Bradley Attorneys Recognized for Helping Secure U.S. Supreme Court Hearing in Federal Bankruptcy Law Case

Firm News, Accolade

Bradley is pleased to announce that Bradley partners Scott Burnett Smith and Alexandra Dugan and associate Stephen C. Parsley will receive the Amicus Service Award from the International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA). The attorneys will be recognized for the amicus curiae brief they wrote pro bono in support of the IMLA’s petition for certiorari in the case Chicago v. Fulton that the U.S. Supreme Court granted on Dec. 18, 2019.

The attorneys will receive the award at the IMLA Mid-Year Seminar April 24 in Washington, D.C. Through the Amicus Service Award, the IMLA recognizes lawyers who have been actively involved in legal advocacy for and on behalf of local governments and the IMLA, and who have done exemplary work to protect and advance local government interests.

The case presents the Supreme Court with a recurring question of federal bankruptcy law that has left the courts of appeals divided: whether the Bankruptcy Code’s automatic stay mandates that creditors turn over a debtor’s impounded vehicle as soon as the bankruptcy petition is filed, or whether creditors that may have statutory defenses to turnover may assert those defenses in bankruptcy and retain possession while awaiting an order of the Bankruptcy Court.

This case is of particular concern to the IMLA — which is an organization of local government attorneys who advise towns, cities, and counties across the country — because of the uncertainty surrounding the legal avenues available to enforce traffic safety laws after a car owner has filed for bankruptcy.

“We are extremely proud of their work and congratulate Scott, Alex, and Stephen on their IMLA award for crafting the successful amicus curiae brief in this important federal bankruptcy law case,” said Bradley Chairman of the Board and Managing Partner Jonathan M. Skeeters.

Based in Bradley’s Huntsville, Ala., office, Mr. Smith is the founder and chair of Bradley’s Appellate Litigation Practice Group. His practice covers class actions, ERISA litigation, complex litigation, and appeals. He has been involved in dozens of nationwide class actions in state and federal courts and has handled more than 35 class action appeals. He is also regularly involved as the appellate lawyer embedded with a trial team in complex civil litigation. In that role, he has succeeded in having several multimillion-dollar injury verdicts, including punitive damages, remitted by the trial court or reversed and rendered by the appellate court.

Ms. Dugan is based in Bradley’s Nashville, Tenn., office and is a member of the firm’s Banking and Financial Services Practice Group Ms. Dugan represents financial institutions and mortgage companies with compliance matters, including risk management and remediation, state investigations, regulatory compliance, and operational implementation of legal guidelines. Her practice focuses on the bankruptcy compliance and regulatory concerns that her clients face.

Based in Bradley’s Birmingham office and a member of the firm’s Financial Services Litigation team, Mr. Parsley represents mortgage servicers and other financial institutions in litigation and compliance-related matters. He also has extensive involvement in litigation and compliance advice for reverse mortgage lenders. In addition, Mr. Parsley has experience in commercial, intellectual property and product liability matters for a range of clients, including pharmaceutical, medical, industrial and consumer manufacturers.