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Retiring Judge Talks About New York and Delaware Bankruptcy Courts

David Goch, Washington Legislative Counsel | February 05, 2016

Judge D. Michael Lynn has spent 14 years on the bench as a bankruptcy judge for the US Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas and has presided over several prominent bankruptcy cases.

Lynn will be leaving the bench and working in private practice and as he reflects on cases he heard he believes cases that have major impacts on a local community should be heard in that local jurisdiction. He expressed his dissatisfaction with the trend of bigger Chapter 11 cases going to Delaware and New York.

Judge Lynn noted examples of the Dallas Stars hockey team and the American Airlines case, two cases he believes had huge “community impact” that were sent to Delaware and New York. He noted the assignment of these cases to New York and Delaware was an “unfortunate thing,” especially for the thousands of employees of American Airlines in the Dallas area.

Lynn does not believe that the Delaware and New York courts are better equipped or experienced to handle major bankruptcy cases. New York Bankruptcy Judge Lane, who handled the American Airlines case, had been on the bench a short 11 months when he was assigned the responsibility of deciding this case. Lynn said the judges in Delaware and New York are no more qualified than the judges in Texas.

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