February 2024

Street Cop Training files for bankruptcy as NJ cops face retraining

Street Cop Training files for bankruptcy as NJ cops face retraining

About 240 New Jersey police officers will have to be retrained next month, more than two years after they attended a 2021 Atlantic City conference that state officials said maligned women and minorities, glorified violence and likely violated state laws.

A Feb. 18 memo from Attorney General Matthew Platkin directed all current law enforcement officers who in any way participated in the October 2021 sessions by Street Cop Training to attend retraining on March 14 in Trenton.

Street Cop Training, an in-person and online police training company that recently filed for bankruptcy, has been listed as a prohibited training agency in nine states, including New Jersey, Illinois and California.

Street Cop Training files for bankruptcy as NJ cops face retraining

Founded in 2012 by former police officer Dennis Benigno, Street Cop Training was the subject of a State Comptroller’s Office investigation after the 2021 conference.

Released in December 2023, the report detailed numerous instances of unconstitutional policing tactics, discriminatory behavior, glorification of violence and denigration of women and minorities during the training event.

“We found so many examples of so many instructors promoting views and tactics that were wildly inappropriate, offensive, discriminatory, harassing, and, in some cases, likely illegal,” acting Comptroller Kevin Walsh said in a December 2023 statement.

Instructors advocated

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When Should a Small Business Owner File for Bankruptcy?

When Should a Small Business Owner File for Bankruptcy?

For small business owners, the decision to file for bankruptcy is often scary, stressful, and intimidating. It’s a critical choice that can have far-reaching implications for both the business and the personal lives of the owners and any employees who work for the business. Sometimes, it’s 100 percent the right choice. But it all depends on how you approach it. 

Understanding the Truth of Bankruptcy

First off, let’s tackle the stigma. Bankruptcy often comes with a shadow of failure, but in reality, it’s a legal tool designed to provide a fresh start. It’s about making a strategic choice to protect what can be saved and to rebuild on a more solid foundation.

As bankruptcy attorney Rowdy G. Williams explains, “We need to get over the notion that bankruptcy is embarrassing or a black mark on who you are as a person. Bankruptcy is a legal and ethical tool that exists to help people escape bad financial situations. See it as a tool – not a mistake.”

When you see bankruptcy as a tool – much like debt can be a tool – it starts to open you

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Mediation in Bankruptcy: A Glimpse | Fox Rothschild LLP

If you were a party to a lawsuit or a contested matter in a bankruptcy proceeding, would you be interested in working towards settlement with the assistance of an impartial third party, that is, a mediator, rather than take on the significant cost of litigation and going to trial? More and more parties in bankruptcy cases are answering this question with a resounding yes.  See generally, Mediation Matters: The Use of Mediation in Large Chapter 11 Cases (Part I), ABI Journal, August 2023.

It is difficult to track the use of mediation in bankruptcy cases, as participation in mediation may occur informally and/or referral to mediation may not appear on the docket.  Reliance on mediation, at least in chapter 11 cases, appears to have been occurring for decades.  The results of a 2009 survey of bankruptcy judges revealed that “81 percent of judges reported using mediation in their chapter 11 cases in some capacity and plan negotiation was the most common reason for mediation.” Id. (citing Ralph Peeples, “The Uses of Mediation in Chapter 11 Cases,” 17 Am. Bankr. Inst. L. Rev. 401, 406 (2009), available at abi.org/members/member-resources/law-review).

More recently, there is a growing trend of reliance on

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Sham Burger King Franchisee Bankruptcy Stuns, but Avoids Harm

A “fraudulent” bankruptcy petition submitted on behalf of a major Burger King franchisee caught lawyers by surprise but showcased the ability of bankruptcy courts to quickly root out shady conduct.

Carrols Corp., the largest Burger King franchisee in the US, had at least five bankruptcy petitions submitted in its name over the past week by an individual with an apparent history of frivolous legal actions. The company quickly said the bankruptcy petitions were fake, and its general counsel said it’s “not a financially troubled company.”

Though abuse of the bankruptcy system isn’t unheard of, the Carrols case was notable for the audacity of the filer, who could face ramifications for his actions.

“I feel like I’ve seen some pretty insane things, but this is new to me,” said Stacy A. Lutkus, a McDermott Will & Emery restructuring partner who worked as a clerk to the judge who oversaw the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy.

Faking Bankruptcy

The Carrols petitions, filed under Chapter 15 of the US bankruptcy code, appear to have been mailed in by Robert W. Johnson of Buffalo, N.Y. Johnson appears to have a prolific history of submitting pro se lawsuits, including against Donald Trump, Meta Platform Inc.‘s Facebook,

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Bankruptcy Filings Spark Questions About Restaurant Franchisee Outlook | Franchise Insights


Emilee Wentland

Filing for bankruptcy is a last resort for franchisees. There are often a variety of remedies franchisees can try before taking that step, Lathrop GPM attorney Robert Haupt said. “You can be a bankruptcy-eligible client, who has no intention of filing for bankruptcy, or you could walk into my office and say, ‘Hey, I need a bankruptcy.’ And I’ll say, well, not so fast,” Haupt said.

At any given time, Haupt could be dealing with hundreds of bankruptcy cases at varying stages in the process. In 2023, attorneys noticed more franchisees filing for bankruptcy compared to recent years. Three major Burger King franchisees, among others, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

An 8.7 percent increase in systemwide sales at Burger King in 2022 shows macro sales growth for the brand with nearly 20,000 stores across the globe. But the three franchisees that filed last year cited slower foot traffic, higher costs and low sales.

Franchisees TOMS King, Meridian Restaurants Unlimited and Premier Kings filed for bankruptcy in 2023, for a total of 278 Burger King restaurants impacted. Premier’s sibling company, Premier Cajun Kings, owned 30 Popeyes, 11 of which closed before it filed March

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