Statutory interpretation 101 — “prejudice” and “reasonable time”

The FDIC repudiated a North Texas office lease as receiver for a failed bank, the landlord sued for unreasonable delay in violation of the statute authorizing the FDIC’s action, and the FDIC defended on the ground that the delay caused no harm in a depressed real estate market and thus could not have been unreasonable.  Building Four Shady Oaks Management LP v. FDIC, No. 12-0080 (Dec. 21, 2012, unpublished).  The district court and Fifth Circuit agreed with the FDIC.  The opinion clearly illustrates basic statutory interpretation and how a factor such as “prejudice” may be incorporated by a statutory term such as “reasonable time.”

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