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Category Archives: Bankruptcy

Saudi Arabia’s new bankruptcy law faces key test in the courts – Reuters

Posted: October 24, 2019 at 11:52 am

RIYADH (Reuters) - The merit of Saudi Arabias new bankruptcy law, part of efforts to help the kingdom attract investors, should become clearer in about a year after courts handle initial cases, a World Bank representative and senior government official told Reuters.

FILE PHOTO: Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman speaks during talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, October 14, 2019. Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

A lack of modern bankruptcy regulations had created difficulties for struggling companies seeking to restructure debt with creditors since the 2009 global financial crisis and the more recent dip in oil prices.

Legislation introduced in 2018 is part of broader efforts to overhaul the economy of the worlds top oil exporter to entice foreign investment, create jobs for young Saudis and diversify into non-oil industries.

They have started on insolvency, said Simeon Djankov, World Bank senior research director and founder of the Doing Business report, which on Thursday ranked Saudi Arabias business climate the most improved over the previous year.

The law has been passed, secondary legislation was already passed. Now we need to see whether the courts actually understand how to implement it.

Djankov said only three cases had been settled and around a dozen others are currently in the courts. Several dozen more, expected to be resolved over the next year, should provide enough evidence to evaluate the laws success, he added.

The two main open cases involve conglomerates Saad Group, owned by indebted billionaire Maan al-Sanea, and Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi and Brothers (AHAB), which defaulted on about $22 billion in combined debt in 2009.

Resolving insolvency was an area of improvement for Saudi Arabia, climbing 30 places to 62nd in the World Bank report which showed sharp improvement in other Gulf countries and a lag in Latin America.

Eiman al-Mutairi, who heads Saudi Arabias National Competitiveness Center, said she expects further advances next year as the bankruptcy law and other reforms come fully on line, including a building code law and planned amendments to licensing regimes.

Are we there yet? No. Do we want to do more? Absolutely, said Mutairi, who is one of the highest-ranking women in the Saudi government. Hopefully this is only the beginning.

She attributed the jump in Saudi Arabias standing to authorities efforts to cater their reforms to the private sectors concerns.

Maybe weve worked with investors many years ago but sometimes we just dont listen to them, she said. Lets face it: we did not listen to the investor.

Reporting by Stephen Kalin, Editing by William Maclean

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One Family Built Forever 21, and Fueled Its Collapse – The New York Times

Posted: at 11:52 am

Yet even as its errors abroad became clear, Mr. Chang and his real estate counterparts bet on even more United States stores. An internal playbook from 2015 described the retailers plans for a new strip mall chain called F21 Red that would target mothers under 35. Its $1.80 camisoles and $7.80 jeans were meant to swipe at the Irish retailer Primark, which entered the United States that year.

The playbook showed that six stores were already open, and that Forever 21 planned to open 35 more that year, including in regular malls, which was a surprise to the employees who had planned F21 Red. By 2017, several new F21 Red stores were posting sales that were around 50 percent below company projections, internal sales reports show.

That year, Forever 21 also introduced a beauty chain, Riley Rose, that was viewed as the companys next wave of growth and sought to capitalize on the boom in Korean skin care products. It was created by Linda and Esther Chang and called ground-breaking in the bankruptcy filing, which grouped its sales with the slumping international division.

While former employees praised the sisters work ethic, they said that Riley Rose, which had 15 stores this year, was an expensive gamble in high-priced malls and struggled to maintain vendor relationships. The company told The Times last month that Riley Rose may end up as a store within Forever 21 locations. It has filed to reject leases for nine previously planned Riley Rose locations.

Mrs. Changs side of the business was also making errors with the sprawling store base. Merchandising was based on the previous years sales, and Forever 21 bought too little inventory in 2017, then too much in 2018, the filing said. It also duplicated merchandise by designing for styles like weekend or work looks, rather than categories like tops or dresses.

Forever 21 had about 6,400 full-time employees and 26,400 part-time employees when it filed, numbers that will likely shrink throughout the bankruptcy process. Forever 21 said that it would change how it merchandises, winnow its operations to the United States, Mexico and Latin America, aim to increase e-commerce sales to more than just 16 percent of the business and take other cost-cutting measures. When it filed, the company owed $347 million to its vendors.

And the Chang family will be listening to new voices. Its board of directors will grow from three members Mr. Chang, Linda Chang and Mr. Ok to six, including Forever 21s former head of real estate, a lawyer and the former chief executive of Things Remembered. It also said that it had added several new managers in recent months, including a new chief financial officer. Mr. Chang remains the chief executive.

Forever 21 has basically been a one-trick pony, Mr. Cohen said. The founder and his wife did remarkably well until the business got too big for them to continue to do remarkably well by themselves.

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The Bankruptcy Money From the Makers of Oxycontin Might Actually Save Lives – Vice News

Posted: at 11:52 am

High Wire is Maia Szalavitz's reported opinion column on drugs and drug policy.

The most important questions remaining in the many lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and distributors are not about how much the final payouts will beclearly, huge sums of money are coming. Instead, they center on who exactly will get the funds and whether they will be spent effectively. Many of the fiercest battles lie ahead.

Surprisingly, however, early signs from the bankruptcy case of Purdue Pharmathe manufacturer of Oxycontin and one of the key players in starting the overdose epidemicsuggest that at least the first multimillion-dollar payment might quickly go exactly where it is needed: to programs that work to preserve the lives and health of people with addiction, regardless of whether they're abstinent.

Boosting funding to such organizationsknown as harm reduction programscould kickstart a long-overdue revolution in the way we care for and treat addiction in the U.S.

The details are complicated, as you might expect in litigation with 2,600 states, cities, counties, and other localities all seeking a piece of multi-billion-dollar Big Pharma pie. Many of the plaintiffs argue that Purdue's filing for bankruptcy will deprive them of a just settlement. They would prefer that Purdues riches remain part of the spoils that will be divided in another case against opioid manufacturers and distributors, which is known as the opioid multi-district litigation (MDL) and may be settled this week.

Despite those objections, Judge Robert Drain of the United States Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, New York, accepted Purdues bankruptcy filing and has begun to forge a plan to distribute its billions. On October 11, he agreed to a stay in the bankruptcy case to give the parties time to work out major disagreements.

One advantage of distributing the money via bankruptcy, rather than through civil and criminal cases, is that stricter conditions can be set on spending. Bankruptcy has guardrails on it to make sure that how it plays out will be open, will be public, and will be as equitable as possible, said Lindsey Simon, assistant professor of law at the University of Georgia School of Law and an expert on bankruptcy.

The tobacco settlement of 1998 is an example of what can happen without such guardrails: $246 billion was expected to be paid out over 25 years to fight smoking but, for example, in the current fiscal year, less than 3 percent of the money went to prevention or treatment of tobacco addiction. That is not atypical. Most money just went into states general budgets, and some Southern states even used settlement funds to support tobacco marketing.

Via bankruptcy, Purdues money will become part of a trust. A recently appointed committee of nine membersincluding four people with personal or family experience of opioid addictionwill help determine how that money is spent, though the judge has to approve their decisions. In the case stipulation agreed upon by that committee and by Purdue, a plan was proposed to make a $200 million fund available within six months for harm reduction and addiction recovery groups.

If the terms are accepted by the other parties, like state and local governments, that $200 million would be the biggest amount ever spent to support programs that dont require people to be abstinent before they can receive helpa group far larger at any given time than those currently ready or able to completely quit. (According to Simon, the parties seem reasonably likely to agree to these terms because its a relatively small sum of money compared to almost-certain multi-billion-dollar settlements and, strategically, they know they have to pick their battles).

The impact of this money would be huge, said Daniel Raymond, deputy director of planning and policy at the Harm Reduction Coalition, whose group would help vet harm reduction agencies for funding, It would be the single largest infusion of resources into harm reduction that we've ever seen in this country.

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The stipulation directs the money to two specific types of groupsharm reduction centers and recovery community organizations (RCOs).

Harm reduction centers typically provide clean needles, access to the overdose reversal drug, naloxone, and, if they were to be legalized, many would operate overdose prevention sites, where people could use drugs under medical supervision to prevent overdose deaths. RCOs, meanwhile, are aimed at people who want to stop problematic drug use or sustain abstinence, but unlike traditional self-help groups, they dont prescribe one specific way to recover and dont reject people who aren't seeking abstinence. Neither of these types of services are widely available in the current treatment system. A grant application process will be devised to allow appropriate groups to get funded.

Importantly, the money wouldnt simply fund existing for-profit treatment programs, which rarely use evidence-based approaches, are too-frequently outright fraudulent, and often decry the use of medications like methadone and buprenorphine, which are the only treatments proven to cut the death rate by 50 percent or more.

All of the centers in question would offer referrals and ease connections to other services like healthcare and addiction treatment; some actually provide buprenorphine and other medical treatment themselves. Some provide housing or referrals to housing that doesn't require abstinence: the main idea being that people who use drugs deserve humane treatment and that treating people kindly often results in them treating themselves better.

Because harm reduction is often seen as controversialsome argue that it enables drug use, even though research shows that participants are more likely to recover than those who dont access these programssignificant funding would help boost its legitimacy and sustain groups that often run on a shoestring budget.

For decades, for example, federal funding of syringe service programs was banned and many states still restrict iteven though syringe programs have helped reverse HIV epidemics in many states and countries, including New York, which once had the worlds largest epidemic among people who inject drugs.

While noting that the money is only a drop in the bucket in terms of helping those harmed by the epidemic, former Obama administration drug czar and now executive director of the Grayken Center for Addiction at Boston Medical Center, Michael Botticelli said that the funding of harm reduction and recovery support could be an important sign of whats to come in the overall settlement.

Regina LaBelle, director of the addiction and public policy institute at Georgetown University and also a former senior Obama drug policy official, said that even though $200 million is not a lot in light of the overall settlement, Its going to make a difference. She notes that right now, many of the groups that would be eligible for this money are so small they need to have bake sales and other small-scale fundraisers just to be able to afford needles and other necessary supplies.

Typically, the recovery community organizations that stand to get funding have meetings for people with various goals, including 12-step groups and alternatives. They also provide and sometimes train peer coaches who can work one-on-one with folks who want that type of care. These coaches are taught to advocate for their clients when navigating the healthcare, addiction treatment, and other social-service bureaucraciesand to not impose their own ideas about what recovery should be. They may also provide naloxone or refer people to harm-reduction services. Generally, these groups are run by people in recovery themselves or family members.

Nothing is mandatory, said Dona Dmitrovic, executive director of the Foundation for Recovery in Las Vegas, which provided RCO services to 4,000 people last year. As in harm reduction, the idea is to meet people where they are and offer help accordingly.

If, for example, someone wants medication treatment, they work with doctors and programs that provide that. If someone needs shelter or mental health care, they help them access those services. To be eligible for this settlement funding, RCOs need to have been previously recognized by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which requires using evidence-based practices.

If these two kinds of groups do receive significant funding from the Purdue bankruptcy, it could help bring long-overdue change to the addiction treatment system, which is still overwhelmingly dominated by inpatient and outpatient rehab programs that are focused on getting people to accept the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) as the one way to recover.

This ideology has been especially problematic for people with opioid use disorder because NAs official policy is that people taking medication like bupe arent considered to be in recovery, which means they are not permitted to speak, even from the floor at many meetings. The group actually encourages ending medication usedespite the fact that continuing with buprenorphine or methadone doubles peoples chances of survival.

Harm reduction groups and RCOs offer a real alternative. And, as they become more and more visible, people with addiction and their families will be more likely to vote with their feet and choose treatment that isnt one-size-fits-all. That will pressure other programs to either change for the betteror fold.

While $200 million isnt much in the scheme of harm from the opioid epidemic, and more also needs to be done to help pain patients, in the hands of groups that have never received adequate funding, it could be a tremendous step forward. And one that could finally shift the system toward providing care that actually works.

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TimberCreek Golf Club in Daphne struggles with debts as it navigates bankruptcy – FOX10 News

Posted: at 11:52 am

DAPHNE, Ala. (WALA) - Looking for ways out of financial problems related to a stagnant golf

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) The once-prosperous TimberCreek Golf Club continues to struggle financially as it navigates a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

The owner of the course, nestled in the upscale TimberCreek subdivision in Daphne, filed for bankruptcy protection in August.

In a Bankruptcy Court filing earlier this month, the clubs owner Bradley Investments listed almost $1.75 million in assets against debts exceeding $3.3 million.

Those debts include more than $2.5 million owed to so-called secured creditors, who have higher priority, and lower-priority unsecured claims of more than $800,000.

A status conference is scheduled for next week in the case. Ronald Clifford, a lawyer representing a committee of unsecured creditors, also could not immediately be reached for comment.

Owner Rob Bradley told FOX10 News that he does not know how long it might take to go through the bankruptcy process.

It is a situation that is very fluid. But were very optimistic that were going to get through this, he said.

Bradley said the course as struggled amid a national decline in golfing interest.

TimberCreek is not unique, he said. Thousands of courses are going through this across the country.

TimberCreek Golf Club in Daphne.

According to the National Golf Foundation, almost 200 golf courses across the country closed last year, cutting the golf course supply by 1.2 percent from the previous year. That continued a trend that dates back several years. Since 2006, according to the organizations Golf Industry Report, closures have outpaced new courses.

The report attributed the trend partly to an unsustainable 20-year building boom that saw the construction of 4,000 courses in the years running up to the bust.

Even before TimberCreek filed for bankruptcy, there have been signs of financial problems. Last year, the golf club asked the neighborhood property owners association to support a $600 annual fee to help support the golf course.

That sparked blowback from homeowners opposed to bailing out a private business.

Bradley told FOX10 News in January that an annual assessment would help the golf course and, as a result, boost property values.

The route were choosing right now is simply a volunteer basis. Maybe down the road well talk about something more formal or more structured, he said at the time.

Bradley on Wednesday said he remains hopeful that a deal can be worked out with the homeowners association. He said that is the route that successful golf courses have taken. He added that the association has sent a survey to homeowners to gauge support.

Ultimately, Bradley said, it is about the neighborhood protecting an asset that adds to the value of the properties. Without the course, he said, You lose that premium.

Among the companys debts are unpaid taxes. The initial filing listed $67,097 owed to the Alabama Department of Revenue, $25,426 owed to Baldwin County in sales taxes and $31,266 owed to the city of Daphne.

The largest individual creditor is a Maryland partnership known as McCormick 109 LLC, to which TimberCreek owes more than $500,000 after deducting $1.5 million in collateral. The mortgage company specializes in acquiring and managing loans and distressed debt, according to its articles of incorporation.

The second-biggest creditor is another mortgage company, First Home Bank Laon Operations in St. Petersburg, Florida. The listed debt is $287,057.

The bankruptcy filing also lists Bradley as a creditor to the tune of $122,966. He said that is a reflection of the fact that he has much of his own money at stake trying to save the golf course.

In the end, the future of TimberCreek might come down to the willingness of the neighborhoods residents to subsidize it. Asked if that was a necessary component of any successful bankruptcy reorganization, Bradley said, Thats a good question.

All content 2019, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station). All Rights Reserved.

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The Backroom: The looming threat of retail bankruptcies – Retail Dive

Posted: at 11:52 am

Welcome to The Backroom, your window into what goes on behind the scenes as the Retail Dive team covers the stories and trends reshaping retail. You can check out all our podcast episodes (past and present) here and listen on iTunes or Stitcher.

This fall, reporter Ben Unglesbee set out to compile a list of distressed retailers at risk of bankruptcy. It's a practice Retail Dive has done since the summer of 2017, and bankruptcy as a topic is an ongoing story the team researches, investigates and discusses.

To compile the list, our team uses data provided by CreditRiskMonitor, which analyzes companies in terms of their FRISK score a measurement based on factors including credit rating, stock volatility and other financial metrics to determine the probability of a bankruptcy filing. Eight to 12 retailers are typically revealed to be at risk. This year, 28 retailers were on the list.

The results were so surprising that Unglesbee went back to CreditRiskMonitor to double check that there were no changes in FRISK methodology. There weren't.

As reporter Daphne Howland looked at the list, she was curious as to why so many of the named retailers were apparel companies. The results fed into her reportingabout how specialty clothing businesses are getting hit especially hard as the industry puts up record numbers of store closures.

On this episode,Unglesbee and Howland discuss the reporting behind the list, the apparel industry's reckoning and personal experiences when shopping for clothes.

The Backroom with Retail Dive is a sponsored podcast. The sponsor has no influence over Retail Dive's coverage, and content does not reflect the views or opinions of the sponsor's employees.

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Gander Outdoors, Pier 1, Forever 21 headed to bankruptcy? Use gift cards now – Star Tribune

Posted: at 11:52 am

On Sept. 22 Smaaash go-carts at Mall of America abruptly closed its doors. Based in India, the company hasno other U.S. locations andleft no forwarding information on how to contact it. That left Randy Kraemer of Rosemount wondering if he had any recourse. "I'm sitting on a $100 gift card," he said. "How do I get a refund now that Smaaash@MOA is closed?"

That's a question that consumers need to be asking about any unused gift card, especially as more retailers and restaurants close their doors withoutwarning, leaving consumers with a worthless piece of plastic.

We all know weshould redeem gift cards quickly, so why don't we? "People don't keep them handy," said Shelley Hunter, a gift card expert at Giftcards.com. People should keep them next to the debit or credit cards theyuse most often or add them to theirmobile wallet. "If you don't want to carry them around, put them by your computer so they're available when you're shopping online," she said.

Few consumers foresawSmaaash's closing, even though scattered news reports mentioned that it was behind on payments to the Mall of America and the Minnesota Vikings. But retailers that have announced select store closings should put consumers onalert.

Rumors of Gander Mountain's bankruptcy started in March 2017 and people could still redeem its gift cards, but by May, the stores quit accepting them. Now almost40 of 200 Gander Outdoors stores, which emerged from Gander Mountain'sbankruptcy, arein the process of closing nationwide. The Eden Prairie and Bemidji stores will close soon.

CreditMonitorRisk.com put Gander's parent company Camping World on a list of companies with a high chance of bankruptcy. Other retailers on the list? Christopher & Banks, J Crew, Neiman Marcus, J.C. Penney, Pier One and Rite Aid. Retailers with an elevated risk include Express, Francesca's, J. Jill, Container Store, Kirkland's, Sears, GNC, At Home and Build-A-Bear. Forever 21 recently filed for bankruptcy.

Even retailers that aren't on a bankruptcy watch list close stores, includingLowe's, Walmart, Target, CVS and Walgreens, but Hunter said no gift card should collect dust in today's retail climate.

Restaurants are no different. National chains that have closed locations in 2019 include Famous Dave's, Applebee's, Noodles, Tim Hortons, Papa John's and Subway. Locally, Libertine, Revolution Hall, It's Greek to Me, Sporty's Pub & Grill and Corner Table have closed.

This year Boston Market closed its last Twin Cities locations in Bloomington and Roseville, leaving gift card holders stranded. When a company still has locations open in other cities, consumers can trying selling theirsfor a discount on sites such as Giftcardgranny, Cardpool and Raise.

Holders of Smaaash gift cards can email info@mallofamerica for a refund. Kraemer said he got a response from MOAand Smaaash should be issuing his checksoon. For retailers or restaurants that have already closed, Consumer Reports said it's difficult to collect. It's better to use agift cardbefore a troubled retailer such as Sears or Camping World (Gander Outdoors) starts a company-wide liquidation. "Some people want towait until the liquidation starts to max out the savings, but gift cards are often not accepted once the liquidation starts," Hunter said.

With the holidays approaching, redeeming gift cards now is a sound strategy because many retailers and restaurants give up the ghost in December and January ifholiday sales disappoint.

For those with a dusty Toys R Us gift card who are excited about the toy company's return during the holiday season, you're still out of luck, Hunter said.

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Bankruptcy helps Blackjewel avoid paying $1-million to Kentucky, Labor Cabinet filed to change that – WYMT News

Posted: at 11:52 am

CHARLESTON, WV. (WYMT) - Kentucky's Labor Cabinet filed paperwork in bankruptcy court in Charleston, West Virginia on Oct. 17 to allow them to pursue money owed to the state.

The largest of the two fines asks Blackjewel to pay $705,000.

When Blackjewel filed for Bankruptcy on July 1, an automatic stay immediately kicked in.

An automatic stay stops almost all civil lawsuits filed, including those from government agencies like Kentucky's Labor Cabinet.

What the cabinet has filed for is a motion to modify the automatic stay, attempting to make Blackjewel pay the fine in accordance with the Kentucky Revised Statute.

The statute reads that "Any firm, individual, partnership, or corporation that violates KRS 337.020 shall be assessed a civil penalty of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000)," and goes on to add that each is considered a separate offense.

The state cannot collect the fine from Blackjewel as long as the automatic stay is in place since it is a "civil penalty."

The document reads that the company employed 705 people to operate mines in Kentucky, which is where the state got the amount of $705,000.

The Commonwealth has filed various suits since July against Blackjewel, including the failure to "furnish a performance bond" in the amount of $366,500.

Tuesday afternoon a judge responded to the motion saying that "good faith" negotiations had begun taking place between the two parties.

The hearing for the motion would have been Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., but it has since been moved to November 13 to allow negotiations to continue.

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Is the board overseeing Puerto Ricos bankruptcy unconstitutional? – The Economist

Posted: at 11:52 am

ARE YOU and your client here just to defend the integrity of the Constitution? asked Samuel Alito, an associate justice of the Americas Supreme Court, on October 15th. Or would one be excessively cynical to think that something else is involved here, involving money? The court had heard arguments from Donald Verrilli, for the board overseeing Puerto Ricos bankruptcy; Jeffrey Wall, for the federal government; and Theodore Olson, to whom the judges remarks were addressed. His client is Aurelius Capital Management, a hedge fund that invests in distressed debt. At stake are $125bn of creditor claims.

Aurelius was founded in 2006 by Mark Brodsky, formerly of Elliott Management. Both funds were involved in a fight with Argentina about its bonds in 2014, during which Cristina Fernndez de Kirchner, then the president, dubbed them vultures. They were among six funds that held out for full repayment. In 2016 they settled favourably and were paid $9.3bn. Aurelius now aims to get the Supreme Court to declare the Puerto Rico oversight board unconstitutional, in the hope of improving on its offer to the territorys creditors of 35-45 cents on the dollar.

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In 2014 rating agencies downgraded Puerto Ricos debt. It ended up defaulting. In 2016 Congress passed the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) to approve the islands budget and supervise its debts. The president, then Barack Obama, was to appoint the board members, with no requirement to seek the Senates approvalwhich the constitution says is needed for officers of the United States. Aurelius argues that this should cover the board members, and that the board is unconstitutional.

The board and federal government argue that the boards business is primarily local. Lower courts had disagreed. The board was created to oversee bankruptcy proceedings unresolvable by Puerto Ricos governor, arguably implying that its powers supersede the islands. But those lower courts also blessed the boards actions under the de facto doctrine, which allows actions by officials to stand, even if they are found to have been wrongfully appointed.

On October 15th the Supreme Court spent little time on the de facto doctrine. It focused on whether the board acts locally, in the interest of Puerto Rico, or federally, in the interests of all Americans. Remarks from some of the liberal justices seemed to lean towards the latterand thus towards Aurelius. One option could have been some kind of financial bail-out, said Elena Kagan. Congress instead chose an option that had less financial cost for the American people as a whole. Sonia Sotomayor probed the idea that the act gave the board members powers that ordinary local officials did not previously have.

A ruling is due by July. If it goes Aureliuss way, it would be a mighty upsetand hugely disruptive for Puerto Rico. The board has collected and paid out claims, and issued $12bn of bonds. I have no idea how one unwinds this, said Mr Wall, for the federal government. He seems unlikely to have to find out. The conservative justices, who are in a majority, seemed to lean towards seeing the board members as Puerto Rican officers. If we conclude that the powers and duties here are primarily localdo you lose? Brett Kavanaugh asked Mr Olson. The court will now decide.

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Is the board overseeing Puerto Ricos bankruptcy unconstitutional? - The Economist

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Counsel will have county’s back in pipeline company’s bankruptcy | News, Sports, Jobs – Morning Journal News

Posted: at 11:52 am

LISBON With a pipeline company filing for bankruptcy while owing more than a quarter of a million to the county in back taxes, county commissioners have voted to hire Anthony J. DeGirolamo, an attorney from Canton, to represent the countys interest.

DeGirolamos fee is $350 per hour with $190 per hour for Amber Weaver, another person working with him. Additional fees in the contract include research, mileage and clerical overtime.

Commissioner Mike Halleck said the contract allows the board to look at what is being spent from month to month and make a change if the legal services are becoming costly. Halleck previously said he has concerns about the matter costing the commissioners more than they will gain from it.

Cobra Pipeline LLC, based out of Willoughby, reportedly owes $262,980 to the county involving a pipeline and reservoir in northwestern Columbiana County. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in late September.

In other matters at last weeks meeting:

The board approved a proclamation recognizing the Joe Williams Post 121 of the American Legion in Leetonia, which is celebrating 100 years this month. In 1919, the post was named after Joe Williams, the first man from Leetonia killed in France during World War I in 1918. He was originally buried in France, but then returned in 1921 to be buried in Oakdale Cemetery in Leetonia.

Commissioners approved several contracts for the county Department of Jobs and Family Services, including an 18-month janitorial contract beginning Nov. 1 with Arabe Maintenance for up to $46,920. Additionally, the board approved increasing the contract with ShineOn LLC Cleaning Service for Homemaker/Chore Services for Senior Services clients by an additional $15,000 for the year for a 2019 total of $87,000. Finally, a $10,000 contract increase was approved for Extreme Loving and Helping Hands to provide the additional services for Senior Services clients.

Commissioners gave permission for Derrick Weaver to hunt on County Home Road property.

djohnson@mojonews.com

LISBON An East Liverpool man who attempted to bring buprenorphine hidden in his sock into the county jail was ...

2nd plant manager sentenced CLEVELAND A second former manager at an Ohio manufacturing plant has been ...

A sweep of the Leetonia Schools K-12 Campus Wednesday did not uncover an illegal contraband. Village police along ...

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He Sued Over a Priests Abuse. Then the Diocese Filed for Bankruptcy. – The New York Times

Posted: September 26, 2019 at 12:47 pm

When divvying up the settlement fund, various types of abuse are compared. Someone who had been penetrated would usually expect to receive more than someone who had been groped. The victims age at the time matters, along with the duration and frequency of the abuse and the overall effects on the person.

Rochesters parishes are separately incorporated and should not be affected by the bankruptcy filing, according to a statement on its website. Employees and retiree benefits will continue to be paid, and donations, if made as a restricted gift, cannot be used to settle claims.

When dioceses have filed for bankruptcy in other states, they have been able to pay claims through insurers, reserves and the sale of nonsecular property, such as a chancery building or a mall, said Michael T. Pfau, a lawyer whose firm has represented child sexual abuse victims across the nation.

It is not going to mean that there will be a wholesale sell-off of churches, hospitals and schools, he said. It has never happened and its not going to happen in Rochester.

Bishop Matano has framed the filing as the fairest course of action to address a growing pool of victims, suggesting that otherwise there would be a race to the courtroom and the first round of plaintiffs would take all of the available funds.

That is a grossly oversimplified talking point, Mr. Pfau said. Catholic dioceses and religious orders all over the country have resolved claims without filing for bankruptcy and they have done that through good faith negotiations with abuse survivors and their plaintiffs counsel.

The Buffalo diocese has been contemplating bankruptcy, but it is a less likely path for major districts like the Archdiocese of New York, which includes Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island and seven counties. In anticipation of the Child Victims Act, the archdiocese sued its insurers to compel them to cover claims, a case that is still pending.

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He Sued Over a Priests Abuse. Then the Diocese Filed for Bankruptcy. - The New York Times

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