Tag Archives: Bankruptcy

Supreme Court Affirms Sixth Circuit: Bankruptcy Stay-Relief Denials Immediately Appealable

In a unanimous decision affirming the Sixth Circuit, the Supreme Court held that creditors have 14 days to appeal a bankruptcy court’s denial of relief from the automatic stay. In one of the term’s first decisions, Justice Ginsburg’s opinion in Ritzen Group, Inc. v. Jackson Masonry, LLC agreed with Judge Thapar’s conclusion that the denial … Continue Reading

All contract Provisions Contribute to the Intent of the Parties

We all know that courts want to read contracts as a whole to effectuate the intent of the parties.  This case provides a textbook illustration of the principle. In a case arising from the bankruptcy and technology context, Cyber challenged the district court’s interpretation of its contractual agreements with Priva. The dispositive question was whether … Continue Reading

Supreme Court’s Wellness Opinion Effectively Overturns The Sixth Circuit’s Decision On Bankruptcy Court Jurisdiction in Waldman

Last week, in Wellness Int’l Network Ltd. v. Sharif, No. 13-935 (May 26, 2015), the Supreme Court held that a bankruptcy court can enter final judgment on “non-core” claims under 28 U.S.C. § 157 if the parties consent to that court’s jurisdiction.  It overturned a decision by the Seventh Circuit that relied heavily on the … Continue Reading

Choice of Law and Bankruptcy Transfers: Sixth Circuit Tackles Both in Personal Injury Case

In a split decision issued late last week, the Sixth Circuit overturned a Michigan district court’s disposition of a tort suit from North Carolina arising out of allegedly faulty breast implants. In noting that “a venue transfer is not alchemy,” the court also construed complex choice-of-law issues in light of the Bankruptcy Code. Over 20 … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel Affirms $200,000 Attorney Sanctions

In a sternly-worded, sixty-page opinion last week, the Sixth Circuit’s Bankruptcy Appellate Panel affirmed a bankruptcy court’s $200,000 sanctions order against an attorney that arose from a plethora of litigation over an ultimately disallowed claim in what became a complicated bankruptcy. We have previously posted about the Circuit’s trend in upholding sanctions, and this bankruptcy … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Grapples with Results of Chrysler’s Post-Bankruptcy Dealership Arbitrations

On January 16, the Sixth Circuit issued a decision in an appeal by Chrysler dealerships that were closed in the process of Chrysler’s bankruptcy in 2009 but that met with success in federally-mandated arbitration aimed at reinstating and reopening those dealerships. The conflict underlying the case started when Chrysler closed 789 dealerships during its 2009 … Continue Reading

SCOTUS To Decide Whether Order Denying Plan Confirmation Is “Final,” Appealable

The Supreme Court granted cert last Friday in the case of Bullard v. Hyde Park Savings Bank, in which the First Circuit held that an order denying confirmation of a reorganization plan is not a “final judgment” and therefore not appealable.  The First Circuit’s decision agreed with five other circuits, including the Sixth Circuit, and … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Does Not (Yet) Adopt “Transparently Plain” Exception To Reliance-On-Counsel Defense In Bankruptcy

In In re Eifler, issued yesterday, the Sixth Circuit passed up an opportunity to join the First and Fifth Circuits in adopting a “transparently plain” exception to the reliance-on-counsel defense by which a bankrupt debtor can demonstrate a lack of fraudulent intent. To qualify for the defense, a debtor must demonstrate “(1) full disclosure of all … Continue Reading

Oral Argument on Detroit Bankruptcy Postponed In Part

Last Friday, the Sixth Circuit postponed oral argument in some of the pending cases in the appeal from the bankruptcy judge’s decision that Detroit was entitled to creditor protection under Chapter 9 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and could try to alter the terms of workers’ pensions. The postponement was apparently granted to allow various … Continue Reading

Bankruptcy’s Automatic Stay Does Not Shield a Debtor Who Tortiously Uses His Property

To a business litigator, the bankruptcy debtor’s most effective weapon is often the automatic stay, which is commonly used – or abused, depending on the perspective – to, inter alia, stay all pending litigation against the debtor and keep him in sole control of an asset, despite seeming abuses of that control. A recent decision … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit to Consider Chrysler Dealers’ Appeal

In the aftermath of the 2009 bankruptcies of Chrysler LLC (“Old Chrysler”) and General Motors Corporation (“Old GM”), Congress enacted Section 747 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010, Pub. L. No. 111-117 (“Section 747”).  Section 747 grants certain arbitration rights to dealerships that had their sales and services agreements rejected or terminated in connection … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Rules That United States Lacks Standing in Case Against Bankruptcy Trustees

The Sixth Circuit in United States v. Carroll, Case No. 10-1400, proposed a simple solution to an interesting and unusual sovereign immunity case.  The case arose from the events surrounding the influx of Chapter 13 bankruptcies in 2009.  Since one asset of Chapter 13 individual debtors is their tax refund, the bankruptcy judges of the … Continue Reading

Court Parts Company with Sister Circuits on Presumptions at Pleading Stage of ERISA Suits

In a case echoing from the high-profile automobile bankruptcies of recent years, a panel of the Sixth Circuit recently considered Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal of a class action alleging breach of fiduciary duty under ERISA as to two retirement plans for certain General Motors employees.  In Pfeil v. State Street Bank & Tr. Co. (6th Cir., … Continue Reading

Split Decision on Terms of Dow Corning “Breast Implant” Bankruptcy Settlement

On December 17, 2010, in In re Settlement Facility Dow Corning Trust (6th Cir., Case Nos. 09-1827/1830, Dec. 17, 2010) (PDF), a Sixth Circuit panel split over divergent arguments on two provisions present in a bankruptcy reorganization plan involving Dow Corning: 1) whether “tissue expanders” should be considered “breast implants” within the meaning of the … Continue Reading