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Showing posts in Judge Brendan L. Shannon

Achieved Recoveries Are Not the Benchmark of Fee Reasonableness Says Bankruptcy Court

In re Hospital Partners of America, Inc., et al., No. 08-12180 (BLS) (Bankr. D. Del. Mar. 7, 2019)

In this Opinion, Judge Shannon denied a request by the United States Trustee (the “UST”) to reduce the fees incurred by a chapter 7 trustee’s professionals (the “Professionals”) related to avoidance actions because the fees exceeded the recoveries realized on account of such actions.  In doing so, the Court concluded that the Professionals’ fee requests were reasonable and that the Professionals exercised reasonable judgment at the time… Read More

Liquidation Consultants Are Not “Professionals” Requiring Retention Under § 327(a) of the Bankruptcy Code

In re Heritage Home Group LLC, No. 18-11736 (KG), 2018 WL 4684802 (Bankr. D. Del. Sept. 27, 2018) and In re Brookstone Holdings Corp., No. 18-11780 (BLS), 2018 WL 4801890 (Bankr. D. Del. Oct. 1, 2018)

Recently, in the chapter 11 cases of Heritage Home and Brookstone, the United States Trustee (“UST”) objected to the engagement of Gordon Brothers Retail Partners, LLC, Hilco Merchant Resources, LLC (together with Gordon Brothers Retail Partners, LLC, “Hilco”), and SB360 Capital Partners, LLC (“SB360” and together with Hilco, the “Consultants”) to assist the debtors with store closing sales… Read More

Practice Pointers: Bankruptcy Court Lacks Authority to Transfer Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1631 and A Post-Petition Action Satisfies “Is Commenced” Element for Purposes of Mandatory Abstention

Troisio v. Erickson (In re IMMC Corp.), No. 15-1043 (GMS), 2018 WL 259941 (D. Del. Jan. 2, 2018), aff’d by No. 18-1177, 2018 WL 6259315 (3d Cir. Nov. 28, 2018)

In this Opinion from the Delaware District Court, Judge Sleet affirmed the Bankruptcy Court’s decision denying a liquidating trustee’s motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1631 to transfer an adversary proceeding to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Relying on plain statutory language, the District Court found that the Bankruptcy Court lacked transfer authority under 28 U.S.C. § 1631… Read More

A Third Circuit Analysis of Fiduciary Duties in the Face of Bankruptcy

In re Ultimate Escapes Holdings, LLC, 682 Fed. Appx. 125 (2017)

In re Ultimate Escapes Holdings, LLC, No. 12-50849 (BLS), 2015 WL 1590132 (Bankr. D. Del. Feb. 5, 2015)

In affirming the decisions of the courts below, the Third Circuit in its Opinion of In re Ultimate Escapes Holdings, LLC not only provides a refresher on Delaware’s entire fairness and business judgment standards; it also sends a comforting signal to officers and directors faced with difficult decisions when a company is in financial distress and on the verge of bankruptcy.

As the merger negotiations continued, UE’s financial situation deteriorated.  An… Read More

Decisions by Third Circuit and Delaware Bankruptcy Court Clarify that “Receipt” under Section 503(b)(9) Requires Physical Possession

Haining Wansheng Sofa Co., Ltd. v. World Imports Ltd. (In re World Imports, Ltd. et al.), No. 16-1357, 2017 WL 2925429 (3d Cir. Mar. 8, 2017) and In re SRC Liquidation, LLC, No. 15-10541 (BLS), 2017 WL 2992718 (Bankr. D. Del. July 13, 2017)

In two recent Opinions, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and the Delaware Bankruptcy Court clarified that the word “received” in section 503(b)(9) of the Bankruptcy Code requires a showing that goods were delivered into the physical possession of a debtor or its agent within the 20 days before a debtor’s petition date (the “20-Day Period”).  Under the… Read More

Delaware Bankruptcy Court Refuses to Enforce an Employee Arbitration Agreement with a Class Action Waiver Despite Its Opt-out Provision

Chan v. Fresh & Easy, LLC (In Fresh & Easy, LLC), No. 15-51897 (BLS), 2016 WL 5922292 (Bankr. D. Del. Oct. 11, 2016)

In this motion to compel arbitration Opinion, the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware ruled on two issues of first impression in Delaware:  (i) whether a class action waiver provision in an arbitration agreement violates the National Labor Relations Act (the “NLRA”); and if so, (ii) whether the agreement remains enforceable if it allows an employee to opt-out.  The Court found that the class action waiver was unenforceable because it violated the NLRA.  The… Read More

The Threshold Necessary for a “Substantial Contribution” Finding under Bankruptcy Code Section 503(b)(3)(D) is “Exceedingly Narrow” in Delaware

In re RS Legacy Corp., No. 15-10197, 2016 WL 1084400 (Bankr. D. Del. Mar. 17, 2016) (BLS)

In this Opinion, Judge Shannon denied an individual’s request for allowance and payment of an administrative expense claim for his substantial contribution to the case under Bankruptcy Code section 503(b)(3)(D) in the amount of $203,105.51, which consists of his counsel’s fees and expenses.  In so holding, the Court followed a well-developed body of case law showing that the threshold necessary for a contribution to be “substantial” is exceedingly narrow and such efforts cannot be self-interested.

The issue before the Court arose from… Read More

Sword of Damocles Trumped By Finality in Confirmation Order

On April 23, 2013, the Delaware Bankruptcy Court reopened the bankruptcy case of reorganized debtor Northstar Iron Horse, LLC (“Iron Horse”) in order to consider a creditor’s request for a Rule 2004 examination of Iron Horse and two other affiliated reorganized debtors.  The request related to the creditor’s attempt to augment the distribution it received on account of its claim pursuant to the confirmed plan by recovering the proceeds of a post-confirmation settlement reached between Iron Horse and its insurance company, ACE American Insurance Company (“ACE”).  In this Opinion, Judge Shannon denied the Rule 2004… Read More

In Determining Whether a Claim is Core, the Focus Should Be on the Nature of the Dispute, Not Its Significance (Economic or Otherwise) to the Debtors and Their Estates

Longview Power, LLC v. First Am. Title Ins. Co. (In re Longview Power, LLC), Adv. No. 14-50369 (BLS), Memorandum Order, Adv. Docket No. 57 (Bankr. D. Del. Aug. 12, 2014)

In the Longview Power bankruptcy proceedings, the debtors (the “Debtors”) have proposed a chapter 11 plan of reorganization that contemplates satisfying, if ultimately allowed, certain mechanics’ lien claims asserted in the aggregate amount of over $335 million from the proceeds of a title insurance policy (the “Title Insurance Policy”) issued by First American Title Insurance Co. (“First American”).  The policy was issued in the amount… Read More

Bankruptcy Court Disallows Employee’s Claims for Severance Benefits; Debtor’s Interpretation of Employee Benefit Plan Given Deference

In re The PMI Group, Inc., et al., No. 11-13730 (BLS) (Bankr. D. Del. June 23, 2014)

Judge Shannon recently sustained a debtor’s objection to benefits sought by a former employee pursuant to the debtor’s salary continuation plan (the “Salary Continuation Plan”).  The case centered on whether the implementation of insurer solvency protection provisions under the laws of the state of Arizona constituted a “change in control” as defined by the Salary Continuation Plan.

By way of background, The PMI Group, Inc. (the “Debtor”) and its subsidiaries were involved in the residential mortgage industry and thus,… Read More