Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal

Volume 29Issue 2
The Tenth Annual Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal Symposium


Yvana Mols | 29 Emory Bankr. Dev. J. i (2013)

The Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal hosted its Tenth Annual Symposium on February 28, 2013. Each year, the Symposium addresses current issues in bankruptcy law in a format that provides practicable information to today's bankruptcy practitioners. With the help and support of the Atlanta Bankruptcy Bar, EBDJ’s Advisory Board, and our sponsoring firms, the Tenth Annual Symposium was a tremendous success.

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Corporate Bankruptcy Panel

Patrick Darby, Mark Kaufman, Marc Levinson, Gary Marsh, Eric Schaffer | 29 Emory Bankr. Dev. J. 333 (2013)

Many municipalities all over the country are experiencing financial distress, and I believe this chapter of the bankruptcy system will be, and is currently being, tested tremendously by this crisis over the next years. There are a number of municipalities that are in bankruptcy now and, I believe, more to come. Whether the bankruptcy system can help solve that problem for all concerned, time will tell.

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Consumer Bankruptcy Panel

The Honorable Paul W. Bonapfel, John A. Thomson, Jr., Richard Thomson, Edward R. Philpot (Moderator) | 29 Emory Bankr. Dev. J. 359 (2013)

The case revolves around our client, the debtor, Randy Bullock, whose father made him the trustee and beneficiary of a trust without his knowledge.

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Corporate Group Cross-Border Insolvencies between the United States & European Union: Legal & Economic Developments

Nora Wouters, Alla Raykin | 29 Emory Bankr. Dev. J. 387 (2013)

As corporations become increasingly globalized, cross-border insolvencies are more prevalent. Insolvency raises the problems of any cross-border dispute: reciprocity, venue, choice of law, and cultural differences. However, unlike a typical adversarial dispute, successful insolvency proceedings do not have a single “winner,” and therefore raise unique problems. Insolvency’s goal of maximum private and public economic benefit is best achieved through cooperation, efficiency, and overall asset maximization. Disparate parties each fighting for their best private outcome would contravene a harmonious proceeding to achieve this goal. However, the absence of a universal insolvency law makes achieving harmony through cooperation across borders especially difficult. Each country has its own laws and procedures, and each citizen creditor has expectations based on their respective sovereign's laws. Differences in these laws range from specific (such as priorities and dischargeable claims) to the overarching goals (such as creditor returns or job preservation).

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Installment Land Contracts in Purchaser Bankruptcy

Seong-hee Lee | 29 Emory Bankr. Dev. J. 425 (2013)

The executory contract analysis under § 365 of the Bankruptcy Code has long challenged judges, practitioners, and scholars. The challenge of understanding the purpose of § 365 and reaching an equitable result thereafter is most profound when confronting installment land contracts. The parties to an installment land contract, typically the purchaser, can become insolvent and enter bankruptcy, and consequently, the rights of the parties may be altered dramatically as a result of applying bankruptcy law.

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Don't Rely on Plain Meaning, Trust Your Intuition: Trustees Are Not “Individuals” Eligible to Recover Punitive Damages Under § 362(k)

Kelly Gould | 29 Emory Bankr. Dev. J. 465 (2013)

To help debtors obtain a fresh start post-bankruptcy, § 362(a) of the Code provides for an automatic stay, which enjoins creditors from taking any collection action against a debtor immediately upon the debtor’s filing for bankruptcy. Originally, victims of a stay violation relied solely on the bankruptcy court’s contempt power to recover damages. In 1984, Congress added a new subsection to § 362, now codified as § 362(k), to specifically authorize bankruptcy courts to award damages to an “individual injured” by a violation of the stay. Most importantly, § 362(k) permits bankruptcy courts to award punitive damages, which typically are not an available remedy for civil contempt.

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To Include or to Not Include: Examining When Attorneys’ Fees May Be Awarded Under § 362(k)(1)

Anthony Hall | 29 Emory Bankr. Dev. J. 513 (2013)

Although courts are reluctant to shift attorneys’ fees in legal matters, Congress has made special exceptions to protect individuals in unique positions or to discourage certain undesirable behavior. With § 362(k)(1), Congress made an express exception to allow debtors to recover attorneys’ fees after a creditor willfully violates the automatic stay. For nearly twenty-five years, courts have interpreted § 362(k)(1) to allow debtors to recover attorneys’ fees incurred by seeking damages against the automatic stay violator. However, in Sternberg v. Johnston, the Ninth Circuit created a split in authority when it refused to allow a debtor to recover the full extent of his attorneys’ fees under § 362(k)(1).

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The Bankruptcy Shadow: Section 525(b) and the Job Applicant’s Sisyphean Struggle for a Fresh Start

Samantha Orovitz | 29 Emory Bankr. Dev. J. 553 (2013)

Congress amended § 525 of the Bankruptcy Code in 1984 to expand employment discrimination regulation to private employers. Section 525 prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of bankruptcy status. Section 525(a) prohibits this practice by government employers, and § 525(b) does so with respect to private employers. But there is a key difference between the two sections: only § 525(a), which governs public employers, explicitly prohibits discriminatory hiring on the basis of bankruptcy status.

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