The Hon. Kevin J. Carey has announced that he will retire from bench effective August 31 after 19 years, the past 14 of which he served as a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge for the District of Delaware. A former TMA Global president and chair, Carey said he expects to remain active in the industry after he leaves the court.
Carey was appointed to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on January 25, 2001, and while serving there was designated by the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals to also serve as a visiting judge in the District of Delaware. He received a full-time appointment to that court on December 9, 2005, and served as chief judge from 2008 to 2011.
“Judge Carey is a fantastic judge, possesses excellent judicial temperament, writes scholarly opinions, and is a warm and helpful colleague,” said a statement by the District of Delaware Bankruptcy Court announcing the retirement.
Carey presided over a number of large and significant Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases. He wrote opinions analyzing competing business valuations in cases such as Exide Technologies and American Classic Voyages. He tackled plan confirmation issues in Spansion Inc., AbitibiBowater Inc., Tribune Company and, more recently, Woodbridge Group of Companies LLC. His opinions have examined U.S. Bankruptcy Code provisions in detail, such as his Pillowtex Corporation opinion deconstructing the new value defense to preference actions of Bankruptcy Code Section 547(c)(4) and his Filene’s Basement opinion reviewing the limitation on landlord damages claims in Bankruptcy Code Section 502(b)(6).
Carey holds a bachelor’s degree from The Pennsylvania State University, where he was honored with the 1976 Ralph Dorn Hetzel Memorial Award, which recognizes high scholastic attainment together with participation and leadership in student activities. He received his law degree in 1979 from the Villanova University School of Law.
He began his career as law clerk to Bankruptcy Judge Thomas M. Twardowski (now retired), then served as Clerk of Court of the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the court’s top administrative post. He entered private practice in Philadelphia in 1982, concentrating in the areas of bankruptcy, commercial lending, corporate transactions, and commercial real estate and development. In 2001, he left Fox Rothschild O’Brien & Frankel in Philadelphia to accept appointment to the bankruptcy bench.
Carey is an adjunct professor in the LL.M in Bankruptcy Program at St. John’s University School of Law in New York City and at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law in Philadelphia. He is a contributing author to Collier on Bankruptcy and Collier (Commercial) Forms Manual.