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In U.S. Bank Nat’l Ass’n v. Village at Lakeridge, LLC, 200 L.Ed.2d 218 (U.S. 2018), the U.S. Supreme Court laid out the standard of review for appellate courts to apply when reviewing a bankruptcy court’s determination of a “mixed question” of law and fact. No doubt the decision provides valuable guidance for the lower courts and practitioners, but resolution of this technical procedural issue has garnered little excitement: as one commentator put it, the majority opinion authored by Justice Kagan represents “the smallest change in the law of any opinion the Supreme Court hand[ed] down this year.” Ronald Mann, Opinion Analysis: Justices Approve Deferential Review of Bankruptcy-Court Determinations on “Insider” Status, SCOTUSblog (Mar. 5, 2018, 4:34 PM).
By Michael L. Cook
A bankruptcy court decision recently detailed how courts applying Bankruptcy Code §303(i) can sanction creditors who “abuse … the power given to [them] … to file an involuntary bankruptcy petition.” The decision shows why the filing of an involuntary bankruptcy requires careful pre-filing legal judgment.
By Rick Antonoff
Courts Are Divided on the Issue of Whether the Fraudulent Transfer Recovery Provision Applies Extraterritorially
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently issued an opinion concluding that trustees can pursue recovery from foreign subsequent transferees who received property in transactions that occurred entirely outside the United States. The opinion reversed two lower court rulings and arguably conflicts with Supreme Court precedent on extraterritoriality of U.S. legislation.
By Rena Andoh and Kate Ross
When a company declares bankruptcy, avoidance actions under Chapter 5 of the Bankruptcy Code can assist in securing extra cash for the debtor’s dwindling estate. When a debtor-in-possession does not pursue these claims, creditors’ committees often seek the bankruptcy court’s authorization to pursue them on behalf of the estate. Once granted such authorization through a “standing order,” a creditors’ committee is said to “stand in the debtor’s shoes” because it has permission to litigate certain claims belonging to the debtor that arose before bankruptcy. However, for parties whose cases advance to discovery, such a standing order may cause issues by leaving undecided the allocation of attorney-client privilege and work product protection between the debtor and committee.
By Dan T. Moss and Mark G. Douglas
It has been generally understood that recognition of a foreign bankruptcy proceeding under Chapter 15 is a prerequisite to the enforcement by a U.S. court of an order or judgment entered in such a foreign bankruptcy proceeding under the doctrine of "comity." A ruling recently handed down by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York directly challenges that principle.