BCLP Global Restructuring & Insolvency Developments

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SDNY Joins the Rush Party, Rules for Trustee in Another Child Tuition Clawback Case

We at the BCLP Global Insolvency and Restructuring Developments (the GRID) continue to watch and cover the growing jurisprudence of trustees seeking to recover pre-petition tuition payments made by a debtor parent to support his or her child’s college education.  Our prior posts can be found here and here.  And in February, the Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal’s annual symposium will have a panel on this topic (contact me or Lynne, below, in a couple months and we will send you our materials).  Well, the party (or hangover??) continues.

Earlier today, Judge Glenn ruled that a debtor parent does not receive reasonably equivalent value, under either the Bankruptcy Code’s fraudulent transfer provisions or New York’s Debtor and Creditor Law, by paying for a adult child’s college tuition.  The opinion is In re Sterman, and if you have not followed this fascinating effort to transfer

Update – Our New and Improved Set of Opening Questions and Document Questions for Your Deposition

 

Way back in 2015, we published our first edition of the most comprehensive set of opening questions for your next deposition, including follow up matters, common procedural mistakes in depositions, and the 41 questions to ask about any pertinent document.  The response was positive, which we appreciate!  In light of other depositions of ours over the past three years, and changing practices among business people (including the pervasive use of texts for everything), and more recently, the use of text-and-email-destroying-applications, we gave this list an upgrade, and decided it to publish it again for your use.

We hope you find this useful, time saving, and helpful in getting to the truth of things in your next deposition – it is located here in MS Word so you can drop it into your next deposition script in as much detail as you want.

Check back again in a few weeks –

My Company Went Through Bankruptcy And All I Got Was This Lousy Release – How to Get a Non-Consensual Release of Third Parties in a Chapter 11 Plan

October 29, 2018

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Officers and directors work hard to shepherd their company through bankruptcy. But, even after all that hard work, creditors can still turn around and sue them individually for alleged acts prior to the bankruptcy.  What kind of thanks is that?  A debtor wishing to protect these hard-working officers and directors may seek to include a third party release in the plan.  However, if all parties do not agree, third party releases over objecting classes are closely analyzed because they are considered a “dramatic measure to be used cautiously, and [] only appropriate in unusual circumstances.”  In re Dow Corning Corp., 280 F.3d 648, 658 (6th Cir. 2002).  Fortunately, this post will discuss the steps officers and directors may take with the debtor to increase the likelihood of plan approval, with third party releases intact, over the objections of some parties.

Initially, the debtor must look to where it

A Leap Forward for the Recognized Use of AI and Predictive Coding in Insolvency Trials and Investigations

August 22, 2018

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When the High Court of England and Wales handed down judgment in the case of Brown v BCA Trading Ltd, it marked what is believed to be the first test of technology assisted review (TAR) for disclosure at a full trial in England.  The technology is being used increasingly and, combined with recently-proposed changes to the English disclosure regime, could result in more legal cases becoming economically viable to fight and lead to greater recoveries for creditors.

TAR also has applications beyond litigation, which can be particularly useful for insolvency practitioners (IPs, as they are often called) appointed to a company who need to find out key information and secure assets quickly with limited funds.

The BCA judgment

In May 2016, Berwin Leighton Paisner won the first contested application for its client BCA to use predictive coding in Brown v BCA Trading Ltd [2016] EWHC 1464

Florida Proves Safe Haven for Individuals Liable for Breach of the PACA Trust (bonus: form complaint attached)

Editors’ Note:  For those of you who like to get something you can use from blog posts, attached here is a Form PACA Nondischargeability Complaint for a PACA seller against a party that controlled a PACA buyer, where such controlling party later files for bankruptcy.  Although, in light of the case discussed below, there is an open legal question of whether violations of the PACA trust by an individual in control of a PACA buyer result in a non-dischargeable debt under Section 523(a)(4) of the Bankruptcy Code.  To see some of our other coverage of PACA issues, a personal favorite of Leah’s and Mark’s, see here and here.

In Coosemans Miami v. Arthur (In re Arthur), the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida held last week that individuals in control of a PACA trust may still receive a bankruptcy discharge of debts arising from their breach

Singularis v Daiwa: UK banks beware!

Editors’ Note:  The Global Restructuring and Insolvency Developments team of BCLP presents this very concerning opinion for any financial institution that operates in the United Kingdom.  Specifically, in Singularis Holdings Ltd (in Official Liquidation) v Daiwa Capital Markets Europe Ltd (copy of the ruling is here), the Court of Appeal (England and Wales) considered a bank’s duty, commonly known as a Quincecare duty, to protect companies from fraud by authorised officers.  Robin Ganguly and Alexandra Kirby of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner’s London office present the GRID readers with a summary and the key takeaways of this ruling.

Key points

  • Banks (and other financial institutions) have a duty to protect companies from fraud by authorised officers although the extent of the duty will depend upon the services being provided.
  • An objective test needs to be satisfied as to whether there were reasonable grounds for the

HELOC Notes Found to be Nonnegotiable Under Florida Law

August 6, 2018

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Editors’ Note:  While we love complex restructuring and insolvency proceedings, a plain old suit on a note must be handled correctly as well (that did not happen in the case below).  Jonathon Nicol in BCLP’s Kansas City office handles credit litigation around the country with expertise.  Every aspect of commercial litigation must be studied and mastered – consider this a cautionary tale, and feel free to call Jonathon to take advantage of his mastery of these topics.  

In Third Fed. Sav. & Loan Ass’n of Cleveland v. Koulouvaris, No. 2D17-773, 2018 WL 2271112 (Fla. 2d DCA 2018), Florida’s Second District Court of appeal analyzed, in the context of trial exhibit authentication, whether the note for a home equity line of credit (“HELOC”) was negotiable.

The Second District Court of Appeal considered whether it was proper for the Pasco County, Florida trial court to involuntarily dismiss Third Federal’s claim for foreclosure of a HELOC

Circuit Split – Allowing Receiverships by Contract

“I think now that I’m older, I do think I’m the greatest receiver to ever do it.” -Randy Moss, Receiver, probably not talking about Fed. R. Civ. P. 66.

Editors’ Note: Will Easley of our Kansas City restructuring & insolvency practice knows about NFL receivers.  He also knows about the far more exciting receivers appointed under Federal Rule 66.  If you want to talk about either, or both, give him a call!

Even if you know the best receivers in the game, they cannot preserve your collateral if a court will not appoint them. In federal court, a receiver is usually only appointed when the plaintiff shows fraud or other threat to the collateral.  For creditors who have the Randy Moss (or the objectively better Jerry Rice) of receivers, and a provision allowing appointment in the loan documents, this may come as a shock. Currently, there is

Fifth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Bankruptcy Case Due to Lack of Corporate Authority to File (and provides a blueprint for veto powers over bankruptcy filings?)

On June 14, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a revised opinion that held that Federal law does not prevent a bona fide shareholder from exercising its right to vote against a bankruptcy petition just because it is also an unsecured creditor. In re Franchise Servs. of N. Am., Inc., 891 F.3d 198, 203 (5th Cir. 2018), as revised (June 14, 2018).

Franchise Services of North America, Inc. (“FSNA”) was once one of the largest rental car companies in North America. Id. at 203.  In 2012, FSNA desired to purchase Advantage Rent-A-Car and enlisted an investment bank, Macquarie Capital (U.S.A.), Inc. (“Macquarie”), to assist. Macquarie created a fully-owned subsidiary, Boketo, LLC (“Boketo”), to make a $15 million investment in FSNA.

In exchange for the capital infusion, FSNA gave Boketo 100% of its preferred stock in the form of a convertible preferred equity instrument.

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