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Granfinanciera, S.A. v. Nordberg

United States Supreme Court
492 U.S. 33 (1989)


The Chase & Sanborn Corporation filed for reorganization under Chapter 11. In accordance with the company’s plan, Nordberg, the trustee in bankruptcy (plaintiff), sued Granfinanciera, S.A. and Medex, Ltda. (defendants) in federal district court, seeking to avoid allegedly fraudulent conveyances and to recover damages and expenses. The action was referred to the bankruptcy court. Granfinanciera and Medex demanded jury trials. The bankruptcy court denied their requests on the grounds that a suit to recover a fraudulent conveyance was a “core action” not entitled to jury consideration. After a bench trial, the court found Granfinanciera and Medex liable for constructive fraud. The district court affirmed without addressing the jury-trial issue. The Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed on the grounds that no statute ensured a jury trial and that the Seventh Amendment did not provide otherwise because suits to recover fraudulent conveyances are equitable “core proceedings.” Granfinanciera and Medex petitioned the Supreme Court for certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Brennan, J.)

Concurrence (Scalia, J.)

Dissent (White, J.)

Dissent (Blackmun, J.)

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