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It has been nearly two years since the Supreme Court upended the world of the Bankruptcy Code securities safe harbor with its decision in Merit Management Group, LP v. FTI Consulting, Inc., 583 U. S. ____, 138 S.Ct. 883, 200 L.Ed. 2d 183 (2018). For all of the speculation regarding its consequences, there have been few subsequent lower court decisions applying Merit Management, and the courts of appeal have yet to make rulings in the pending cases dealing with some of the major safe harbor issues. However, those cases provide valuable guidance to practitioners facing safe harbor litigation as well as transactional lawyers looking to take advantage of safe harbor protections.
By Michael L. Cook
The Third Circuit recently took a “pragmatic approach” when affirming lower court orders denying a stay of bankruptcy settlement distributions pending appeal. After holding that the district court’s “stay denial order” was “final” for jurisdictional purposes, it also confirmed “the applicable standard of review” on motions for stays pending appeals.
By Theresa A. Driscoll
Voluntary Turnover or Face Contempt
Lessors who repossess property immediately prior to a lessee bankruptcy filing may be required to return such property or face sanctions by the bankruptcy court. Federal courts are currently split on the issue of whether the lessor must voluntary surrender property seized pre-petition or may hold such property until such time as the debtor seeks, and obtains, an order of turnover.
By Rudolph J. Di Massa Jr. and Drew S. McGehrin
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently held that a debt incurred as a result of a willful and malicious injury may nevertheless be dischargeable notwithstanding the provisions of 11 U.S.C. Section 523(a)(6).
By Daniel A. Lowenthal
A Tension Between §§363(f) and 365(h)
How do bankruptcy judges resolve the competing desires of buyers and tenants? Must buyers bid for property knowing that tenants might have the right to stay if their leases are rejected? Are tenants in jeopardy that they might have to move elsewhere to live or work?