Articles Tagged with US Supreme Court

Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Do I need an attorney to file bankruptcy?”

Bankruptcy attorneys and experts are cheering a recent decision by the United States Supreme Court that clarifies the authority of bankruptcy courts to entertain non-bankruptcy claims that arise in the context of a debtor’s bankruptcy.

The United States Supreme Court has issued a decision favoring debtors who convert Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings into Chapter 7 actions, holding that funds collected by a bankruptcy trustee pursuant to a debtor’s Chapter 13 plan belong to the debtor at the moment the debtor converts a case to a Chapter 7 proceeding.

Change sign Charlotte Chapter 13 Lawyer Mecklenburg Bankruptcy Law FirmThe debtor, Charles Harris, filed for bankruptcy in 2010, seeking protection under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. The bankruptcy plan established for Harris enabled him to keep his home and catch up on tardy mortgage payments over time. The “bargain” of a Chapter 13 plan, according to, is that a debtor gets to keep one’s assets, but current and future earnings must be used to pay creditors. Chapter 13 repayment plans typically last from three to five years.

Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Do I need an attorney to file bankruptcy?”


Thought your legal bills were high? Copper-mining company Ascaro LLC has litigated its $5 million legal tab with law firm Baker Botts all the way to the United States Supreme Court. The high court will decide if and how much Ascaro has to pay.

Dollar signs Mecklenburg Debt Lawyer Charlotte Chapter 7 AttorneyThe dispute between Ascaro and Baker Botts, at its essence, is about whether Baker Botts can be compensated for defending its own fees.

Bankruptcy courts have the final say on how much advisers called in to work out financial restructuring details in a bankruptcy case get paid. Since the money used to pay advisers could be used to pay creditors, anyone—including debtors and creditors—can challenge fee awards.

Baker Botts represented Ascaro in what the Wall Street Journal called a “contentious Chapter 11 case” that ended with a $6 million judgment against Ascaro for improperly transferring a high-value asset to a parent company shortly before it declared bankruptcy. After the judgment, Ascaro agreed to pay its creditors in full.

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Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Do I need an attorney to file bankruptcy?”


A long-dead Playboy playmate has come back to haunt the United States Supreme Court, and soon she may be haunting a bankruptcy judge near you.

Anna Nicole Mecklenburg Bankruptcy Lawyer Charlotte Debt AttorneyIn 2011, the Supreme Court ruled in a case involving former playmate Anna Nicole Smith that bankruptcy judges only have the power to make final rulings on issues that stem from the bankruptcy itself. Before that, bankruptcy courts considered only “core” bankruptcy matters, while federal district courts heard “non-core” bankruptcy matters. That division of labor had been prescribed by Congress.

Smith—whose real name was Vickie Lynn Hogan Marshall—died in 2007, but before she did, she married oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall. At the time of their marriage in 1994, Marshall was 89-years old; Smith was only 26. Their marriage lasted until Marshall’s death in August 1995.

Marshall’s will left his estate to a trust; both Smith and Marshall’s eldest son petitioned to have Marshall’s will overturned. Their legal fight continued even after both Smith and Marshall’s eldest son died. Ultimately the Supreme Court ended Smith’s claim to Marshall’s millions, but the larger ramifications of the high court’s decision in Stern v. Marshall continue to reverberate.

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