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Corinne Ball is a partner at Jones Day. Corinne Ball

Bankruptcy courts across the United States continue to consider third-party releases and the circumstances under which they may be permissible, if any. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has previously held that bankruptcy courts may not issue nonconsensual, third-party releases as part of a confirmed Chapter 11 plan of reorganization. See Bank of N.Y. Tr. Co. v. Official Unsecured Creditors’ Comm. (In re Pac. Lumber Co.), 584 F.3d 229, 251 (5th Cir. 2009). However, third-party releases also exist in the non-bankruptcy context. Two recent opinions from the Fifth Circuit shed light on the scope of permissible bar orders and third-party releases of claims in the receivership context. Such bar orders may provide an effective alternative to third-party releases in bankruptcy in resolving mass tort cases.

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