Every few weeks, another news outlet reports that a wave of energy-related bankruptcy cases is on the way.  See links below if you need some examples.[1]  A recent decision in the Alta Mesa bankruptcy case about pipeline contracts has some important lessons for producers and midstream companies evaluating how future bankruptcy cases may affect

Intellectual property comprises some of the most valuable assets a business may hold – its brands, patents, know-how, and other intangible rights that make the business unique.  The intellectual property assets (IP) throughout the energy sector—upstream, midstream, downstream and service providers along the way—will be affected as more energy companies seek bankruptcy relief in the

The recent OPEC/COVID-19-related drop in energy prices may soon set off a tidal wave of energy-related bankruptcies. Funding for exploration and production (“E&P”) companies is much harder to find, and much more expensive, than it was just a few weeks ago.  Reserve reports that might have been at “concern” status at year end will be

The Supreme Court of the United States recently handed down a decision on the statute of limitations period under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (the “FDCPA”) to start off its term. The case provides a lesson to practitioners to draft carefully; the failure to do so may result in the loss of the cause

Lenders who finance farm operations, including those who provide equipment, seed, fertilizer, and other farming-related products on credit, should be aware that the Family Farmer Relief Act of 2019 has been signed into law. This new law allows a “family farmer” with up to $10,000,000.00 in debt to restructure and to reduce debts under Chapter

A recent United States Supreme Court decision handed down in May addressed what occurred when contract, bankruptcy, and intellectual property laws intersected.[1] In Mission Products Holdings, Inc. v. Tempnology, LLC nka Old Cold, LLC, the Supreme Court was presented with the question of whether a debtor’s rejection of an executory contract rescinded

A 2013 change to Louisiana’s revocatory action now exposes a secured lender’s collateral and guarantees to the risk of avoidance litigation for ten years, up from three years, after the closing date.

Start here if you just asked, “What is a revocatory action?” This post explains how the revocatory action effects multi-party secured loans, and

cap2

The Louisiana Supreme Court recently determined that there is no tort liability for negligent spoliation of evidence.  “Regardless of any alleged source of the duty, whether general or specific, public policy in our state precludes the existence of a duty to preserve evidence.  Thus, there is no tort.”  Reynolds v. Bordelon, No. 2014-2362, —

The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals dealt a blow to secured creditors in a recent opinion affirming a successful “cramdown” reorganization plan in a commercial real estate (“CRE”) case. See In re Village at Camp Bowie I, L.P., — F.3d — (5th Cir. Feb. 26, 2013), 2013 WL 690497. The panel opinion in Bowie allowed a debtor in CRE bankruptcy case to intentionally delay paying trade debt that it had cash available to pay and to classify those trade creditors as “impaired” under Chapter 11 – thus giving a class of friendly creditors the ability to vote for the debtor’s plan of reorganization. The court expressly rejected the argument that “artificially impaired” creditors that a debtor could pay in full, like the trade creditors in Bowie, should not be allowed to vote on a Chapter 11 plan. The result in Bowie was a confirmed plan based on the vote of unsecured creditors owed $60,000 over the objection of the fully secured creditor owed $32 million.

In Bowie, the debtor financed the acquisition and development of land in Fort Worth (the “Property”) with equity capital and short-term promissory notes (the “Notes”). The Notes were secured by a first mortgage on the Property. The debtor’s development of offices and retail did not do as well as planned. After a series of modification agreements and forbearance agreements to extend the due dates for the Notes, the then-current holder of the Notes initiated foreclosure proceedings on the Property. The debtor filed its petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code one day before the scheduled foreclosure sale, which stayed the foreclosure proceedings.

Continue Reading “Artificially Impaired” Creditors Can Vote on Chapter 11 Plans in the Fifth Circuit

Louisiana protects corporate directors and officers from liability to shareholders or others when they make decisions in good faith and reasonably believe that their decisions are in the best interest of the organization. This principal, called the “business judgment rule,” gives officers and directors the freedom to take risks and to make decisions without wondering