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The Increasing Use of Chapter 11 to Resolve Sexual Abuse Scandals

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 60 minutes
Recorded Date: August 06, 2021
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  • The tension caused by using a financial reorganization tool to resolve highly emotional personal injury claims
  • Sexual abuse bankruptcy cases and stresses on the Bankruptcy Code
  • The increasing use of mediation to resolve sexual abuse cases in bankruptcy
  • Survivors’ rights to a jury trial to resolve their claims
Runtime: 1 hour
Record: August 6, 2021

For NY - Difficulty Level: For experienced attorneys only (non-transitional)


States across the country have enacted so-called “reviver” statutes, allowing otherwise time-barred claims for childhood sexual abuse to proceed. History has shown that bankruptcy filings by targeted institutions are a natural byproduct of reviver statutes and laws tolling the applicable statutes of limitations for sexual abuse claims. Indeed, an increasing number of bankruptcies have been filed in the wake of reviver statutes and new waves of sexual abuse claims.

This panel will discuss issues that arise at the crossroads of sexual abuse claims and chapter 11, including the tension caused by using a financial reorganization tool to resolve highly emotional personal-injury claims, the stresses that cases of this ilk place on the Bankruptcy Code (including the uniqueness of claims bar dates in cases of this sort, nonprofit debtors and the absolute priority rule, and the propriety of third-party releases), and the use of mediation to globally resolve these cases.

This program was recorded as part of ABI's 2021 Mid-Atlantic Bankruptcy Workshop on August 5th, 2021.

Provided By

American Bankruptcy Institute
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Zhao (Ruby) Liu

Rosner Law Group, LLC

Zhao (Ruby) Liu is an attorney with the Rosner Law Group LLC in Wilmington, Del., where she focuses her practice on corporate bankruptcy and business litigation. She represents chapter 11 debtors, creditors’ committees, liquidating trustees, secured and unsecured creditors, officers and directors, debtor-in-possession lenders, intellectual property licensors, acquirers of assets and investors.

Ms. Liu also assists companies and creditors in out-of-court workout and restructuring efforts. She is fluent in mandarin Chinese and has a specialty practice with the firm frequently representing Chinese vendors, investment bankers and other Chinese entities in connection with chapter 11 bankruptcies, as well as business litigation in the state and federal courts in the state of Delaware. In addition, she also issues Delaware third-party opinions in connection with securities offerings of companies in China.

Ms. Liu received her J.D. from the Widener University Commonwealth Law School in 2016, where she was a senior editor of the Widener Journal of Law, Economics and Race, a member of the Moot Court Honor Society, and a research assistant to former ABI Resident Scholar Prof. Juliet Moringiello.

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Joseph L. Schwartz

Chair, Bankruptcy & Corporate Structuring Group
Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti, LLP

Joseph L. Schwartz is chair of the Bankruptcy & Corporate Restructuring Group at Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP in Morristown, N.J. He has approximately 30 years of experience in commercial bankruptcy and state court insolvency matters. He also has experience in state and federal receiverships and assignments for the benefit of creditors, as well as out-of-court corporate restructurings, turnarounds, workouts and commercial litigation.

Mr. Schwartz regularly represents debtors, banks, other secured lenders, indenture trustees, chapter 7 and 11 trustees, creditors’ committees, trade creditors, third-party purchasers, insurance companies and landlords in bankruptcy and insolvency-related cases. He also serves as one of the subchapter V trustees in New Jersey and regularly serves as a mediator in bankruptcy cases in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey.

Mr. Schwartz has taken a leading role in representing various constituents in numerous bankruptcy cases and insolvency-related matters, including complex cases involving the mass tort, health care, commodities, mining and metals, real estate, retail, apparel, steel, airline, manufacturing, distribution, telecommunications and technology sectors. He also has served as a member and/ or leader in various organizations, and is currently the president-elect for the New Jersey Turnaround Management Association.

Mr. Schwartz received his B.S. in accounting from Rutgers University in 1988 and his J.D. cum laude in 1991 from Suffolk University Law School.

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Brent I. Weisenberg,

Senior Counsel
Lowenstein Sandler LLP

Brent I. Weisenberg is senior counsel with Lowenstein Sandler LLP in Roseland, N.J., where he advises businesses and their stakeholder constituencies during periods of financial challenge and/ or special situations, including in the negotiation and implementation of complex commercial transactions, the acquisition and disposition of distressed assets, and the prosecution and defense of complex commercial litigation. He has particular experience counseling official and unofficial committees across a wide array of industries, including real estate, construction, hospitality, telecommunications, retail, manufacturing and technology.

Mr. Weisenberg has served as counsel to the official creditors’ committee in the cases of the Diocese of Camden (New Jersey), Century 21 Department Stores LLC, General Nutrition Centers Inc., Modell’s Sporting Goods, Big M (dba Mandees, Annie Sez and Afaze), Ritz Camera I and II, Signature Styles (dba Spiegel, Newport News and ShapeFx), Orchard Brands, Steve & Barry’s, The Sharper Image, Princeton Ski Shops, Montgomery Ward, CompUSA and Footstar. He has been a member of the board of directors for several nonprofits, including Commonpoint Queens, one of the largest social service agencies in Queens, N.Y.

Mr. Weisenberg received his B.A. with honors in 1998 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the Golden Key National Honor Society, and his J.D. cum laude in 2001 from Boston University School of Law.

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Hon. Jerrold N. Poslusny

U.S. Bankruptcy Court - District of New Jersey

Jerrold N. Poslusny, Jr. was appointed to the bench for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey in Camden, New Jersey in June 2015. Prior to his appointment, Judge Poslusny served as Law Clerk to the Honorable E. Stephen Derby and James F. Schneider, United States Bankruptcy Judges for the District of Maryland, then as an associate and member with the firm of Cozen O’Connor P.C. in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and finally as shareholder of Sherman, Silverstein, Kohl, Rose & Podolsky, P.A. in Moorestown, New Jersey. Judge Poslusny concentrated his practice in bankruptcy law, workouts and commercial litigation.

Judge Poslusny received his B.S. degree from the Pennsylvania State University and his J.D. degree from the University Of Maryland School Of Law. He is admitted to the state bars and district courts of Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey, and the Third and Fourth Circuit Courts of Appeal. He is a member of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, American Bankruptcy Institute, Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors and the Camden County Bar Association. Judge Poslusny has served as an editor, author and frequent lecturer to professional and educational organizations.

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Sara C. Temes

Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC

Sara is a business restructuring, creditors' rights and bankruptcy attorney who concentrates her practice in a wide range of business restructuring and bankruptcy matters, including out-of-court workouts, cross-border insolvency cases and representations of debtors, creditors, landlords, lenders and purchasers in cases filed under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.

She also advises senior managers and boards of directors of financially troubled companies with respect to restructuring strategies.

Sara received her JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2003.

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