• Bankruptcy Court Allows Exemption for Property Not Used as Principal Residence

    February 21, 2017

    In November 2016, we provided an update on a novel bankruptcy case addressing an individual’s right to exempt the value of their home under the Massachusetts homestead law.   Specifically, the case involved whether Massachusetts law could be applied to exempt the value of property located in another state (it can).  A Massachusetts bankruptcy...

  • Bankruptcy Court allows for substantive consolidation of debtor and nondebtor.

    January 9, 2017

    Occasionally, a person or company in bankruptcy (the debtor) and a related person or company allow their financial affairs to become a bit too entangled. In these circumstances, bankruptcy courts may impose several remedies, one of which is substantive consolidation. Substantive consolidation effectively provides for the merger or combination of...

  • First Circuit Rules on Applicability of Automatic Stay to Government Action in Bankruptcy

    December 14, 2016

    The First Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that the federal government was able to terminate a bankrupt's Medicare/Medicaid Provider Agreement without violating the automatic stay, rendering an important decision on the intersection of bankruptcy and Medicare law. On June 15, 2015 Parkview sent the Center for Medicare & Medicaid...

  • Bankruptcy Appellate Panel Rules on Trademark Rights of Licensee

    December 1, 2016

    The bankruptcy appellate panel for the First Circuit (BAP) recently ruled on the rights of a licensee of trademarks when the licensor files for bankruptcy and the licensor rejects the contract during the bankruptcy case. Tempnology, the debtor in bankruptcy, had a prepetition agreement with Mission Product Holdings (MPH) giving MPH certain...

  • Bankruptcy Court Rules on Right to Use Massachusetts Homestead Law for Out of State Property

    November 15, 2016

    When an individual files for bankruptcy, the law generally allows that individual (the "debtor") to keep, or exempt, certain assets, with the remaining assets being sold to pay claims of creditors.  Exemption rights are designed to help the debtor achieve a "fresh start" after bankruptcy.  In Massachusetts, state law allows a debtor to exempt...

  • Atlantic Marine Three Years On—The Survival of Rule 12(b)(6) in Enforcing Forum-Selection Clauses

    November 3, 2016

    Almost three years ago now, the Supreme Court decided Atlantic Marine Construction Company v. U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, 134 S. Ct. 568 (2013) and instructed both courts and litigants on the correct procedural and analytical framework for enforcing a contractual forum-selection clause. The Court held that: (1) the party...

  • Developments in the Dischargeability of Tax Liabilities

    September 12, 2016

    One of the principal benefits for an individual filing for bankruptcy (a “debtor”) is the entry of a discharge, or forgiveness of debts arising prior to the bankruptcy filing.  Section 727 of the Bankruptcy Code provides circumstances under which a debtor may have their discharge denied in its entirety.  Section 523 of the Code, in turn,...

  • Buyer Beware: Ruling Saddles ‘New’ GM with Successor Liability

    August 29, 2016

    One of the principal benefits of purchasing assets out of bankruptcy is that buyers typically are able to acquire the assets “free and clear” of the liabilities of the company in bankruptcy.  This ability allows the purchaser to better estimate value for the assets or business to be acquired by limiting concerns of inheriting problems of the...

  • Hashtag Infringement? The US Olympic Committee’s Improper Attempts to Expand its Trademark Rights

    August 11, 2016

    The Olympic Games are supposed to bring together the world’s greatest athletes to compete in a spirit of mutual respect and camaraderie. But the U.S. Olympic Committee, which effectively controls our country’s participation in the Games, has recently been undermining that ethos by asserting legal rights it does not have in an apparent attempt...

  • NSFW: Massachusetts Court Decides Text Sufficient to Close a Deal

    August 1, 2016

    Have you ever sent a text and immediately regretted it? Have you ever sent a text that ultimately became a binding contract to sell a $3 million dollar piece of real estate? Loose fingers beware, according to a recent Massachusetts court decision a text can be deemed to constitute consent to a binding real estate transaction. In St. John’s...