Case News

Case Summaries

Bankruptcy Law

[12/04] In Re Irving Tanning Company
Affirming bankruptcy court and district court rulings that a transaction involving the debt-financed purchase of a family owned leather manufacturer was not a fraudulent conveyance and did not amount to a violation of the fiduciary duties of the company's directors because the factual determinations were not clearly erroneous and supported the court's conclusions.

[11/21] In Re Charlene M. Milby
Affirming the judgment of the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel reversing the bankruptcy court's dismissal of a bankruptcy estate's claims seeking avoidance of fraudulent transfers as time-barred and affirming the bankruptcy court's dismissal of other claims based on transfers not made by the debtor.

[11/16] In Re: Laura M. Sheedy
Affirming the bankruptcy court's refusal to approve a motion for an extension of time to file a notice of appeal that occurred because the appellant's attorney was preoccupied with her second job as a church music director because this did not constitute excusable neglect and the court did not abuse its discretion in reaching this determination.

[11/16] In Re: Laura M. Sheedy
Affirming the bankruptcy court's refusal to approve a motion for an extension of time to file a notice of appeal that occurred because the appellant's attorney was preoccupied with her second job as a church music director because this did not constitute excusable neglect and the court did not abuse its discretion in reaching this determination.

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Commercial Law

[12/08] US v. Scott
Affirming the conviction of a man for wire fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering in association with a Boston area mortgage fraud scheme because his unconditional guilty plea barred him from subsequently raising independent claims relating to the deprivation of constitutional rights and prevented him from complaining about the alleged use of information obtained during plea negotiation proffers where the plea was not involuntary.

[12/06] Expressions Hair Design v. Schneiderman
Certifying the following question for the New York Court of Appeals a question of state law; 'Does a merchant comply with New York General Business Law so long as a merchant posts the total dollars-and-cents price charged to credit card users' in the case of businesses that wanted to include a surcharge for credit card transactions but were unsure of how to do so legally, given the law, because the answer would impact the court's First Amendment analysis of proposed billing methods.

[12/04] Marathon Petroleum Corporation v. Secretary of Finance for the State of Delaware
Reversing the district court's conclusion that private parties cannot invoke federal common law to challenge a state's authority to escheat property, but holding that the case was not ripe for judgment and vacating the prior order of dismissal for its reentry as a dismissal without prejudice to permit the claim's pursuit at a later time, if appropriate.

[11/29] QDOS, Inc. v. Signature Financial, LLC.
Affirming the trial court's grant of summary judgment against a merchant in a case involving the sale of a high end sports car because the court determined that the receipt of payment in the form of checks from a third party made out to the merchant does not trigger common law duties not to ignore 'red flags' or 'suspicious' circumstances indicating fraud against a third party because payment by a check not in the customer's own name, by itself, is not a red flag.

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Dispute Resolution & Arbitration

[12/08] Howeth v. Coffelt
Dismissing an appeal in a case where neighbors who shared a driveway couldn't peacefully enjoy their easement and sued each other, resulting in a settlement agreement that stipulated to the entry of a judgment to resolve the lawsuit and purporting to allow the parties to collect a fine for refusal to comply because the court's determination that it lacked jurisdiction to enforce the fine in a filing made on the original action because a consent judgment, such as occurs pursuant to a settlement agreement, is not appealable.

[11/30] Yang v. Dongwan Industries
Affirming the district court's order denying a motion to compel arbitration in a maritime action arising from the death of a seaman in the sinking of a fishing vessel because the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards does not allow non-signatories or non-parties to compel arbitration or under the Federal Arbitration Act, which expressly exempts contracts of employment of seamen.

[11/30] State Farm General Insurance Company v. Watts Regulator Co.
Affirming the trial court's denial of defendant's motion to compel arbitration in a case where the parties had signed an arbitration agreement with a third party many years prior that hadn't included product liability claims at the time, but was amended to include such suits in the intervening period because there was no vested right to arbitration where the parties agreed to the contractual terms and rules determined by a third party.

[11/29] Sayta v. Chu
Vacating a trial court order seeking liquidated damages and the enforcement of a settlement agreement entered into by parties to a prior case involving efforts to terminate the plaintiff's tenancy because the parties had failed to request, at the termination of the initial case, that the trial court retain jurisdiction to enforce the settlement and did not seek to set aside the dismissals, so the court lacked jurisdiction to rule on the motion to enforce.

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Judgment Enforcement

[11/21] Laboratory Specialists International, Inc. v. Shimadzu Scientific Instruments, Inc.
Affirming the district court's dismissal of a lawsuit pursuant to the forum selection clause in the parties' contract because there was no procedural error and the court did not err in dismissing the plaintiff's tort claims or by refusing to conduct an analysis under discretionary forum non conveniens factors.

[10/25] Midbrook Flowerbulbs Holland B.V. v. Holland America Bulb Farms
Affirming the district court's order grant of summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff and denying the defense's discovery request in a diversity action seeking recognition of a Dutch court judgment under Washington's Uniform Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act (UFCMJRA) because, although the foreign proceedings were quite different procedurally than they might have been stateside, the legal standard governing the UFCMJRA only requires that the foreign proceedings did not deny the party fundamental fairness.

[10/17] Penn. Pub. Util. Commission v. Jenkins
In a judgment enforcement action, the district court's order approving a sale recommended by the receiver as part of wrapping of a fifteen year case stemming from a $58 million judgment is affirmed where the sale appeal is not equitably moot and the district court's orders approving the sale details was not an abuse of discretion.

[07/20] Thai-Lao Lignite Co. v. Government of the Lao People's Democratic Republic
Affirming the district court's decision to vacate an earlier judgment enforcing an arbitral award because the court in the Malaysian arbitral seat had set the award aside because a consideration of the factors under the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(5) would not have materially changed the outcome and there was no abuse of discretion denying the petitioner's request that Laos be forced to post security during the pendency of the motion and appeals.

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