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The Responsible Use of Technology

JCR Guest Editor

The world continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, and various industries are struggling to pivot or otherwise implement creative solutions to recover from its devastating impacts. In this landscape, restructuring professionals are likely quite busy and becoming even busier as certain regions experience a second wave of coronavirus cases that, inevitably, will further impact the economy regionally, nationally, or even globally.

In this issue, we focus on technology and how to ensure its responsible use even as we harness, leverage, and protect data and intellectual property for the benefit of our clients. We also extend TMA’s impressive coverage and analysis of pre- or early-pandemic business and legal trends via TMA’s Town Hall webinars and ponder their potential implications in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Veteran privacy expert Elizabeth B. Vandesteeg of Sugar Felsenthal Grais & Helsinger LLP and her colleague Kathryn C. Nadro explore vulnerabilities many U.S. companies may face with work largely moving away from the workplace and into employees’ homes. The article offers valuable best practices all businesses—whether clients or our own firms—should consider to ward off security challenges while ensuring confidentiality and privacy.

Economic disruptions and crises often reveal not just structural deficiencies in the financial system, but fraud or other untoward practices people may have employed under the cover of a growing economy. Frank Wisehart of Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP explains how to leverage optical character recognition technology to master massive datasets and thereby track and recover valuable assets in white collar fraud and bankruptcy cases.

My colleague Kandace P. Watson and I revisit the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2019 decision in Mission Products Holdings, Inc. v. Tempnology, LLC and discuss key considerations for companies whose products or business models rely heavily on monetizing protected intellectual property rights. As businesses come back online in greater numbers, they must be ready to react nimbly to business partners that may be experiencing distress or, worse yet, concerns about their own financial sustainability.

Ryan Witthans of Finestone Hayes LLP adeptly summarizes key features of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which became effective on January 1, 2020. As data breaches unfortunately become both more common and potentially more damaging to companies, restructuring professionals must ensure compliance with the CCPA and similar statutes, especially in the context of assuming operations as an independent third party or monetizing data for the benefit of creditors and other stakeholders.

Investors and other shareholders of distressed companies may soon find out how little control they have, not just over a global public health crisis and the economic havoc it can wreak, but over the very companies in which they invested during rosier times. Candice M. Carson and Christopher R. Maddux of Butler Snow LLP review the recent Bankruptcy Court decision in In re Pace Industries, LLC, which held that a shareholder’s attempt to exercise its voting rights to prevent a Chapter 11 filing is contrary to federal public policy. The authors note that the decision may have far-reaching implications as shareholders try to protect their investments in the current environment.

David W. McCombie III of McCombie Group LLC presents timely and instructive suggestions for turnaround professionals involved with operational turnarounds and liquidations of businesses with even a small physical footprint. Highlighting one of the most valuable aspects of TMA and its network of chapters and members around the world, the article recommends that turnaround professionals invest in expanding their existing networks to identify partners and colleagues who can seamlessly support them as they service their clients.

Jeannie Kim

Jeannie Kim

Friedman & Springwater LLP

Jeannie Kim is an associate in the Finance and Bankruptcy Practice Group at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP in San Francisco. Practicing in the areas of bankruptcy, insolvency, and commercial transactions, she represents corporate debtors in possession, secured and unsecured creditors, licensors of intellectual property, official committees, and acquirers of distressed assets. A frequent speaker on business bankruptcy, Kim has been recognized by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, ABI, IWIRC, and Super Lawyers as a rising star.

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