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Greenebaum Adopts Certification Policy Grows with ABC ABI Support

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At a recent meeting of its bankruptcy practice group, Greenebaum Doll & McDonald PLLC adopted a policy of enabling all of its members and associates to obtain certification in business bankruptcy after they become eligible by virtue of their experience. This development at the Louisville, Ky.-based firm is a part of a larger picture of Greenebaum's growth in recent years into a regional firm with a national insolvency practice tied closely to the American Board of Certification and the American Bankruptcy Institute.

Greenebaum is a regional firm of 185 attorneys located in eight cities in Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and the District of Columbia. With a national practice in several fields including bankruptcy, Greenebaum seeks to be both locally accessible and nationally connected. Its attorneys are licensed in more than 22 states and several international jurisdictions, so the certification policy was a logical next step, according to practice group head John W. Ames. Mr. Ames, an early member of the ABC Board and currently an ABI Director and Secretary, says, "This decision reflects a desire to provide clients with assurance that our standards promote the best practices available for a national bankruptcy practice."

Lawrence R. Ahern III, member in charge of the Nashville, Tenn., office of the firm and also a member of its Bankruptcy Group, initiated Greenebaum's certification policy and echoed Mr. Ames' sentiments. Mr. Ahern is a director of both ABI and ABC, and like Mr. Ames is a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy. He coordinated the Tennessee Bar Association's support for the 1994 adoption of a specialist certification program that requires national certification by the ABC and other national ABA-accredited agencies. He became one of the first attorneys certified in Tennessee and later chaired the Tennessee Commission on CLE and Specialization for six years.

Mr. Ahern joined Greenebaum in 2002, bringing with him 30 years of experience in the fields of bankruptcy and insolvency. Just prior to joining the firm, he had spent a semester writing and teaching full-time in law school. "Such a career change was bound to be challenging," Mr. Ahern says, "but John Ames and I had shared experiences in the ABC, the ABI and the College and worked together on cases for several years. This firm's insolvency group presented a great opportunity to develop my practice on a broader scale. For the firm to support certification of all its bankruptcy practitioners was not a small commitment, and it affirmed my perception of what we are about." In January, Mr. Ahern was joined in the Nashville office by David W. Houston IV, who followed him from their former firm in Nashville. Mr. Houston is the son of Northern District of Mississippi Bankruptcy Judge David W. Houston III, who was the judicial chair of ABI's Southeastern Bankruptcy Workshop for its first eight years. He likewise was attracted by the opportunity to develop his career with the support of the larger firm and the people at Greenebaum. A 2000 graduate of the University of Mississippi law school, Mr. Houston says, "The firm is already working with me to seek certification next year. This is one of many things that confirmed my decision to become an associate here."

Another ABI member, Richard Boydston, also joined Greenebaum in January. Mr. Boydston's application for certification is pending, and he says the firm's new policy also fits his career goals. The senior bankruptcy practitioner in the firm's large Greater Cincinnati offices, Mr. Boydston also seeks to take his successful practice to a new level. "I was delighted to learn about the certification policy of this firm, and I value the opportunity to let clients and other attorneys nationwide know what we have here," Mr. Boydston says.

Mr. Ames is justifiably proud of these developments and notes that the practice group meetings now are seeing more than a dozen regular attendees. Other members of the firm's Bankruptcy Practice Group include Louisville ABI members Michael G. Shaikun, Claude R. "Chip" Bowles Jr. (also ABC-certified in business bankruptcy) and Andrew D. Stosberg, and Lexington, Ky., ABI member Gregory R. Schaaf. "This growth allows us to support our national practice from all the larger offices of the firm," says Mr. Ames, a former Marine Corps officer in Vietnam who brings a disciplined approach to the group's practice. "We have the ability to pull people from across the firm in a 'task force' model to represent clients nationally."

Six Additional Attorneys Gain Board Certification

Consumer Bankruptcy

Louis X. Amato
Louis X. Amato P.A.
Naples, Fla.

Kimberly Bedigian
Charles J. Schneider PC
Livonia, Mich.

Francisco J. Ramos-Gonzalez
Francisco J. Ramos & Asociados
Hato Rey, P.R.

Business Bankruptcy

Robert A. Guy
Waller Lansden Dortch & David
Nashville, Tenn.

Victoria L. Nelson
Santoro, Driggs, Walch, Kearney, Johnson & Thompson
Las Vegas

Alan D. Smith
Perkins Coie LLP
Seattle

Exam Dates

April 15, 2004
Washington, D.C.

April 15, 2004
Chicago

April 22, 2004
Boston

July 28, 2004
Lake Oconee, Ga.

September 9, 2004
Las Vegas

October 10, 2004
Nashville, Tenn.

November 11, 2004
New York

December 2, 2004
Scottsdale, Ariz.

Journal Date: 
Thursday, April 1, 2004

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