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Foreign Representatives in Chapter 15 petitions are specifically permitted to conduct discovery to locate the debtor’s assets within the United States to increase estate and creditor recoveries in the overseas proceedings and to probe the debtor’s affairs, rights, obligations or liabilities. In the U.S. ancillary proceeding, the Foreign Representative will encounter resistance and other entities may seek to propound subpoenas under Fed. R. Bankr. 2004. Sometimes, these entities are creditors who seek information relevant to their claim or assets available to pay the same. Other times, these entities are subpoena targets who seek to gain a peek into the Foreign Representative’s search, seek to distract and/or delay the Foreign Representative from the asset search, or who seek to “punish” the Foreign Representative. The Foreign Representative may be able to avoid responding to such requests by moving for protective order or to quash the subpoena based upon 11 U.S.C. 1521(a)(4) and/or Rule 2004(a). The arguments are based upon: 1) the language of 1521(a)(4) and two canons of statutory construction, or, alternatively; 2) interpretive case law under Rule 2004 as to the requirements to show a “pecuniary interest” in a case.
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By Michael L. Cook
By enforcing deadlines strictly, refusing to hear appeals from interlocutory orders, and rarely bypassing the district court for direct appeals, appellate courts have generally avoided what they view as unnecessary work and delay. But a few courts have made important exceptions in the past year.
By Mark E. Felger and Simon E. Fraser
An opinion from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware provides a reminder of the potentially severe punishment that a party can suffer as a result of its violation of the automatic stay of Section 362 of the Bankruptcy Code, even if the debtor does not suffer any actual damages as a result of the violation.
By Amanda Bronstad
Mass tort bankruptcies took some big hits in 2023, with two of them dismissed outright, and two more potentially hanging in the balance.
By Jimmy Hoover
The U.S. Supreme Court on January 9 debated the proper remedy for its 2022 ruling that Congress violated the Constitution when it imposed steep bankruptcy fee hikes on large debtors in some districts but not others.