14 February 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – On February 10, Maria Vullo testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the pending bankruptcy reform bill and specifically an amendment that would make judgments under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act nondischargeable in bankruptcy. This was the second time that Maria testified before Congress on this issue. I
n 1999, Maria and a team of Paul, Weiss lawyers won a $109-million jury verdict against anti-abortion activists who made threats against abortion providers, and six of the 12 individual defendants in the case subsequently filed for bankruptcy in an effort to avoid paying the judgment. Although Paul, Weiss has won the issue in all six bankruptcy courts, Maria’s testimony before Congress focussed on the abuse of the bankruptcy laws by requiring relitigation of the same issue.
During her testimony, Maria stated, “Whatever one’s position on abortion, we can all agree that criminals should not get away with acts of violence and threats of violence…Allowing these defendants to abuse the bankruptcy process to delay enforcement of this judgment totally undermines the effective enforcement of the FACE statute and the true purposes of the Bankruptcy Code.”