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Letting Go Can Be Hard to Do – the Current State of Non-Consensual Third Party Releases in Chapter 11 Cases

June 22 @ 12:00 pm 1:15 pm

1.25 Hours MCLE; 1.25 Legal Specialization in Bankruptcy Law

Non-consensual third party releases in Chapter 11 plans (in which parties that have not filed bankruptcy nevertheless benefit from broad release provisions that are included in the Chapter 11 plans) have been a controversial topic in business bankruptcy cases for many years.  

Some courts, such as the Ninth Circuit, have previously held that such releases are impermissible. Others, such as the Second and Third Circuits, have permitted them in various circumstances.

There has been a bevy of recent decisions on this topic (as well as on exculpation clauses) recently.These include the blockbuster Purdue Pharma case in New York (which held that there is no statutory basis for non-consensual third party releases) to the Ninth Circuit’s Blixseth case (which held that Section 524(e) of the Bankruptcy Code did not bar a narrow exculpation clause).

Among the cases we will discuss are In re Purdue Pharma, L.P. (S.D.N.Y.), In re Mahwah Bergen Retail Group, Inc. (f/k/a Ascena Retail Group, Inc.) (E.D. Va.), Blixeth v. Credit Suisse (9th Circuit), and In re Astria Health (Bankr. E.D. Wash.).

Non-Member Price – $93.75
Member Price – $68.75

Wendy Smith

Wendy Smith is a partner at Binder & Malter LLP.  She has over 25 years of experience in insolvency consulting and commercial litigation. She has represented all stakeholders including investors, creditors, debtors, trustees and committees. Wendy’s expertise also includes secured transactions, real property, intellectual property licensing, mediation, and appeals. Her clients include entities of all sizes, including privately-held businesses, publicly-traded companies, and individual entrepreneurs.

Meredith Ann Jury

Honorable Meredith Jury graduated from UCLA Law School in 1976.  She spent 21 years as an attorney (as an associate then partner), at Best Best & Krieger LLP in Riverside, California.  She then served as a United States Bankruptcy Judge in the Riverside Division of the Central District of California from 1997-2018, and she served on the 9th Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel from 2007-2017 (and as its chief from 2015-2017).  After she retired from the bench in June 2018, she activated her law license to assist consumer debtors with appeals and other matters, to mediate bankruptcy cases pro bono, and to assist victims of elder financial abuse through Inland Counties Legal Services. 

She also writes and edits the CFN and the eBulletins for the California Lawyers Association.

Michael Riela

Michael Riela is a partner at Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP in New York City.  He is admitted to practice law in both New York and California.  He advises clients in corporate and real estate Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, out-of-court restructurings, M&A transactions involving distressed sellers, debtor-in-possession (DIP) and bankruptcy exit loan facilities, secondary market trading of distressed debt and trade claims, and insolvency-related litigation.  Michael is also an experienced general business attorney, advising clients in general corporate, finance and litigation matters, including negotiating and drafting complex commercial contracts.

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