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Bankruptcy, everything but the legalese


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18 minutes ago, malraux said:

I don't see any evidence that they've grown that much recently. They were at 30k about a year ago, so they'd need to be at 50k now for that level of growth. 

Oh, they have a 70% growth in new members relative to their numbers of new members last year. But still only 35k members now. (And I find their membership numbers problematic in that it includes youth and adults)

I've always found their updates a bit odd.  If I believed every press release about their growth, I would expect 500,000 members by now.  If they spent the same amount of time getting units started  as they do in bashing the BSA, they may have grown more by now.  Bashing BSA should be reserved for members of scouter.com, BSA COs and claimant attorneys. 

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We're going to split the ch11.x thread in 2. The original will be kept as it was intended, for the legal aspects of the case and everything else will go here. In a nutshell, if the judge is dealing wi

@Gilwell_1919 I want to respond to this, but in the proper thread, which is this one. Let's be clear what Kosnoff has said. 1) He had stated that scouting should continue. He's repeated th

No one here, except members who are claimants, have any part of deciding anything in this bankruptcy. Let's drop the personal criticism of others who express in a scoutlike way their differing op

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15 hours ago, gpurlee said:

Also, we attempt (often unsuccessfully) to keep the focus of the thread on the original topic (is there a merit badge in cat-herding?)

Well, it can be said that the other way 'round could occur.....

 

 

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6 hours ago, Muttsy said:

70% growth in past 12 months. 

Growth numbers must be kept in perspective.  When you go from next to nothing to something the growth can seem astronomical.  Is this a competitor for traditional scouting?  Yes.  Threat.  Not broadly.

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I don't concern myself much with competition. As much as I harp of how the Cub program hurts the Troop program, it brings in 97% of the membership. If a Scouting group wants to  seriously compete with the BSA, they need to heavily market an attractive Cub level program. That would hurt, if not kill, the BSA.

Barry

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2 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

As I said before: there are two generations of victims here. The scouts who were directly abused in the past and the present day scouts who are, indirectly, suffering in some ways through a loss of programming. Obviously this generation's scouts are NOT suffering the pain and anguish of those sexually abused, and I want to be clear i am NOT drawing an equivalence

Maybe we should have called this thread "ch 11 paradoxes." :)

There are lots of hard problems. This is just one of them. I'm not sure the bsa is equipped for that. Maybe that's the biggest problem - create a servant leader driven professional structure. Make it so the volunteers can be the focus rather than money.  I know, wishful thinking.

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2 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

It is the mission of the attorneys for the abuse victims, like Kosnoff, to ensure their clients receive the maximum compensation allowed under law.

I want to pull this out to elaborate on a point that I believe separates Kosnoff from the Coalition, the TCC, and perhaps any other attorney involved on the claimants side of the case.

I submit the following postulates.

  1. The ethical duty of an attorney in a civil proceeding (and bankruptcy is a ancillary to or a subordinate version of a civil proceeding; it is NOT a criminal one) is to zealously advocate in a legal/ethical manner for their client to receive the maximum benefit to which they are entitled under law.
  2. It is the duty of a bankruptcy court in a Chapter 7 proceeding to determine how much each claimant is to receive and when in a way that allows for the Debtor to emerge and restart operations.
  3. One of Kosnoff's end desires is the ending of the BSA. Note again: I do NOT say the end of scouting. I said the end of BSA.
  4. The current BSA proposal (Plan 4.0/RSA) calls for $250 million from BSA (cash/properties and a loan).

Thus we come to maximum compensation, the end of BSA, and what I'll call the Kosnoff Konundrum (yes, it is a cheesy alliteration. Tough.)

Let us assume that 1) can be demonstrated as follows. The altruistic lawyer who seeks "fairness" and "justice" for their client will want their client to receive a maximum benefit for the the sake of their client. The greedy, pernicious lawyer (dare I say, yes, I dare, the "vulture") wants to maximize their own benefit/40% contingency. Thus, they'll zealously seek out a maximum benefit for their clients FOR THEIR OWN SAKE.

Either way, the attorneys for victims want maximum money for their clients. Again, this isn't about what is "Fair" or "Moral". This is about what does a bankruptcy court do. And a bankruptcy court talks in terms of money and that is ALL it talks in terms of (that and WHEN, but I'll get to that in a minute). That is postulate 2).

And so you have the TCC, the Coalition, and the FCR using the following math/game theory.

A) Liquidate BSA and seize all $1.4 billion (now down to around $1 billion and dropping fast) will take years of BSA bleeding to death (membership declines, court and legal fights, etc.) and result in having to fully fund the BSA pension for decades.

THE END RESULT: Maybe victims get more than $250 million, but that won't be for years and there's a chance the judge will accept the BSA's argument that $250 million really is all it can contribute and still be financially viable. MAYBE the "How much?" goes up, but the "When" certainly takes much longer.

B) Force the BSA out of bankruptcy without a discharge simply returns claimants/victims to state courts where the first 10-20 claims get paid (maybe) at full value and the rest will get nothing from BSA as it is once again forced back into bankruptcy.

THE END RESULT: We are back to where we are not (tens of thousands of claims) in a few years, but with a BSA with even FEWER resources to dole out to victims.

C) Vote the BSA out of bankruptcy without a discharge. The TCC/Coalition/FCR urge their clients to reject any and all BSA plan. Same a B: we simply return claimants/victims to state courts where the first 10-20 claims get paid (maybe) at full value and the rest will get nothing from BSA as it is once again forced back into bankruptcy.

THE END RESULT: We are back to where we are not (tens of thousands of claims) in a few years, but with a BSA with even FEWER resources to dole out to victims.

D) Take a deal valued at $X million. This is the Plan 4.0/RSA. We can quibble about what $X is and whether "250" is the right answer, but in the end, that number is probably not going to go much higher. Remember: the only way BSA got to $250 million was with an agreement to take out a $80 million loan on top of everything else.

THE END RESULT: Victims get a guaranteed benefit amount NOW/near future that answers both "How much" and "When"

And here's were the Kosnoff Konundrum comes in.

As an attorney seeking maximum benefit for his clients there's an argument that he should want D so long as the value of X is high. How high is up to the judge (again, she is NOT going to approve a number that kills BSA or leaves BSA financially unable to function). That is the LEGAL argument.

As an advocate against child sexual abuse in general, he wants what is "Fair" and "Fair", in his opinion, is  liquidate BSA and kill it. It is unworthy of being saved, so it needs to go away.

And here I think is why Kosnoff's konflicted (see what I did there?) with both his own desires AND the other attorneys. Remember, the other attorneys do NOT care if BSA lives or dies. Stang in a townhall I believe said that almost verbatim: THEY DO NOT CARE. They want maximum values. And a live BSA, in their legal opinion, gets their clients (for those operating in an altruistic mindset) or themselves (for those lawyers in it for their own personal gain) more money, now than spending years in court on the chance that MAYBE they can liquidate BSA and MAYBE that results in a bigger payout. Would you rather have a sure $250 million NOW or roll the dice, spend years in court bleeding out the BSA's money, for a chance at more?

Kosnoff however ALSO wants a dead BSA. And if that means this gets dragged out for years in state courts (failed bankruptcy) or dragged out in bankruptcy court to force a conversion to Chapter 7, then that's what needs to happen.

So, which weighs heavier?

  • If he's more focused on maximizing his clients financial compensation, or even his own personal financial gain, he'll climb onto BSA Plan 5.0 when that comes out or some version of it
  • If he's more focused on the death of BSA, he'll reject any and every plan other than a Chapter 7 (that somehow magically pays out no one but victims I guess?) and push for the same.

At least, that's my opinion. Your mileage may vary.

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2 hours ago, MYCVAStory said:

Growth numbers must be kept in perspective.  When you go from next to nothing to something the growth can seem astronomical.  Is this a competitor for traditional scouting?  Yes.  Threat.  Not broadly.

I don't consider anything a threat if it engages youth. Based on reports from the participants who I know, TL\USA is a whole lot of fun. But, not being chartered by Congress, the organization is not beholden to report any statistics. Their website reports "over 30K" youth in 600 units. But that stat has not been updated for quite some time.

Much of their leadership are former scout executives. Many of their troops are housed in institutions that formerly housed BSA troops. So, it's only a matter of time and legal talent before an ambitious representative of abused victims connects dots, finds chinks in armor, and takes aim.

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1 hour ago, CynicalScouter said:

@Gilwell_1919 I want to respond to this, but in the proper thread, which is this one.

Let's be clear what Kosnoff has said.

1) He had stated that scouting should continue. He's repeated that over and over, but that scouting needs to continue WITHOUT BSA.

2) If you found an organization that had, for 100+ years, aided and abetted in the systematic sexual assault of children AND either a) did nothing or b) did not much, I think a reasonable reaction would be "this organization is so corrupt as to be unsalvagable. Start anew." That, to my ear, is Kosnoff's point. I am not saying I agree with it, but if you truly believe BSA's that corrupt from top to bottom, then "burn it all down" is one possible reasonable conclusion.

I guess therein the lies the interpretation aspect. Given Tim K.'s viscerally negative words and tone, irrespective to his duty to his clients, to me at least, sounds different in my ear. From my perspective, I am hearing "burn it down, make it go away". Looking at your perspective "burn it down, rebuild something new"... I can support that notion. I would venture to say most of the scouters in this forum are concerned with "what happens after all of this is over"... and I got the impression that Tim K. was more interested in a "General Sherman total warfare" approach wherein winning and the decimation of BSA was more important than considering what could be salvaged afterwards. 

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17 minutes ago, Gilwell_1919 said:

and I got the impression that Tim K. was more interested in a "General Sherman total warfare" approach wherein winning and the decimation of BSA was more important than considering what could be salvaged afterwards. 

I couldn't disagree more.  I believe he cares more about survivors than he does in the institution known as the BSA.  He will leave the salvaging of BSA to those who believe it can be salvaged.

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1 hour ago, CynicalScouter said:

... separates Kosnoff from the Coalition, the TCC, and perhaps any other attorney involved on the claimants side of the case...

Are we talking about the AIS Coalition? Because Kosnoff (and the other 3 law groups) entered into an agreement with their clients under the auspice of "AIS"... wherein the Hensley Law got a lion's share (50% of the 40% they recovered for the AIS clients). I understand, Tim K. said his signature was being "used and abused"... which it may very well have been (I'll defer to the experts during discovery). But... if Tim K. is released from his AIS Coalition commitment (I'm not sure if that is his intent or not)... it would effectively nullify all of the contracts between AIS and their clients because Kosnoff Law was 100% part of the initial contracts. One could argue, and I am not saying this is what happened, that the claims aggregators went hot n' heavy with generating clients, using any means necessary (e.g., photocopying signatures and what not), and then when the claimant number shot through the roof... law groups like Kosnoff realized they weren't exactly getting a fair shake under the Hensley-heavy contracts the AIS clients were signing. As I have said before... it is certainly a mess... so I am glad the judge is giving an opportunity for people to get to the bottom of exactly what happened. As for Tim K., the guy may be a saint that talks like a sailor... I not friends with the guy... so I can only capture data points like everyone else and make my own interpretations accordingly. 

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14 minutes ago, Gilwell_1919 said:

Given Tim K.'s viscerally negative words and tone, irrespective to his duty to his clients, to me at least, sounds different in my ear. From my perspective, I am hearing "burn it down, make it go away".

Then re-read what he said or re-listen to what he said. He's been remarkably clear about this. He is NOT looking to kill SCOUTING. He's looking to kill BSA.

 

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