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Federal courts have struggled with the tension between the ‘‘fresh start’’ many companies hope to achieve in bankruptcy and the due process issues implicated by discharging latent claims. Inadequate protection of future claimants’ rights to notice and the absence of a meaningful opportunity for future claimants to object to the reorganization proceedings threatens the finality of the debtor’s ‘‘fresh start.’’
In 1994, Congress amended the Bankruptcy Code to address that tension in the context of asbestos claims by adding Section 524(g). Under that section, a company plagued by asbestos claims can receive a discharge of its asbestos liabilities by establishing a trust to which those liabilities are channeled for resolution.
The U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third and Fifth Circuits have reached divergent results in factually similar cases that involved challenges to the discharge of latent asbestos claims. This webinar will explore the circuits’ different outcomes, and analyze the decisions and how they should be considered in the context of asbestos litigation.
•Review the discharge of asbestos liabilities by establishing a trust to which those liabilities are channeled for resolution
•Explore the findings of the Third and Fifth Circuits and how the asbestos decisions can be considered in the context of asbestos litigation
•Analyze the inadequate protection of future claimants’ rights to notice and the absence of a meaningful opportunity for future claimants to object to the reorganization proceedings threatens the finality of the debtor’s ‘‘fresh start.’’
Who would benefit most from attending this program?
Bankruptcy lawyers and practitioners.
Paul M. Singer is a senior partner at Reed Smith LLP. Paul is a member of the Financial Industry Group, practicing in the area of Commercial Restructuring & Bankruptcy. Paul is the founder of the firm's bankruptcy practice and chaired the section for over 20 years. Paul's practice is principally devoted to bankruptcy and workout matters, representing both debtors and creditors. He has appeared in bankruptcy courts around the country, as well as acted as lead counsel in a number of major out-of-court workouts. He has also acted for purchasers and sellers of businesses, both in and out of bankruptcy, and has also acted as a Chapter 11 Trustee and a court appointed bankruptcy mediator. Paul has been involved in a large number of industrial cases in the steel, aluminum, railroad, cement, pulp and paper and natural resource industries. He has had extensive experience working with labor unions as well as governmental agencies. Additionally, Paul has lectured on various insolvency law matters. He is a member of the New York and Pennsylvania bars.
Edwin J. Harron is a partner at Young, Conaway, Stargatt & Taylor LLP. Ed specializes in corporate restructurings and mass tort insolvencies, routinely advising debtors, lenders and mass tort future claimants representatives in out-of-court workouts, complex foreign and domestic restructurings, pre-planned bankruptcies and chapter 11 cases. He has counseled the Legal Representative for Future Claimants in chapter 11 cases and/or 524(g) trusts. When he is not in court, Ed lectures and writes on various bankruptcy and business restructuring topics, primarily focusing on the use of trusts to resolve mass tort liabilities. He is a member of the Delaware, District of Columbia, New Jersey and New York bars.
Sara Beth A.R. Kohut is an associate at Young, Conaway, Stargatt & Taylor LLP. Sara Beth’s practice focuses on advising legal representatives for future claimants in connection with asbestos mass tort insolvency matters and settlement trusts. She has also represented national and local businesses in cases involving intellectual property, corporate and commercial issues in the federal and state courts in Delaware. Sara Beth has advised clients on strategies for protecting intellectual property rights and complying with obligations governing the privacy and security of sensitive data. Sara Beth serves on the board of the White Clay Watershed Association and is a member of her township's historical commission. She is a member of the Delaware and Pennsylvania bars.
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