All posts in Supreme Court

Nice Definition of Leveraged Buyout (LBO) by Justice Stephen Breyer in Jevic.

I’m finally reading the Supreme Court opinion in Czyzewski v. Jevic Holding Corp, 137 S. Ct. 973 (2017).  Justice Breyer very nicely explains how an LBO works.

In 2006, Sun Capital Partners, a private equity firm, acquired Jevic Transportation Read more…

Nice Program with Judge Alex Kozinski – October 19, 2017

Judging the Judge: A Candid Conversation Between Judge Kozinski and Professors Ronald Collins and David Skover on Appellate Judging and the Politics of Law. Judge Kozinski will engage the authors in a spirited dialogue about partisan politics and the art of appellate judging, primarily at the Supreme Court level.
In their latest book, The Judge: 26 Machiavellian Lessons (Oxford University Press, 2017), Professors Collins and Skover raise a provocative question: What flows from the proposition that law is politics, or that Supreme Court decision-making in controversial cases is greatly influenced by partisan beliefs? That is, ever more people believe that judicial power is a form of political power. If so, what then? The answer: the maximization of judicial power, which is where Machiavelli comes in by way of the 26 power-maxims urged by the authors. It is against this conceptual backdrop that Judge Kozinski will engage the authors in a spirited dialogue about partisan politics and the art of appellate judging, primarily at the Supreme Court level.

Panelists:
Honorable Alex Kozinski, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal
Professor Ronald Collins, University of Washington School of Law
Professor David Skover , Seattle University School of Law Read more…

Prof. Chemerinsky Annual Supreme Court Review October 5, 2017

ANNUAL SUPREME COURT REVIEW 
October 5, 2017 - 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. (Registration at 11:30 a.m.)
Location: The Biltmore Hotel (506 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA Parking $22.00 Valet)
United States Supreme Court Review
Featuring Dean Erwin Chemerinsky
University of California, Berkeley School of Law

Also Featuring Judge Barry Russell Federal Practice Award
The Honorable Barry Russell
Bankruptcy Judge, Central District of California

Scotus Blog Stat Pack for Last Term

I just love these.  Every possible statistic you can imagine about last term can be found here.

A few tidbits:

The Supreme Court issued opinions on only 62 cases the entire year.  They also issued 7 summary reversals.

They affirmed only 15 of total 71 cases or 21%.  As to the 9th Circuit, they affirmed 1 out of 8 cases.  Only the 1st Circuit (1-0) had more affirmations than reversals.    Even the Federal Circuit was reversed 6 out of 7 cases.  State courts were reversed in 14 out of 17 matters. Read more…

Prof. Chemerinsky Explains Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. Haeger

The 9th Circuit was reversed by the Supreme Court on Tuesday in Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. Haeger, — S. Ct. —, 2017 WL 1377379 (2017).  The case deals with a court’s inherent powers to sanction parties and attorneys.   The rule is pretty clear that a court may sanction a party using its inherent power if the party’s conduct was “bad faith, wanton, vexatious, or oppressive,” i.e., more than reckless or even frivolous.  But how much?  The unanimous Supreme Court said the sanctions “must be compensatory rather than punitive in nature.”  It said that the “fee award may go no further than to redress the wronged party ‘for losses sustained’; it may not impose an additional amount as punishment for the sanctioned party’s misbehavior.”  Thus, “a court’s shifting of fees is limited to reimbursing the victim.”  That is not to say that the sanctions cannot be punitive but if they are, that is essentially a criminal proceeding and the sanctionee has the same rights as other criminal defendants.

In Goodyear, certain reports favorable to the Plaintiff were not turned over to the Plaintiff.  The Plaintiff, not knowing that the reports existed, ultimately settled with Goodyear.  A year later, the reports were discovered.  How is the district court going to figure out “the losses sustained” because of the failure to turnover the reports? Read more…

Supreme Court Clarifies Meaning of Tippee in Insider Trading Dispute

Salman v. United States is not really a bankruptcy issue but it confuses my Biz Org students to no end so I spent a little time trying to simplify it.  You can access my UWLA blog here.

Top Ten Supreme Court Cases on Bankruptcy – This Friday at SFVBA

Email from Steve Fox

Dear All:

How many Supreme Court opinions that affect us bankruptcy practitioners can you name and discuss in court without notes?  If you are like most bankruptcy practitioners, the opinions of the Supreme Court too often seem to be mostly remembered in two ways: with uneasiness when the opinions are issued; and then later as some distant background as we forget what the Supremes held.

We have a really neat and intellectually important program on Friday, December 9th at 12:00 noon.  The MCLE is for 1 and ¼ hours.  Jon Hayes, David Gould and Alan M. Ahart (ret.) will discuss, argue, disagree and agree, analyze, tear apart and put back together, bring up fun trivia along the way, all while bringing to our attention why the Supreme Court matters to bankruptcy practitioners and how we can use their opinions to assist our clients.  Given that Jon Hayes prepared the materials, they have a very high quality. Read more…

Preview of Upcoming Supreme Court Term

This is a preview of the upcoming term from the Georgetown Supreme Court Institute.  There is only one bankruptcy case on the docket so far, Czyzewski v. Jevic Holding Corporation (15-649)

According to the preview:

Question Presented: Whether a bankruptcy court may authorize the distribution of settlement proceeds in a manner that violates the statutory priority scheme.

Summary: The Bankruptcy Code prioritizes the order in which a debtor in bankruptcy under Chapter (Ch.) 11 or Ch. 7 must pay the claims of its creditors. Section 507 identifies unsecured claims entitled to priority, and specifies the order of payment.  Higher-priority claims must be paid in full before lower-priority claims are paid anything.  The question in this case is whether a bankruptcy court may order a structured dismissal of a Ch. 11 case that settles claims against the estate and pays settlement proceeds to creditors in violation of the Code’s priority scheme. Read more…

Husky v. Ritz – the Supreme Court Really Needs Some Bankruptcy Basics

I get calls all the time from people who say that so and so owes them money and just filed bankruptcy.  I ask, “Did the debtor lie and cheat and steal when you loaned him the money or sold him the goods?”  No – well then I would take your files and pitch them in the ocean.  You are out of luck.  The debtor gets his fresh start.

Now I can say, “any chance the debtor hid some assets or transferred something he owned to some relative?”  If so, the Supreme Court says that MIGHT form the basis for declaring the debt to you to be non dischargeable.  If the debtor really did that I usually tell the client, we can ask the court to deny his discharge altogether under section 727 but then you are in line with all other creditors whose debts are likewise not discharged.  But now we can go after the debtor alone under 523(a)(2) and have the debt discharged only as to us, not everyone else.    The Supreme Court really had no idea of this.   Read more…

Kudos to Erwin Chemerinsky for Supporting Justice Ginsburg’s Comments on Trump

In the LA Times this morning.

Uninformed punditry to the contrary, her comments violated no law or ethical rule. The judicial code of ethics says that judges are not to endorse or oppose candidates for elected office. These provisions, however, do not apply to Supreme Court justices. (Whether that exception is reasonable is a separate question.)

It’s true that, conventionally, justices steer clear of electoral politics. But that wasn’t always the case:  In 1800, the members of the Supreme Court openly campaigned for the reelection of John Adams.  This convention of silence, moreover, is inconsistent with one of the most basic underlying principles of the 1st Amendment: that more speech is better in a democracy because it leads to a better-informed population.