Category Archives: BK

BANKRUPTCY BREAKING NEWS – CHANGES DUE TO COVID-19

WASHINGTON, D.C. – According to the American Bankruptcy Institute (“ABI”), the Senate has now included certain provisions in the $2 Trillion “Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act” (“CARES Act”) in order to provide greater access to bankruptcy relief.  The Act, goes to the House, and , if passed, to President Trump.

According to ABI, certain provisions within Sect. 1113 of the CARES Act include:

  • Amendments to the newly created Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 (SBRA) to increase the eligibility threshold for businesses filing under new subchapter V of chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code from $2,725,625 of debt to $7,500,000. The eligibility threshold will return to $2,725,625 after one year. The increased debt limit for struggling small businesses to access subchapter V reflects recommendations of ABI’s Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11.
     
  • Amending the definition of “income” in the Bankruptcy Code for chapters 7 and 13 to exclude coronavirus-related payments from the federal government from being treated as “income” for purposes of filing bankruptcy.
     
  • Clarifying that the calculation of disposable income for purposes of confirming a chapter 13 plan shall not include coronavirus-related payments.
     
  • Explicitly permitting individuals and families currently in chapter 13 to seek payment plan modifications if they are experiencing a material financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic, including extending their payments for up to seven years after their initial plan payment was due.

The bankruptcy provisions of the CARES Act listed above sunset within a year of the legislation being enacted.

Additionally, Sect. 3513 of the legislative package provides temporary relief for federal student loan borrowers by requiring the Secretary of Education to defer student loan payments, principal, and interest for 6 months, through September 30, 2020, without penalty to the borrower for all federally owned loans. This provides relief for over 95 percent of student loan borrowers.

Eric N. Assouline, Esq.

Business Litigation Partner

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE, P.A.

Miami Tower

100 SE 2nd St., Suite 3105

Miami, FL 33131

Telephone: 305-567-5576

Email: ena@assoulineberlowe.com

www.assoulineberlowe.com

Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment Law,  Real Estate, International Dispute Resolution, Commercial Litigation, Corporate Law, and Bankruptcy

Miami · Ft. Lauderdale · Boca Raton

Assouline & Berlowe SuperLawyers 2019

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BANKRUPTCY LAW – Small Business Reorganization Act, New Interim Rules Released

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The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida, through its Chief Judge, Laurel M. Isicoff, issued several updates tonight regarding the new Small Business Reorganization Act (SBRA), which goes into effect TOMORROW!

As stated by the Chief Judge: “The SBRA creates a new subchapter V of chapter 11 for the reorganization of small business debtors.  It does not repeal existing chapter 11 provisions regarding small business debtors, but instead creates an alternative procedure that small business debtors may elect to use.”

The Court further stated that: The Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure of the Judicial Conference of the United States has promulgated Interim Rules and Form Amendments to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure as a result of the passage of the Small Business Reorganization Act.

Among the numerous orders, is Administrative Order 2020-02 In re: Adoption of Interim SBRA Bankruptcy Rules.  This is an important set of rules that bankruptcy practitioners in the Southern District of Florida must follow.

Amended Official Forms 101, 201, 309E (renumbered 309E1), 309F (renumbered as 309F1), 314 (use Local Form LF-33), 315, and 425A, and new Official Forms 309E2, and 309F2 become effective February 19, 2020. For changes in the Bankruptcy Forms please visit: https://www.uscourts.gov/rules-policies/pending-rules-and-forms-amendments/pending-changes-bankruptcy-forms.

Additional SBRA Resource:

A Guide to the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019” by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Paul W. Bonapfel Northern District of Georgia.

Eric N. Assouline, Esq.

 

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HAPPY 17th ANNIVERSARY to ASSOULINE & BERLOWE!

MIAMI – Assouline & Berlowe, P.A., The Business Law Firm, is pleased to announce that today it is celebrating its 17th Anniversary.

Started on February 10, 2003, through humble beginnings, in a small subleased space in Coral Gables, Assouline & Berlowe has weathered the many business climate changes and challenges of the past two decades.

Assouline & Berlowe is proud of its contributions to its communities in the tri-county area, as part of its presence with offices in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale/Dania Beach, and Boca Raton.  Assouline & Berlowe regularly supports both its legal community and numerous charitable organizations alike.

Assouline & Berlowe is strategically positioned to continue its expansion as a strong player in South Florida’s international business environment.

To all those that we have worked with in the past and to those we hope to work with in the future, we say thank you.

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INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION / BANKRUPTCY PANEL DISCUSSION – October 23, 2019 at the University of Miami

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ONLY 7 DAYS LEFT.

The International Arbitration Society at the University of Miami School of Law is presenting a panel discussion on the conflict between International Arbitration and Domestic Insolvency.

Date : October 23, 2019

Time: 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

The discussion will be followed by a networking social.

Students, professionals and practitioners are invited to attend and participate.

Please RSVP here: https://lnkd.in/eAT24JM

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PARALEGAL SEMINAR – OCT. 19, 2019 – South Florida Paralegal Association

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Assouline & Berlowe Litigation Partner Peter E. Berlowe is one of the guest speakers at this year’s Annual Fall Seminar for the the South Florida Paralegal Association. 

On October 19, 2019 at the Florida International University – College of Law

Located at Rafael Diaz Balart Hall (RDB) Room 2008, 11200 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL 33199

Offering 6.5 Credits

Including 1  Ethics Credit and 0.5 Technology Credit

With Keynote Speaker

Mercedes M. Prieto, Esq., Clerk of the Third District Court of Appeal on Introduction to Legal Research and Legal Memoranda Writing

and guest speakers


 Peter E. Berlowe, Esq. of Assouline & Berlowe, P.A. on Analysis of an Injurious Falsehood Case and the Paralegal’s Role

 Marc Hurwitz of Crossroads Investigations on A Former CIA Officer’s Guide to Investigations for the Divorce Process

Bianca Moreiras of Bianca Moreiras & Associates on Time Management, Goal Setting and Taking Action

 Felice Solomon of Solomon Search Group on How Paralegals Can Deal With Seven Personality Types in the Workplace

and

 Valencia N. Poitier, Esq. of American Integrity Insurance of Florida, Inc. on HIPPA: Accountability, Ethics and Evidence – Avoiding the Pitfalls of Suppression and Lack of Foundation

The cost to attend the event is:

Students: $25 

Member & Affiliate Members: $55

Non-Members: $65

Continental breakfast & hot lunch will be provided Your Savory Fare

For more information regarding the event, please contact SFPA Vice-President Summer Marshall by email at smarshallfrp@gmail.com


For more information on how to sponsor this event, please contact

Sadena Blatt Miropol by email at sb0929@gmail.com

This seminar meets the requirements of the NALA Certifying Board for Paralegals for continuing legal education credit required to maintain the CP (Certified Paralegal) credential.

To recap:

The South Florida Paralegal Association is proud to present its 2019 Annual Fall Seminar on October 19, 2019 at the Florida International University – College of Law, located at Rafael Diaz Balart Hall (RDB), RDB 2008, 11200 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL 33199

Celebrating 40 Years of Commitment to the Legal Community

Offering 6.5 Credits (including .5 Ethics Credit and 1 Technology Credit)

With keynote speaker:
Mercedes M. Prieto, Esq., Clerk of the Third District Court of Appeal

And guest speakers:
Peter E. Berlowe, Esq. of Assouline & Berlowe, P.A.,
Marc Hurwitz of Crossroads Investigations,
Felice Solomon of Solomon Search Group,
Valencia N Poitier, Esq. of American Integrity Insurance of Florida, Inc., and
Bianca Moreiras of Bianca Moreiras & Associates

The cost to attend the event is:
Students: $25
Member & Affiliate Members: $55
Non-Members: $65

Continental breakfast & hot lunch will be provided Your Savory Fare

For more information regarding the event, please contact SFPA Vice-President Summer Marshall by email at smarshallfrp@gmail.com

For more information on how to sponsor this event, please contact Sadena Blatt Miropol by email at sb0929@gmail.com

This seminar meets the requirements of the NALA Certifying Board for Paralegals for continuing legal education credit required to maintain the CP (Certified Paralegal) credential.

All content © SFPA 2019.

South Florida Paralegal Association, Inc. is a non-profit organization. 123 S.E. 3rd Avenue, #367, Miami, Florida 33131.

http://sfpa.info/event-3565682

 

 

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LABOR LAW UPDATE – Exempt Employee Thresholds

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It is Finally Here!

Over the years, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has attempted to change certain rules applicable to implementation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and increase the salary threshold for exempt employees from $455 per week (the level it has been at since 2004).

Many may recall that a rule to increase the salary thresholds for exemptions was first enjoined and subsequently invalidated by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in 2016.   A year later, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has held the appeal in abeyance pending further DOL rulemaking regarding a revised salary threshold.  In other words, the DOL has consistently enforced the 2004 salary level for the last 15 years.

However, the DOL has now finally announced a final rule which is expected to make 1.3 million American workers eligible for overtime pay under the FLSA.  In a nutshell, this rule, which will go into effect on January 1, 2020, accomplishes three primary objectives:

First, the rule updates the earnings thresholds – from $455 to $684 per week – necessary to exempt certain white collar positions, i.e., executive, administrative and professional employees, from the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime pay requirements.

Second, the new rule will allow employers to meet up to 10% of the new salary level from nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions).

Third, the rule will increase the salary requirements for the “highly compensated employees (HCE)” exemption from $100,000 to $107,432 per year.

Again, please note that the final rule will be effective on January 1, 2020.

Additional information about the final rule is available at www.dol.gov/whd/overtime2019.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Ellen M. Leibovitch, Head of Labor & Employment Practice – Boca Raton Office and can be reached by email at eml@assoulineberlowe.com or by Telephone: 561-361-6566.

 

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NEW BANKRUPTCY JUDGE – Scott M. Grossman has been Appointed as a Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of Florida

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MIAMI – Welcome to Scott M. Grossman, to the bench!  Scott M. Grossman is the first bankruptcy judge appointed to the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida, Fort Lauderdale Division, since February 2006, when Judge John Olsen joined the Court.

Judge Grossman was appointed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, which controls all the federal and bankruptcy courts in the State of Florida.  Judge Grossman was appointed as a Bankruptcy Judge for a fourteen-year term, effective today, October 2, 2019.  [Press Release to the announcement from the Chief Judge is available through this link: General Order 2019-03 re: Assignment of New Cases and Adversary Proceedings, and Reassignment of Pending Cases Upon Appointment of Bankruptcy Judge Scott M. Grossman.

Assouline & Berlowe SuperLawyers 2019

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Eric N. Assouline, Esq. – Commercial Litigation and Bankruptcy Litigation Partner

 

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Assouline & Berlowe is a Proud Member of Nextlaw, the Largest Worldwide Network of Attorneys – Now Ranked by Chambers

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MIAMI, Florida – March 15, 2019. Assouline & Berlowe, P.A. is pleased to announce that Nextlaw Referral Network (NRN) has been recognized as a Leading Global Legal Referral Network by Chambers & Partners in the Chambers 2019 guide. Assouline & Berlowe, P.A. has been a member of Nextlaw Network since September 2016.

Nextlaw Network has achieved this milestone faster than any network in history, having been founded in October 2016 by Dentons, the world’s largest law firm. The Network grew to be the largest in under one year and is now three-times larger than the second largest network in the world.

“We are proud to be the champion of the small to medium-size law firms,” said Nextlaw Network CEO Jeff Modisett. “Until now, medium-sized law firms were excluded from most networks because of high annual fees and the exclusive, territorial and monopolistic nature of the traditional network business model. Our Network welcomes all top law firms in the world, focusing on quality, not size.”

Assouline & Berlowe, P.A. Managing Partner Eric N. Assouline, Esq. said, “Membership in the Nextlaw Referral Network provides us with unprecedented global reach, including leading capabilities in 205 countries. We have access to top lawyers in any practice, industry or sector, anywhere in the world, enabling us to provide our clients with the best local and global services possible. The Nextlaw Referral Network makes us truly ‘in and of the community.’”

Chambers is an independent legal directory that conducts in-depth interviews, reviews submissions from law firms and collects feedback from clients to identify and rank the most outstanding legal referral networks, law firms and lawyers.

Nextlaw Network has more members and covers more countries than any other single legal referral network in the world. Members conduct more than 2,000 searches per month on the network’s advanced proprietary platform, which is seamlessly linked with its sister network, the Nextlaw Public Affairs Network. More than 70 percent of NRN members are Chambers ranked.

The Network also serves as a strategic platform by distributing cutting-edge legal technology at discounts to members, working with another sister company, Nextlaw Labs. Nextlaw Labs curates the best technology in the profession. The Network also promotes thought-leadership in emerging, disruptive technologies, such as AI and Blockchain.

Nextlaw Network is one of the only referral networks that offers inter-disciplinary functionality. In today’s complex global environment, clients often need access to professionals who understand the regulatory, business and economic cultures everywhere they do business, which means integrating legal and public affairs representation.

The Network provides no jurisdictional exclusivity, due to its guiding principle to offer clients the best lawyers in any practice, sector, anywhere in the world.
Assouline & Berlowe, P.A. is a South Florida Business Law Firm, formed in 2003, with offices in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and Boca Raton. Assouline & Berlowe, P.A. concentrates its practice in the areas of: Intellectual Property Law and Litigation; International and Domestic Dispute Resolution, including litigation, arbitration, and appeals; Real Estate and Corporate Law and Litigation; Labor & Employment Law; Trusts, Estates & Probate Administration and Litigation; and Creditors’ Rights and Bankruptcy.
About Nextlaw Referral Network
Nextlaw Referral Network is the broadest and most sophisticated legal referral platform in the world. Introduced in October of 2016, it already includes nearly 670-member firms, over 25,000 lawyers covering all of the world’s major jurisdictions in more than 205 countries. In addition, working closely with its sister company, Nextlaw Labs, the platform will also introduce new technologies, products and services to its members. The platform also includes Nextlaw Global Public Affairs Network, the first of its kind network that includes more than 50 of the world’s top public affairs and public relations firms.

ASSOULINE & BERLOWE

Miami Tower, 100 SE 2nd Street, Suite 3105, Miami, Florida 33131

Telephone: 305-567-5576

http://www.assoulineberlowe.com

Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment, Creditors’ Rights & Bankruptcy, Business Litigation, Corporate & Finance, Real Estate, International Law, Trust & Estates, Probate and Guardianship

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ALL RISE – This Moot Court Is Now In Session

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Assouline & Berlowe has a long history of supporting both the legal and non-legal community in South Florida.  From its inception, the Firm has been involved in numerous charitable events and community endeavors.

As part of its support for the local legal community and the South Florida Law Schools, the Firm supports St. Thomas University’s School of Law Moot Court Room, where oral argument by the Florida’s Third District Court of Appeals is often held.

We as a Firm give thanks to the hard work of the local law schools’ professors and staff, which has allowed the legal community to thrive and produce high quality lawyers and judges.

Thank you.

Eric N. Assouline, Esq.

Managing Partner

@assoulineberlowe

 

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Bankruptcy Update: 11th Circuit Strikes the “Remain Unpaid” Element from the New Value Defense to Preference Action

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On August 14, 2018, Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (which controls all Florida bankruptcy courts), ruled that certain language in a prior ruling from 1988 was dicta and not binding, and established a new landscape for defending against a preferential transfer claim through a “new value” defense.

In the past, under the authority of Charisma Investment Company, N.V. v. Airport Systems, Inc. (In re Jet Florida System, Inc.), 841 F.2d 1082 (11th Cir. 1988), the Eleventh Circuit was believed to be of the opinion that an offset against preference liability, for new value provided to a debtor, which were made within the preference period, could only be asserted to the extent that any new value extended to the debtor “remained unpaid” as of the date the bankruptcy petition was filed.

However, under the new Blue Bell decision, the Eleventh Circuit held that the language in Charisma was only dicta, not binding, and not accurate.  Therefore, going forward, new value need not remain unpaid as of the time of the bankruptcy petition.

This decision is important because it will eliminate the disincentive that creditors may have in extending credit to a struggling debtor, which was mentioned in the Blue Bell decision.

ERIC N. ASSOULINE, ESQ.

PLEASE NOTE OUR NEW MIAMI ADDRESS

Miami Tower, 100 SE 2nd Street, Suite 3105, Miami, Florida 33131

 Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment Law,  Real Estate, International Dispute Resolution, Commercial Litigation, Corporate Law, and Bankruptcy

Miami · Ft. Lauderdale · Boca Raton

 

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