The following is a case update written by Isabelle Cho, Summer Associate at Danning, Gill, Israel & Krasnoff, LLP, analyzing a recent case of interest, In re Love, 649 B.R. 556, 560 (Bankr. E.D. Cal. 2023).
A bankruptcy court for the Eastern District of California, Hon. Christopher M. Klein, held that the student loan liability of a Chapter 7 debtor is discharged after satisfying, by the requisite preponderance of evidence standard, all three elements of the Brunner-Pena test for establishing undue hardship. The Court also analyzed the differing approaches of the Ninth and Second Circuits in interpreting the test. Importantly, the Court cited the Supreme Court case U.S. Bank Nat’l Ass’n v. Village at Lakeridge, 138 S. Ct. 960 (2018), to highlight that the division of roles between trial and appellate courts depend on the nature of the “mixed question” of law and fact. Applying the principles of Lakeridge, the Court determined that since evaluating undue hardship related to student loan debt involves a fact-based inquiry, appellate courts should apply a “clear error” standard instead of a de novo review. In re Love, 649 B.R. 556 (Bankr. E.D. Cal. 2023).
Here’s a link to the writeup on the CLA website: click here.
To read the full published decision click here.
The California Lawyers Association has recognized Danning Gill’s Senior Counsel, Aaron E. de Leest, in the Member Spotlight for his achievements as a Business Law Section member. Aaron is the current Co-Chair of the BLS Insolvency Law Committee and a past chair of the Publications Subcommittee for the ILC. Congratulations to Aaron!
To read the full article, click here.
Zev Shechtman has recently been appointed to the mediation panels for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of California, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California, and the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of California. These appointments are in addition to Zev’s ongoing service on the mediation panels for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California and the United States District Court for the Central District of California.
Danning Gill congratulates our partner John N. Tedford, IV, on his recognition as the Century City Bar Association’s Corporate Bankruptcy Lawyer of the Year. John and other award recipients were honored on November 10 at the CCBA’s 54th Annual Installation Banquet and Awards Ceremony. Joining John and his wife Mary at the awards ceremony were the Hon. Alan M. Ahart, DG cofounder David Gill, present and former DG partners, associates, staff and friends.
We are pleased to announce that Alphamorlai ‘Mo’ Kebeh is a recipient of the Honorable Cornelius Blackshear Presidential Fellowship for 2022! This fellowship is awarded to those who deserve special recognition for their professional accomplishments to date and show the potential to distinguish themselves in future years as highly respected members of the bankruptcy or debt restructuring bar. Mo is one of nine fellows, selected from across the country, who were recognized at this year’s National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges in Orlando. The firm is extremely proud of Mo for this achievement and the strides he continues to take in his practice.
Danning Gill is pleased to announce that John N. Tedford, IV, has been selected as the Century City Bar Association’s Corporate Bankruptcy Lawyer of the Year. John and other award recipients will be honored on November 10 at the CCBA’s 54th Annual Installation Banquet and Awards Ceremony. For more information about the program, please click here.
Danning, Gill, Israel & Krasnoff, LLP (“Danning Gill”), is proud to have represented Jaguar Distribution Corp. (“Jaguar”) in its chapter 11 case, in which Jaguar successfully sold substantially all of its assets and confirmed a chapter 11 plan of liquidation. Jaguar’s plan went effective on July 15, 2022.
Jaguar distributed independent and international films and television programs to airlines and cruise ship companies. As an early innovator in the field, Jaguar succeeded in bringing independent and international films to domestic and foreign airline audiences. For a variety of reasons, including the increased availability of streaming and download services such as Netflix and Amazon, and the proliferation of “minimum guarantees” that distribution companies often pay for the right to distribute films and television shows, Jaguar experienced a significant decline in revenues.
Jaguar retained Danning Gill as insolvency counsel in early 2019. Around the same time, Jaguar also retained James Wong of Armory Consulting Company as Chief Restructuring Officer. Danning Gill and Mr. Wong worked together to explore Jaguar’s options, including reorganization or liquidation under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.
Danning Gill filed Jaguar’s chapter 11 petition on July 31, 2020. A few days later, Danning Gill filed Jaguar’s motion for approval of sale procedures in connection with a proposed sale of substantially all of Jaguar’s assets to Ricochet Digital Media, LLC (“Ricochet”). In October 2020, after an auction, the Bankruptcy Court approved Jaguar’s sale of substantially all of its assets to Ricochet for $30,000 plus a percentage of receivables and future revenues collected by Ricochet. The sale closed on November 2, 2020.
In February 2022, Danning Gill filed Jaguar’s chapter 11 plan of liquidation. Under the plan, which was confirmed in June 2022, Jaguar’s remaining assets were assigned to a liquidating trust to be administered for the benefit of Jaguar’s creditors. Jaguar’s plan went effective on July 15, 2022. A few weeks later, the trustee of the liquidating trust filed three lawsuits to try to generate additional funds to pay holders of allowed claims.
Jaguar’s case is In re Jaguar Distribution Corp. It was filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California, Case No. 1:20-bk-11358-MB, and assigned to the Honorable Martin Barash. Zev Shechtman, John Tedford and Aaron de Leest of Danning Gill served as Jaguar’s general bankruptcy counsel. James Wong of Armory Consulting Co. served as Jaguar’s Chief Restructuring Officer. The official committee of unsecured creditors was represented by Victor Sahn and Steve Burnell of SulmeyerKupetz, now of Greenspoon Marder, LLP. The trustee of the liquidating trust established by Jaguar’s plan is Elissa Miller of Greenspoon Marder, LLP.
Danning, Gill, Israel & Krasnoff, LLP congratulates Alphamorlai ‘Mo’ Kebeh on his recent appointment as Co-Chair of the Los Angeles Bankruptcy Forum’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion committee. The LABF DE&I committee’s mission is to reflect its fundamental belief that diversity strengthens the practice of law and that all people deserve inclusivity, equity and a chance to have a seat at the table.
Beverly Hills Bar Association Chair Position
Danning, Gill, Israel & Krasnoff, LLP associate Alphamorlai ‘Mo’ Kebeh was recently elected as Chair of the Beverly Hills Bar Association Bankruptcy Section. The BHBA is a nationally recognized organization that is devoted to promoting legal education, establishing public service programs, and leading the legal profession. Well deserved!