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One of the powerful benefits of bankruptcy is the ability to obtain a “fresh” start by obtaining a discharge of most, but not all claims that arose prior to the filing of the bankruptcy case. But when does a claim arise? This issue is especially complex when environmental contamination claims are involved. Environmental contamination can exist for years — even decades — before its effect ripens into damage or injury. Courts have developed different tests for determining when environmental claims arise for the purpose of determining whether they are discharged in bankruptcy. The dischargeability of environmental claims was recently addressed in a decision issued by Judge Kevin J. Carey of the U.S, Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware in In re Exide Technologies, Case No. 13-11482 (Adv. No. 17-51826) (Bankr. D. Del. March 28, 2019). The court held the claims at issue had been discharged in the Exide bankruptcy case.
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.
By Michael L. Cook
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York denied a litigation trustee’s motion for leave to file a sixth amended complaint that would have asserted constructive fraudulent transfer claims against 5,000 Tribune Company shareholders. The safe harbor of Bankruptcy Code §546(e) barred the trustee’s proposed claims.
By Michael L. Cook
“A … transferee [who] received fraudulent transfers with actual knowledge or inquiry notice of fraud or insolvency” loses any “good faith” defense available under the Texas version of the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (TUFTA), held the Fifth Circuit in Janvey v. GMAG, LLC
By Matthew Gold
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.. For all of the speculation regarding its consequences, there have been few subsequent lower court decisions applying Merit Management, 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.