Why Businesses May Like the "Duke Rules Package"

This year, the Supreme Court considers sweeping amendments first developed at the 2010 Federal Rules Advisory Committee meeting held at Duke University and now approved by the Federal Judicial Conference. This so-called "Duke Rules Package" should also interest those businesses engaged in federal litigation, whether frequently or only occasionally. By design, these amendments could help to streamline litigation in federal courts and reduce costs. To meet this goal, the proposed amendments make significant, possibly long-lasting changes to the way lawyers and courts will handle federal lawsuits in years to come. If the Supreme Court accepts the proposed amendments, Congress must then act on them.

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Bankruptcy Developments: (1) Supreme Court Gets Active in Bankruptcy Law, and (2) Chapter 11 Reform is Under Way

While overall bankruptcy filings continue a decline that started in 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court is unusually active in bankruptcy issues this term, having accepted six cases with bankruptcy issues. In this article, we discuss one of the issues the Supreme Court is considering: whether a debtor can strip a lien off of real estate in a Chapter 7 case.

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VA Supreme Court Declares General Contractor Not a Necessary Party to Lien Enforcement Suit

A new decision from the Supreme Court of Virginia involving mechanic's liens may take some by surprise. Practitioners for years have believed that a general contractor is a "necessary party" to a subcontractor's suit to enforce a subcontractor's mechanic's lien. Earlier this month, in a 4-3 decision, the Supreme Court of Virginia ruled that a general contractor was not a necessary party to its subcontractor's lien enforcement suit, where the subcontractor's lien had been bonded and released at the request of the owner of the property and the construction lender.

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