the COVID Delta variant make it difficult to predict when the economy will be strong enough for the Fed’s taper plans to proceed. [Reuters; September 27, 2021]

Law360 notes that a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators have reintroduced a bill designed to make it more difficult for corporate debtors to select what they perceive to be friendly bankruptcy courts for their bankruptcy filings.  The Bankruptcy Venue Reform Act of 2021, which is nearly identical to a similar act that was proposed in 2018, was reintroduced in the Senate last week, and would amend the provisions of Judiciary Code governing venue to limit the options that businesses filing for bankruptcy have.  The article notes that the National Rifle Association attempted to use the current permissive bankruptcy venue statute to file in Houston, Texas, despite being incorporated in New York and headquartered in Virginia; likewise Purdue Pharma was able to select “the specific judge it wanted to hear its case by selecting the White Plains division” of the Southern District of New York.  The 2018 efforts to pass bankruptcy venue reform stalled in Congress and it is not clear whether this newest attempt will fare any differently.  [Law360; September 24, 2021]

In a case of art meets life meets bankruptcy, an entity owned by South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker is seeking to purchase Denver’s Casa Bonita restaurant out of the chapter 11 proceedings of its owner, Summit Family Restaurants Inc. Despite being a local Colorado institution since 1974, and having its fame supercharged by a 2003 South Park episode, Casa Bonita, like so many other businesses in the hospitality industry, was unable to weather the COVID-19 pandemic.  According to court filings, the $3.1 million purchase price for Casa Bonita, if the sale is approved, will be sufficient to more than satisfy all claims filed in Summit’s bankruptcy case.  [Canon City Daily Record; September 27, 2021]