Assignments for 9/11 and 9/12.

Just to confirm and clarify:

At Chatsworth we will review the Moneywatch case in the Syllabus as class 4, and Wiswall, Shlensky, Kamin and Francis under class 5.

At LAX, we will review Meinhard, Bane and Moneywatch.  I am leaving out Cadawalader.

I have posted the 2nd take-dome essay question on D2L.

1st Take Home Essay

There was a typo in the take home essay I passed out this week.  As I said in class, it is due next Monday, end of the day; not Sept 18 as the instructions say.  LAX class can email it to me by next Tuesday, end of the day.  I posted a copy on D2L just in case.  Thanks.

Last Add: Judge Donovan Tomorrow

In 2011, Judge Donovan ruled on a Motion to Dismiss in a chapter 13 case filed jointly by two men.  Federal law – Defense Against Marriage Act (DOMA) – decreed that if federal law said “spouses,” that meant a man and a woman.  Judge Donovan ruled that DOMA was unconstitutional and refused to dismiss the case.  You should read his written opinion, it is very poignant.   We can discuss this with him tomorrow.  My brief follows.

In re Balas and Morales, 449 B.R. 567 (Bankr. C.D. Cal. 2011) (Donovan, J.)
Issue: Are two men, properly married under the laws of California, eligible to file a joint bankruptcy case?
Holding:  Yes.   Note: Nineteen Central District judges concurred and signed this opinion.
Counsel for the debtors: Peter Lively and Rob Pfister.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge: Hon. Thomas Donovan

The debtors, two men, filed a joint chapter 13 petition. They were married “to each other” under California law in 2008 “and remain married today.”  The US Trustee filed a Motion to Dismiss for “cause.”  It cited the Defense of Marriage Act, “DOMA,” 1 U.S.C. section 7, which “defines the term ‘spouse’ for the purpose of applying federal law, as ‘a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.’”

Judge Donovan wrote: “The issue presented to this court is whether the Debtors, who are legally married and were living in California at the time of the filing of their joint petition, are eligible to file a ‘joint petition’ as defined by § 302(a).” “In this court’s judgment, no legally married couple should be entitled to fewer bankruptcy rights than any other legally married couple.” Continue reading

Last Class This Friday – Guest Speaker

We will have our final class this Friday.   I am going to skip the section on chapter 13 so you do not need to read the cases previously assigned.

Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Donovan (Ret.) is going to come by and visit.  Judge Donovan was the trial judge in the Beverly case so we can discuss that with him.  Remember he ruled in favor of the debtor but was reversed by the court of appeals.

Judge Donovan also argued (as a young lawyer) a case (on behalf of the trustee!) at the Supreme Court in 1966 called Bank of Marin v. EnglandI would like you to read the opinion in that case which is here.   Especially the dissent by Justice Harlan which agreed with Judge Donovan.

Judge Donovan was recently overruled by the Supreme Court in Law v. SiegelThe opinion in that case is here.  It deals with taking away a homestead exemption based on the debtor being a really bad guy.

Finally, Judge Donovan recently ruled on a case involving Section 727, whether the discharge should be denied.  We can talk to him about that.  My brief is below.    Continue reading