Program Schedule


2024 SOUTHEASTERN BANKRUPTCY LAW INSTITUTE
50th ANNUAL SEMINAR
MARCH 14 - 16, 2024

Download/Print the 2024 Digital Brochure

THURSDAY, MARCH 14, 2024 (Morning Session)

7:45 - 8:50 Registration (continued through program) and Continental Breakfast
8:50 - 9:00

Welcome by Jeffrey B. Ellman, President

9:00 - 10:00

Economic Overview - The on-going economic whipsaw of the post-COVID world is unlike anything we have seen in our lifetimes – a recession resulting from the global pandemic, followed by a massive economic recovery, followed by inflation not seen in decades, followed by higher interest rates due to increases by the Federal Reserve. Dr. Tutterow, Chief Economic Advisor for Hennsler Financial and Professor of Economics at Kennesaw State University, will discuss these events, the impact they have had on consumers and businesses, and what they could mean for bankruptcy trends going-forward.

SPEAKER: Dr. Roger Tutterow

10:00 - 11:00

Eligibility, Debt Limits, and Voting, Oh My! The Annual Subchapter V Update - Subchapter V has been around but now the bigger issues are starting to bubble to the surface. This panel of undisputed experts will bring us all up to speed on emerging issues for these small business debtors and creditors. Hot topics include eligibility, debt limits, the role of the Subchapter V Trustee, mediation, creditor votes, feasibility, and more. You’re going to learn a lot, but whatever you do, don’t call it SubV!

SPEAKERS: Hon. Paul W. Bonapfel, Robert J. Keach & Ciara L. Rogers

11:00 - 11:15

Refreshment Break

BREAKOUT
SESSIONS

11:15 - 12:35

Chapter 11 Breakout Session

Chapter 11 Prepackaged Bankruptcies (Could This Be A Model for Subchapter V?) - Traditional business bankruptcies are so expensive and uncertain. If only there were an easier path through. This panel will discuss how prepackaged bankruptcies have become a valuable tool for making the path through a chapter 11 process a quicker and easier one for both the debtor and its constituents. Additionally, Prof. Hampson will discuss some novel ideas around how the prepackaged plan model from chapter 11 cases may be co-opted to make Subchapter V cases more efficient.

SPEAKERS: Prof. Christopher D. Hampson, Charles A. Dale & Laura Davis Jones

BREAKOUT
SESSIONS

11:15 - 12:35

Consumer Litigation Toolbox Breakout Session

You Have the Right to Remain Silent: Helping Your Debtor in Trouble - Often bankruptcy is the least of your clients’ problems. How do you help clients navigate their issues? Should they plead the 5th? How do you handle contempt orders from other courts? Can you help a client with a driver’s license suspension case? This panel will help you navigate the troubled, sometimes criminal, waters in which your clients find themselves.

SPEAKERS: Hon. Austin E. Carter & David Bouchard

12:35 - 1:40

Lunch

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 14, 2024 (Afternoon Sessions)

ELECTIVE PROGRAMS A AND B
Program A (Chapter 11 Workshop)
1:40 - 3:00

The Return of Commercial Real Estate Restructurings - Party like it’s 2008! The combination of rising interest rates, more employees working from home, and the continuing struggles of the brick and mortar retail industry has brought about distress in the commercial real estate market that hasn’t been seen in over a decade. This panel will discuss the current status of the commercial real estate industry, as well as revisit some of the common issues that present themselves in connection with real estate workouts and bankruptcies.

SPEAKER: Robert Unell, R. William Metzger, Jr. & Hon. Paul W. Bonapfel
3:00 - 3:15 Refreshment Break
3:15 - 4:35

Remedies of Last Resort: Lender Strategies for Dealing with Difficult Borrowers - You’ve been reasonable with your defaulted borrower – you’ve expressed a willingness to work with the borrower to find a solution, provided forbearances, maybe provided more funding, entertained short sales, etc. But it’s gotten you nowhere… The borrower’s management and/or owner seem to only care about themselves, and the situation continues to deteriorate to your and other creditors’ detriment. What are you to do? This panel will explore some of the more aggressive remedies that lenders may consider with borrowers who aren’t interested in a consensual resolution (exercise of proxy rights, cash sweeps, foreclosures, etc.), and will provide practical advice on how to avoid incurring lender liability when exercising those remedies.

SPEAKER: Charles A. Dale, P. Miyoko Sato & R. William Metzger, Jr.
Program B (Consumer Workshop)
1:40 - 2:20

Student Loans in Your Bankruptcy Practice - In November 2022, the Department of Justice, in coordination with the Department of Education, issued guidance for U.S. Attorneys handling student loan litigation in bankruptcy cases. In this session, panelists will examine the state of student loan discharge litigation, discuss the core components of the guidance, and address how to navigate the student loan discharge landscape.

SPEAKERS: Vivieon K. Jones & Hon. Sage M. Sigler

2:20 - 3:00

Mortgages: I Need to Keep my House! - Your client’s top priority – for better or worse – is to keep that house. What do you need to know about the mortgage debt? What information can you find on the monthly mortgage statement? How do you handle escrow shortages? What about the response to a final cure notice and who is responsible for filing it? What about that mystery second mortgage your client swears doesn’t exist? Do you need to handle these issues differently for a Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13? This panel will make sure you can help your clients keep the roof over their heads.

SPEAKERS: Edward C. Boltz & Debra L. Miller

3:00 - 3:15 Refreshment Break
3:15 - 3:55

Words of Wisdom from the Mountaintop - Professor Jack Williams has educated generations of bankruptcy students and has been actively involved in countless, significant bankruptcy cases. He has experienced the best and the worst in the world of bankruptcy. With this presentation he will tell us how to improve our practice, better serve our clients, and keep ourselves on the path to the top of the mountain.

SPEAKER: Jack F. Williams

3:55 - 4:35

The Wild, Wild West of Litigation: Wrangling an Adversary - Your client has been sued during the bankruptcy case. Do you come out with guns blazing or are you hiding behind the proverbial bar hoping the issues disappear? After all, you only agreed to file the case, so do you really have to defend the adversary too? Can you withdraw? Can you charge your client more fees? Could you have done anything differently to avoid this duel all together? This panel will help you understand your deadlines and defenses and will keep you from getting caught in the crossfire – or committing malpractice!

SPEAKERS: Scott N. Brown & Edward C. Boltz

THURSDAY, MARCH 14, 2024

4:35 - 6:00

Cocktail Reception (Registrants and Spouses)

6:00 - 9:00

The Painted Pin Bowling Reception - Come test your skills with a few games of tenpin against other SBLI attendees. The winner will receive a $100 gift card and bragging rights for a year. Included with conference registration but space is limited. Prior registration is required!

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 15, 2024 (Morning Sessions)

8:00 - 9:00

Continental Breakfast

9:00 - 10:00

Litigation Skills - Are you a seasoned litigator whose courtroom skills are rusty from the pandemic? Are you a young lawyer still waiting to make your first courtroom appearance? Is your idea of technology in the Courtroom limited to using your cellphone to search the internet? If so, this interactive and engaging litigation/trial practice session will be just what the doctor ordered.

SPEAKERS: Hon. Jeffery W. Cavender & Ciara L. Rogers

10:00 - 11:00

Moths to the Flame: Artificial Intelligence and Client Intake - Artificial Intelligence is all the rage, but will it make your professional life better? How can you use AI to enhance your practice? Can you streamline your intake process with AI? How about using AI to draft a Plan or other pleadings? Other than turning yourself into a feline attorney or citing cases that don’t exist, what are the pitfalls to avoid? Attend this panel for the actual intelligence that will keep you from becoming a victim of artificial intelligence.

SPEAKER: Ross Fishman
11:00 - 11:15 Refreshment Break

11:15 - 12:35

BREAKOUT
SESSIONS

Chapter 11 Breakout Session

Injunctive Relief Post-Taggert - This panel will revisit the Supreme Court's landmark opinion in Taggert v. Lorenzen, and will also explore how the ruling in Taggert has been applied in the intervening five years, including whether its "fair ground of doubt" standard is applicable to violations of the automatic stay and other injunctive provisions of the Bankruptcy Code. Additionally, this panel will discuss other issues applicable to the use (and limitations) of injunctions in bankruptcy proceedings.

SPEAKERS: Joseph C. Celentino, G. Eric Brunstad, Jr. & Hon. Paul M. Baisier

Consumer Litigation Breakout Session

All the News That’s Fit to Print: The Annual Case Law Update, Part I - Sit back, relax, listen and learn about the latest cases in the world of consumer bankruptcy. This dynamic duo of Hank Hildebrand and Mary Beth Ausbrooks will make you feel like you’ve read all the important advance sheets. Don’t miss it!

SPEAKERS: Mary Beth Ausbrooks & Henry E. Hildebrand

12:35 - 1:40

Lunch (Registrants only – included in registration fee).

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 14, 2024 (Afternoon Sessions)

ELECTIVE PROGRAMS A AND B
Program A (Chapter 11 Workshop)
1:40 - 3:00

Are We Done Dancing? An Update on LTL Management, Purdue Pharma, and Other Mass Tort Bankruptcies - In recent years, companies facing mass tort liabilities have increasingly turned to the chapter 11 process to resolve those liabilities, including via a unique provision of Texas corporate law referred to as the “Texas Two Step.” This panel will provide an overview of the recent developments in mass tort cases, including the Third Circuit’s dismissal of LTL Management’s bankruptcy case and the US Trustee’s Supreme Court challenge of the non-consensual third party releases contained in the Purdue Pharma plan, as well as discuss the viability, efficacy, and appropriateness of mass tort bankruptcies going-forward.

SPEAKERS: Hon. Sage M. Sigler, Joseph C. Celentino & Laura Davis Jones

3:00 - 3:15

Refreshment Break

3:15 - 4:35

Schools Out for Summer: Issues in Nonprofit Insolvencies - Panelists will discuss issues that arise out of the distress and workout of higher education, healthcare, and other nonprofit entities that are unique to the nonprofit sector. Panelists will discuss warning signs of distress as well as distinguishing features of schools and other nonprofits that have successfully navigated the challenges.

SPEAKERS: P. Miyoko Sato, Sean M. Harding & Robert J. Keach

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

All the News That’s Fit to Print: The Annual Case Law Update, Part II - You didn’t think they could do it all in an hour, did you? Don’t miss part two of Hank Hildebrand and Mary Beth Ausbrooks telling us about the latest cases in the world of consumer bankruptcy.

SPEAKERS: Mary Beth Ausbrooks & Henry E. Hildebrand

2:20 - 3:00

Opinions in Black Robes: A Consumer Practice Judges Panel - They get to make all the calls during Court, and now they’re going to comment on our performance too! This panel of judges from various jurisdictions will tell us what we are doing wrong and hopefully what we are doing right. Their views matter more than anything else, so this is a must-see panel.

SPEAKERS: Hon. Barbara Ellis-Monro, Hon. Austin E. Carter, Hon. Edward J. Coleman & Hon. Caryl E. Delano

3:00 - 3:15 Refreshment Break
3:15 - 3:55

Keeping the Dollars Rolling In: Marketing your Firm - How do you market a law firm? Do billboards on the side of the interstate work? How much does word of mouth and social media help? What is the best way to keep a queue of good, paying clients at your door? This marketing expert will help you figure out whether or not you need a marketing budget and how to best spend those dollars.

SPEAKER: Ross Fishman
3:55 - 4:35

The Skeleton is Out of the Closet: Handling Emergency Filings - When you file an emergency skeletal case, you stop the foreclosure but you may also create issues for both the client and yourself as the attorney. What remains are in the closet that maybe you didn’t notice before filing? What deadlines did you create and will your client follow through? Can you bifurcate Chapter 7 fees? Do you need an expedited hearing to extend or reimpose the automatic stay? What else is lurking in the closet? This panel will shed some light on those skeletons and help you keep the case alive.

SPEAKERS: Scott N. Brown & Hon. Edward J. Coleman
SATURDAY, MARCH 16, 2024 (Morning Sessions)

8:00 - 9:00

Continental Breakfast

9:00 - 10:00

Supreme Court and Appellate Court Roundup - Latest Developments in Bankruptcy Issues in the Supreme Court and Circuit Courts. Eric Brunstad will discuss recent Supreme Court opinions and pending Supreme Court cases addressing bankruptcy issues and how those cases will affect our practices. Eric will also explore splits among the Circuits on bankruptcy issues, the likelihood of resolution by the Supreme Court, and implications for consumer and business practitioners.

SPEAKER: G. Eric Brunstad, Jr.

10:00 - 11:00

Professionalism: Life in the Fast Lane - We’re all on the road, trying our best, but how do we maintain a consistently high level of professionalism? Please join one of our favorite ethics and professionalism professors, David Lefkowitz, who will partner with Hon. Delano to guide us through scenarios and ethical quandaries that could make you veer off the path. This engaging and interactive panel is not to be missed!

SPEAKERS: Hon. Caryl E. Delano & Jenny K. Mittelman
11:00 - 12:00

Judges Roundtable - Please join us to close out the conference by hearing what issues and topics that our esteemed judges find interesting. This will be open forum where questions and dialogue with conference attendees will be invited and encouraged.

SPEAKERS: Hon. Lisa Ritchey Craig, Hon. Austin E. Carter & Hon. Barbara Ellis-Monro