Pastore Sponsors Connecticut Crypto Forum

The Connecticut Crypto Forum has recently been created to advance education and knowledge in this new asset class. The forum will connect large and sophisticated capital pools with leading players and thinkers across the crypto, delfi, and Web 3.0 market to strengthen investor knowledge, understanding, and skill. The mission of the forum is to build a diverse, sophisticated, Connecticut-based community interested in crypto from many angles.

On May 13, 2022, the Connecticut Crypto Forum will be conducting an invite-only session for those interested in the forum to partake in. Pastore LLC is proudly a founder and sponsor of the Connecticut Crypto Forum.

Learn more about Pastore’s Crypto practice




Weighing the Carbon Footprint of Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency (“Crypto”) is a virtual form of currency that functions through a decentralized system to record transactions and uses encryption, rather than an entity such as a bank, to verify transactions.[1] Crypto’s first mark on the digital world was in 2009 through Bitcoin, which remains the best-known form of Crypto today.[2] Crypto is created through a process known as mining, which involves downloading a unique software that contains all transactions that have taken place through that specific network.[3]

Crypto has had a profound effect on the global economy and has altered our world’s view of currency and financial transactions in general. Any investor with access to the internet can purchase cryptocurrency.[4] Additionally, over 15,000 businesses worldwide now accept Crypto as a form of payment, which has altered the availability of transactions to interested purchasers.[5] A study conducted by Forester Consulting on Crypto using the Total Economic Impact methodology demonstrated that 40% of customers that used Crypto as their form of currency were new customers to the merchant, evidencing intriguing information that Crypto is affording access to new transactions to new demographic groups.[6]

Despite the numerous advantages that Crypto has offered globally, Crypto’s high demand comes at the cost of an impact on our environment, which is currently being addressed at a federal executive level. The process of mining all Crypto was initially designed to be capped at 21 million units; however, the number of units available to mine has caused an increase in computation power exerted in order to mint new units of Crypto.[7] The estimated carbon footprint stemming from a single crypto transaction is estimated to burn 2,292.5 kilowatt hours of electricity, which equates to the amount of power the average U.S. household uses over the course of 78 days.[8] No payment system is foolproof in completely abolishing its carbon footprint and CO2 emissions. However, compared   to VISA, which is another payment system, the average Crypto transaction requires 200,000 times more energy consumption.[9]

The substantial footprint of Crypto is acknowledged by the current administration, which has prioritized climate change mitigation. [10] In an Executive Order on “Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets” which took place on March 9, 2022, United States President Joe Biden addresses the resulting environmental pollution from Crypto and Crypto mining and implements a plan alongside many federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency.[11] The Executive Order recognizes the benefits of Crypto financial markets for consumers, investors, and businesses, however addresses the responsibility the United States has to mitigate contributions to climate change and pollution.[12]

To reach these goals and assure that Crypto’s harms to not outweigh its benefits, and to learn more about how to stray away from harms, the Executive Order calls on the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy to prepare a report to the President within 180 days, specifically addressing “the connections between distributed ledger technology and short-, medium-, and long-term economic and energy transitions; the potential for these technologies to impede or advance efforts to tackle climate change at home and abroad; and the impacts these technologies have on the environment…The report should also address the effect of cryptocurrencies’ consensus mechanisms on energy usage, including research into potential mitigating measures and alternative mechanisms of consensus and the design tradeoffs those may entail.[13]

The damages Crypto could potentially have large effects on climate change and the state of our environmental crisis. However, mitigating Crypto pollution is not an impossible feat. Government encouragement in developing sustainable technologies can have social and economic benefits to the Crypto market and remove the serious threat that Crypto can pose to the emission of greenhouse gases and its carbon footprint.[14]

[1]What is Cryptocurrency and How Does it Work?, Kaspersky, “”> (Last visited March 17, 2022)


[3] Jake Frankenfield, Cryptocurrency, Investopedia (Jan. 11, 2022),have%20occurred%20in%20its%20network.

[4] Jim Probasco, What to Know About Investing in Crypto Exchanges, Investopedia (Nov. 30, 2021)

[5]Who Accepts Bitcoin and Ether Cryptocurrencies, Currency Exchange International (May 12, 2021),Microsoft%2C%20AT%26T%2C%20and%20Wikipedia.

[6]Forrester Study Shows Accepting Crypto Attracts New Customers and Boosts AOV, Forrester (Aug. 6, 2020)

[7] John Bogna, What is the Environmental Impact of Cryptocurrency? PCMag (Jan. 8, 2022),household%20for%20over%2078%20days.


[9]Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index, Digiconomist (2022)

[10] Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets (Mar. 9, 2022),

[11] Executive Order, § 5(b)(vi)

[12] Executive Order, § 1

[13] Executive Order, § 5(b)(vii)

[14] Jon Truby, Decarbonizing Bitcoin: Law and Policy Choices for Reducing the Energy Consumption of Blockchain Technologies and Digital Currencies, 44 Energy Rsch. Soc. Sci. 399 (2018) (Discussing the benefits of Crypto and how the harms can be avoided through commitment to positive government intervention choices).

International, Alternative Methods of Service in a Modern, Mid-Pandemic Society

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (the “FRCP”) provide the common process in which an individual may serve another party. The FRCP provides means to achieve proper service of process of an individual located outside of the United States, which differs from serving a national defendant. The FRCP allows a party, in serving an international party, to take measures such as “any internationally agreed means of service that is reasonably calculated to give notice,” “as prescribed by the foreign country’s law for service in that country in an action in its courts of general jurisdiction,” “as the foreign authority directs in response to a letter rogatory or letter of request,” and more.[1] Rule 4(h) provides further for service of process of an international corporation.[2] The Hague Convention has been widely regarded as the as a primary organization to utilize to serve an international party.[3]

While the FRCP rule dictating service of process appears to list a wide range of methods to serve an international party, serving an individual in a different country can raise difficulty in practice, and challenges in doing so have increased. Delays in services of process are common as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, fashioning conditions where serving a party in another country is nearly impossible. It can be ambiguous on how to conduct international service where the methods listed in FRCP Rule 4 have been exhausted.

In Group One Ltd. V. GTE GmbH et al.[4],a recent decision in the Second Circuit, the court weighed in on the issue of international service and reaffirmed prior decisions that the Hague Convention is not the only means one can pursue to successfully serve a foreign party.[5] The court agrees that FRCP Rule 4 controls service of process, however it does not create a hierarchy on the best or most preferable means to serve a foreign defendant.[6] Additionally, it is established that means listed in Rule 4(f) need not be exhausted prior to seeking permission allowing alternative service from the court.[7]

This decision also deliberates E-mail as an alternate means for service under FRCP Rule 4, and the court authorizes this method to serve foreign defendants. [8] It is required that the service is likely to reach the defendant in order to comport with due process, and E-mail service is valid in order to satisfy this requirement. [9] More surprisingly, the court decides that E-mail service may be the most reliable and efficient method to accomplish service, as “[a]lthough emails may get lost in a defendant’s spam folder, compared to postal mail, emails are more reliable.[10]

The pandemic and its global effect has contributed to widespread delays in service of process. While ordinary and anticipated delays will arise while serving a foreign party even in the absence of a global pandemic, the courts do not aim to make serving a foreign party impossible by restricting alternative means to precedent or the plain language of FRCP Rule 4. Today, we are observing courts strive to put plaintiffs serving foreign parties at ease by interpreting service of process rules in a way that takes into account the current state of the world today.

During a time where the pandemic is triggering delays in all realms of everyday life, and the growing age of technology and communication via E-mail, the courts in many jurisdictions have encouraged plaintiffs to use E-mail as an alternative method of service.

[1]Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(f)

[2]Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(h)

[3]Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters, art. 1, Nov. 15 1965, 20 U.S.T. 361, The Hauge Convention

[4]523 F.Supp 3d 323 (E.D.N.Y., 2021)

[5]Id. at 341


[7]Id. at 341


[9]Id. at 344

[10]Id. at 345

Congratulations to Joseph M. Pastore III, Recipient of the 2022 AV Preeminent Rating Award

Pastore LLC proudly announces that for the 12th consecutive year, Martindale-Avvo has awarded the 2022 AV Preeminent Rating to Managing Partner, Joseph M. Pastore III. This honor is the highest possible rating in both legal ability, and ethical standards a practicing attorney can receive. Mr. Pastore has received this honorable award resulting from his dedication to ethical practices, work ethic, and legal abilities he commits to each day as a practicing attorney.

Bankruptcy Court Holds the Plain Meaning of a Security Agreement Dictates


A civil action was recently disputed in which Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico (“GDB”) sought to have the obligations owed to it prioritized over the bond agreements previously executed by the Puerto Rico Highway and Transportation Authority (“HTA”). The court in this case held that the “waterfall provisions” contained within the bond agreements were sufficiently specific to uphold the seniority of the bond obligations owed by HTA over the more recent obligations owed by the HTA to the GDB.

Puerto Rico (the “Commonwealth”), together with HTA began restructuring proceedings as a part of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (“PROMESA”). At the time, HTA had roughly $4 billion in outstanding bond claims, and $2 billion in outstanding loan claims. HTA issued bonds in two parts and under bond resolutions dated 1968 and 1998. These resolutions stated that the bonds issued in 1968 had payment priority over the bonds issued in 1998, and any subsequent debt obligations undertaken by the HTA would be subordinated to both tranches of bonds.

Beginning in 2008, GDB entered into a series of intragovernmental agreements through which they loaned $2 billion to the HTA to continue their complete restructuring under PROMESA. These loans were evidenced by a series of loan agreements. Additionally, as a part of these transactions, GDB and the HTA executed an assignment and security agreement (collectively, the “Security Agreement”), pursuant to which HTA purported to assign certain excise taxes to GDB and granted a security interest in those taxes to secure GDB’s loan claims. These loan claims were later transferred to the GDB Debt Recovery Authority (“DRA”) as part of a consensual restructuring proceeding for GDB under Title VI of PROMESA. The Security Agreement was subject to Puerto Rico Acts 30 and 31 of 2012, which stated that taxed imposed must be used for the payment of principal and interest on any obligations or bonds of HTA.

In 2021, the Commonwealth filed an adjustment plan which provided that HTA bondholder’s payments were subordinate to the DRA’s payments. The collateral monitor and servicer for DRA debt filed a suit against the bondholders, stating that under Acts 30 and 31, the payments owed to them as HTA bondholders were subordinate to any payments owed to GDB under the GDB loans to the HTA.

The United States Bankruptcy Court (the “Court”) held that DRA’s claims did not subordinate HTA bonds, and the waterfall provisions dictated, despite Acts 30 and 31. The Court’s reasoning was that the Security Agreement “unambiguously prioritize[d] Bond payments by establishing a waterfall (or ‘turnover’) mechanism.” In making this observation, the Court further opined that “the plain text of the subordination provisions referred only to “outstanding bonds” issued under the bond resolutions, not to future bonds,” and thus, any debts or bonds incurred or issued subsequent to the 1968 and 1998 agreements was junior to those two initial encumbrances. The Court concluded with: “whatever distinctions may be evident or reasonably inferred in other contexts are precluded here by the plain language of the Security Agreement.”

In this case, having found that the contractual language of the 1968 and the 1998 agreements unambiguously and affirmatively subordinated DRA’s loans to all of the bonds issued by the HTA, the Court dismissed all the counts of DRA’s complaint that sought declaratory relief to prioritize their loans over HTA’s bond obligations.

Id. at *6.
Id. Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act, Pub. L. No. 114-187 (2016).
What’s in a Name? Court Holds that Despite it’s Title, a Security Agreement Also Subordinated Junior Creditor’s Rights to Payment, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP (Dec. 1, 2021)
AmeriNational Community Services, LLC v. Ambac Assurance Corp. (in re Fin. Oversight & Mgmt Bd. For P.R.), Adv. Proc. No. 21-00068-LTS, 2021 WL 5121892, at *2 (Bankr. P.R. Oct. 29, 2021).
Id. at *2.
Id. at *3.
Id. at *4.
Id. at *3.
Id. at *4.
Id. at *3.
Id. at *5.
Id. at *10.
Id. at *9.
Id. at *10.
Id. at *8.

Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities, COVID-19, and the New Potential Systematic Risk

A commercial mortgage-backed security (“CMBS”) is a group of bonds comprised of commercial real estate loans commonly contained in trusts which are then sold to investors.[1] As of 2020, the largest loan contributors to the CMBS market include large banks, such as Citibank, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America.[2] The commercial property loans securitized by CMBS are generally compromised of commercial properties such as apartment buildings, hotels, factories, office buildings and parks, or shopping malls.[3] These bundles of bonds are also referred to as tranches.[4] CMBS loans are ranked – those with the highest rating have the lowest risk, and those with the lowest rating have the highest risk.[5] Lower risked bonds are known as senior issue, and higher risk bonds are known as junior issue.[6] After the bonds are sold, the bank receives the money from the sale.[7] The bank then lends these proceeds to a subsequent borrower to collect additional fees.[8]

Investing in CMBS poses a lower risk to borrowers than a residential mortgage-backed security (“RMBS”) loan because commercial mortgages typically have a fixed term.[9]  CMBS loans are also compromised of fewer loans than RMBS loans.[10] Many investors seek out this loan because they are interested in obtaining property for an extended period of time and CBMS loans provide lower interest rates.[11] Other incentives of CMBS loans include a higher leverage financing, and CMBS loans are nonrecourse loans, and thus have a wider range of accessibility, because investors with lower credit are more readily able to obtain these loans. [12]

Although there are numerous advantages of CMBS loans, there are several disadvantages tied to a CMBS loan investment. First, these loans have prepayment penalties, which penalize a borrower for paying back a loan outside of the fixed term, even in the circumstance where the borrower pays the loan back earlier than the predetermined date.[13] Second, CMBS loans go through a defeasance profess before prepayment, which can be a painstaking process involving the borrower consulting with a financial advisor in order to set up alternative securities to replace any collateral and interest that the lender no longer is obligated to.[14] Lastly, the terms of CMBS loans are more difficult to negotiate, and a borrower has little or no say in the terms of the loans.[15]

The CMBS market has been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. A shift towards working from home has created a failure of roughly $5.5 billion commercial mortgage loans since the summer of 2020.[16] The delinquency rate of CMBS loans in June 2020 was reported to be 10.32%. [17] The delinquency rate continued to increase during October of 2020, during the second wave of the pandemic.[18] The trends of CMBS loans due to the financial crisis that the pandemic has caused are almost identical to the trends of CMBS loans during the 2012 financial crisis, which poses an alarming issue when considering the impact the 2012 crisis had on the CMBS market.[19] The rise of delinquency rates is directly correlated to the effects that COVID-19 has had on commercial real estate: apartment owners, retail owners, restaurants, and hotels are bringing in substantially less income, and are left unable to pay mortgage and other commercial property-related debts.[20]

The last financial crisis in 2012 led to grave delinquencies in the CMBS market, which may signal that the CMBS market will undergo similar disruption in the future, indicative of a similar systemic risk.[21] However, much has been learned from former financial crises and the risks they pose on all types of mortgage backed-security loans, to avoid unnecessary risk in the CMBS market. Congress enacted the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act after the 2007-2008 financial crisis, which affects CMBS by “including risk-retention requirements for asset-backed security sponsors, increased disclosure requirements, the Volcker Rule and enhanced capitalization requirements for banks.”[22]

These protective measures are an attempt to make the CMBS market a safer space for investors by decreasing the systematic risk that the CMBS market decline may have on the overall economy.[23] An unforeseen consequence has been an increase in the price of entry into the CMBS market which affects retail investors, and aspects such as the Volcker Rule, which decreases market liquidity and restricts proprietary trading by preventing a bank from holding inventories of secondary market securities and disallowing a banks from investing in real estate.[24]

While the effects from the COVID-19 pandemic may affect the CMBS market and make these loans less accessible to borrowers, overall, the Dodd-Frank reforms have likely mitigated a majority of the risk to the CMBS market directly tied to COVID-19 and will provide a lasting benefit by decreasing this systematic risk impacting the overall economy.

[1] Owen Haney, The Virus, Risk, and Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities: Examining Dodd-Frank’s Impact in the Midst of a Pandemic, 26 Fordham J. Corp. & Fin. L. 391, 394 (2021)


[3]Carol M. Kopp, Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities (CMBS), Investopedia, (October 25, 2020),

[4]Thomas Kenny, What are Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities?, The Balance, (October 7, 2021),





[9]Carol M. Kopp, Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities (CMBS), Investopedia, (October 25, 2020),

[10]Maegan E. O’Rourke, The New Normal: How the Dodd-Frank Risk Retention Rules Affect the Future of CMBS, 51 Suffolk Univ. L. Rev. 77, 81-82 (2018).

[11]Understanding CMBS and CLO Markets, Signet Investments, “” (Last visited November 6 2021)

[12]Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities (CMBS): A guide, Quicken Loans (January 27, 2021),




[16]Dorothy Neufield, Commercial Mortgage Delinquencies Near Record Levels, Visual Capitalist (July 16, 2020),

[17]U.S. CMBS Delinquencies Resume Increase in October, Fitch Ratings (November 6, 2020), “”


[19]Owen Haney, The Virus, Risk, and Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities: Examining Dodd-Frank’s Impact in the Midst of a Pandemic, 26 Fordham J. Corp. & Fin. L. 391, 394 (2021)

[20] Peter J. Irwin et al., CMBS Loan Workouts During COVID-19: A Borrower’s Perspective, Debevoise & Plimpton (May 14, 2020),

[21]Steven L. Schwarcz, Systematic Regulation of Systematic Risk, 2019 Wis. L. Rev. 1, 1 (2019).

[22]Owen Haney, The Virus, Risk, And Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities: Examining Dodd-Frank’s Impact in the Midst of a Pandemic, 26 Fordham J. Corp. & Fin. L. 391, 401 (2021)

[23]Craig Furfine, The Impact of Risk Retention Regulation on the Underwriting of Securitized Mortgages, 58 J. FIN. SERVS. RSCH. 91, 93 (2020).

[24]Volcker Rule, The Real Estate Round Table (Last visited November 6, 2021)