Legal Glossary

To help sift through some of the legal jargon below are some definitions of terms you may encounter as you read through the rulings and opinions:

What is a Memorandum Opinion:

Memorandum Opinion is a brief opinion of a court that announces the result of a case without extensive discussion. There is no elaboration because the decision follows a well-established legal principle or does not relate to any point of law. It is a unanimous appellate opinion that succinctly states the decision of the court. A memorandum opinion is not subject to appeal by the dissatisfied party. These opinions are usually unpublished and cannot be cited as precedent. Memorandum Opinion also refers to a an opinion of the U.S. Tax Court that is ordered not to be published but that is authoritative as precedent.

What is Bankruptcy:

Bankruptcy is a process in which consumers and businesses can eliminate or repay some or all of their debts under the protection of the federal bankruptcy court. For the most part, bankruptcies can be divided into two types — liquidation and reorganization. Chapter 7 bankruptcy comes under the liquidation category. It’s called liquidation because the bankruptcy trustee may take and sell (“liquidate”) some of your property to pay back some of your debt. However, you may keep property that is protected (also called “exempt”) under state law. There are several types of reorganization bankruptcies, but Chapter 13 is most commonly used by consumers. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you keep all of your property, but must make monthly payments over three to five years to repay all or some of your debt. Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy have many rules — and exceptions to those rules — regarding which debts are covered, who can file, and what property you can and cannot keep.

What is 363 Sales Order:

The sale of corporate assets under Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code is often a key element of the bankruptcy process. Under Section 363(f), a bankruptcy trustee or debtor-in-possession may sell the bankruptcy estate’s assets “free and clear of any interest in such property.” The “free and clear” provision provides a means for the debtor to consummate the sale quickly, as competing interests in the property need not be resolved as a condition to the sale. Section 363 sales are also attractive to buyers who thereby obtain protection from successor liability, subject to certain exceptions.

What is in Bad Faith

The fraudulent deception of another person; the intentional or malicious refusal to perform some duty or contractual obligation.