All posts in Supreme Court

Favorite Quote By Late Justice Scalia’s Dewsnup Dissent

In a quick parenthetical Justice Scalia says “bankruptcy law has little to do with natural justice.”  I then reconcile this with Prof. MJH’s golden rule # 1 “bankruptcy really doesn’t do anything.”

Philosophical Friday thoughts.

Debtor’s Inherited IRA Not protected

Your client tells you “yes, I also have an IRA retirement account.”   Don’t stop there — ask them “is this your IRA that you created or you inherited from another person (i.e. spouse or parent)?”   If the latter — then be careful!  Inherited IRA’s can be taken by the trustee.  Why?  Because Justice Sotomayor, on behalf of the entire bench, said so in Clark v. Rameker (2014). Read more…

Supreme Court to Hear Consumer Bankruptcy Issue on Dischargeability 523(a)(2) – What is a “Statement of Financial Condition”?

On Jan. 12 the Supreme Court granted certiorari and will review Lamar, Archer & Cofrin LLP v. Appling, 16-1215 (Sup. Ct.), to resolve a split of circuits and decide whether a false oral statement about one asset is a statement of “financial condition” that must be in writing to result in denial of discharge of a debt under Section 523(a)(2).  The briefs are here.    It has not been set for oral argument.

The 11th Circuit has a nice summary of the issue in the first paragraph.

This appeal presents a question that has divided the federal courts: Can a statement about a single asset be a “statement respecting the debtor’s . . . financial condition”? 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2).  Ordinarily, a debtor cannot discharge any debt incurred by fraud, id. § 523(a)(2)(A), but a debtor can discharge a debt incurred by a false statement respecting his financial condition unless that statement is in writing, id. § 523(a)(2)(B).

Below is my brief on the issue resolved by the 9th Cir BAP.  Read more…

Supreme Court Rejects Petition in Sunnyslope

This morning buried in the 45 page listing of Supreme Court Orders is the Order denying cert in the 9th Circuit en banc Sunnyslope case.  The Order List is here.  I thought they might take it.  It is not terribly complicated and the case discusses trying to reconcile the Supreme Court decision in Associates Commercial Corp. v. Rash with the facts in Sunnyslope.  My posting on Sunnyslope is here.   Prof. Dan Schechter says the 9th Circuit was “shockingly wrong.”  

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.

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

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.