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A Chapter 11 debtor’s “rejection [(under Bankruptcy Code (Code) §365(a)] of a filed-rate [natural gas] contract … relieve[d] it of the obligation to continue performance absent the approval of FERC [(the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission],” held the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on March 14, 2022. In re Ultra Petroleum Corp., 2022 WL 763836, *1 (5th Cir. Mar 14, 2022). Moreover, held the court in affirming the bankruptcy court on a direct appeal, Code §1129(a)(6) did not “require the bankruptcy court to seek FERC’s approval before it confirmed [the debtor’s] reorganization plan.” Ultra followed, as expected, the reasoning of its precedent, In re Mirant Corp., 378 F.3d 511 (5th Cir. 2004), and, more important, carefully balanced the power of FERC and the nation’s bankruptcy courts.
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By Gerard S. Catalanello and Kimberly (Kodis) Schiffman
A summary of the factors that courts have considered and will likely continue to consider when addressing dischargeability of private student loans under subsection 523(a)(8)(A)(ii) of the Bankruptcy Code, and a cautionary word for practitioners considering whether to put forth an argument to the contrary.
By Michael L. Cook
The Fifth Circuit signaled that it would not approve in later cases a bankruptcy court asset sale of real property that summarily cuts off the rights of the debtor’s lessees.
By William (Bill) Lobel
Cyclical challenges in the economy are nothing new to bankruptcy attorneys and their clients, and 2022 is shaping up to be that kind of year for business owners nationwide. This is likely to result in a greater need for the services of bankruptcy attorneys as business owners face a mounting wave of distressed financial assets.
By Francis J. Lawall and Suzanne Soboeiro
Third-party releases are often incorporated into the bankruptcy plan as a means of protecting nondebtor parties from litigation that is directly or even tangentially related to the debtor’s business. Over the last several years, the scope and use of such third-party releases appears to have been stretched arguably to the breaking point as demonstrated in a recent and important district court decision.