January 21, 2011
Cash-Strapped States Seeking A Way To Declare Bankruptcy
Mesa Air wins bankruptcy plan OK, to emerge soon
"Mesa Air Group Inc (MESAQ.PK) won court approval on Thursday for its bankruptcy reorganization plan, clearing the way for the regional carrier to emerge from Chapter 11 protection next month."
Transcript of Anna Nicole Smith Argument at Supreme Court
You can access the transcript here. This I think will be one of the most important cases in years on the issue of the "core" jurisdiction of the bankruptcy court. Judge Bufford entered judgment for Anna Nicole Smith in the original trial in bankruptcy court. At that time, the Texas court had not yet ruled. His decision was appealed to the district court which entered judgment again for a lower amount. By that time, the Texas court had ruled for Pierce Marshall. If the Judge Bufford had core jurisdiction, he could ignore the Texas ruling since it had not happened. If the issue was not core, the district court would be bound by the Texas ruling.
The general rule is that bankruptcy judges determine the amount of claims, i.e., debts against the estate. Pierce Marhsall started the matter in bankruptcy court alleging defamation and alleging that it was non-dischargeable. Anna Nicole Smith counter-claimed for damages against Pierce Marshall for turning her husband against her before he died. Determining a counter-claim is typically part of the claim determining process and therefore "core." Is her claim against Pierce somehow outside the claims determination process? The 9th Circuit said yes therefore Bufford had no jurisdiction to enter a judgment and Anna's various hopeful heirs are out of luck.
The 9th Circuit opinion is a pretty fun read for the most part. It has a little history of Howard Marshall and a great summary of how the bankruptcy court's jurisdiction works.
New Judges Seated in the Central District of California
Scott Clarkson and Mark Wallace were sworn in today by Chief Judge Peter Carroll, and will be working Monday. The announcement is here.
They will both have chambers in Santa Ana.
Judge Wallace will take 50% Riverside cases (presumably by video) and 50% Santa Ana cases; Judge Clarkson will take 100% Riverside cases, presumably by video.
Their case assignments will start with new filings immediately. Some if not all of the LA judges who had been handling Riverside calendars will turn over their calendars to Judges Wallace and Clarkson. Watch for announcements.
I don't know when Wayne Johnson will be sworn.
JASON WALLACH, ESQ.
Gladstone Michel Weisberg Willner & Sloane, ALC
Marina del Rey CA 90292-7925
Email: jwallach@ gladstonemichel.com
January 20, 2011
Bankrupt Vallejo May Repay Its Creditors as Little as 5 Percent of Claims
"The city of Vallejo, California, proposed paying some creditors as little as 5 percent of what they are owed, making it the first general municipality that would fail to fully repay its debts in bankruptcy."
January 19, 2011
PRESS RELEASE: CAPITAL ONE BANK WILL REFUND MORE THAN $2 MILLION IN MONIES IMPROPERLY COLLECTED FROM CONSUMERS IN BANKRUPTCY
"The U.S. Trustee Program (USTP) announced today that Capital One Bank (USA: 5.07, -0.04, -0.69%) N.A. will refund approximately $2.35 million to consumers in bankruptcy, or their bankruptcy estates, for amounts received by Capital One as a result of erroneous claims it filed in bankruptcy cases for debts that previously had been discharged. Capital One also will reimburse attorneys' fees and costs to consumers and bankruptcy trustees who filed legal objections to Capital One's erroneous claims."
January 17, 2011
Anna Nicole Smith Case Returns to Supreme Court Tuesday
"Even by the high-brow standards of the Supreme Court, Tuesday's case over the estate claimed by deceased Texas sex symbol Anna Nicole Smith delves so far into the depths of probate and bankruptcy law that even the most attuned legal minds will be challenged to fully understand all of the complexities now before the justices....
In short, Stern's [Howard K. Stern, executor of the Vickie Lynn Marshall (Anna Nicole Smith) estate] lawyers contend a federal bankruptcy judge is legally empowered to address all of the core claims and counterclaims brought by the parties. 'Lower courts across the country have uniformly held for decades that bankruptcy courts can enter final orders on debtors' compulsory counterclaims to proofs of claim. Until now,' lawyer Kent Richland wrote in his brief to the court."
Judge Approves $7.2 Billion Madoff Settlement
"A U.S. judge approved a $7.2 billion settlement on Thursday to pay former customers of the Madoff firm, the largest yet in the worldwide search for money lost in Bernard Madoff's multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.
U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Burton Lifland in New York made the ruling over the objections of some investors, who contested the deal between the estate of Jeffry Picower, a Madoff friend and investor, and a trustee liquidating the Madoff firm."
Bookseller Borders Hires Restructuring Lawyers
"Citing people familiar with the matter, WSJ said on its website that Borders has chosen law firm Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman to advise on its current refinancing efforts. Kasowitz's instructions are to keep the company out of bankruptcy court, the report said, citing one of the sources."
Fifth Annual Review of 9th Circuit Published Decisions and Other Cases
cdcbaa --Central District Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys Association Fifth Annual Review of 9th Circuit Published Decisions and Selected Other Cases on Bankruptcy for 2010
January 22, 2011
Hon. Maureen Tighe -- Bankruptcy Judge, Central District of California, San Fernando Valley Division
M. Jonathan Hayes
Southwestern Law School -- 3050 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90010
Registration: 10:00 am - 11:00 am
CDCBAA Membership Meeting: 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Program: 11:00 pm - 1:00 pm
2 Hours of MCLE Credit Provided – Limited Space
Cost: Free to cdcbaa Members
Non-Members: $250 (which includes one year membership in cdcbaa,
dmission to the annual Calvin Ashland Awards Dinner, and at least seven
more free MCLE Programs this year)