Letter to the Editor . . .

To the Editor:

Few Detroit lawyers who see the love story “Brooklyn” currently showing in movie houses will recognize the reference to bankruptcy law and Detroit lawyers. The movie is about the adventures of Ellis Lacey in the early 1950s, immigrating to Brooklyn, then back to Ireland, and eventually returning to America. In an early scene, Ellis is seen in a night class studying bookkeeping. The lecturer makes reference to a United States Supreme Court case, Taylor v. Standard Gas and Electric Co. and the Deep Rock Doctrine. The Doctrine is an equitable principle allowing for the bankruptcy court to subordinate the debt owed to a controlling stockholder by a wholly owned insolvent subsidiary.

The novel does not include this episode. On inquiry, the screenwriter said he Googled to see if he could find what a lecturer on company law might conceivably have been talking about in the 1950s. Authenticity, he
said, was important to him.

The Detroit connection is that Taylor, the priority creditor, was represented by Jason Honigman and Milton Miller, founding partners of Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn.

What a wonderful bit of trivia, even if only ephemera.

— Judge Avern Cohn


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