Exploring New Approaches to Unsettled Legal Questions

Author: Bliss Leonard

The Applicability of the Absolute Priority Rule in the Context of Pre-Plan Settlement Agreements

by Nathan Gen­car­el­la*

Can a bank­rupt­cy court may approve a pri­or­i­ty-skip­ping “gift” set­tle­ment in a Chap­ter 11 pro­ceed­ing pri­or to the approval of a final plan over the objec­tion of a dis­ad­van­taged class of cred­i­tors? In this Con­tri­bu­tion, Nathan Gen­car­el­la (’19) argues that the prin­ci­ples of the recent Supreme Court deci­sion Czyzews­ki v. Jevic Hold­ing Corp. neces­si­tate the appli­ca­tion of the absolute pri­or­i­ty rule to pre-plan set­tle­ments in order to pre­serve the integri­ty of the Bank­rupt­cy Code’s care­ful­ly cal­i­brat­ed pri­or­i­ty scheme. Ulti­mate­ly, this Con­tri­bu­tion estab­lish­es that this exten­sion of Jevic is re-affirmed by both the dic­tates of pub­lic pol­i­cy and the under­ly­ing text of the statute itself.

Criminalizing Poverty: Designing Constitutionally Sound Inquiries into Defendants’ Ability to Pay their Fees and Fines

by Leah Romm*

What prin­ci­ples should courts keep in mind when inquir­ing into a defendant’s finan­cial sit­u­a­tion? In this Con­tri­bu­tion, Leah Romm (’19) dis­cuss­es the equal pro­tec­tion and due process chal­lenges to incar­cer­at­ing indi­vid­u­als because of their inabil­i­ty to pay fees or fines. Ulti­mate­ly, this Con­tri­bu­tion argues that courts are con­sti­tu­tion­al­ly required to inquire into and deter­mine the finan­cial sta­tus of indi­vid­u­als who fail to pay the fees or fines they owe.

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