ABI Talks (2020 Mid-Atlantic Virtual Bankruptcy Workshop)
There have been several recent retail cases in which debtors asked the courts to suspend their payment obligations to landlords and others in light of COVID-19. This discussion highlights court decisions in such cases as Modell’s, True Religion, Art Van, Pier 1 and Craftworks, focusing on some of the legal issues raised by these cases, what we can take away from them in the event of another shutdown, and how they may affect bankruptcy practice in a post-pandemic world.
Intersection of Bankruptcy and Social Issues
Bankruptcy has been largely been viewed as a solution to solely economic and financial concerns. Historically, scholarship related to bankruptcy’s intersection with social issues has focused on the social problems that may result from bankruptcy, or the social issues of which bankruptcy may be a symptom. Over the last several years, however, bankruptcy has been a common thread in some of the largest social movements of our generation. This discussion centers around the intersection of bankruptcy and some of today's social issues, including the “#MeToo” movement, the Catholic Church and Boy Scouts of America abuse scandals, and the racial justice demonstrations regarding housing and policing. The ways in which bankruptcy practitioners and the bench have been asked to craft solutions to address social ills will be explored within the framework of the Bankruptcy Code, as well as the ways in which bankruptcy will continue to play a part in addressing social issues.
Insolvency Throughout History
Public perceptions of bankruptcy have changed over the centuries. This talk examines how debt is treated in ancient texts, the debtor’s prisons of the early modern era, and the modern-day notions that bankruptcy is considered an essential practice for businesses but a failing for consumers, even as the U.S. President describes himself as the “King of Debt.”