Automatic Stay/Discharge Order

Breaking with a Sixth Circuit decision to the contrary, in a March 2021 decision in Stewart v. Holland, the District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania held that unfair labor claims brought by the Department of Labor against a debtor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) were not barred by the automatic stay but could instead proceed under the “police powers exception.”1

Continue Reading Opinion of Interest – When the Automatic Stay is No Shield – Pennsylvania Court Holds that Government’s Unfair Labor Claims Are Subject to Police Power Exception

In a January 2021 decision issued in the re-opened United Refining Company1 bankruptcy case, Judge Lopez of the Southern District of Texas Bankruptcy Court addressed when a tort claim is deemed to arise for purposes of determining whether it was discharged.  In particular, the court had to determine whether an asbestos-related claim arose at the time of exposure (in other words, the time at which the damaging act occurred) or at the time when the harm is diagnosed (in other words, when the claim was discovered).  Complicating things for the court was a lack of records from the 1980s bankruptcy case at issue, which also led to uncertainty as to whether the claimant had notice of the bankruptcy.  That in turn could have led to the conclusion that his claim had not been discharged regardless of the court’s determination of when the claim accrued.  As discussed below, the Court concluded that the claim was a prepetition claim discharged under the plan, and that all creditors were bound by such plan absent a showing that there was no proper notice.

Continue Reading Opinion of Interest – In re United Refining Company: Destruction of Records and the Accrual of Tort Claims

The National Rifle Association (“NRA”), along with its wholly owned Texas subsidiary, filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on January 15, 2021 in the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas.  The case already has presented several threshold issues and challenges that are of interest to both bankruptcy practitioners and the market as a whole.

Continue Reading The NRA Bankruptcy: What You Need to Know About the National Rifle Association’s Recent Chapter 11 Filing

In Manikan v. Peters & Freedman L.L.P., No. 19-55393, 2020 WL 6938318 (9th Cir. Nov. 25, 2020) the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals addressed whether a debtor was precluded from bringing a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) claim against his homeowner’s association when the claim at issue was based

The Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. consumer retail spending rose 1.9% in September 2020. September is the fifth straight month of retail sales growth according to the United States Department of Commerce. [WSJ; Oct. 16, 2020]

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in City of Chicago, Illinois v. Robbin L. Fulton, et al.

Can state regulatory agencies move ahead with lawsuits against businesses who file for bankruptcy in order to enforce consumer protection and business laws, or does the automatic stay’s broad injunctive sweep capture those actions? The answer depends on whether the state is acting in its regulatory capacity or simply like another creditor – and the distinction is not always clear.
Continue Reading Regulator or Creditor: When is Enforcement of Consumer Protection Laws Exempt from the Automatic Stay, and Who Makes That Determination?

Brookfield Asset Management is aiming to invest approximately $5 billion in a retail revitalization investment fund to assist retailers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, reports the Wall Street Journal. Brookfield will reportedly focus on obtaining noncontrolling interests in retail businesses with greater than $250 million in pre-pandemic revenue. [WSJ; May 7, 2020]

Bloomberg reports

Law360 reports that Purdue Pharma LP is seeking a 180-day extension of a preliminary injunction put in place earlier in the bankruptcy process that halted litigation relating to Purdue’s role in the national opioid crisis not only against the debtors themselves but also against the debtors’ current and former owners, officers, directors, employees, and associated

On June 19, Nicole Saharsky, co-leader of Mayer Brown’s Supreme Court & Appellate practice, discussed how free enterprise fared in the latest US Supreme Court term.  A webinar of the program is available here.

As discussed in our earlier post, during this term, Nicole and a Mayer Brown team which included partner (and