Author Archives: maronson

The Bankruptcy Question for Small Businesses Affected by the COVID-19 Shutdown

The Bankruptcy Question for Small Businesses Affected by the COVID-19 Shutdown

Do you have a small business that is severely impacted by the COVID-19 Shelter In Place orders?
Have your PPP, EIDL or other SBA loans been held up or denied?
What will happen to your business when the stay on evictions is lifted?
Should you be using personal funds or retirement funds to support your business?
Are your negotiations with your landlord not going well?

If you are pondering these questions for your business you might consider whether a reorganization bankruptcy might help. Why?

Right now and for the short-term future, California has implemented a “no eviction” emergency order by way of an emergency rule of court that prohibits the issuances of summons for eviction of all types, residential or commercial. Other laws make it unlawful for landlords to begin a residential eviction during an emergency (Cal. Penal Code § 396(f)).

This safe harbor for tenants will not last forever. It can’t. Landlords continue to be pressured by their lenders to pay mortgages while at the same time tenants are not paying rent.  Large law firms are offering to throw matters into litigation, at your cost.

This safe harbor for tenants will not last forever. It can’t. Landlords continue to be pressured by their lenders to pay mortgages while at the same time tenants are not paying rent. Large law firms are offering to throw matters into litigation, at your cost. There has been talk recently, of raising the stay on evictions. When – not if – that happens, it is likely there will be an onslaught of eviction lawsuits, which under California law can be brought to conclusion in as little as two weeks to several months. Commercial tenants who might consider bankruptcy “down the road” will have missed a precious opportunity to plan ahead of time.

In Bankruptcy, Timing is Everything

The truth is that some businesses should be contemplating bankruptcy now. Bankruptcy planning, like tax planning, should occur in the months leading up to the filing, not on the eve of filing. A reorganization bankruptcy is a complex mechanism that comes with powerful tools to help the debtor in possession, but it is not something that should be thrown together last minute. With proper planning, a commercial enterprise might even avoid filing bankruptcy, but that sometimes depends on whether creditors view the potential bankruptcy as a credible threat. And frankly, a commercial tenant ought to consider whether it might be advantageous to be in front of a bankruptcy court rather than a state court arguing for excuse from performance on a lease or contract. State courts are often faced with a variety of cases including criminal and family disputes, whereas federal bankruptcy judges are experts in financial matters and how to get a reorganization accomplished successfully.

Law Offices of Brian Irion is a debt relief agency that helps businesses and people under the Bankruptcy Code. We highly recommend – and will require all possible debtors who are our clients to review – among other things – the disclosures required by 11 USC § 342, ,11 USC § 527, and 11 USC § 528.

District Court Dismisses Securities Class Action

On September 21, 2016, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati secured a dismissal with prejudice on behalf of root9B Technologies, a provider of cybersecurity products and services, and its CEO and former CFO in a securities class action in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. The plaintiff’s complaint alleged that root9B had made false statements regarding its proprietary hardware and software and falsely claimed that the source of a cyberattack it thwarted was the infamous Russian hacking group called “Sofacy” or “APT28.” The plaintiff’s allegations were based on an article published on SeekingAlpha by an anonymous author called “Pump Stopper,” a prolific short seller, and an article published by Brian Krebs, a cybersecurity journalist.

The defendants filed a motion to dismiss, challenging the sufficiency of the plaintiff’s allegations that the challenged statements were false or misleading, that the defendant acted with the required state of mind to support allegations of fraud (called “scienter”), and that the plaintiff had adequately alleged loss causation with respect to any challenged statement. The magistrate judge performing an initial review of the defendants’ motion to dismiss found that several of the plaintiff’s allegations were sufficient to state claims for securities fraud and issued a recommendation denying the defendants’ motion to dismiss. On behalf of the defendants, WSGR filed objections challenging the magistrate’s recommendation with the chief judge of the district court. Ultimately, the chief judge declined to adopt the magistrate judge’s recommendations and instead granted dismissal of all of the plaintiff’s claims without leave to amend. In its decision, the court held that the plaintiff had failed to plead sufficient facts demonstrating that any challenged statements were false or misleading. The court also expressed doubts that the plaintiff’s scienter and loss causation allegations were sufficient to state a claim.

The WSGR team representing root9B Technologies in the matter included partners Nicki Locker and Steve Guggenheim and associates Joni OstlerEvan Seite, and Drew Liming.

For more information, please refer to the court’s opinion.

Brian Irion


Brian Irion

Brian was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1985 and has been in state trial courts, in administrative hearings, before arbitration panels, in bankruptcy courts, in federal district courts, and before appellate courts ever since.

Before forming his own firm, he practiced with a number of small and large firms including Wilson, Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Palo Alto, McKenna & Fitting in San Francisco, and Cohen, England & Whitfield in Ventura County.


  • J.D. University of California at Davis, 1985
  • B.A. University of California at Davis (Economics), 1982


  • State Bar of California 1985
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California 1985
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California 1986
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California 1989
  • U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals 1993

Professional and Community Associations

Bankruptcy Publications

(for a complete list of Brian’s publications, visit Publications.)

lorrie_murphyLorrie Murphy

Lorrie Murphy is LOBI’s chief paralegal and secretary.  She is a certified paralegal and has been working with Brian Irion for over 10 years.



laura_knappLaura Knapp

Laura Knapp is the office manager and bookkeeper for LOBI.  She maintains the books and records of client funds, invoices and other financial records.


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