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The remedy of involuntary bankruptcy “exists as an avenue of relief for the benefit of the overall creditor body …. [I]t was not intended to redress the special grievances, no matter how legitimate, of particular creditors ….” In re Murray, 900 F.3d 53, 59-60 (2d Cir. 2018). The courts of appeals have been consistent. In re Edgar A. Reyes-Colon, 2019 WL 1785039, at 1 (1st Cir. Apr. 24, 2019) (affirmed dismissal of involuntary petition filed by only two creditors; at least three petitioners required; parties engaged in “twelve years of litigation concerning the number of [debtor’s] creditors and whether he might … be placed in bankruptcy involuntarily for ‘equitable’ reasons.”); In re 8 Speeds 8, Inc., 2019 WL 1891802, at 3 (9th Cir. Apr. 29, 2019) (dissent) (“Involuntary bankruptcy is a drastic course of action that carries significant consequences, and ‘[f]iling an involuntary petition should be a measure of last resort’ …. The fee-shifting and damages provision of [Bankruptcy Code] §303(i) are intended to deter frivolous filings …. The Majority holds that … a third party who appears for a debtor and successfully defends against an involuntary petition can never request that the debtor be awarded costs, a reasonable attorney’s fee, or damages.”).
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By Louis F. Solimine, James J. Henderson and Andrew L. Turscak, Jr.
In a recent, unanimous opinion authored by Justice Ginsburg, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed lower court decisions holding that a bankruptcy court order denying a motion for relief from the automatic stay constitutes a final order that must be appealed within the time provided under Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 8002.
By Rudolph J. Di Massa, Jr. and Geoffrey A. Heaton
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Virginia recently denied creditors’ counsel’s motion for a fee enhancement under the “common fund doctrine,” finding it could not award the requested fees absent statutory authority.
By Lawrence J. Kotler
In the case of In re Solutions Liquidation, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware adjudicated a motion to dismiss filed by the debtors’ former managers and officers in connection with the breach of fiduciary duty complaint filed against them by the trustee of the debtors’ liquidating trust.
By Andrew C. Kassner and Joseph N. Argentina Jr.
The provisions of the Bankruptcy Code sometimes conflict with other federal laws and regulations. The Sixth Circuit Court recently considered whether an energy company debtor could reject a power purchase agreement as an executory contract that had been filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)