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The Good Faith of the Dodgers

posted by Bob Lawless

By popular demand -- and only by popular demand -- here is a post on the chapter 11 in the Dodgers case. My beloved Redbirds seem to have found the mid-season swoon that we all knew was coming. I have been in baseball denial, but the Dodgers have dragged me back in.

Bruce Bennett, the Dodgers' bankruptcy lawyer, was quoted in a Bloomberg story as saying the Dodgers were "substantially solvent." Bloomberg then reported Bennett said the goal of the bankruptcy filing was to buy time to negotiate a television deal. If that is right, then doesn't the Dodgers' filing raise issues under the good-faith filing doctrine? There are numerous cases dismissing the chapter 11 petition of a solvent debtor which is using bankruptcy as a negotiating or litigation tactic.

In the event, Bennett's statements come across as the usual posturing at the time of a bankruptcy filing. I cannot believe that the bankruptcy court would dismiss the case for lack of good faith. Media reports suggest the Dodgers were in danger of not meeting their end-of-the-month payroll. A cash crisis for a debtor with valuable but illiquid assets is the paradigm scenario for chapter 11. There is also the unwritten rule that big chapter 11s never get dismissed for bad faith, but that is a story for another time.

I will say that a 10% interest rate on a loan for a company that says it is "substantially solvent" seems like a good deal for the lender. But, that observation again reflects on the company's characterization of its financial condition, not necessarily on the the terms of the loan.

Comments

Thank you. Give the people what they want!

Dear Mr. Lawless -

Can you separately classify a claim incurred by the fraud of a steroid and female fertility drug using whack job with no glove who unscrupulously took advantage of my desperate need for a right handed power hitter?

I had my attorneys do a Lexis search and they couldn't find anything directly on point on this issue.

Any advice you can give me on this, or getting out of divorce settlements in bankruptcy would be greatly appreciated.

/s/

Someone who is definitely really not Frank McCourt

I wonder how many other sports teams are on the brink of being unable to pay their players. Interested to see how it turns out.

I do not know why someone is complaining especially when they get paid as much as baseball players or any professional athlete does.

To Dodgers, Bankruptcy Incurs Cost by the Hour

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/03/sports/baseball/to-dodgers-bankruptcy-rolls-up-fees-by-the-hour.html?_r=1&hp

Bruce Bennett and Dewey & LeBoeuf charging $975 an hour. Somehow I don't think that gang does too many consumer Chapter 7's.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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  • As a public service, the University of Illinois College of Law operates Bankr-L, an e-mail list on which bankruptcy professionals can exchange information. Bankr-L is administered by one of the Credit Slips bloggers, Professor Robert M. Lawless of the University of Illinois. Although Bankr-L is a free service, membership is limited only to persons with a professional connection to the bankruptcy field (e.g., lawyer, accountant, academic, judge). To request a subscription on Bankr-L, click here to visit the page for the list and then click on the link for "Subscribe." After completing the information there, please also send an e-mail to Professor Lawless (rlawless@illinois.edu) with a short description of your professional connection to bankruptcy. A link to a URL with a professional bio or other identifying information would be great.

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