• Sex Abuse Victims of Milwaukee-Area Clergy get More Time to File Claims

    U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Susan V. Kelly has agreed to allow survivors of clergy sex abuse more time to file claims while the Milwaukee Archdiocese is under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. A forensic accountant will be hired to review the finances of the archdiocese as well.

    The agreement gives the creditors the green light to hire California-based Berkeley Research Group as a financial adviser. One of the duties of the forensic accountant is to inspect church finances to determine if the church made fraudulent transfers in an attempt to shield assets from victims of clergy sex abuse.

    All parties involved in the bankruptcy agreed to extend the bar date, the deadline for victims to file claims for compensation. The final day for filing claims is now February 1, 2012, five months past the September 15, 2011 date initially proposed by the church. The deadline for all non-sex abuse claimants remains the same.

    The specific of a national advertising campaign to alert victims to the bankruptcy and the deadline for claims has been agreed upon.

    Milwaukee Archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in January 2011, saying it was the only way to compensate victims and continue the work of the church. The archdiocese has stated that they only have approximately $7 million in cash and properties available for settlement.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy lawyer

  • Divorce Settlement Line Drives the Dodgers into Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

    Owner Frank McCourt filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in an answer to Major League Baseball Commissioner’s denial of a television contract. The rejection of the contract invalidated a divorce settlement between Frank and Jamie McCourt.

    Frank McCourt stated for months that the approval of the Fox television contract was crucial for the financial health of the Dodgers. Frank and Jamie McCourt have been fighting over ownership of the team. Jamie McCourt is claiming half of Frank’s assets.

    Commissioner Bud Selig is said to be aghast over a provision in the divorce settlement that diverts almost half of the immediate payment from the television contract for the benefit of the McCourts instead of for the benefit of the Dodgers.

    Selig had intentions of taking over day-to-day operations of the team if payroll for June 30, 2011, had not been paid. McCourts filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy short circuited Seligs plans and has allowed him to retain control of operations for the time being.

    A possibility exists that the MLB will file a motion to seize the Dodgers.

    Some of the outstanding debts include $21 million owed to Manny Ramirez, Andruw Jones is owed $11 million on a 2007 contract and announcer Vin Scully is owed $150,000.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy attorney