News

Case Summaries

Bankruptcy Law

[08/15] In Re Rick H. Reynolds
Reversing the decision of the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel following the California Supreme Court's opinion answering a certified question regarding whether the creditors of the beneficiary of a spendthrift trust may reach the trust distributions and holding that the bankruptcy estate is entitled to the full amount of distributions due to be paid as of the date of the bankruptcy petition, but not any portion needed for support or education as long as the trust so specifies.

[08/09] In Re Pedro Lopez Munoz
Affirming the bankruptcy court's decision denying a creditor's motion to appoint a trustee for the bankruptcy estate to replace the debtor in possession of the estate because the petitioner for trusteeship failed to bear the burden of establishing the appointment's necessity, given the facts of the case.

[08/04] In Re AE Liquidation, Inc.
Affirming the judgments of the District and Bankruptcy court that an employer unaware of the likelihood of the closure of a business and the associated layoffs was not liable for failing to give its employees requisite notice under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.

[07/31] In Re Mainline Equipment, Inc.
Affirming a Bankruptcy Appellate Panel affirmation of the bankruptcy court's summary judgment for the debtor in a proceeding to seek the avoidance of tax liens on the debtor's personal property because the county failed to perfect the lien as against a bona fide purchaser.

[07/26] Crossroads Investors, L.P. v. Federal National Mortgage Association
Reversing the trial court's denial of an anti-SLAPP motion filed by the defendant, Fannie Mae, in an action brought against them for wrongful foreclosure, breach of contract, fraud, and other torts because the complaint arose form their exercise of their rights to free speech and petition.

[07/19] Vargas-Colon v. Fundacion Damas, Inc.
Affirming district court judgments for the defendants in a procedurally and factually complicated claim involving the bankruptcy of a hospital liable to the plaintiff and other parties for settlements of medical malpractice claims because claims presented by the disabled child's brothers lacked allegations that could support their claims and the primary plaintiff failed to challenge either ground invoked by the district court in its dismissal.

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Probate Trusts

[07/14] Lazar v. Charles Schwab Co. Inc.
Affirming the plaintiff's standing to bring a constitutional challenge under the Contracts Clause in the case of a divorced individual's attempts to claim the retirement fund of their ex following his death but affirming the claim's dismissal, application of Arizona's revocation-on-divorce statute, the holding that this statute was not preempted, the dismissal of a Contracts Clause challenge, and the transfer of the case to Arizona.

[06/30] Irvin v. Contra Costa County Employees' Retirement Ass'n
Reversing the trial court's affirmation of the Contra Costa County Employees' Retirement Association Board of Retirement's denial of surviving spouse benefits because the entry of a judgment of legal separation did not terminate a marriage and the term

[06/01] Raymond Loubier Irrevocable Trust v. Noella Loubier
In an inheritance dispute pertaining to the assets of the deceased, as conveyed to various revocable and irrevocable trusts in the deceased's name and that of his wife, the district court's dismissal of the complaint based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction is vacated and remanded where, because the plaintiff trusts are traditional common law fiduciary agreements, and, further, because they are not separate juridical entities under the relevant state law of Florida, the citizenship of their trustees controls a diversity determination.

[05/09] Higgins v. Higgins
In a trust case in which a wife agreed to hold funds in trust for her husband's elderly stepmother, and after her husband's death, the wife changed the form of the accounts and used the funds for her own purpose, the trial court's judgment in favor of wife-defendant under Code of Civil Procedure section 631.8 is reversed where, despite the form of the bank accounts, when clear and convincing evidence shows funds were transferred to an account owner to hold in an irrevocable trust for a third party beneficiary and the trustee repudiates the trust, a constructive trust may be imposed on the funds for the beneficiary's estate to prevent unjust enrichment.

[05/08] US v. Cardaci
In an action involving the Government's attempts to collect unpaid taxes assessed against a homeowner, seeking a judicial sale of the home, the district court's judgment, that a forced sale would be inequitable and order that the homeowner make monthly rent payments to the Government instead, is: 1) affirmed as to the district court?s authority to consider whether the property should be subject to a forced sale; but 2) vacated and remanded for recalculation of the ownership interests in the property and reconsideration of the equitable factors weighing for and against a sale.

[04/20] Bresler v. Wilmington Trust Co.
In a breach of contract action brought by personal representatives of an estate, the district court's judgment that trustee-defendant breached an agreement to lend money for the acquisition, maintenance, and certain investments relating to life insurance policies obtained for plaintiffs, is affirmed over defendant's arguments that the district court erred in admitting testimony from the plaintiffs' expert witness, the jury verdict including the award of damages was not supported by the evidence, and additional terms of the district court's order also were not supported by the evidence.

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