In re Aleckna

Student debt and sour grapes are the topics of this Third Circuit opinion. When Aleckna filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, she had completed her coursework but still owed California Coast University (“CCU”) tuition. The filing of her bankruptcy petition, however, imposed an “automatic stay” of all collection actions against her, and therefore enjoined CCU from … Read more

Ellis v. Westinghouse Elec. Co., LLC

Dates matter in bankruptcy proceedings. Ellis worked for Westinghouse. About two months after the New York Bankruptcy Court confirmed Westinghouse’s Chapter 11 plan of reorganization (“the Plan”), Westinghouse terminated Ellis’s employment, explaining that his department was being restructured. Ellis believed he was unlawfully fired due to his age. So, he filed a charge with the … Read more

In re LTC Holdings, Inc.

The Department of Defense awarded a general contracting firm the contract to construct the National Police Command Center in Afghanistan. As is typically required in government contracts, the general contractor was required to secure performance and payment bonds that guarantee the contractor will properly perform its contract and pay its subcontractors. Here, the general contractor … Read more

Bisbing v. Bisbing

After a divorce and child custody action, the trial court awarded attorney’s fees in favor of the defendant. The plaintiff soon thereafter filed two bankruptcy petitions. Both bankruptcy petitions were dismissed. Defendant sought an order finding the attorney’s fees to be non-dischargeable in bankruptcy as a “domestic support obligation.” The lower court agreed with the … Read more

In re Venoco LLC

In Central Va. Cmty. Coll. v. Katz, 546 U.S. 356 (2006), the U.S. Supreme Court held that, by ratifying the Bankruptcy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, states waived their sovereign immunity defense in proceedings that further a bankruptcy court’s exercise of its jurisdiction over property of the debtor and its estate. In the case of … Read more

In re Weinstein Co. Holdings LLC

The Third Circuit issued two nearly identically captioned opinions — In re Weinstein Co. Holdings LLC — in which the Court dealt with issues revolving around Harvey Weinstein’s bankruptcy proceedings. When The Weinstein Company (TWC) declared bankruptcy, it found a buyer in the Spyglass Media Group. In one case, the Third Circuit heard an appeal … Read more

In re Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc.

The Third Circuit used In re Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. to clarify the meaning of “mutual” in the Bankruptcy Code provision that allows parties to invoke setoff rights when the debts they owe one another are mutual. Two companies wanted to setoff their debts to a company proceeding through bankruptcy according to a prior contact that … Read more

In re Energy Future Holdings Group

In re Energy Future Holdings Group arose from the bankruptcy of Energy Future Holdings and its affiliates (“Debtors”). The Debtors’ most valuable asset was a significant economic interest in Texas’s largest electric and power transmission and distribution company, which Appellant NextEra Energy Inc. agreed to buy through a Merger Agreement. The sale did not go … Read more

Xtreme Caged Combat v. Zarro

In July 2012, Plaintiff filed a trademark infringement action against Steven Rosenblum (Debtor) and others in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of PA. In August 2014, a judgment was entered in his favor against Debtor and the other defendants in that action. On December 11, 2014, Debtor filed a voluntary bankruptcy petition … Read more

Hanrahan v. Ketch

A husband and wife divorced and entered into a property settlement agreement that compelled the wife to make payments to the husband. But soon thereafter, she declared bankruptcy and sought to discharge her obligation to the ex-husband. In Hanrahan v. Ketch, the Pennsylvania Superior Court was asked to determine if the wife’s debt owed to … Read more