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Three or four more opinion days before the United States
Supreme Court's term closes. Sixteen opinions have yet to be
delivered. But if a lifelong, diehard, Bronx-born Yankee fan, Justice
Sotomayor (who some
say saved baseball), is willing to sport a CUBS jersey while
throwing out the ceremonial first pitch in Saturday's Yankee-Cubs game (I can't
imagine a White Sox fan ever doing that!), then I think it's fair to say
the remaining cases of this term on which she's working are confusing to the
For bankruptcy lawyers, the Court's forthcoming opinion
in Stern v. Marshall represents either the most important decision on
bankruptcy court jurisdiction since 1982 (Northern
Pipeline v. Marathon) [an enhanced version of this opinion is available to lexis.com
subscribers] or the biggest dud in bankruptcy history (with
the Court avoiding tackling the tough constitutional questions in favor of a
finding that Anna's counterclaim against Pierce was a tort claim covered by 28 U.S.C. § 157(b)(5)
that all concede the bankruptcy court could not decide with finality).
As we await the ruling, and assuming it's not a big dud,
here are key background materials you need to be armed with to better
understand the opinion once it's delivered and the issues and cases it will
The Merits Briefs
for Petitioner Howard K. Stern, Executor of the Estate of Vicki Lynn Marshall
for Respondent Elaine T. Marshall, Executrix of the Estate of E. Pierce
Brief for Petitioner Howard K. Stern, Executor of the Estate of Vicki Lynn
The Amicus Briefs:
for the United States in Support of Petitioner
for National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees in Support of Petitioner
for Professors Richard Aaron, Laura Bartell, Jagdeep S. Bhandari, Susan
Block-Lieb, Robert D'Agostino, Jackie Gardina, Ingrid Hillinger, George W.
Kuney, Lois Lupica, C. Scott Pryor, Keith Sharfman, Michael D. Sousa, and
Robert M. Zinman in Support of Petitioner
for Law Professors S. Todd Brown, G. Marcus Cole, Ronald D. Rotunda, and Todd
J. Zywicki in Support of Respondent
for the Washington Legal Foundation in Support of Respondent
for the National Black Chamber of Commerce and the American Board of Trial
Advocates in Support of Respondent
for the Center for the Rule of Law in Support of Respondent
One can't predict on which of the next two Mondays and
Thursdays the Court will issue the opinion, but I sure hope it's not next
Monday when I'll be traveling!
To read more items by Steve Jakubowski, visit the
Bankruptcy Litigation Blog
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