Top Automaker's Fate in Hands of Manhattan Bankruptcy Court
Pushed by the federal government, General Motors, the nation's number one automaker, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Manhattan yesterday, seeking approval to use its strongest assets as the basis of a "new GM."
By David Espo and Noeleen G. Walder|June 02, 2009 at 12:00 AM
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Pushed by the federal government, General Motors, the nation’s number one automaker, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Manhattan yesterday, seeking approval to use its strongest assets as the basis of a “new GM.” The reorganization would be conducted under §363 of the Bankruptcy Code, which would allow a court-supervised sale of GM’s strongest brands – Cadillac, Chevrolet, Buick, GMC – that the company hopes to complete within 60 to 90 days. General Motors’ decision, coupled with Chrysler’s April 30 bankruptcy filing, gave two New York bankruptcy judges a central role in an extraordinary government effort to salvage a once mighty but now humbled American industry. About 110 lawyers filled the benches and lined the walls in a stifling hot courtroom before Southern District Bankruptcy Judge Robert E. Gerber yesterday afternoon to get the ball rolling in In re General Motors Corp., 09-50026. Reporters crowded into overflow rooms. Harvey Miller of Weil Gotshal & Manges, which represents GM, urged approval of $15 billion in interim financing for GM and of procedures to conduct a sale. He asked for the court’s indulgence, noting that his presentation might be “a little ragged. A lot of people have been up for an extended period of time,” he said. Mr. Miller pushed for quick action in the case because the company faces a “crisis of confidence.” He asked whether many customers would patronize GM with bankruptcy looming “like a black cloud.” GM Bankruptcy
Judge Robert E. Gerber Appointed in 2000 Major cases: Global Crossing Ltd., the telecommunications company, and cable TV operator Adelphia Communications (both filed in 2002) Experience: Partner, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, 1970-2000, specializing in securities and commercial litigation and then bankruptcy litigation and counseling. Education: B.S., Rutgers University, 1967 J.D., Columbia Law School, 1970
Judge Arthur J. Gonzalez Appointed in 1995 Major cases: Enron, the energy giant (filed in 2001), and WorldCom, the communications operator (filed in 2002) Experience: U.S. Trustee for New York, Connecticut and Vermont, 1993-1995 Assistant U.S. trustee, Southern District of New York, 1991-1993 Private practice, 1988-1991, with Pollner, Mezan, Stolzberg & Glass and then at Gaston & Snow Staff attorney, Manhattan District Counsel’s Office of the Internal Revenue Service, 1982-1988 Teacher New York City public schools, 1969-1982 Education: B.S., Fordham University, 1969 M.S., Brooklyn College, 1974 J.D., Fordham University School of Law, 1982 LL.M., New York University School of Law, 1990
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