2017 Bankruptcy Battleground West

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2017 Bankruptcy Battleground West

March 21, 2017 JW Marriott LA LIVE, Los Angeles, CA

Now in its 25th year, ABI’s Bankruptcy Battleground West continues its tradition of bringing seasoned insolvency professionals together to discuss the leading issues of bankruptcy law, with a focus on the Southern California region. This year’s program once again offers concurrent sessions on a variety of insolvency topics, making this a conference you will not want to miss!


Event Information 243517

Tuesday, March 21

8:00-9:00 a.m.

Breakfast and Registration

The Advisory Board welcomes you to a complimentary continental breakfast.

9:00-9:15 a.m.

Welcome by Conference Leadership

9:15-10:30 a.m.

“Shark Tank”

In a riff on the popular television show “Shark Tank,” bankruptcy practitioners will pitch a panel of judicial “sharks” for requested modifications to recent Supreme Court/circuit-level decisions and other topical bankruptcy issues, including (1) structured settlements and the absolute priority rule in the wake of In re Jevic Holding Corp. (cert. granted), (2) the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act controversy from Johnson v. Midland Funding (cert. granted), (3) the circuit split regarding § 546(e)’s safe harbor clause, (4) the recent Ninth Circuit ruling in Sunnyslope Housing and (5) why the Southern District of Texas got it right in large chapter 11 cases.


Hon. Martin R. Barash

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (C.D. Cal.); Woodland Hills

Hon. Hannah L. Blumenstiel

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (N.D. Cal.); San Francisco

Hon. Mark D. Houle

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (C.D. Cal.); Riverside

Hon. Deborah J. Saltzman

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (C.D. Cal.); Los Angeles

Hon. Scott H. Yun

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (C.D. Cal.); Riverside



Brian K. Osborne, Moderator

Rust Omni; Woodland Hills

Dawn M. Cica

Black & Lobello; Las Vegas

Robert J. Feinstein

Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP; New York

Whitman L. Holt

Klee, Tuchin, Bogdanoff & Stern LLP; Los Angeles

Frank A. Merola

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP; Los Angeles

Richard L. Wynne

Jones Day; Los Angeles

10:30-10:45 a.m.

Coffee Break

Sponsored by Deloitte

10:45 a.m.-12:00 noon

Concurrent Sessions (2)

Appealing Positions: Everything You Need to Know about Appeals

This panel will explore the nuts and bolts of bankruptcy appeals, taking into account the needs of one’s clients, examining the do’s and don’ts for an effective appeal, discussing the differences of appealing to the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel versus electing to proceed before the district court, the limits of appellate jurisdiction over interlocutory appeals, and addressing strategies for a successful appeal.

Robyn B. Sokol, Moderator

Brutzkus Gubner Rozansky Seror Weber LLP; Woodland Hills

Hon. Meredith A. Jury

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (C.D. Cal.); Riverside

Hon. Beverly Reid O’Connell

U.S. District Court (C.D. Cal.); Los Angeles

David B. Shemano

Robins Kaplan LLP; Los Angeles

Pension, Retirement Issues in Bankruptcy

This panel will explore the myriad issues that arise in chapter 7 and 11 cases when the debtor is the sponsor of an employee retirement benefit plan, including 401(k) plans and pension plans.

Kyra Andrassy, Moderator

Smiley Wang-Ekvall, LLP; Costa Mesa

Harley L. Bjelland

The ERISA Law Firm; Orange

Jeffrey B. Ellman

Jones Day, Atlanta

Brad Smith

GlassRatner Advisory & Capital Group LLC; Los Angeles

12:00-1:15 p.m.

Luncheon Presentation

Sponsored by Loeb & Loeb LLP and Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP

The End of Bankruptcy, Revisited

Prof. Robert K. Rasmussen

University of Southern California Gould School of Law; Los Angeles

1:30-2:45 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions (2)

Litigation Toward Settlement: Questions and Strategies in Bankruptcy Litigation

Often the hardest part about bankruptcy litigation is making the decision to take it on in the first place, considering the time, expense, available resources and anticipated benefit to the estate and its constituents. Many bankruptcy attorneys often divorce litigation from the business goals of the client, resulting in disproportionately high fees, disappointed clients and unpaid professionals. Too little time and effort is undertaken before and during the early stages of litigation to consider the foregoing and client objectives. Consequently, in most cases litigation must be viewed as a business decision. This panel will discuss these important issues and take the audience down the litigation and settlement road: (1) pre-filing the complaint; (2) early disclosures to opponents; (3) early motions; (4) discovery and discovery disputes; (5) pre-trial motions (e.g., motions for summary judgment); and finally (6) trial. The tactics and strategies often used during these steps to promote or advance settlements that best favor clients will also be addressed.

A. Kyle Everett, Moderator

Development Specialists, Inc.; San Francisco

Hon. Scott C. Clarkson

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (C.D. Cal.); Santa Ana

David B. Golubchik

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

Joshua Teeple

Grobstein Teeple LLP; Irvine

A Penny for Your Thoughts: Insights into the Professional Retention and Compensation Process

This is a subject none of us can afford to ignore: the ins and outs of being retained and paid by the bankruptcy estate. Panelists will discuss recent issues and developments in the area of professional retention and compensation, including a look at the U.S. Trustee Guidelines in practice, recent conflict-of-interest decisions and thoughts on best practices.

Richard H. Golubow, Moderator

Winthrop Couchot PC; Newport Beach

Michael J. Bujold

Office of the U.S. Trustee; Washington, D.C.

Hon. Sandra Ruth Klein

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (C.D. Cal.); Los Angeles

Prof. Nancy B. Rapoport

William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Las Vegas

Genevieve G. Weiner

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP; Los Angeles

2:45-3:00 p.m.

Refreshment Break

3:00-4:15 p.m.

Ethics: Who’s Your Daddy? Acing Your Fiduciary Duties

It isn’t enough to just be ethical; professionals employed at the bankruptcy estate’s expense have additional responsibilities as well. This panel will explore these additional responsibilities and duties, what they are, and to whom they are or are not owed.

Tiffany Ikeda, Moderator

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP; Los Angeles

Hon. Margaret M. Mann

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (S.D. Cal.); San Diego

Bradley D. Sharp

Development Specialists, Inc.; Los Angeles

James Patrick Shea

Armstrong Teasdale LLP; Las Vegas

William P. Weintraub

Goodwin Procter LLP; New York

4:15-5:45 p.m.


Sponsored by Greenberg Glusker Fields Clamant & Matchtinger LLP


Conference Co-Chairs

Kimberly A. Posin

Latham & Watkins LLP; Los Angeles

Randye B. Soref

Polsinelli LLP; Los Angeles

Judicial Chair

Hon. Hannah L. Blumenstiel

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (N.D. Cal.); San Francisco

Advisory Board

Kyra E. Andrassy

Smiley Wang-Ekvall; Costa Mesa

Lorie A. Ball

Robins Kaplan LLP; Los Angeles

Steven M. Berman

Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP; Tampa, Fla.

Erin N. Brady

Jones Day; Los Angeles

Richard W. Brunette

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP; Los Angeles

Christopher Celentino

Ballard Spahr LLP; San Diego

Sara L. Chenetz

Perkins Coie LLP; Los Angeles

Shirley S. Cho

Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP; Los Angeles

Dawn M. Cica

Black & Lobello, Las Vegas

A. Kyle Everett

Development Specialists, Inc.; San Francisco

Paul R. Glassman

Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth, P.C.; Santa Monica

Richard H. Golubow

Winthrop Couchot PC; Newport Beach

David B. Golubchik

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

Michael I. Gottfried

Landau Gottfried & Berger LLP; Los Angeles

David M. Guess

Klee, Tuchin, Bogdanoff & Stern LLP; Los Angeles

Seth Goldman

Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP; Los Angeles

Tiffany Ikeda

Arnold & Porter LLP; Los Angeles

Lance N. Jurich

Loeb & Loeb LLP; Los Angeles

Mary Ann Kaptain

FTI Consulting, Inc.; Los Angeles

Thomas R. Kreller

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP; Los Angeles

Winston Mar

SierraConstellation Partners LLC; Los Angeles

Byron Z. Moldo

Ervin, Cohen & Jessup LLP; Beverly Hills

Aram Ordubegian

Arent Fox LLP; Los Angeles

Brian K. Osborne

Rust Omni; Woodland Hills

Mitchell Ryan

Donlin, Recano & Company, Inc.; Orange

Victor A. Sahn

SulmeyerKupetz, APC; Los Angeles

Timothy G. Skillman

Deloitte CRG; Los Angeles

Robyn B. Sokol

Brutzkus Gubner Rozansky Seror Weber LLP; Woodland Hills

Allen Soong

Armory Strategic Partners; Manhattan Beach

Christopher D. Sullivan

Diamond McCarthy LLP; San Francisco

Joshua Teeple

Grobstein Teeple LLP; Irvine

Suzzanne Uhland

O'Melveny & Myers LLP; San Francisco

Genevieve G. Weiner

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP; Los Angeles


Conference Information


The conference will be held at the JW Marriott LA LIVE, 900 West Olympic Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90015. Reservations may be made by contacting the hotel directly at (213) 765-8600.

Continuing Education Credit

6.25 hours of CLE credit, including 2.5 hours of ethics, are pending in states calculating CLE on a 60-minute hour, and 7.5 hours of CLE credit, including 3 hours of ethics, are pending in 50-minute-hour states. Credit hours granted are subject to approval from each state. California MCLE: ABI certifies that this activity has been approved for MCLE credit in the amount of 6.25 hours, of which 2.5 hours will apply to ethics. NY MCLE: This transitional and non-transitional program has been approved in accordance with the requirements of the CLE Board for a maximum of 7.5 hours, of which 3 hours can be applied toward professional practice. 7.5 hours of CPE credit, including 3 hours of ethics, are also available.


*ABI offers intermediate-level courses, which assume that attendees have some knowledge of insolvency matters (pursuant to the “Statement on Standards for CPE Programs” established by AICPA and NASBA). ABI is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE sponsors. State boards of accountancy have the final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be addressed to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors, 150 Fourth Ave. North, Suite 700, Nashville, TN 37219-2417, or www.nasba.org. For more information regarding administrative policies such as complaints and refunds, please contact the American Bankruptcy Institute at (703) 739-0800.


ABI acknowledges that in some instances there will be persons who need to attend an educational seminar for CLE credit who are not able to pay full registration fees. ABI will handle such instances on a case-by-case basis and will work with the individual on alternative solutions. For persons who cannot meet the full registration rate, ABI will offer a reduced rate based on what the individual can reasonably afford to cover the cost of meals and materials. For persons unable to pay a reduced rate, we may allow the individual to work at our registration area for a few hours during attendee check-in, or assist in conference set-up. ABI also has reduced rates for government employees, professors, law clerks and students. For information on tuition assistance, send an e-mail to [email protected].

Cancellation Policy

All fees, except a $75 handling fee, will be refunded if written notice of cancellation is received by February 28, 2017. No refunds will be granted after February 28, but substitutions will be allowed. After February 28, upon written request, a coupon for 20% off the registration fee (not including optional events) will be issued, which can be used (by the canceling registrant only) for any ABI educational program up to one year after this conference, or for this same conference next year.

Breakfast Sponsor

2017 Bankruptcy Battleground West Advisory Board


Lunch Co-Sponsor

Loeb & Loeb LLP
Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP


General Sponsors

Development Specialists, Inc.
FTI Consulting, Inc.
Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP
Grobstein Teeple LLP
Loeb & Loeb LLP
Robins Kaplan LLP
Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP

2017 Bankruptcy Battleground West Rates

Registration Rates

(postmarked by 1/23/17)

(1/14/17 - 3/3/17)

(after 3/3/17)

ABI Member $445 $495 $545

Gov’t./Aca./Nonprofit ABI Member

$225 $275 $325
New ABI Member* $720 $770 $820

Gov’t./Aca./Nonprofit New ABI Member*

$320 $370 $420

* Includes a one-year ABI membership for first-time members — a $295 value! Expired members should select the member rate and add in the membership renewal fee. You must be an ABI member to attend the conference.