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Chapter 11 announced

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The immediate issue for councils to determine is whether they will agree to sign the bankruptcy documents and submit their council financials to the Bankruptcy Court in July.  Since one case can wipe out the assets of a single big council, I anticipate most will want to contribute to the victim's trust fund and benefit from the discharge.

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17 hours ago, Sentinel947 said:

The Vatican is a sovereign nation. It's very difficult for individuals to sue foreign countries. As far as my understanding goes, the highest in the Church the lawyers can reach is the diocese themselves, maybe the National US Bishops conference. 

True, but my understanding is that what has happened is that when particular dioceses have filed bankruptcy, the creditors have been unable to get separately held parish property or arch-diocese properties added to the mix.  I was kind of ignoring the actual Vatican.

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17 hours ago, awanatech said:

While there are certainly a lot a similarities, I would guess that the Catholic diocese is afforded religious protections that the BSA will not have. It's not exactly an apples to apples comparison between the religious body of Catholicism and the non-profit organization of BSA.

Not when it comes to bankruptcy court.  If you were talking about civil lawsuits, you might be right, but bankruptcy court is pretty "equal opportunity".

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49 minutes ago, Cburkhardt said:

The immediate issue for councils to determine is whether they will agree to sign the bankruptcy documents and submit their council financials to the Bankruptcy Court in July.  Since one case can wipe out the assets of a single big council, I anticipate most will want to contribute to the victim's trust fund and benefit from the discharge.

I think you would be correct if they could be certain that a settlement would be reached.  But if I were a local council I'd be very concerned about the idea that by agreeing to participate, I'd be tacitly agreeing that we were part of BSA national and run the risk of a full liquidation.

If it's a "sign up without making any admission of being the same organization" it would be a little safer.

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9 hours ago, DuctTape said:

Though I would encourage all adults to steer scouts towards planning and executing their own adventures, even the high adventure ones.

I almost went to Philmont. Other than that I've done about 15 trips with my troop, all of which we put on ourselves. I will admit, it does take more work than just writing a check but a wiki full of ideas would cover that.

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7 minutes ago, MattR said:

it does take more work than just writing a check

Yes, but they learn so much more!  And the price is 50 to 80% less!

I took a crew of 8 for a week on the Delaware River last August for just over $120 per person, including gas and tolls for the drivers. (We used our own canoes, kayaks, and accoutrement.)

Canoeing MB, 50 miler award, NPS Scout Ranger Award, and a darned good time!

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Does anyone know if Council’s  decision on participation in the bankruptcy will be posted as part of the on-line record and be readily accessible?  I asked our SE what the Council’s decision was going to be and he sort of stumbled and said he didn’t know that the information and Juiy 6 were public knowledge.  I asked him to publish the Council Executive Committee’s decision when it was reached but I don’t know that he will or is required to.  

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1 hour ago, acema606 said:

Does anyone know if Council’s  decision on participation in the bankruptcy will be posted as part of the on-line record and be readily accessible?  I asked our SE what the Council’s decision was going to be and he sort of stumbled and said he didn’t know that the information and Juiy 6 were public knowledge.  I asked him to publish the Council Executive Committee’s decision when it was reached but I don’t know that he will or is required to.  

I'm sure the council's executive committee will announce their decision as soon as BSA tells them what the council executive committee's decision is going to be.

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6 hours ago, David CO said:

I'm sure the council's executive committee will announce their decision as soon as BSA tells them what the council executive committee's decision is going to be.

Which would be further proof that Councils don’t have the autonomy and self-rule that BSA is trying to portray to the Bankruptcy Court.  

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The rational approach is for a council executive board is to evaluate its own potential liability for incidents which may have occurred within the council.  Some councils already know they have significant Incident exposure.  It those cases there really is no choice.  They can either contribute something in the national bankruptcy and get the discharge, or they can get separately sued or bankrupted into liquidation.  That simple.  If they think they have a pristine record, they can roll the dice that no case will materialize in the future from an aggrieved 65-year-old.  It occurs to me that the bankruptcy trustee in the national case would set a “contribution” to the victim’s Trust fund from such a council at a lower rate.  Depending on the cost, that might be a reasonable investment in Purchasing a discharge.  

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I wonder the impact of council  mergers down the road with this.

Can mergers become a "discharge shelter", a carrot for non-participating councils to merge with those councils "discharged"?  

Will it be an anti-merger pill, as participating councils would lose their "discharge" if they merged with a non-participating council which suddenly had one or more lawsuits?

Will National force non-participating councils (those with some remaining assets) to merge with participating councils (those with depleted assets from Chapter 11)?

Hmm.

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4 hours ago, Cburkhardt said:

The rational approach is for a council executive board is to evaluate its own potential liability for incidents which may have occurred within the council.  Some councils already know they have significant Incident exposure.  It those cases there really is no choice.  They can either contribute something in the national bankruptcy and get the discharge, or they can get separately sued or bankrupted into liquidation.  That simple.  

It is really that simple?

I have a hard time believing the bankruptcy court would accept that argument.  Either all of the councils are independent corporations, or all of the councils are controlled by BSA.  It is one or the other. To have each council's status depend on its liability exposure would be absurd.  

This is yet another example of BSA wanting to have it both ways.  They want councils to be independent corporations, when it suits them, and then they want the opposite when it doesn't.  BSA should just take one position and stick to it.  It would be the honest thing to do.

  

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11 hours ago, David CO said:

It is really that simple?

I have a hard time believing the bankruptcy court would accept that argument.  Either all of the councils are independent corporations, or all of the councils are controlled by BSA.  It is one or the other. To have each council's status depend on its liability exposure would be absurd.  

This is yet another example of BSA wanting to have it both ways.  They want councils to be independent corporations, when it suits them, and then they want the opposite when it doesn't.  BSA should just take one position and stick to it.  It would be the honest thing to do.

  

BSA's position is consistent,  and honest, that the the councils are separate legal entities.  But that doesn't mean they aren't related for purposes of a lawsuit.  Three separate legal entities approved my membership as a scout leader: my chartering org, the council, and national BSA.  If I commit a heinous act against one of my scouts all three entities may face civil liability, and all three will be sued together.

Whether the councils are independent will likely not ever be settled as a matter of law, that is it's unlikely that that issue will be decided by a judge and then  definitively put to rest through appeals courts.  More likely a grand bargain will be struck along the lines Cburkhardt described.  Councils which face huge exposure, which are those councils in states with newly expanded statutes of limitations, will be willing and required to contribute a lot of their assets to the fund because whether the courts decide that they are or are not part of national they're subject to loss of most or all of their assets by the new claims any way.  Councils, like mine, which are not subject to any claims under our state's laws, will only be willing to contribute a small amount because it would take a contrary ruling and the complete upholding of it through the appeals courts before any of our assets would be in jeopardy.  

What I haven't heard discussed much is where the COs are in all of this.  They are also subject to all the new claims in those states allowing them, and I don't understand what happens if they're not part of the settlement.  

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23 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

What I haven't heard discussed much is where the COs are in all of this.  They are also subject to all the new claims in those states allowing them, and I don't understand what hap

I have not given a lot of thought to this, but it occurs to me that if local CO’s are individually sued, it might be a messy and risky business bet for the plaintiffs attorneys, who do all of this on contingency.  While the individual charters vest COs with oversight duties, it might be a difficult case to actually prove given the passage of so much time.  Frankly, they will likely be viewed sympathetically by juries.  The genius behind suing BSA nationally is that it is a “one case gets all” situation and the evidence was created and preserved on a national basis by the defendant (BSA).  Suit the local baptist church that has a run down building, lots of debt and nobody who even recalls there was once a BSA unit?  Not a very attractive proposition.  The exception might be suiting national churches that had a central coordinating control over their units and related records.  I am only aware of one — maybe two — in that category.   A “one suit gets all” approach might work in those instances.  All the other “national churches” are more like affiliated associations that focus on theology and not operations.

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"either or" - Beware the bane of a false dichotomy.   Very few things are "either or.." 

 

I recall that the Greater NY Council publicly rejected the BSA rule on Gay Scouts months before BSA changed that rule.  Our local council rejected the early YPT rule that "incidents" be reported solely to the Council's SE.   (BSA petty promptly changed that "rule" in the on-line training.)

 

Plaintiffs' lawyers are in abundant supply.  There is a lawyer for every claim, however sketchy.  

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