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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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Motion to Transfer Denied, Bankruptcy Court Stresses Adverse Impact of Transfer and Relative Ease of Appearing in Delaware

In re Restaurants Acquisition I, LLC, Case No. 15-12406 (KG), 2016 WL 855089 (Bankr. D. Del. Mar. 4, 2016)

In this Memorandum Opinion, Judge Gross denied a motion to transfer venue to the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas brought by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts and the Texas Workforce Commission (the “Movants”).  The Court recognized the strong interest in resolving state tax disputes in a local forum, but explained that the analysis must be viewed from the lens of all interested parties, with the primary focus concerning the economic administration of the estate and the impact… Read More

The Insider’s Scoop: Boomerang Tube is the Law in the Delaware Bankruptcy Court

In re Magnum Hunter Resources Corp., Case No. 15-12533 (KG) (Bankr. D. Del. Feb. 26, 2016)

In re Newbury Common Assocs., LLC, Case No. 15-12507 (LSS) (Bankr. D. Del. Feb. 29, 2016)

On February 26, 2016, the Honorable Kevin Gross of the Delaware Bankruptcy Court was asked to weigh in on the attorneys’ fees issue recently addressed in Judge Walrath’s Opinion in Boomerang Tube.  While not ruling on the issue, Judge Gross said that if he was asked to decide the issue, His Honor would be inclined to agree with his colleagues—a reference to not only Judge Walrath’s Opinion,… Read More

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

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

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

Petitioning Creditors Cannot Meet High Burden For “Extreme Remedy” of Appointment of Interim Trustee

In re Diamondhead Casino Corp., 540 B.R. 459 (Bankr. D. Del. Nov. 13, 2015)

In this Memorandum Opinion, Judge Silverstein of Delaware’s Bankruptcy Court held, on a limited record, that the petitioning creditors did not met their burden of proof to show that an interim trustee is necessary during the “gap period”—that is, the period between the filing of the involuntary case and the Court’s decision on whether to enter an order for relief.  In so holding, the Court relied primarily on the undisputed facts that debtor Diamondhead Casino Corporation (“Diamondhead”) is (and has been) a non-operating entity… Read More

Consummated Plan Based Upon Qualified Bid for Equity Received Pursuant to Sale Process Not “Sale Transaction” for Purposes of Investment Banker’s Retention Agreement

In re Hipcricket, Inc., Case No. 15-10104 (LSS), 2015 WL 5728552 (Bankr. D. Del. Sept. 29, 2015)

In this Memorandum Order, Judge Silverstein approved Canaccord Genuity Inc.’s (“Canaccord”) success fee for its work as an investment banker to Hipcricket, Inc. (the “Debtor”) over an objection of Hal L. Baume (the “Distribution Trustee”).  By the terms of Canaccord’s retention, a success fee was due to it unless a proposed buyer provided debtor in possession financing as part of “a contemplated sale transaction” and such sale transaction was consummated.  In this case, the Distribution Trustee asserted that the consummated plan,… Read More

UPDATE – Scarborough-St. James Corp. Case Dismissed For Cause, Substantive Rulings Survive Dismissal

In re Scarborough-St. James Corp., No. 15-10625 (LSS), 2015 WL 5672628 (Bankr. D. Del. Sept. 24, 2015)

With the Landlord* receiving Bankruptcy Court approval to continue its previously stayed litigation against the Debtor in Michigan state court, the Debtor moved to dismiss its bankruptcy case for cause under Bankruptcy Code § 1112(b)(1), alleging no remaining purpose existed by having the Debtor remain in bankruptcy.  The Court granted dismissal, finding that this two-party dispute is properly litigated in state court and it is unlikely that the Debtor will be able to rehabilitate under the Bankruptcy Code.  Op. at 3. … Read More

No Direct Claims Asserted By Oklahoma Plaintiffs In SemCrude Bankruptcy, Third Circuit Reinstates Permanent Injunction

In re SemCrude L.P., 2015 WL 4635798, — F.3d —- (3d Cir. Aug. 5, 2015)

In a recent precedential Opinion, the Third Circuit reversed a Delaware District Court Opinion and reinstated the Bankruptcy Court’s original Opinion, holding that certain claims brought by a group of SemCrude’s former limited partners (the “Oklahoma Plaintiffs”) against Thomas L. Kivisto, co-founder and former President and CEO of SemCrude L.P. (together with its affiliates, the “Debtors”) were derivative of other claims already brought and settled.  As such, the Third Circuit directed the Bankruptcy Court to enter a permanent injunction against… Read More

Preference Defendant Establishes Ordinary Course Of Business Defense Despite Ruling To The Contrary On Summary Judgment

Burtch v. Revchem Composites, Inc. (In re Sierra Concrete Design, Inc.), Adv. No. 10-52667 (CSS), 2015 WL 4381571 (Bankr. D. Del. July 16, 2015)

After a trial on the merits, the Bankruptcy Court issued an Opinion and entered judgment for defendant Revchem Composites, Inc. (“Revchem”), finding that Revchem established that all of the transactions in question were made in the ordinary course of business, thereby protected from avoidance as a preference.  The ruling came after the Court’s previous Opinion whereby Judge Sontchi held, on summary judgment, that “the parties’ pre-preference relationship was insufficient to establish the existence of… Read More