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Control of bank account can constitute ownership

In de la Pena Stettner v. Smith (In re IFS Financial Corp.), the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed that a chapter 7 debtor’s control over certain bank accounts was sufficient to to establish de facto ownership.  Accordingly, the accounts were considered ‘property of the estate.’  A summary of the opinion and copy of opinion can be found here.

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Allied Litigant Doctrine in Texas

Lawyers and courts often make reference to the “joint defense privilege,” “common interest rule,” and other similar variations.  These references are to the rule of evidence that, in certain instances, allows parties and their lawyers to assert an attorney client privilege for communications with other parties and lawyers that share a similar, common interest in litigation.  On June 29, 2012, the Texas Supreme Court issued an opinion in In re XL Specialty Ins. Co., 373 S.W.3d 46 (Tex. 2012) that discusses the extension of the privilege and articulates a more precise term as being the “allied litigant doctrine.”  The case provides some guidance as to whether a Texas state court applying Texas Rules of Evidence might determine communications fall or not within the allied litigant doctrine.  The opinion can be read here.

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You have a judgment. Now what?

Many people, including lawyers, believe that obtaining a judgment is a great success.  It is, however, collecting on the judgment is the true measure of success.  Collecting on a judgment requires an understanding of the legal tools and remedies that might be available for you (including but not limited to tools and remedies such as post-judgment discovery, garnishment, execution, charging order, receivership, or involuntary bankruptcy)  and an analysis of what is most effective and cost efficient given your particular circumstances.  Give us a call or send us an email to find out if we can help you.

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Payments under requirements contract for electricity not preferential

In Lightfoot v. MXEnergy Electric, Inc. (In re MBS Management Services, Inc.), the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit found that an electricity supply contract constituted a forward contract.  Further, the payments under the contract were found to be settlement payments and not subject to avoidance under the Bankruptcy Code.  A summary and copy of the opinion can be found here.

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Suite 200
Austin, TX 78701
Tel: 512.473.8676
Fax : 512.852.4407
Email : peter@ruggerolaw.com
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The firm serves its clients by listening to and understanding their needs and then providing appropriate advice and representation. In addition to general civil litigation and business law, the firm focuses on collections, bankruptcy and commercial litigation.