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Chapter 11 Announced - Part 9 - Confirmation Hearing


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16 minutes ago, SNEScouter said:

Anyone watching the confirmation trial ... have they said anything about scheduling?  Do they expect to wrap up testimony any time soon?

They haven't started on objecting party witnesses or final arguments so this will go well into next week and there's the suggestion that it will start and stop around the judge's prior committments.

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Dr. Doug Kennedy made an impassioned speech to the court and asked the Judge to keep her focus on the survivors as she makes her decision(s).  Jessica Lauria thanks the court for the time devoted.   A

Annnnd....Judge has now said that she will give this another 45 minutes and pick things up in the morning.  Thus far the only clear winner in all of this is "Billable Hours."  

Missed this morning so far. Yesterday ... my takeaways. Bankruptcy US Trustee's path is clear .... go after the fact that some releases are being given with no contribution.  One o

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Judge to decide on Brian Whitman testifying and being crossed again.  Guam folks thought they'd get another shot.  He appears to be the last person testifying for the debtor and the judge sounded like she was inclined to have him be crossed again.  Game's back on at 10AM Monday.  Enjoy the weekend break all.   Probably closer to the end of this hearing than the beginning.

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Sounds like Whitman would testify about non debtor releases. The Roman Catholic Church had objected to his testimony but then dropped their objection after the settlement.   So now BSA wants to bring him to testify.   However, Guam had their own objection and BSA had mentioned they were done with Whitman.  That was a back and forth with some heater language from Guam.  As mentioned, the judge said she is going to read the transcript and wasn't sure how she would rule.  BSA will wrap up Monday.  Then we will see the objector witnesses.   After that, closing arguments.  Hopefully we have a decision in 2 weeks.  

I think this plan will get approved however who knows what happens in district court.  

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On 3/14/2022 at 4:09 PM, Eagle1993 said:

He was live tweeting a deposition and exposing info that may have been privileged.  Apparently, someone was on video taking cellphone pictures today of the hearing. 

This may be a stupid question but what has district court have to do with a case in federal court?I'm not savy to the judicial system.

 

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32 minutes ago, PaleRider said:

This may be a stupid question but what has district court have to do with a case in federal court?I'm not savy to the judicial system.

Basically, the Federal District Court must affirm all decisions by the bankruptcy judge.  Additionally, expect the "certain insurers" to appeal IF there is confirmation.  The insurer M.O. is to appeal and delay.  As anyone who has ever filed a home/auto claim knows, they're kinda picky about holding on to their money as long as possible!  The good news is that the District Court usually takes fairly quick action because it looks for significant mistakes.  We'll see next week the beginnings of how ugly the DOJ is going to make this.

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On 3/14/2022 at 4:09 PM, Eagle1993 said:

He was live tweeting a deposition and exposing info that may have been privileged.  Apparently, someone was on video taking cellphone pictures today of the hearing.  

Gotcha.Thank you for explaining that my friend!!!

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20 hours ago, MYCVAStory said:

We'll see next week the beginnings of how ugly the DOJ is going to make this.

I think he will object and probably follow a similar path as the Purdue Pharma US Trustee.  The DOJ does not agree with allowing bankruptcy courts the power to grant releases to non-debtors with non-consenting claimants.  

My understanding is that there are a couple of paths the bankruptcy can go post plan approval by Judge Silverstein (assuming she approves).  

Note that Professor Jacoby recently tweeted a summary of where cases can go post bankruptcy plan approval.  

Prof. Jacoby on Twitter: "Here is a thread on appeals from bankruptcy court decisions. Cannot say it is by popular demand - more by demand by a popular person! @alahav 1/x" / Twitter

In this thread, she states that lawyers will go to District Court.  Then, it will depend on the pace of district court on how long it could take to get to appeals (if district approves).  It could take years and at that point, the appeals court decision could be moot.

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BSA has rested their case today.  Now objectors are starting.  Certain insurers played video of several witnesses and they start tomorrow morning with more.  

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2 hours ago, Zebra132 said:

I did not find the insurers witnesses to be very likeable - or was it just me?

The one who said the majority of the claims were likely fraudulent?  Seemed like a weak witness as he didn't provide a lot of evidence.  Just opinion based on limited knowledge/review.  If the majority are fraudulent then you need to provide a lot more evidence.  

I don't see their witnesses impact the outcome yet.  In terms of fraud... Judge can simply say the trust can deal with it.  The other witnesses were lawyers from law firms who have a lot of clients.  Neither of their depositions seemed socking to me.  

I don't think certain insurers have much of a case to stop plan approval.  While they speak a lot, they seem to have the weakest case.   Guam and a few other claimant lawyers have been more effective.  Probably not enough to stop plan approval but may be enough to cause headaches in district court especially if DOJ objects.

 

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11 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

The other witnesses were lawyers from law firms who have a lot of clients.  Neither of their depositions seemed socking to me.  

I think Sean Higgins (Andrews-Thornton) was a terrible witness for them to put before the judge. He explained their vetting process, justification for e-signatures, ongoing contact and follow up with clients, the iterative process of gathering claim data leading to filing 100’s of POC amendments, and was very articulate. Showing his video testimony was a waste, at best, damaging to their case at the worst. Not well thought out IMNSHO. 

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32 minutes ago, ThenNow said:

I think Sean Higgins (Andrews-Thornton) was a terrible witness for them to put before the judge. He explained their vetting process, justification for e-signatures, ongoing contact and follow up with clients, the iterative process of gathering claim data leading to filing 100’s of POC amendments, and was very articulate. Showing his video testimony was a waste, at best, damaging to their case at the worst. Not well thought out IMNSHO. 

I agree.  I have no idea why certain insurers put that into the record.  Unless there is testimony coming up that can show he lied and casts significant doubt.  I haven't watched the entire hearing, but the moments I do ... I get the sense that the certain insurers have very weak arguments to stop this plan.  One of the best witnesses they interviewed was BSA's insurance expert.  At some points, he seemed to actually correct the insurer's lawyer on how policies are written.  He showed how they pushed back on the TCC & Coalition to include insurance company language.  I think it is clear to everyone that certain insurers simply want a delay and have no legal reason ... they are just afraid of how much they are going to have to pay the trust eventually.

I am much more sympathetic to Lujan, Guam Committee and Dumas. Lujan is a mess.  Perhaps that is because it is the middle of the night, but most of her questions are wandering and not targeted.  Occasionally, I think she starts hitting on some points but then wanders off of them.  Guam Committee is angry and spent most of yesterday on one witness ... and the bit I saw didn't seem to make many major points.

Dumas, to me, has been one of the best and most effective lawyers objecting to the plan.  She was able to get some BSA representatives (especially the local council ad hoc guy) on their toes.  She asked if any Pacific coast state councils had representatives on the Ad Hoc committee and he said "Arizona".  She asked if Arizona was on the Pacific coast and he said ... I'm from Georgia, everything West of me is West.  She asked about Oregon, Idaho, etc. cases that were missing from analysis.  I think she is making a good case that West coast councils did not pay enough for the settlement.  Now, I think that may not delay the plan, but may hit district court.  I wouldn't be surprised if she can prove West coast (especially Oregon) underpaid to get their releases.  That may not be her goal, but the effect of her strategy.

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3 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

I agree.  I have no idea why certain insurers put that into the record.  Unless there is testimony coming up that can show he lied and casts significant doubt.  I haven't watched the entire hearing, but the moments I do ... I get the sense that the certain insurers have very weak arguments to stop this plan.  One of the best witnesses they interviewed was BSA's insurance expert.  At some points, he seemed to actually correct the insurer's lawyer on how policies are written.  He showed how they pushed back on the TCC & Coalition to include insurance company language.  I think it is clear to everyone that certain insurers simply want a delay and have no legal reason ... they are just afraid of how much they are going to have to pay the trust eventually.

I am much more sympathetic to Lujan, Guam Committee and Dumas. Lujan is a mess.  Perhaps that is because it is the middle of the night, but most of her questions are wandering and not targeted.  Occasionally, I think she starts hitting on some points but then wanders off of them.  Guam Committee is angry and spent most of yesterday on one witness ... and the bit I saw didn't seem to make many major points.

Dumas, to me, has been one of the best and most effective lawyers objecting to the plan.  She was able to get some BSA representatives (especially the local council ad hoc guy) on their toes.  She asked if any Pacific coast state councils had representatives on the Ad Hoc committee and he said "Arizona".  She asked if Arizona was on the Pacific coast and he said ... I'm from Georgia, everything West of me is West.  She asked about Oregon, Idaho, etc. cases that were missing from analysis.  I think she is making a good case that West coast councils did not pay enough for the settlement.  Now, I think that may not delay the plan, but may hit district court.  I wouldn't be surprised if she can prove West coast (especially Oregon) underpaid to get their releases.  That may not be her goal, but the effect of her strategy.

They are all underpaying to get their releases...  It is the only way for them to survive.  If they paid what they should, they'd be gone...

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Today's hearing has been pretty interesting.  Certain insurers are saying their policies REQUIRE the owner of the policy to help in the defense/review of the claim.  That allowed insurers to offer their insurance to BSA at a lower premium.  Now, the witness is saying, the debtors and claimants worked together and violated the contract terms of the insurance policies.

I think the issue is that in the plan TDPs and neutral there is no provided defense to help the insurers as required per their contract terms.

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