Gawker Media has filed for bankruptcy. The specific circumstances leading to that bankruptcy are unique and bizarre. The fact of a media company declaring itself bankrupt, however, is pretty much a commonplace. Under other conditions—even facing down a different, more conventionally motivated lawsuit—Gawker’s bankruptcy process might seem somewhat straightforward.
Obviously the lawsuits facing Gawker are not conventionally motivated ones, as became clear once it was revealed that billionaire investor Peter Thiel, apparently motivated by a decade-long vendetta, is the secret funder of Hulk Hogan’s litigation against the company. The lawyers funded by Thiel look like they will harry Gawker throughout the process—and they have tools with which to do so. But there are constants to this process, things that Gawker can expect as a baseline. We should talk about them.