Members in the News

Members in the News

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ABI's Law School Committee is chaired by Prof. Robert M. Zinman of St. John's University School of Law (Jamaica, N.Y.) and Christopher F. Graham of Thacher Proffitt & Wood (New York). The committee connects ABI with the academic community and encourages participation among students and law professors.

Mr. Graham has been practicing insolvency-related law in New York since 1982 and is currently chairman of Thacher Proffitt & Wood's Workout and Bankruptcy Group. In his practice, he has worked on all facets of debtor/creditor matters, including chapter 11 reorganizations, litigations, arbitrations, chapter 7 liquidations, liquidations of stockbrokers under the Securities Investor Protection Act, state court liquidations under the Model Business Act and assorted out-of-court restructurings. In the chapter 11 context, he has represented primarily secured creditors but also has acted as counsel to creditors' committees, shareholders' committees, trustees of a debtor, specific committees of interested non-debtor parties including litigants and unions, state regulatory agencies, foreign liquidators in international cases and debtors-in-possession.

Mr. Graham is a recognized authority on chapter 11 cramdown plans and defenses, as well as chapter 13 cramdowns and their effect on mortgage-backed securities, and has been frequently quoted on these topics. He also has lectured on insolvency issues at ABI events.

In 1998, he initiated ABI's Medal of Excellence in Bankruptcy Program, which he still coordinates yearly. He was also a co-founder of both the ABI's Law School and Real Estate Committees. He serves as a current ABI Director, and is a charter member of the New York Association of Bankruptcy Professionals.

Prof. Zinman joined the faculty of St. John's University in 1998 after serving at Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. as vice president and investment counsel. While at MetLife, he served as chairman of the life insurance industry's bankruptcy legislation committee and participated in the drafting of the Bankruptcy Code and its amendments. While practicing law, he was an adjunct professor at Fordham and New York University Schools of Law.

He currently teaches courses in bankruptcy, property and real estate transactions, in addition to the Advanced Bankruptcy Research Seminar. At St. John's, he founded the nation's only Master of Laws program in bankruptcy and served as its first director. Prof. Zinman is a co-faculty advisor for the ABI Law Review, which is edited by students at St. John's. He also is a faculty advisor for the Chief Judge Conrad B. Duberstein National Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition, hosted jointly each year by St. John's and ABI, as well as the university's Real Property Law Society and Bankruptcy Law Society.

Prof. Zinman is a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy and a member of both the American Law Institute and the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, for which he served for three years as a governor. He also belongs to the Executive Committee of the Real Property Section of the New York State Bar Association, and is a co-editor of the New York Real Property Law Journal.

In recognition of Prof. Zinman's years of distinguished service, ABI named its Resident Scholar Program in his honor. The Robert M. Zinman Resident Scholar program, which is supported by the Endowment Fund, brings leading members of the academic community to assist ABI in research and educational activities while on leave from full-time teaching. Prof. Zinman has been an ABI president and chair.

More Members in the News

Gardner Carton & Douglas LLP, a Chicago and Washington, D.C., law firm, announced that Harold L. Kaplan has been appointed as the firm's new chairman. Mr. Kaplan is chair of Gardner Carton's Corporate Restructuring and Financial Institutions Group, as well as head of its Corporate Trust and Bondholder Rights practices. He is admitted to the Illinois and New York bars. Mr. Kaplan has represented indenture trustees and bondholder interests such cases as UAL, Conseco, Kmart, Loral, Mirant, HealthSouth, Fleming, PG&E, USGen New England and Safety-Kleen.

The New York office of Carl Marks & Co. Inc. has relocated. ABI members Mark L. Claster, Stanley B. Frieze, F. Duffield Meyercord and Marc Pfefferle of Carl Marks Consulting Group LLC are now located at 900 Third Ave., 33rd Floor, New York, NY 10022-4775, along with Warren H. Feder and Patrick C. Lagrange of Carl Marks Capital Advisors LLC. Gary D. Bernhardy and Woolard Harris will remain in their respective locations of Darien, Conn. and Concord, N.C. Contact details and information on the services offered by this middle-market merchant bank can be found on their web site at

Selinda A. Melnik announced that she has become affiliated with Edwards & Andell LLP. She recently helped open the firm's Wilmington, Del. office.

Pittsburgh-based Bernstein Law Firm announced it has been named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer for 2004, a designation awarded to the top five percent of Pennsylvania lawyers. Robert S. Bernstein is a managing partner with the firm, which provides counsel in the areas of creditors' rights, bankruptcy, retail and commercial collections, lease enforcement and mortgage foreclosure.

Mitchell H. Cohen, a principal of Gordon Brothers Group LLC in Boston, was inducted into the 15th Class of Fellows of the American College of Bankruptcy on March 19, 2004. Mr. Cohen manages compliance issues and counseled consumer products companies in the structuring, development and implementation of all transactions at the firm He is ABI's Vice President-Membership.

Ronald Barliant, a principal in the law firm of Goldberg, Kohn, Bell, Black, Rosenbloom & Moritz Ltd., has been selected for the 15th Class of the American College of Bankruptcy. Before joining Goldberg Kohn, Barliant served as a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern of District of Illinois from 1988 to 2002. Since joining the firm, Mr. Barliant has represented parties in several large bankruptcy cases, including an indenture trustee with respect to approximately 300 aircraft in the United Airlines case, the senior lender in the RHC/Spacemaster case, and the debtor in Met-Coil Systems Corp.

Pachulski, Stang, Ziehl, Young, Jones & Weintraub PC has formally announced the addition of three new shareholders. Jeffrey W. Dulberg has substantial experience representing debtors, creditors and committees in chapter 11 cases. He has litigated numerous insolvency and commercial matters, including an appeal before the Ninth Circuit BAP. Mr. Dulberg is admitted to practice in California and is resident in the firm's Los Angeles office. Maxim B. Litvak, resident in the firm's San Francisco office, specializes in bankruptcy matters and related commercial litigation. He has represented debtors, trustees, creditors and creditors' committees in numerous bankruptcy cases, out-of-court restructurings and assignments for the benefit of creditors. He has co-authored a number of papers on insolvency issues that have been presented at various seminars and bar association meetings. Mr. Litvak speaks fluent Russian and is admitted to practice in Texas and California. Samuel R. Maizel specializes in bankruptcy matters and related appeals with an emphasis on health care and government contract insolvency issues. His clients include the attorneys general of 46 states and six territories that are parties to the Master Settlement Agreement with the tobacco industry. Formerly, he represented the federal government in bankruptcy, district and appellate courts nationwide. Mr. Maizel has published more than a dozen articles on insolvency issues for numerous publications and is a contributing editor to the ABI Journal's Intensive Care column. He has also lectured extensively and been interviewed on television and radio on numerous bankruptcy topics. He serves as chair of the ABA's Executory Contracts Subcommittee and as co-chair of ABI's Health Care Insolvency Committee. He is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and California, and is resident in the firm's Los Angeles office.

Conway, MacKenzie and Dunleavy (CM&D), Chicago, announced that one of its partners, A. Jeffrey Zapone, has been named one of the "People to Watch - 2004, Business Professionals Making Their Mark," by Turnarounds and Workouts magazine. He was recognized for his achievements regarding an $800 million publicly held company and a $250 million privately held company. The firm also announced that Michael R. Cavanaugh has joined the firm as an associate, providing turnaround and crisis-management services for underperforming businesses in a variety of industries. Mr. Cavanaugh has worked as a credit analyst and is experienced in real estate investment banking. CM&D specializes in turnaround management consulting and performance improvement consulting and litigation support services, and also has offices in Detroit, Dayton, Ohio, and Grand Rapids, Mich.

Arent Fox PLLC announceed that George P. Angelich has joined the firm as an associate in its Financial Restructuring and Bankruptcy Group in the New York office. Mr. Angelich focuses on corporate reorganization and bankruptcy matters and represents committees of unsecured creditors, secured creditors, indenture trustees, unsecured creditors, bondholder and noteholder groups, and other entities in bankruptcy reorganization and liquidation proceedings. Prior to joining Arent Fox, he served as a law clerk, where he gained experience working on such large chapter 11s as WorldCom and Enron.

GE Commercial Finance/Corporate Lending announced that it has expanded its Canadian office in Toronto. Howard Steinberg, who joined GE Commercial Finance/Corporate Lending as senior vice president, will have responsibility for the restructuring business in the Canadian market. Mr. Steinberg was most recently the managing partner at RBC Capital Partners, where he was responsible for managing a wide variety of distressed investments made in many different sectors of the economy.

Joseph F. Myers, principal and managing director of Clear Thinking Group, Hillsborough, N.J., has been retained by BSI Holding Co. (formerly known as Bob's Stores) to serve as its liquidation consultant, facilitating the administration and resolution of BSI's chapter 11 bankruptcy cases. A veteran credit management executive, Mr. Myers leads the firm's Creditors' Rights Practice. Meriden, Conn.-based Bob's Stores filed for chapter 11 protection in Delaware on Oct. 22, 2003.

J. Scott Victor, managing director of SSG Capital Advisors in Philadelphia, was one of 43 fellows inducted into the American College of Bankruptcy on March 19, 2004. Mr. Victor is a founding partner of SSG Capital Advisors L.P., a boutique investment banking firm that specializes in advising financially challenged middle-market companies. Prior to his transition to investment banking in 2000, Mr. Victor was a partner at Saul Ewing LLP and a senior member of its Bankruptcy and Reorganization Department. The firm also has offices in New York and Cleveland.

At the request of the New York Institute of Credit (NYIC), Gerald P. Buccino, chairman and CEO of Buccino & Associates, will join as a panelist at the "Views from the Bench" luncheon on May 13th. The luncheon is part of NYIC's 25th Credit Smorgasbord, which will feature six seminars in categories including banking, asset based lending, factoring, legal issues, accounting and consulting/financial services.

Journal Date: 
Saturday, May 1, 2004