Petitioners’ Brief, Milavetz, Gallop & Milavetz, P.A. v. United States, nos. 08-1119, 08-1225 (2009)

December 01, 2009
Dechert partner G. Eric Brunstad, Jr. argued in the Supreme Court on December 1, 2009 on behalf of the petitioners in this important First Amendment case. The petitioners challenged several provisions of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention & Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA), which purports to restrict the speech of “debt relief agencies,” including law firms who represent debtors. Among other arguments, petitioners contended that 11 U.S.C. § 526(a)(4), which prohibits an attorney from advising a client to incur debt in contemplation of bankruptcy or to pay an attorney, violates the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech. On March 8, 2010, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in the case, narrowing the scope of the BAPCPA so as to avoid reaching the constitutional question.