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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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Showing posts in Judge Laurie Selber Silverstein

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

Delaware Bankruptcy Court Finds It Has Constitutional Adjudicatory Authority to Enter a Final Confirmation Order Containing Nonconsensual Third Party Releases

In re Millennium Lab Holdings II, LLC, No. 15-12284 (LSS), 2017 WL 4417562 (Bankr. D. Del. Oct. 3, 2017), aff’d by Opt-Out Lenders v. Millennium Lab Holdings II, LLC (In re Millennium Lab Holdings II, LLC), No. 17-1461 (LPS), 2018 WL 4521941 (Bankr. D. Del. Sept. 21, 2018)

Following the United States Supreme Court’s ruling six years ago in Stern v. Marshall, 131 S. Ct. 2594 (2011), the constitutional adjudicatory authority of bankruptcy courts to enter final orders has been challenged in a variety of proceedings, leading to varied interpretations of the reach of the Stern decision.  In Millennium, the Delaware Bankruptcy Court was asked Read More

Insider’s Scoop: An Rare Examination of Challenge Period and Release Provisions in a Final DIP Order

n re Outer Harbor Terminal, LLC, 16-10283 (LSS) (Bench Ruling, May 5, 2017)

In issuing this Bench Ruling, the Honorable Laurie Selber Silverstein of the Delaware Bankruptcy Court had the unusual opportunity to analyze and parse challenge period and lender release provisions contained in a final DIP order.  Examining the plain language of the provisions in light of the entire context of the DIP documents before it, the Court concluded that a creditors committee’s investigation period expired long before it was formed by the United States Trustee.  Her Honor also held that the general… Read More

Delaware Bankruptcy Court Finds Debtor Did Not Properly Terminate Contract, Faces Significant Breach of Contract Damages

In re Outer Harbor Terminal, LLC, No. 16-10283 (LSS), 2017 WL 696676 (Bankr. D. Del. Feb. 21, 2017)

In the context of a claims objection, the Court adhered to unambiguous contract language in determining that the presence of a termination triggering event did not automatically terminate a contract, opening the door for potentially significant damages.  This matter will now proceed to the damages phase, where the non-debtor contract counterparty has alleged in its proof of claim an approximate $13.3 million in, among other things, breach of contract damages.

Outer Harbor Terminal, LLC (the “Debtor”) provided stevedoring services—docking and loading/unloading… Read More

Delaware Bankruptcy Court Sidesteps Decision on “Novel” Bar to Joinder Doctrine; Movant Failed to Demonstrate Bad Faith For Involuntary Chapter 7 Petition

In re Luxeyard, Inc., 556 B.R. 627 (Bankr. D. Del. 2016)

Declining to opine upon the “bar to joinder doctrine,” the Delaware Bankruptcy Court in this Opinion applied the Third Circuit’s “totality of the circumstances” bad faith test to deny a motion to bar the joinder of additional petitioners to an involuntary petition under Section 303(c) of the Bankruptcy Code.  Simply put, the Debtor did not carry its burden to show there was a bad faith filing, and therefore, the Court need not consider the bar to joinder doctrine.

Jinsun, LLC (“Jinsun”), whose sole manager and employee is Kevin Casey,… Read More

Pac Sun Class Representative Denied Permission to File Class Proof of Claim on Behalf of Priority Claimants

In re Pacific Sunwear of California, Inc., No. 16-10882 (LSS) (Bankr. D. Del. June 22, 2016 and Aug. 8, 2016)

In the first of two related Opinions, Judge Laurie Selber Silverstein granted claimant Tamaree Beeney permission to file a class proof of claim for alleged violations of California wage and hour laws under California’s Private Attorney General Act (“PAGA”), but limited her representative role to absent class members who hold non-priority general unsecured claims.  In the second Opinion, the Court denied reconsideration of Her Honor’s ruling and further disallowed another claimant from representing the priority class in… 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

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