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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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“Straddling the Line”: Delaware Bankruptcy Court Rules That Not All Tax Liabilities Incurred During a Debtor’s Petition Year are Eligible for Administrative Expense Priority

In re Affirmative Insurance Holdings, Inc., Case No. 15-12136 (CSS), 2019 WL 5173773 (Bankr. D. Del. Oct. 15, 2019).

In this Opinion, Chief Judge Sontchi ruled that tax liabilities incurred by a corporation during a year that “straddles” the petition date should be bifurcated, such that tax liabilities stemming from post-petition events are afforded administrative expense priority, whereas tax liabilities stemming from pre-petition events are afforded general unsecured status.  In so doing, his Honor departed from the previous practice of affording administrative expense priority to tax liabilities incurred by a corporate debtor during the year of its petition date in… Read More

Insider’s Scoop: Judge Silverstein Imposes Heightened Standard Regarding Appointment of Future Claims Representative

In re Imerys Talc America, Inc., et al., No. 19-10289 (Bankr. D. Del. May 8, 2019).

In this Bench Ruling, Judge Silverstein departed from a long line of cases concerning the applicable standard of scrutiny when evaluating the candidacy of a proposed future claims representative (“FCR”).

Imerys Talc America, Inc. and certain of its affiliated entities (the “Debtors”) filed their chapter 11 petitions in the Delaware Bankruptcy Court on February 13, 2019.  On February 27, the Debtors filed a motion to appoint James L. Patton, Jr. as the Legal Representative for Future Talc Personal Injury Claimants. … Read More

Delaware Bankruptcy Court Rejects Per Se Premise that a Discretionary Bonus Payment Can Never Be on Account of “Value”

Jalbert v. Flanagan, et al. (In re F-Squared Investment Management, LLC), No. 15-11469 (LSS), 2019 WL 2051005 (Bankr. D. Del. May 7, 2019).

In this Opinion, Judge Silverstein granted in part and denied in part the motions of Brian Flanagan, Matthew Landon, Patrick Coyle, and Scott Kearney (collectively, the “Defendants”)  to dismiss certain fraudulent transfer and insider preference claims brought by the Trustee for the Debtors’ (defined below) liquidating trust (the “Trustee”).  In so doing, Judge Silverstein rejected the Trustee’s premise that an entirely discretionary bonus can never be made in exchange for value.

F-Squared… Read More

On a Mission: Supreme Court Clarifies Effect of Rejection of Executory Contract

Mission Prod. Hldgs., Inc. v. Tempnology, LLC, No. 17-1657 (2019).

In Mission Prod. Hldgs., Inc. v. Tempnology, LLC, the United States Supreme Court resolved a long-standing Circuit Court split in holding that a debtor’s rejection of an executory contract does not eliminate a contract counterparty’s right to use certain debtor trademarks provided thereunder.  Rather, according to the Court, following the debtor’s rejection of such contract, the counterparty retains the rights it received pursuant to the terms of the underlying agreement and applicable nonbankruptcy law.

Generally, Mission Product Holdings, Inc. (“Mission”) entered into a contract with Tempnology,… Read More

Delaware District Court Agrees That Plans Need Not Reflect Bargained For Priority Provisions in Subordination Agreements

Law Debenture Trust Co. et al. v. Tribune Media Co. (In re Tribune Media Co.), 587 B.R. 606 (D. Del. 2018)

In this Memorandum, the Delaware District Court upheld the decision of the Delaware Bankruptcy Court to confirm the plan of reorganization (the “Plan”) of Tribune Media Company (“Tribune”) and its debtor affiliates (collectively, the “Debtors”), despite the fact that the distributions proposed therein on account of certain claims infringed on prepetition subordination agreements.  In rendering the decision, Judge Sleet agreed with Judge Sontchi’s lower court opinion that the strict enforcement of subordination agreements, including provisions therein… Read More

Judge Silverstein Tosses Bad Faith Filing in Rent-A-Wreck of America But Doesn’t Award Sanctions – Finds That a Filing to Employ the Powers of the Code is Alone Insufficient to Support Good Faith

In re Rent-A-Wreck of America, Inc., 580 B.R. 364 (Bankr. D. Del. 2018)

In this February 13, 2018 Opinion, Judge Silverstein of the Delaware Bankruptcy Court dismissed the voluntary chapter 11 proceedings filed by Rent-A-Wreck of America, Inc. (“RAWA”) and its wholly owned subsidiary, Bundy American, LLC (“Bundy”, and together with RAWA, the “Debtors”).  Judge Silverstein found that the Debtors did not file their petitions in good faith as required by 11 U.S.C. § 1112(b).  While the Court found that the Debtors’ actions in commencing the cases fell “on the dark side of the spectrum” which ranges… Read More