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Also on the guest list are the Alpha Natural Resources reorganized debtors (“Alpha Resources”) who are invited, but not requuired to attend. The U.S. Trustee for Region 7 (assigned to the Westmoreland case) was issued a discretionary invite while the U.S. Trustee for Region 4 (assigned to Alpha Resources case) was given a diplomatic, if obligatory, “shall appear” invitation, the latter invite also stipulating that the Region 4 U.S. Trustee must arrive in a position to resolve all disputes with McKinsey in the Alpha Resources case. Both of the Trustees’ invitations are “plus one (only),” ie allowing for a single lawyer each.
Judge Isgur, who sits on the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas is just finishing up his work with on the iHeart Media case, with that Company set to emerge from bankruptcy after a deeply difficult and contentious bankruptcy. He is most certainly game ready, he s also fully vested with his powers as a sitting federal judge, so the stakes will be high and the appetite for gamesmanship very low.
The inclusion of Alpha Resources and the Region 4 U.S. Trustee is clearly significant, indicating that Judge Isgur wants to settle the Mar-Bow/McKinsey grudge match, an increasingly bitter rivalry that continues to spread across cases and courtrooms, on a holistic basis.
The decision to appoint amediator follows On January 10, 2019, Judge Kevin R. Huennekens of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Richmond granted a motion by Mar-Bow Value Partners to reopen the Alpha Natural Resources after being reviewing Mar-Bow’s allegations of court violations, conflict of interest and fraud. Judge Huennekens commented, “These are some of the most serious allegations that I have ever seen… We’ve got to get to the bottom of it.”
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