Hot Topics in Bankruptcy Law: Structured Dismissals, Safe Harbors, Out-of-Court Workouts and Marijuana


CLE Credits earned: 2 GENERAL (or 2 LAW & LEGAL for WA state)

This course will help you to understand the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Czyzewski v. Jevic Holding Corp. regarding structured dismissals, and its likely impact on strategies and options in future bankruptcy cases. In it, attendees will explore the Bankruptcy Code’s “safe harbor” from preference and certain fraudulent transfer avoidance actions, and the Supreme Court’s decision in Merit Management Group, LP v. FTI Consulting, Inc. that limited that safe harbor. Through participating in this course, you will come to understand the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Marblegate Asset Management, LLC v. Education Management Finance Corp. and the case’s likely impact on future out-of-court workouts involving public debt securities. You will also become acquainted with the status of federal law with respect to marijuana, and explore debt restructuring and asset liquidation alternatives to bankruptcy for individuals and distressed companies that are involved in the marijuana business.

Key topics to be discussed:

•   Structured Dismissals
•   Safe Harbors
•   Out-of-Court Workouts
•   Bankruptcies in the Marijuana Industry

Date / Time: August 19, 2019

•   2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Eastern
•   1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Central
•   12:00 pm – 2:00 pm Mountain
•   11:00 am – 1:00 pm Pacific

Choose a format:

•   Live Video Broadcast/Re-Broadcast:Watch Program “live” in real-time, must sign-in and watch program on date and time set above. May ask questions during presentation via chat box. Qualifies for “live” CLE credit.
•   On-Demand Video:Access CLE 24/7 via on-demand library and watch program anytime. Qualifies for self-study CLE credit. On-demand versions are made available 7 business days after the original recording date and are view-able for up to one year.

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Original Broadcast Date: November 13, 2018

Michael J. Riela, Esq. is a partner in Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt’s Creditors’ Rights and Business Reorganization practice group. He has over 15 years of experience advising clients in complex restructuring, distressed M&A, financing, and bankruptcy-related litigation matters. He has in-depth experience in advising clients on corporate and real estate bankruptcies, workouts, Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, debtor-in-possession (DIP) and bankruptcy exit loan facilities, secondary market trading of distressed debt and trade claims, Section 363 sales and bankruptcy retention and fee agreements and disputes. Michael’s clients include distressed companies, banks, indenture trustees, hedge funds, private equity firms, landlords, professional services firms, trade creditors, contract counterparties and shareholders.

Richard Trotter, Esq. is an associate in Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt’s Litigation and its Creditors’ Rights and Business Reorganization practice groups. His diverse practice includes litigating a wide variety of complex commercial litigation and bankruptcy disputes in state, federal and bankruptcy court. Such disputes have involved issues of contract, securities, real estate and bankruptcy law. He has experience with both commercial and municipal bankruptcy context and has worked to preserve and enforce the rights of different parties at all stages of bankruptcy.

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Section I. Structured Dismissals

In a recent case, the U.S. Supreme Court limited the utility of “structured dismissals” in Chapter 11 cases, which have become an increasingly popular method of effecting corporate reorganizations or liquidations, particularly in cases where a Chapter 11 plan cannot be confirmed.

Section II. Safe Harbors

The Bankruptcy Code provides a “safe harbor” against preference and certain fraudulent transfer ”clawback” actions, which have been relied upon by certain types of creditors for many years. However, in its Merit Management Group, LP v. FTI Consulting, Inc. decision earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court substantially narrowed the scope of the safe harbor. We will examine the Supreme Court’s decision and its future implications.

Section III. Out-of-Court Workouts

In a recent case, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals restored clarity to the capital markets regarding the question of whether distressed companies may conduct out-of-court restructurings that do not by their terms alter core payment terms of indentures for publicly-issued debt securities.

Section IV. Bankruptcies in the Marijuana Industry

Although more and more states have legalized the medical or recreational use of marijuana, marijuana remains strictly illegal under federal law. As a result, individuals and entities that are involved (however tangentially) in the growing and distribution of marijuana as part of a business are generally barred from seeking relief in the federal bankruptcy court. We will discuss the relevant federal law with respect to marijuana, and alternative avenues that individuals and distressed companies in the marijuana business might be able to pursue to restructure their debts or liquidate their assets.