Focusing on all facets of bankruptcy law and practice

News

Case Summaries — Recent Appellate Decisions

Reynolds v. IRS, Civ. Action No. 13-10788-NMG (D. Mass. Jan. 15, 2014)

A pro se Chapter 13 debtor filed an adversary proceeding seeking discharge of income taxes owed for 2000 through 2003 that she had refused to pay.  (The IRS had characterized the debtor as a “tax protester.”)  The Bankruptcy Court had denied the IRS’s motion for summary judgment reasoning that a fact finder could plausibly find that the debtor lacked the requisite mental state for a “willful” attempt to evade the tax under section 523(a)(1)(C).  As a threshold matter, the District Court granted leave to hear the interlocutory appeal under 28 U.S.C. § 158(a)(3) (though the court mistakenly references 18 U.S.C. § 158(a)(3) throughout).  It then went on to reverse the Bankruptcy Court and find that taxes for all of the tax years were nondischargeable pursuant to section 523(a)(1)(C) because the debtor had failed to refute the IRS’s evidence demonstrating that she had willfully attempted to evade the taxes.  The District Court reached this conclusion with respect to all three tax years for which the debtor owed taxes, even though the debtor had filed a return for one of the years.

+ Read Entire Article

From Absolute Priority: Lawsuit against Lyondell Shareholders

The Southern District of New York Bankruptcy Court held in Weisfelner v. Fund 1 (In re Lyondell Chemical Co.) that Section 546(e)’s safe harbor for settlement payments of securities transactions does not apply to or preempt a state law constructive fraudulent transfer claim to recover LBO payments to shareholders.  See Decision and Order on Motion to Dismiss, No. 09-10023, Adv. No. 10-4609 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Jan. 14, 2014) (Gerber, B.J.).
+ Read Entire Article

Bankruptcy Law Committees

  • Bankruptcy Communications Committee
    This committee publishes information relevant to the bankruptcy bar. If you are interested in an editorial position or writing for the newsletter or blog, contact the

    Contact Information

    Christopher M. Candon

    Sheehan, Phinney, Bass + Green-NH

    (603) 627-8168

    Kristin M. McDonough

    Riemer & Braunstein LLP

    (617) 880-3436

  • Bankruptcy Education Committee
    Help develop relevant and innovative educational sessions led by a diverse group of talented speakers who cover both business and consumer bankruptcy issues. This committee promotes and oversees the educational programs for the Bankruptcy Section, including the monthly Brown Bag Lunch speaker series and several in-depth seminar programs.

    Contact Information

    Jeffrey D. Sternklar

    Duane Morris LLP

    (857) 488-4216

    Alex Frank Mattera

    Demeo, LLP

    (617) 263-2600

  • Bankruptcy Membership Committee
    This committee aims to increase participation in the Section through outreach activities.

    Contact Information

    Natalie Sawyer

    Macken Toussaint

    Riemer & Braunstein LLP

    (617) 880-3461

  • Bankruptcy Public Policy Committee
    The BBA is very active on the legislative front. Often times, bankruptcy attorneys are asked to lend their expertise.

    Contact Information

    Richard L. Levine

    Nelson Kinder + Mosseau, PC

    (617) 778-7575

    Michael J. Pappone

    Goodwin Procter LLP

    (617) 570-1940

  • Bankruptcy Public Service Committee
    This committee organizes the annual Chapter 7 Pro Bono trainings and the Reaffirmation Clinic. The committee works closely with practitioners and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to respond to needs identified in the community.

    Contact Information

    Adam J. Ruttenberg

    Looney & Grossman LLP

    (617) 951-2800

    Meg McKenzie Feist

    Choate Hall & Stewart LLP

    (617) 248-5000

  • Commercial Finance Committee
    This committee focuses on lending capital in commercial transactions.

    Contact Information

    William Scott McMahon

    Downes McMahon LLP

    (617) 600-8694

    John F. Ventola

    Choate Hall & Stewart LLP

    (617) 248-5085

  • Consumer Bankruptcy Committee
    This committee updates practitioners regarding changes and developments in Ch. 7 and Ch. 13 cases. In addition, it helps coordinate pro bono bankruptcy services in consumer matters.

    Contact Information

    Ann Brennan

    Ann Brennan Law Offices

    (781) 878-6900

    Kate Nicholson

    Parker & Associates

    (781) 729-0005

  • Consumer Finance Committee
    This a joint committee between the Financial Services and Bankruptcy Sections. This committee represents a collaborative effort to study, educate and review consumer finance products.
  • Financial Literacy Committee
    By volunteering for the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program, you will help high school students across Massachusetts learn to make informed and effective decisions regarding their finances through educational and experiential opportunities. You can become involved by working on the committee to develop and grow the program or teaching at a school.
  • New Bankruptcy Lawyers Committee
    A part of the Bankruptcy Law Section, the New Bankruptcy Lawyers Committee addresses issues faced by new or relatively new practitioners of bankruptcy law.

    Contact Information

    Timothy John Carter

    Goulston & Storrs PC

    (617) 482-1776

    David Koha

    Casner & Edwards, LLP

    (617) 426-5900

  • Practice and Procedure Committee
    This committee serves as a liaison with the office of the Clerk of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts and considers local practice issues.

    Contact Information

    Guy B. Moss

    Riemer & Braunstein LLP

    (617) 880-3466

  • Steering Committee
    The leadership committee of the Section organizes programs and discusses policy. To inquire about opportunities, please contact the Section Co-Chairs.