All Events at Annual Spring Meeting 2019

Schedule at a Glance    

2019 Annual Spring Meeting THURSDAY SCHEDULE
2019 Annual Spring Meeting Friday Schdule
  • Optional Event: 5K Fun Run

    • 6:00-7:00 a.m.
  • Welcome Remarks

    • 8:20-8:30 a.m.
  • Plenary Session

    ABI Talks

    This year the conference opens with ABI Talks, one of our highest-rated programs ever! Based on the incredibly popular “TED Talks” format, ABI Talks address diverse and interesting bankruptcy topics. If you consider yourself a bankruptcy guru, or just want to be one, you will not want to miss this featured session!

    Litigation Financing with Other People's Money: Innovation to Level the Playing Field, or Ethically Suspect?

    Andrew J. Nazar
    Polsinelli; Kansas City, Mo.

    Words Matter

    In contracts, pleadings, written correspondence and oral communications, words matter.

    Teresa C. Kohl
    SSG Capital Advisors, LLC; West Conshohocken, Pa.

    It's My Right, and I'll Waive if I Want To

    Michael P. Richman
    Steinhilber Swanson LLP; Madison, Wis.

    Coerced Debt: The Other Domestic Violence

    Alane A. Becket
    Becket & Lee, LLP; Malvern, Pa.

    Do All Cases Warrant a Creditors' Committee?

    Hon. Christopher S. Sontchi
    U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. Del.); Wilmington

    • 8:30-9:50 a.m.
  • Concurrent Sessions (4)

    American Crime Stories: Unusual Fraudulent Conveyances, Insider Transactions and Outright Fraud

    A group of trustees, receivers and professionals tell their most interesting stories about uncovered rip-offs and how the perpetrators pulled them off — almost. The panel will then discuss how the cases were dealt with in bankruptcy court and how funds were recovered — or not.

    S. Gregory Hays
    Hays Financial Consulting, LLC; Atlanta

    Soneet R. Kapila
    KapilaMukamal, LLP; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

    Kathy B. Phelps
    Diamond McCarthy LLP; Los Angeles

    Paul S. Singerman
    Berger Singerman LLP; Miami

    Consumer: ABI Consumer Commission Final Report

    The leadership of ABI's Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy releases its Final Report and Recommendations during this panel. The 17-member Commission examined dozens of issues over the last two years. The Final Report focuses on reductions of barriers to entry, enhancing the fresh start and making chapter 13 work for all stakeholders.

    Hon. Eugene R. Wedoff (ret.), Moderator
    Oak Park, Ill.

    Hon. William H. Brown (ret.)
    Carbondale, Colo.

    Prof. Robert M. Lawless
    University of Illinois College of Law; Champaign, Ill.

    Hon. Elizabeth L. Perris (ret.)
    Portland, Ore.

    The Ramifications of Covenant-Lite Structures

    Borrowers have been using relaxed credit agreement and bond covenants to “strip” assets from the collateral/asset pools that lenders think secure them. Neiman Marcus, J.Crew, PetSmart and BC Partners are recent examples. By focusing on these examples, this panel will discuss the covenant-lite structure of today, what the documents really say, who benefits and who gets hurt, and who influences the structure and outcome.

    Roger G. Schwartz, Moderator
    Latham & Watkins LLP; New York

    Sarah Robinson Borders
    King & Spalding; Atlanta

    Hon. Robert D. Drain
    U.S. Bankruptcy Court (S.D.N.Y.); White Plains

    John Greene
    Bardin Hill Investment Partners LP; New York

    Jack F. Williams
    Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP/Georgia State University; Atlanta


    Hosted by the Asset Sales and Ethics & Professional Compensation Committees

    This panel will use hypotheticals to discuss the ethical problems facing counsel and their clients in § 363 sales including collusion, abuses during due diligence, and successor liability.

    Peter J. Barrett, Moderator
    Kutak Rock LLP; Richmond, Va.

    Scott B. Cohen
    Engelman Berger, PC; Phoenix

    Peter J. Roberts
    Fox Rothschild LLP; Chicago

    Cynthia Romano
    CR3 Partners LLC; New York

    • 10:00-11:00 a.m.
  • Concurrent Sessions (3)

    Are Hedge Funds and Private-Equity Firms Different than Other Case Parties?

    This panel, comprised of investment bankers, lawyers and principals of hedge funds, will explore whether, when and how the goals and strategies of hedge funds and private-equity funds in chapter 11 cases differ from those of other creditors, including banks, insurance companies, trade creditors, unions and governmental agencies.

    James R. Savin, Moderator
    Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP; Washington

    David M. Dunn
    Cross Sound Management LLC; Wilton, Conn.

    Michael Genereux
    PJT Partners Inc.; New York

    Mark P. Kronfeld
    BlackRock; New York

    Eli J. Vonnegut
    Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP; New York

    Consumer: All Things 13

    Let our experts guide you through the most important current chapter 13 issues, including (1) is a chapter 7 trustee entitled to a commission on a converted case?; (2) is interest required in a 100 percent chapter 13 plan where not all disposable income is contributed?; (3) is failure to make direct payments on a mortgage grounds for denial of discharge?; and (4) can a debtor employ § 506(d) to avoid a lien in a subsequent chapter 13 case (chapter 20), even though the debtor is not eligible for discharge?

    Hon. Michael A. Fagone
    U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. Me.); Bangor

    James J. Haller
    Haller Law Group; Mundelein, Ill.

    Hon. Michael B. Kaplan
    U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. N.J.); Trenton

    Richardo I. Kilpatrick
    Kilpatrick & Associates, PC; Auburn Hills, Mich.

    Breaking the Log Jam: The Trend Toward Pre-Plan Mediation of Case-Dispositive Disputes in Chapter 11

    Hosted by the Bankruptcy Litigation and Mediation Committees

    Mediating disputes is not new to bankruptcy litigation, but recent years have seen a trend toward pre-plan mediation of key issues in chapter 11 cases that pave the way for asset sales, plan confirmation and an efficient emergence from bankruptcy. Some examples of this include “bet the farm” litigation necessary to fund plan distributions, lien challenges/avoidance claims, claim objections, plan treatment, sale objections, third-party releases and insider claims, and structured dismissals. This panel will discuss the role of UCCs, confidentiality of mediation discussions (especially important on case-dispositive issues if the matter is not resolved), impact of the changing composition of senior lenders from institutions to private-equity and hedge funds, and judicial acceptance and/or encouragement of mediation of key disputes, including the authority to order mediation.

    Jay S. Geller
    Law Office of Jay Geller; Portland, Maine

    Hon. Barbara J. Houser
    U.S. Bankruptcy Court (N.D.Tex.); Dallas

    James R. Irving
    Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP; Louisville, Ky.

    Adrienne K. Walker
    Mintz Levin; Boston

    • 11:30-12:30 a.m.
  • Luncheon

    Featuring Keynote by Bob Woodward

    Sponsored by Burford Capital LLC and Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

    • 12:30-2:10 p.m.

    What Does the Future Hold?

    Hear what our seers think about the economy and specific industries. Will the economy burst? What sectors are likely to be the most challenged? Hear from the panelists on opioid issues, indenture, credit risk, the general economy and more.

    Kathryn A. Coleman, Moderator
    Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP; New York

    James D. Decker
    Guggenheim Securities, LLC; Atlanta

    Marc D. Puntus
    Centerview Partners LLC; New York

    William T. Rule, II
    Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts; Reston, Va.

    Do Corporate Duties Still Exist? A Refresher (and Reminder)

    The panel will discuss the fiduciary duties of officers and directors under Delaware and other applicable state law, including the duty of care and the duty of loyalty, when the business-judgment rule applies to the conduct of officers and directors, and when a higher standard (such as enhanced review or entire fairness) applies their conduct.

    Russell C. Silberglied, Moderator
    Richards, Layton & Finger, PA; Wilmington, Del.

    Hon. Martin R. Barash
    U.S. Bankruptcy Court (C.D. Cal.); Woodland Hills

    Anthony R. Grossi
    Kirkland & Ellis LLP; New York

    Consumer: Pre-Bankruptcy Planning in the Consumer Case

    Knowing the Bankruptcy Code, following the latest case law, and effectively advocating for your client in court are just some of the skills that make a consumer practitioner successful. But much of hard work in making a case successful happens before it is filed. This panel will examine the art of pre-bankruptcy planning in the consumer case, including strategies for marshaling the most accurate information from your client, selecting the chapter that is most appropriate for your client’s situation, and developing a strategy for prosecuting the case.

    Edward C. Boltz
    The Law Offices of John T. Orcutt; Durham, N.C.

    Hannah White Hutman
    Hoover Penrod PLC; Harrisonburg, Va.

    Donald R. Lassman
    Law Office of Donald R. Lassman; Needham, Mass.

    Joshua P. Searcy
    Searcy & Searcy, P.C.; Longview, Texas

    Utilizing New Technology in Chapter 11 Cases

    Hosted by the Business Reorganization and the Emerging Industries and Technologies Committees

    Technology is being used with increasing frequency to enhance the practice of law in complex chapter 11 cases. This panel will discuss the use of cutting-edge technology in chapter 11 cases, including technology to collect and present data, prepare preference analyses, e-discovery, e-balloting and technology in the courtroom. The panel will also discuss some of the challenges caused by technology, and how to avoid “death by data.”

    Kelly DiBlasi
    Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP; New York

    Patrick Mohan
    Reorg Research; Columbia, S.C.

    Christine A. Okike
    Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP; New York

    Jackson D. Toof
    Arent Fox LLP; Washington, D.C.

    • 2:30-3:30 p.m.
  • Plenary Session: 50 Apps in 50 Minutes

    An ABI favorite! Join us while ABI’s own CISO runs through his favorite and most useful apps.

    Karim A. Guirguis
    American Bankruptcy Institute; Alexandria, Va.

    • 4:00-5:00 p.m.
  • ABC Reception

    • 6:00-7:00 p.m.
  • Optional Event: Women’s Networking Reception

    Sponsored by IWIRC

    • 6:00-7:00 p.m.
  • Optional Event: Baseball Night Out:

    Washington Nationals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

    • 6:00-11:00 p.m.
  • Optional Event:“Into the Woods” at Ford’s Theatre

    • 7:30-10:00 p.m.
2019 Annual Spring Meeting Saturday Schedule

    Judicial Round & Round

    Featuring the Judges of the 37th Annual Spring Meeting

    How to Find Hidden Foreign Assets Here and There

    Hosted by the Commercial Fraud and International Committees

    The panel will explore the challenges with foreign asset discovery in chapter 15 proceedings. Most foreign discovery is obtained either pursuant to Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 2004 or through the application of the Hague Convention. But how effective are these methods given the cumbersome and often complicated process of obtaining discovery? Are there more effective and efficient methods toward obtaining these results? Do other foreign jurisdictions have less cumbersome and more expedited processes to propound this type of discovery? The discussion will include: commonly faced issues in obtaining discovery when locating and seizing assets, how to obtain records to determine the financial condition of the parties, and how foreign law may work to limit discovery.

    Patricia A. Redmond, Moderator
    Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Allhadeff & Sitterson, P.A.; Miami

    Ryan W. Blackney
    Freeborn & Peters LLP; Chicago

    Adam Crane
    HSM Chambers; Grand Cayman

    Ian De Witt
    Tanner De Witt; Hong Kong

    Opinion Letters for Bankruptcy Lawyers: What you need to know before issuing a third-party opinion letter.

    Hosted by the Real Estate and Secured Credit Committees

    Bankruptcy lawyers are often times called upon to provide third-party opinion letters in financing and real estate transactions. This session will cover opinion letters that are commonly requested of bankruptcy lawyers including non-consolidation and “authority to file” opinions. This session will also cover best practices and potential pitfalls and liabilities when providing such opinions.

    Eric L. Johnson, Moderator
    Spencer Fane LLP; Kansas City, MO

    Sherry Dreisewerd
    Spencer Fane LLP; St. Louis

    Richard E. Kruger
    Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss; Southfield, Mich.

    Megan W. Murray
    Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC; Tampa, FL

    • 8:30-9:30 a.m.
  • Concurrent Sessions (3)

    Plan and Confirmation Issues: RSAs, Third-Party Releases, Valuation, Classification and Gifting

    Sheryl L. Toby, Moderator
    Dykema Gossett PLLC; Detroit

    Hon. Michelle M. Harner
    U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. Md.); Baltimore

    Michael R. Nestor
    Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP; Wilmington, Del.

    Melissa M. Root
    Jenner & Block; Chicago

    Addressing Environmental Claims and Liabilities in Chapter 11: Administrative Expenses, Third-Party Liability, Abandonment and Brownfield Development

    This panel will discuss what happens when an estate is administratively insolvent, when principals/owners can be liable, reclamation claims and permit-blocking issues, when you can abandon, why secured creditors won’t foreclose, nonprofits’/foundations’ role in clean-ups, and brownfield development. The panelists will then focus on the impact of the Trump administration on these issues, as well as various regulators’ roles (such as the EPA and state regulators).

    Brian S. Hermann, Moderator
    Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP; New York

    Kevin W. Barrett
    Bailey & Glasser LLP; Charleston, W.Va.

    David L. Guevara
    Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP; Indianapolis

    Timothy B. Stallkamp
    Conway MacKenzie, Inc.; Chicago

    Ain’t Misbehaving

    Hosted by the American Board of Certification

    This panel will discuss reported decisions under 11 U.S.C. § 707(b)(4) and FRBP 9011.

    J. Scott Bovitz, Moderator
    Bovitz & Spitzer; Los Angeles

    Wesley Howard Avery, Facilitator
    Law Offices of Wesley H. Avery, APC; Pasadena, CA

    Hon. James M. Carr
    U.S. Bankruptcy Court (S.D. Ind.); Indianapolis

    Hon. David W. Hercher
    U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. Ore.); Portland

    Hon. Jerry C. Oldshue, Jr.
    U.S. Bankruptcy Court (S.D. Ala.); Mobile

    Hon. James J. Tancredi
    U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. Conn.); Hartford

    Hon. Madeleine C. Wanslee
    U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. Ariz.); Phoenix

    • 10:00-11:15 a.m.
  • Concurrent Sessions (3)

    When Adequate Protection Is Not Adequate

    This panel will focus on the most important adequate-protection issues, including current cash payments in the form of legal fees for “secured” creditors, how diminution in value claims for different types of assets are determined, how intercreditor agreements may limit junior secured creditors’ rights to demand and receive adequate protection, and the valuation of assets.

    Mark T. Power, Moderator
    Hahn & Hessen LLP; New York

    Hon. Kevin J. Carey
    U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. Del.); Wilmington

    Julia Frost-Davies
    Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP; Boston

    Michael G. Taylor
    Deloitte; Boston

    The ABCs (and DEFs) of Assignments for the Benefit of Creditors

    ABCs aren’t just for kids anymore! Come join some of the nation’s leading experts as they identify the important building blocks of this tool to liquidate insolvent companies.

    Robbin L. Itkin, Moderator
    DLA Piper; Los Angeles

    Andrew W. Caine
    Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones; Los Angeles

    Peter Hartheimer
    Sherwood Partners, Inc.; New York

    Tobias S. Keller
    San Francisco

    Catherine E. Youngman
    Fox Rothschild LLP; Morristown, N.J.

    Let’s Talk Student Loans (but not Undue Hardship): Other Solutions to Help Your Clients and Get You Paid

    Bankruptcy and student loans do not mix because of Brunner, but as outstanding student loan debt nationwide has risen to $1.5 trillion and climbing, there is a huge need for a solution to the student loan debt crisis. During this session, you will learn the different options student loan debtors have, and identify ways to be compensated for your services. Also, you will receive an inside look from a chapter 7 trustee on how to identify (and hopefully avoid) the pain that could come with a dreaded tuition clawback.

    Alane A. Becket
    Becket & Lee, LLP; Malvern, Pa.

    Mark G. DeGiacomo
    Murtha Cullina LLP; Boston

    Scott S. Markowitz
    Tarter Krinsky & Drogin LLP; New York

    Chad Van Horn
    Van Horn Law Group, P.A.; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

    • 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Optional Event: “Eye on Bankruptcy” Luncheon

    The National Security Implications of Foreign Exfiltration of High-Tech Assets Through Bankruptcy

    Nation-states with adverse interests to the U.S. are increasingly using bankruptcy courts and investment in venture capital firms to secure access to sensitive American technology. Our guest explains how and what bankruptcy courts can do about it in this provocative episode of “Eye on Bankruptcy.”

    Sponsored by McGuireWoods LLP and Robinson & Cole LLP

    Harvey Rishikof

    Chair, Advisory Committee
    ABA Standing Committee on Law and National Security; Washington, D.C.

    • 12:30-2:00 p.m.
  • Concurrent Sessions (2)

    Business Bankruptcy Legal Update

    Alexa J. Kranzley
    Sullivan & Cromwell LLP; New York

    Lindsay Zahradka Milne
    Bernstein Shur; Portland, Maine

    Randye B. Soref
    Polsinelli; Los Angeles

    Gregory W. Werkheiser
    Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP; Wilmington, Del.

    Circuit Splits and Other Hot Topics in the Consumer Arena

    Sarah Edwards
    McGlinchey Stafford, PLLC; New Orleans

    Henry E. Hildebrand, III
    Chapter 13 Trustee; Nashville, Tenn.

    Hon. David W. Houston, III (ret.)
    Mitchell, McNutt & Sams; Aberdeen, Miss.

    Ronald R. Peterson
    Jenner & Block; Chicago

    • 2:15-3:30 p.m.

    Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude

    Hosted by the Legislation and Young & New Members Committees

    The bankruptcy venue statute provides debtors significant discretion in determining where to file a bankruptcy case—in some cases, there may be dozens of jurisdictions that could serve as proper venue. So how do attorneys advise their clients on where to file? This panel will explore the myriad considerations faced by debtors (and indeed, creditors) in determining where a bankruptcy case should be filed, including circuit splits on pertinent areas of law, variations in local rules, and the amorphous “comfort” with some jurisdictions over others.

    Brendan M. Gage, Moderator
    Paul Hastings LLP; Chicago

    James J. Mazza, Jr.
    Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP; Chicago

    Kenneth Pasquale
    Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP; New York

    Lara R. Sheikh
    Thomson Reuters Practical Law; New York

    A Collision of Complex Laws: The Interplay Between and Among State and Federal Regulatory Laws in Health Care Cases

    Hosted by the Commercial & Regulatory Law and Health Care Committees

    This program will probe how state, federal and local laws affect health care bankruptcy cases. The program will address such regulatory schemes as ERISA, state and federal labor laws (with a focus on union issues), state local health care laws, and requisite approval processes for the sale of health care assets and state and local laws concerning reimbursement programs and other aid for the benefit of health care institutions. The program will feature speakers with experience in state, federal and local regulatory laws along with health care insolvency professionals.

    Marc E. Albert
    Stinson Leonard Street LLP; Washington DC

    Hon. Daniel P. Collins
    U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. Ariz.); Phoenix

    Neil F. Luria
    SOLIC Capital; Evanston, Ill.

    Adam C. Rogoff
    Kramer Levin; Boston

    The Continuing Vitality of the Jay Alix Protocol, and Other Issues Related to the Retention of Distressed Management Consultants

    Hosted by the Unsecured Trade Creditors and Financial Advisors & Investment Banking Committees

    This panel will discuss all aspects of the Jay Alix Protocol, including tips for attorneys and advisors for meeting its requirements, and recent bankruptcy court decisions regarding its continuing vitality. The panel will also address other current issues regarding debtors’ retention of distressed management consultants and similar advisors.

    Shante M. George
    Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP; New York

    William H. Henrich
    Getzler Henrich & Associates LLC; New York

    Eve H. Karasik
    Levene, Neale, Bender, Yoo & Brill L.L.P; Los Angeles

    Andrew R. Vara
    Office of the U.S. Trustee; Cleveland

    Hot Topics: The Final Report of the ABI Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy

    Hosted by the Consumer Bankruptcy Committee

    The panelists will discuss the findings of the ABI Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy, focusing on three areas of great interest to the Commission: (1) student loans; (2) how attorneys get paid; and (3) a “reserve fund” for chapter 13s so that debtors can save for unexpected emergency expenses.

    Prof. Bruce A. Markell, Moderator
    Northwestern University School of Law; Chicago

    Michael T. Bates
    JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.; Plano, Texas

    Rudy J. Cerone
    McGlinchey Stafford, PLLC; New Orleans

    Hon. Randall L. Dunn
    U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. Ore.); Portland

    Tara Twomey
    National Consumer Law Center; San Jose, Ca.

    • 4:00-5:00 p.m.

    Dinner sponsored by Gray Reed & McGraw LLP
    Entertainment sponsored by BakerHostetler, Becket & Lee LLP, Fox Rothschild LLP, and Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP

    Almost Queen

    We Will Rock You and your colleagues when you join us for a fun evening of musical entertainment by Almost Queen, THE most authentic Queen live show since the days of Queen themselves. A deliberate four-piece band, Almost Queen delivers a live performance showcasing their signature four-part harmonies and intricate musical interludes while donning genuine costumes. Almost Queen recaptures the energy and precision that is the ultimate Queen experience.

    • 7:00-10:00 p.m.
2019 Annual Spring Meeting SUNDAY SCHEDULE
  • Hot Breakfast

    Sponsored by Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP

    • 8:30-9:00 a.m.
  • Plenary Session: Judges' Hot Topics

    This panel is a great way to stay ahead of your peers and adversaries! The panelists will be up early to present a cutting-edge review of the most important decisions of the day that could impact your practice. If you choose not to sleep in, you will walk away with insightful practice tips and an understanding of what’s hot and what’s not.

    William J. Rochelle, III, Moderator
    American Bankruptcy Institute; New York

    Hon. Hannah L. Blumenstiel
    U.S. Bankruptcy Court (N.D. Cal.); San Francisco

    Hon. Mary Grace Diehl
    U.S. Bankruptcy Court (N. D. Ga.); Atlanta

    Hon. Deborah L. Thorne
    U.S. Bankruptcy Court (N. D. Ill.); Chicago

    • 9:00-10:00 a.m.
  • Coffee Break

    Sponsored by Levene, Neale, Bender, Yoo & Brill L.L.P.

    • 10:00-10:15 a.m.
  • Ethics Program: Leading Issues in Ethics and Civility, In and Out of the Courtroom

    Where is the line between zealous advocacy and unethical conduct? What role does civility play in the legal profession and in our system of justice? How does the practice of civility — even when the judge isn’t there to see it — impact our clients’ interests and our profession? These are just some of the questions this panel will explore as it examines the leading issues in ethical conduct and civility — both in and out of the courtroom.

    James T. Markus, Moderator
    Markus Williams & Young LLC; Denver

    Hon. Bruce A. Harwood
    U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. N.H.); Concord

    David W. Houston, IV
    Burr & Forman LLP; Nashville, Tenn.

    Jerry M. Markowitz
    Markowitz, Ringel, Trusty + Hartog, P.A.; Miami

    Tara E. Nauful
    Beal, LLC; Columbia, S.C.

    • 10:15-11:45 a.m.
11:45 a.m. ADJOURN