Supreme Court rules in bankruptcy, investment cases

MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: It’s Wednesday the 15th of January, 2020. Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Megan Basham.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. The Supreme Court handed down its first opinions of the New Year yesterday. 

First, a bankruptcy dispute that split the lower courts is finally resolved.

In bankruptcy, creditors are automatically stopped from trying to collect from debtors. This, to allow time to work out payment plans among several creditors. 

In this case, a creditor wanted to get around that automatic stay, but a judge denied the request. The question was whether that denial is the sort that can be appealed right away? Is it “final,” in legal parlance? The answer is yes, but creditors have to act quickly. They only have 15 days in which to appeal that order.

BASHAM: The second decision comes in the case of IBM employees who sued their retirement fund managers. Employees had not been warned against buying overvalued stock. The justices issued no decision on the merits; turns out, the parties argued aspects the justices hadn’t agreed to decide. So they remanded the case. The lower court must now consider how retirement plan overseers should think about  securities law, in addition to their fiduciary duties to employees. 

Both opinions were unanimous.

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) In this March 20, 2019, file photo, the west facade of the Supreme Court Building bears the motto “Equal Justice Under Law,” in Washington. 

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