Program Schedule



MARCH 31 - APRIL 2, 2016

THURSDAY, MARCH 31, 2016 (Morning Session)
8:00 - 9:00

Registration (continued through program) and Continental Breakfast (Registrants only — included in registration fee).

9:00 - 9:05 Welcome by John A. Thomson, Jr.
9:05 - 9:45

A Historical Perspective on Supreme Court Rulings and Their
Impact on Bankruptcy Practice

The Supreme Court has issued a number of important bankruptcy related opinions in the last few terms, including addressing important consumer issues in Bullard v. Hyde Park Savings Bank, Harris v. Viegelhan, and Bank of America v. Caulkett.  In addition, the Court continued to address the jurisdictional reach of Bankruptcy Courts in Wellness Int’l Network, Ltd., et al v. Sharif.  Erwin Chemerinsky, a noted constitutional scholar and dean of the University of California, Irvine law school will discuss bankruptcy related Supreme Court rulings and their impact on the bankruptcy practice. 

SPEAKER:Erwin Chemerinsky

9:45 - 10:25

Individual Debtor Bankruptcy With a Twist of Tax
The presentation will focus on the areas of bankruptcy tax practice that individual debtor attorneys, trustees, and advisors to trustees must know to counsel clients wisely and to avoid serious pitfalls. Topics will include cancellation of indebtedness as income, IRC section 108, IRC section 1398 and the separate entity rules, and discharge of tax obligations in bankruptcy.

SPEAKER: Professor Jack Williams
10:25 - 10:45 Coffee Break (Registrants only — included in registration fee)
10:45 - 11:25

Till There Was Till: The Fluctuating World of Chapter 11 Interest Rates
Much has been written and said about the appropriateness -- or not -- of interest rates and the effect of the muddled Supreme Court decision in Till on chapter 11 plans. Is the Till plurality's "risk free rate plus adjustment" formulation workable in chapter 11 cases? What other tests have courts approved or adopted in deciding what interest rates pass muster under the Code's confirmation standards? This presentation will explore the development and emergence of case law construing Till and judicial efforts to craft methodologies and standards to evaluate chapter 11 cramdown interest rates.

SPEAKER: Russell Blain
11:25 - 12:05

DIP Financing: What’s New; What’s Not; and What’s Coming
Debtor in possession financings cover a wide spectrum – from the standard to the highly complex.  This session will briefly address the basics of DIP financing structures, and provide an overview of the latest developments and trends in the market and in the case law.  Included in this presentation will be a discussion of the latest cases and decisions on roll ups, make whole premiums, and junior priority DIPs, as well as commentary and reaction to the ABI Commission’s recommendations regarding DIP financing.

SPEAKER: Randall Klein

12:05 - 1:25 Lunch (Registrants only — included in registration fee).

10:45 - 12:05


Consumer Litigation Toolbox Breakout Session

Going the Distance:  Litigating to the Supreme Court
We all know bad facts make bad law so how do you decide which case(s) you're going to litigate all the way?  What needs to happen at the bankruptcy court level, the district court level, and the circuit level?  How many times are you willing to bounce around the pinball game that is appeals, remands and reversals before you go to the Big Game?  Once you file an appeal to the Supreme Court, your phone is going to start ringing.  How do you choose your lawyer when so many well qualified litigators start calling and offering to represent you?  Then, you've got the case and you've got the top notch lawyer.  What happens next?  How do you get the Supreme Court's attention and make them grant cert?  If you get it, how involved are you in the strategizing, the brief writing, the argument prep?  What does prep look like? What do you need to know?  All the behind the scenes secrets are up for grabs during this panel.

SPEAKERS: Craig Goldblatt and Mary Viegelahn


THURSDAY, MARCH 31, 2016 (Afternoon Session)

Program A (Chapter 11 Workshop)
1:25 - 2:05

Hot Off the Press – What’s Making News in the World of Business Bankruptcy? 
Bill Rochelle returns for a rapid-fire survey of recent opinions from around the country changing the law for insolvent businesses and their lawyers.

SPEAKER: Bill Rochelle

2:05 - 2:45

Energy in Distress:  A Review of the Oil and Gas Turmoil
2015 saw great turmoil in major segments of the oil and gas industry, and produced a number of bankruptcies and restructurings.  This presentation, featuring a preeminent energy restructuring expert, will provide an overview of the key issues in energy / oil and gas restructurings, a discussion of factors giving rise to this recent down cycle in the market and how those factors have impacted the efforts to restructure energy-related enterprises, and a forecast of what the future holds for bankruptcies and restructurings in the oil and gas industry.

SPEAKER: David Bennett

2:45 - 3:05

Coffee Break (Registrants only — included in registration fee).

3:05 - 4:25

The ABI Commission Report Recommendations: Reactions from the Battle Front
In 2014 the American Bankruptcy Institute Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 issued its long-awaited report and recommendations. Our panel, consisting of an ABI Commissioner, multiple advisory committee members, and other prominent panelists will discuss and debate the virtues of the ABI Commission's proposals, including the recommendations related to Section 363 sales and other significant proposals for the reform of Chapter 11 bankruptcy practice. Our panel will cover the gamut of perspectives -- including those of the chapter 11 debtor, the secured creditor, the creditors' committee, and the bankruptcy bench.

SPEAKER: Lisa Beckerman, Richard Levin, Richard Mikels, Damian Schaible & Judge Michael Williamson

4:30 - 6:30

Cocktail Party (Registrants and Spouses)

Program B (Consumer Workshop)
1:25 - 2:05

Recent Developments in Consumer Bankruptcy Cases

SPEAKER: Judge Brian Lynch

2:05 - 2:45

Exemptions and Lien Avoidance Issues
What  law do you have to use?  When can you object to exemptions and when are you out of luck?  What if the case was converted?  What deadlines apply then?  Does how the property is titled impact the exemptions?  What if there is a nonfiling spouse?  What law governs the burden of proof on exemptions?  How do the costs of sale and avoidable judgment liens impact exemption and valuation issues?  How do you calculate the debt (on what date) for lien avoidance? Can the trustee take advantage of the debtor's lien avoidance?  Should you even file the case?  Does the timing matter?  Know the answer to these questions and more and help your clients keep their house - or make sure the trustee gets it!

SPEAKER:Cathy Moran

2:45 - 3:05 Coffee Break (Registrants only — included in registration fee).
3:05 - 3:45

“Hey! Give me some, too!" – Issues Regarding Claims Allowance
In the months since the 11th Circuit's decision in LVNV vs Crawford, proofs of claims have again taken center stage in consumer bankruptcy cases. This panel will survey the post-Crawford claims litigation landscape , including the use and nuances of statutes of limitations, the availability of state and federal consumer protection statutes, and the use of defensive judicial doctrines.      

SPEAKER: Alane Becket & Johnie Patterson
3:45 - 4:25

The Prize Fighters:  Property of the Estate Issues from All Angles
Just watch or jump into the ring as a Chapter 7 Trustee, a Chapter 13 Trustee, and debtor’s counsel duke it out over various property of the estate issues.  Who gets to keep that partial interest in property?  What about that partnership or LLC interest?  Life insurance, commissions and residuals, PI cases, home equity, trusts, inheritances, tax returns, etc., we will look at all of it.   And if the Trustee will get the asset, should you even file the case?  Does it matter if it’s a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13?  Finally, and perhaps most importantly, are there any novel ways you can protect those assets before you file?


Robert Furr, Cathy Moran & Mary Viegelahn

4:30 - 6:30

Cocktail Reception (Registrants and Spouses)


FRIDAY, APRIL 1, 2016 (Morning Session)
8:00 - 9:00

Continental Breakfast (Registrants only – included in registration fee).

9:00 - 10:00

Moving up to the Big Leagues: Hitting a Hot Issue all the Way to the Supreme Court
Bill Rochelle, well-known commentator and former bankruptcy columnist for Bloomberg News, brings his observations on bankruptcy from his perch in the journalists’ gallery in the Supreme Court of the United States. A bankruptcy lawyer for 35 years prior to his nine years as a Bloomberg columnist, Bill will highlight emerging issues in your business and consumer cases that could take you to the Supreme Court.  He will also discuss how the Court might react to some of today’s hottest issues, based on the Court’s current composition and its historical treatment of bankruptcy issues.

SPEAKER:Bill Rochelle
10:00 - 11:00

Litigating Business Valuation in Bankruptcy: Value is in the Eye of the Beholder
The presentation will focus on the common approaches to valuing a business, including the income, market, and asset approach. Discounts and premia will be addressed.  Finally, the presentation will also discuss the most effective use of financial experts in bankruptcy.

SPEAKER: Professor Jack Williams & Judge Michael Williamson
11:00 - 11:20 Coffee Break (Registrants only — included in registration fee).
11:20 - 12:20

Linking, Tweeting & Liking: Ethical and Professionalism Issues in Social Media.
What are the Professionalism Considerations and Ethical Concerns for Practicing Attorneys Before and After You Link, Tweet and Like?  This Presentation Will Discuss the Issues You Should Be Aware of When Using Social Media.

SPEAKER: Professor Jessica Gabel Cino
12:20 - 1:40

Lunch (Registrants only — included in registration fee).


FRIDAY, APRIL 1, 2016 (Afternoon Session)

Program A (Chapter 11 Workshop)
1:40 - 3:00

Creditors’ Committees: Why they Work; Why they Don’t; Are they Obsolete?
Creditors’ Committees are either the “saving grace” or the “thorn in the side” depending on your (or your client’s) perspective.  Whether and to what extent a creditors’ committee is truly effective, and cost-efficient, in any given case is often a subjective determination.  In addition, in certain capital structures it is debatable whether creditors’ committees even serve their intended function.  Our panel will offer three perspectives:  a bankruptcy judge, a prominent counsel to creditors’ committees, and a leading secured creditors' attorney. The panel will provide a brief overview of the basics of creditor committee formation and function, and discuss and debate the characteristics of effective (and ineffective) committee participation in various types of chapter 11 cases.

SPEAKER: Lisa Beckerman, Judge Elizabeth Brown & Randall Klein
3:00 - 3:20 Coffee Break (Registrants only — included in registration fee).
3:20 - 4:00

Unitranche, AALs and other Creditor Creations: The Latest Trends In Secured Lending and their Impact on Chapter 11 Reorganizations
Secured Lending structures continue to evolve, and with each evolution lenders and borrowers face questions regarding how bankruptcy courts will treat these new structures.  This session will provide an overview of the latest secured lending structures, with particular focus on unitranche credit facilities, agreements among lenders and other intercreditor agreement evolutions.  This discussion will include an analysis of how these new structures are being dealt with in bankruptcy court, including an assessment of the Delaware Bankruptcy Court’s related decisions in the RadioShack Chapter 11 case.  

SPEAKER: Damian Schaible

4:00 - 4:40

Let's Call the Whole Thing Off: Structured Dismissals in Chapter 11 Cases
Debtors often reach a quick resolution of the primary debtor-creditor dispute in a chapter 11 case, leaving the parties searching for less expensive and expeditious settlement implementation. Can the parties bypass the plan confirmation process? Does the bankruptcy court have authority under the Code to effectuate a "structured dismissal"? Can a dismissal order that proposes to pay creditors in a manner different from Code priorities be approved? May a secured creditor "gift" funds to a junior class? How can the rights of other parties in interest be protected? This presentation will explore the development of the structured dismissal concept and the use of gifting to accomplish reorganization goals.

SPEAKER: Russell Blain
Program B (Consumer Workshop)
1:40 - 2:20

Everything Changes and Nothing Stays the Same: Post Confirmation Issues in the Real World
You finally get your case confirmed and settle in for the long haul and then life changes. Sometimes it’s for the better and sometimes things get worse. What happens when the debtor wins the lottery? What if they get a divorce or die? All sorts of things happen in the real world that can impact a confirmed Chapter 13 Plan: a big inheritance, a job loss or change, receiving life insurance proceeds, etc. We’ll look at all of these issues as well as special counsel applications under Section 327, post-petition HOA claims, claims reclassification issues due to foreclosure, surrender, wrecks and other unforeseen life events.

SPEAKER: Judge Brian Lynch & Johnie Patterson
2:20 - 3:00

Student Loans:  What are the various repayment programs and how do they work?
What is the current effect regarding student loan repayment plans and Chapter 7 filings? What is the current effect regarding student loan repayment plans and Chapter 13 filings? Does it matter whether or not the student loan is government backed? How might a debtor make a lender allow the repayment plan to continue post- filing? What Chapter 13 plan language might be effective in this regard? Would this plan language discriminate against other unsecured creditors within the same class? What are the trends regarding hardship discharge of student loans in bankruptcy cases?

SPEAKER: Edward Boltz
3:00 - 3:20 Coffee Break (Registrants only — included in registration fee).
3:20 - 4:00

Death (of a Marriage) and Taxes: Can You Ever Discharge DSOs and Taxes?
Choice of chapter and timing can have huge impact on whether you can get your client's domestic support obligations or tax debt discharged.  We will look at what constitutes a DSO and the dischargability of attorney fees, property settlements, fines and late fees associated with child support.  Does the claimant even need to file a proof of claim?  What other issues are presented by DSO claims?

What about tax claims?  Getting tax issues wrong can mean a malpractice claim against you and huge debt for your client.  We'll discuss how you count the days until the taxes become dischargeable and how those calculations impact the timing of your filing.  We'll also look at interest on IRS claims, the impact of sovereign immunity, the use of 26 U.S.C. § 7433 to obtain civil damages for actions that violate bankruptcy procedure, and resources in the Internal Revenue Code that might actually help your client.

SPEAKER: Cathy Moran
4:00 - 4:40

Mortgage Issues:  Key Issues in Chapter 13
What are the current end of case issues regarding mortgages and Chapter 13 cases? How are post-petition fees and costs being handled? What are the current trends regarding Loan Modifications? Is case dismissal or loan default still a prevalent requirement to obtain a loan modification? Where are we with lien stripping in Chapter 13 cases? Are Chapter 20 cases being litigated? Has the CFPB affected how mortgage companies behave in bankruptcy cases?

SPEAKER:Edward Boltz


SATURDAY, APRIL 2, 2016 (Morning Session)
8:00 - 9:00

Continental Breakfast (Registrants only — included in registration fee).

9:00 - 9:40

Let's Try to Work This Out: Best Practices in Bankruptcy Mediation
Mediation often provides a path to resolution of bankruptcy disputes that is less expensive and more efficient than litigation, and is more likely to lead to a result that reaches the real needs of the parties.  We'll explore some of the basics of mediation, including why and when you should use mediation, how it differs from arbitration, whether the mediator should be appointed by the court or chosen by the parties, and how best to prepare for an effective mediation.  And we'll look at different styles of mediators, and discuss how different styles may lead to different outcomes.

SPEAKER: Richard Mikels
9:40 - 10:20

Same Old, Same Old: What’s New in the World of Avoidance Actions
“Really? My customer finally paid the bill, they still owe us more money, and now I’m getting told I have to give back the money?”  Preferences and fraudulent conveyances are the bread and butter of most trustee practices, but nobody ever feels good about returning money to a bankruptcy estate.  In today’s belt-tightening environment, we will look at what’s new in the age old world of avoidance actions and how to defend against them.  We will talk about what you need to know to bring them – and to defend against them! - efficiently, and cost-effectively.

SPEAKER: Robert Furr
10:20 - 10:40 Coffee Break (Registrants only — included in registration fee).
10:40 - 11:40

Key Ethics Issues for Bankruptcy Attorneys:  A Judge’s Perspective

  1. Professional Applications—Nunc Pro Tunc and Who is a Professional?
  2. Virtual Lawyers—Issues that arise in Consumer cases
  3. The Bankruptcy Attorney’s Duty to Preserve the Firm’s Electronic Records
  4. Duty of Debtor’s Counsel to Certify to No Knowledge of Inaccuracy of Schedules Under §707(B)(4)(D).

SPEAKER: Judge Elizabeth Brown