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February 2014 Archives

R.I. Bankruptcy Court Explains Proper Way To Calculate Whether Judicial Liens Are Avoidable

In a brief but detailed analysis the Rhode Island Bankruptcy Court has explained the proper way for debtors' counsel to calculate whether judicial liens are avoidable. The decision did not change the result in the case-the liens were dischargeable-but the court hoped the explanation would clear up widespread confusion among debtors' counsel as to the correct way to perform the necessary calculations and present such motions.

R.I. Bankruptcy Court Holds Debtor's Receipt of Fraudulent Transfer Is Dischargeable If Debtor Made No Misrepresentation

In an apparent case of first impression in Rhode Island, the bankruptcy court has held that the debtor's receipt of a fraudulent transfer is a dischargeable debt in the absence of evidence that the debtor made a misrepresentation. The court aligned itself with two Bankruptcy Court decisions from Massachusetts in predicting how the First Circuit would rule on the issue and rejected holdings to the contrary by the Seventh Circuit and two bankruptcy appellate panels.

R.I. Federal District Court Rules Inadvertent Failure To Poll Civil Jury Not Grounds For New Trial

In what appears to be a decision of first impression, the federal district court in Rhode Island has held that its inadvertent failure to poll individually a civil jury is not grounds for a new trial. Rule 48 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure was amended in 2009 to state: "[a]fter a verdict is returned but before the jury is discharged, the court must on a party's request, or may on its own, poll the jury individually. If the poll reveals a lack of unanimity or lack of assent by the number of jurors that the parties stipulated to, the court may direct the jury to deliberate further or may order a new trial."