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Recent Developments in Bankruptcy and Restructuring Law: Marijuana and Safe Harbors

(931 reviews)

Produced on October 16, 2018

$ 89 Business, Corporate, & Securities, Bankruptcy & Restructuring, Food, Beverage, & Agriculture, and Cannabis In Stock
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Course Information

Course Description

Although more and more states have legalized the medical or recreational use of marijuana, marijuana remains strictly illegal under federal law. As a result, individuals and entities that are involved (however tangentially) in the growing and distribution of marijuana as part of a business are generally barred from seeking relief in the federal bankruptcy court. This program, presented by Michael Riela and Richard Trotter of Tannenbaum Helpern, will discuss the relevant federal law with respect to marijuana, and alternative avenues that individuals and distressed companies in the marijuana business might be able to pursue to restructure their debts or liquidate their assets.

The Bankruptcy Code provides a “safe harbor” against preference and certain fraudulent transfer ”clawback” actions, which have been relied upon by certain types of creditors for many years. However, in its Merit Management Group, LP v. FTI Consulting, Inc. decision earlier this year, the Supreme Court substantially narrowed the scope of the safe harbor. This course will examine the Supreme Court’s decision and its future implications.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Examine the status of federal law with respect to marijuana
  2. Explore debt restructuring and asset liquidation alternatives to bankruptcy for individuals and distressed companies that are involved in the marijuana business
  3. Analyze the Bankruptcy Code’s “safe harbor” from preference and certain fraudulent transfer avoidance actions, and explore the Supreme Court’s decision in Merit Management Group, LP v. FTI Consulting, Inc. that limited that safe harbor

Credit Information

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Michael Riela

Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP

Michael Riela advises clients in complex corporate restructuring and bankruptcy matters. He has in-depth experience in advising clients in corporate and real estate Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, out-of-court restructurings, M&A transactions involving distressed sellers, debtor-in-possession (DIP) and bankruptcy exit loan facilities, secondary market trading of distressed debt and trade claims, and insolvency-related litigation. He has particular experience defending complex preference and fraudulent transfer cases, and with handling professional retention and fee dispute matters in bankruptcy cases.  Michael’s restructuring and bankruptcy practice spans across numerous different industries, though much of his recent work is focused on the staffing, real estate, construction, retail, technology, and cannabis industries.

Richard Trotter

Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP

Richard Trotter is an associate in Tannenbaum Helpern’s Litigation and Bankruptcy practice groups. His diverse practice includes litigating a wide variety of complex commercial litigation and bankruptcy disputes in state, federal and bankruptcy court. Such disputes have involved issues of contract, securities, real estate and bankruptcy law. He has experience with both commercial and municipal bankruptcy context and has worked to preserve and enforce the rights of different parties at all stages of bankruptcy.


Erik G.

I really appreciated that they went in depth on a narrow subject instead of a general course.

Robert C.

Thank you

Judith P.


Mark B.

Very informative.

samantha A.

This was a very good presentation. I like Michael Riela's lectures the best. He is very clear.

David S.

Marijuana is a risk to your clients. Be up on the law if it involves your clients. Good course.

Gregory R.

Very informative; highly recommended.

william p.

Safe harbor developments were helpful.

Eileen M.

Very knowledgeable!

Sheri M.

Very good

Andre O.

Keep up the good job

Edward S.

Very interesting.

Silvia C.

Very Informative

Colleen W.

Fascinating lecture and presentation. Both speakers were excellent.

Mark K.

Excellent program. Thank you.

David R.

Interesting overview of how the conflict of federal & state laws can impact financial remedies for parties in a semi-legal industry.

Savery G.

very good, clear and easy to follow presentation

Elizabeth F.


Jennie W.

Very informative and well done.

Louis D.

Useful update on the state of play in Washington with regard to enforcing federal law on marijuana and its impact on bankruptcy filings.

Nikki K.

excellent up to the minute up to date info. well prepared and well presented. Thank you!

William H.

Solid presentation.

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