Susan Y.W. Chun, a native of Honolulu, Hawaii, graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1998 after receiving her Bachelor Degree from the University of California at Berkeley. Susan was a member of the Kentucky Law Journal and served as Articles Editor in her third year of law school. Susan joined the firm in 1998 and engages in the general practice of law.
In re Appalachian Fuels, LLC, 493 B.R. 1, 22(B.A.P. 6th Cir. 2013)
MGM represented the unsecured creditors committee of one of the sister companies that was a joint debtor in this case. This case concerned whether MGM’s client was liable for the environmental reclamation obligations of its sister company based on state law derivative liability or federal law substantive consolidation. The U.S. Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the Sixth Circuit agreed with the bankruptcy court to find that the facts did not justify piercing of the corporate veil of a company so that it was liable for its sister company’s environmental obligations, and while the companies were jointly administered for procedural purposes, joint procedural administration was not the same as substantive consolidation.
Bankruptcy/piercing corporate veil/debt/related entitiesLitigation Transactional Law
Owen v. DCR Mortg. III Sub I, LLC, 337 S.W.3d 652 (Ky. App. 2011)
MGM represented the mortgagee in this case. This case concerned the efforts of a mortgagee to collect in state court the amounts due from the personal guarantors of the loan after the property was sold during the mortgagor’s bankruptcy proceeding. The Kentucky Court of Appeals found that the fact that the personal guarantors were not listed as creditors in the mortgagor’s bankruptcy proceeding did not preclude the mortgagee from collecting the deficiency amounts due from them.
Bankruptcy/personal guarantee/collection/debtLitigation Transactional Law
MPM Financial Group, Inc. v. Morton (No. 2007-SC-000652-DG, Supreme Court 2009)
MGM assisted a local small business group in obtaining a judgment against an individual former co-owner defendant for theft and embezzlement. After the judgment was entered, the defendant could not be found for more than a year. Once he was located, MGM sought to satisfy the judgment by serving a garnishment on an insurance company who paid monthly disability benefits to the defendant based upon a private disability policy. The defendant challenged the garnishment claiming that the policy was exempted by a Kentucky Statute (KRS 427.150) in combination with a Federal Bankruptcy Statute (11 USC §522(d)). He asserted his right to these exemptions even though he had not filed bankruptcy. The trial court held that his policy was not exempted under the Kentucky Statute but held that a different and recently changed Kentucky Statute (KRS 427.170) allowed him to exempt the policy from garnishment using the Federal Bankruptcy Statute. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision. MGM along with the amicus support from the Kentucky Bankers Association sought review from the Supreme Court, which was granted. The brief provided by MGM persuaded the Court to resolve the statutory issues and reversed in favor of MGM’s client. The court held that the Kentucky Exemption Statute in issue only applied to those who had been adjudged bankrupt and was therefore inapplicable to the defendant.
Judgment/enforcement/statutory exemption/KRS 427/ 11 USC 522/bankruptcyLitigation Transactional Law Employment Law
Holman v. Holman, 84 S.W.3d 903 (1999-S.C.-525) (Ky. 2002)
This case concerned whether the husband’s disability retirement benefits were marital or non-marital property. Reversing the lower courts and enunciating a new rule of law, the Kentucky Supreme Court agreed with the husband to find that courts are to classify disability benefits according to the nature of the wages they replace rather than whether or not they are one of the excepted categories or whether the source of the funds used to acquire the benefits was marital. The Court found that because the disability benefits replaced post-dissolution wages that the husband would have received as a firefighter, those benefits are appropriately classified as the husband’s separate non-marital property.
Family law/disability benefits/post dissolution wages/non-marital disability retirement benefits are non-marital earnings under facts of case.Litigation Family Law