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The Delaware Bankruptcy Insider is a premier blog designed to bring its readers a comprehensive analysis of the latest Delaware corporate bankruptcy news and rulings.  Brought to you by Ashby & Geddes, P.A.

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Non-Consensual Third Party Releases Certified Directly to the Third Circuit

In re Millennium Lab Holdings II, LLC, No. 15-12284 (LSS), 2016 WL 155500 (Bankr. D. Del. Jan. 12, 2016)

The Delaware Bankruptcy Court has granted direct certification of a hot-button issue surrounding confirmation of plans in bankruptcy to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals—namely, whether a bankruptcy court has the authority to release a non-debtor’s direct clams against other non-debtors without the consent of… Read More

District Court Grants Direct Certification on Question of Whether Bankruptcy Courts Have Power to Transfer Cases under 28 U.S.C. § 1631

Troisio v. Erickson (In re IMMC Corp.), Civ. No. 15-1043 (GMS), 2016 WL 356026 (D. Del. Jan. 28, 2016)

The District of Delaware in this case granted direct certification to the Third Circuit on the question, “whether bankruptcy judges have the authority to order a transfer of an adversary proceeding pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1631.”  Op. *4-5.  The issue is whether a bankruptcy court is a “court” as defined in 28 U.S.C. § 610 that is authorized under 28 U.S.C. § 1631 to transfer a civil action to another court for want of jurisdiction.  Determining that the definition… Read More

The Insider’s Scoop: “Unwise” to Approve Retention of Dechert LLP As Debtors’ Counsel Due to Actual and Potential Conflicts of Interest

In re Newbury Common Assocs., LLC, Case No. 15-12507 (LSS) (Bankr. D. Del. Feb. 12, 2016)

In a bench ruling, Judge Silverstein denied Newbury Common Associates, LLC’s (and its affiliated debtors, the “Debtors”) application to retain and employ Dechert LLP (“Dechert”) as its bankruptcy counsel.  The Court held that Dechert’s prior representation of certain individuals—William Merritt and Thomas Kelly (the “Individuals”)—in a matter related to the Debtors’ bankruptcy, no matter how short in duration or extent, created an actual conflict of interest.  To the extent there was not an actual conflict, the Court held that it was… Read More

The Insider’s Scoop: Boomerang Tube Decision Already Endorsed in Delaware

In re Samson Resources, Corp., Case No. 15-11934 (CSS) (Bankr. D. Del. Feb. 8, 2016)

The Boomerang Tube decision has already been followed by one other Delaware bankruptcy judge.  In a letter ruling in In re Samson Resources Corp., Judge Christopher S. Sontchi agreed with, endorsed, and applied Judge Walrath’s… Read More

Fee Defense Provisions Held Impermissible for Estate Professionals Under Section 328; Argument for Contract Based Exception to ASARCO Rejected

In re Boomerang Tube, Inc.,Case No. 15-11247 (MFW), 2016 WL 385933 (Bankr. D. Del. Jan. 29, 2016)

In this case, the Delaware Bankruptcy Court addressed a question remaining in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ASARCO opinion:  Although fees incurred by debtors’ attorneys in defending challenges to their fees are generally not permitted under section 330 of the Bankruptcy Code, may such fees be approved if they are provided in the attorneys’ retention application under section 328(a)?  See Baker Botts LLP v. ASARCO LLC, 135 S.Ct. 2158 (2015).  In a succinct Opinion, Judge Mary F. Walrath ruled… Read More

Delaware Bankruptcy Court’s Local Rules For 2016 Now Effective

The Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware’s Local Rules for 2016 went effective February 1, 2016.  A copy of the 2016 Local Rules can be found here and a redline of the 2016 Local Rules against the 2015 Local Rules can be found here.

Of particular note, the Court instituted a formal rule regarding special and emergency hearings in Chapter 11 cases, providing that a party in interest may request a special or emergency hearing by promptly filing a notice of the hearing on the docket and specifying the discrete issue(s) before the Court.  See DEL. BANKR. L.R. 2002-1(a)(ii). … Read More