Conducting written discovery is a crucial part of litigation. It serves an important purpose and is a practical and efficient way to obtain information and documents. Although utilizing written discovery is important and valuable if used properly, how you conduct yourself through the discovery process is also crucial and can have tremendous consequences for your client’s case. If you abuse the discovery process, you expose yourself and your client to sanctions.
Your client is a commercial landlord, whose tenant just filed bankruptcy. The tenant entered into a commercial lease as an individual but operated his business through a corporation. Although this situation may not occur when dealing with big box tenants, it may when dealing with mom-and-pop tenants. Upon execution of the lease, the tenant established a corporation and purchased equipment necessary to operate his business through the corporation. The tenant owns the corporate stocks, while the corporation owns the equipment. The business is unsuccessful, and the tenant, as an individual, is forced to file bankruptcy. In the bankruptcy proceeding, the tenant lists the lease as part of his assets. What happens to the lease in the bankruptcy proceeding?