October 2, 2009
Curtis Achieves Multiple Victories for Chapter 11 Debtor Lear Corporation
New York, October 2, 2009 – Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP achieved multiple victories for its client Lear and its debtor affiliates. Lear, a leading global automotive supplier of electronic products, is a debtor and debtor in possession in the midst of a “fast-track” Chapter 11 case before Bankruptcy Judge Allan L. Gropper of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Curtis acts as conflicts counsel for Lear.
Curtis obtained the successful dismissal of an adversary complaint brought against Lear by Johnson Controls Interiors, LLC and The Chamberlain Group, Inc. These parties sought monetary damages and injunctive relief, alleging infringement of three patents relating to radio transmitter technology in universal garage door openers. Curtis argued successfully that the Bankruptcy Court should dismiss the adversary complaint or abstain from exercising jurisdiction over it because the same plaintiffs had been prosecuting for over four years a similar action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. After oral argument and extensive briefing of the issues, the Court adopted Curtis’ arguments and issued a written opinion on September 24, 2009 dismissing the adversary complaint in favor of the Illinois Action.
Shortly after the dismissal of the adversary complaint, the same plaintiffs moved in the Bankruptcy Court to lift the automatic stay in effect as to the Illinois Action. Curtis argued successfully in its response brief and at oral arguments that plaintiffs failed to satisfy the requisite showing of “cause” to lift the automatic stay. The Court agreed with Curtis and, on September 30, 2009, ordered that the automatic stay to be maintained through November 5, 2009, the confirmation date currently scheduled for Lear’s Chapter 11 plan of reorganization.
The Curtis team representing Lear in these matters consisted of partners Steven J. Reisman and Timothy A. Barnes, associate Christina M. Manthei and paralegal Laura Raposo from the Restructuring and Insolvency group, and partner Theresa A. Foudy and associates Timothy N. McCabe, Sarah Hale and Chelsea McLean from the Litigation group.
The Curtis Restructuring and Insolvency group regularly advises debtors, creditors' committees, secured and unsecured creditors, financial institutions, equity owners and investors, trustees, liquidators and court-appointed fiduciaries, and foreign and domestic governmental agencies in all types of restructuring and insolvency matters both in and out of court. The firm has developed a national reputation as the leading law firm in “conflicts counsel” engagements in large and complex Chapter 11 restructurings on both the debtor and creditors' committee sides.