Bankruptcy Sales Under Section 363: The Business Judgment Test That Judges Often Cite Isn’t Always the One They Use
This post originally appeared in Norton Journal of Bankruptcy Law and Practice.
Bankruptcy court approval is required when a debtor wants to sell property outside the ordinary course of its business. Courts will allow transactions that reﬂect a debtor’s informed business judgment. When courts consider the rationale and evidence a debtor submits, they will sometimes cite the business judgment test as it has been articulated by the Delaware Supreme Court in cases involving consideration of corporate ofﬁcers’ ﬁduciary duties. But, in practice, bankruptcy courts apply a different bankruptcy law business judgment standard when reviewing a debtor’s proposed sale of estate property. In the corporate law context, judges will not question a board’s decision if there is no evidence of ﬂaws in the decision making process. But in the bankruptcy context, judges will make sure a debtor has a valid business reason for the proposed sale of estate property.
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