2019 Southwest Bankruptcy Conference

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2019 Southwest Bankruptcy Conference

September 5-7, 2019 Four Seasons Hotel, Las Vegas, NV

Join ABI for the 2019 Southwest Bankruptcy Conference, back at the fabulous Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas! Experienced practitioners and judges will present compelling new topics in an engaging workshop format with plenty of time to network and develop relationships.

Roll the dice and join us in Las Vegas!


Event Information 276375

Thursday, September 5

8:00 a.m.

Optional Event

Golf Tournament at Royal Links Golf Club

3:00-6:00 p.m.

ABI Registration Desk Open

6:00-8:00 p.m.

Opening Reception

Sponsored by Development Specialist, Inc.; KCC and Elsaesser Jarzabek Anderson Elliott & Macdonald, Chtd.

Bar Sponsored by Fox Rothschild LLP and Kaempfer Crowell

Friday, September 6

7:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

ABI Registration Desk Open

7:30-8:00 a.m.

Networking Breakfast

Sponsored by Snell & Wilmer LLP

7:50-8:00 a.m.

Welcome Remarks

8:00-9:30 a.m.

ABI Talks 

   Provocative Ideas Worth Spreading in the Bankruptcy Community

John W. Lucas, Moderator

Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP; San Francisco

Divisive Mergers

     Steven D. Jerome

     Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.; Phoenix

Retail Bankruptcies: Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going

     Suzzanne Uhland

     O'Melveny & Myers LLP; San Francisco

Derivatives in Bankruptcy: The Basics

     Natasha Tsiouris

     Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP; New York

New UST Fees and Their Potential Impact

     Nellwyn Voorhies

     Donlin, Recano & Company, Inc.; New York

9:30-9:45 a.m.

Coffee Break

Sponsored by Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP

9:45-11:00 a.m.

Concurrent Sessions (3)

Alternative Dispute Resolution Provisions in Bankruptcy

This panel will focus on various forms of alternative dispute resolution, including a discussion of mediation, the benefits of mediation, when mediation is appropriate, determining the best type of mediator for your case and selecting a mediator, and tips for practitioners on the best ways to provide effective mediation presentations and briefings. The panel will also cover the benefits and detriments of arbitration, arbitration strategies, and the enforceability of arbitration provisions in bankruptcy.

Hon. Redfield T. Baum

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. Ariz.); Phoenix

Alissa B. Castaneda

Quarles & Brady LLP; Phoenix

Randy Nussbaum

Sacks Tierney P.A.; Scottsdale, Ariz.

Bryce A. Suzuki

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP; Phoenix

Consumer: Consumer Cases in the Headlines

Alane A. Becket

Becket & Lee LLP; Malvern, Pa.

Cristina Perez Hesano

Bellah Perez, PLLC; Glendale, Ariz.

Michael A. Jones

Allen Barnes & Jones, PLC; Phoenix

Hon. August B. Landis

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. Nev.); Las Vegas

Chapter 11 Cases in the Headlines

This panel will discuss several leading bankruptcy cases making the headlines, and some of the issues, decisions and challenges unique to those cases.

Hon. Hannah L. Blumenstiel

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

Ogonna M. Brown

Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP; Las Vegas

Ted A. Dillman

Latham & Watkins LLP; Los Angeles

Bradley D. Pack

Engelman Berger, PC; Phoenix

11:00-11:15 a.m.

Coffee Break

11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions (3)

Third-Party Litigation Financing

This panel will discuss the use of third-party litigation financing in bankruptcy and in litigation and liquidation trust matters, and will address such issues as the different causes of actions and general characteristics of litigation considered, uses for funds and the general structure of financing, ethical issues concerning the funder relationship, and examples of successful uses of litigation financing — as well as things that can go wrong and how to avoid them.

Howard Brod Brownstein

The Brownstein Corp.; Conshohocken, Pa.

Michael A. DiGiacomo

Ballard Spahr LLP; Phoenix

Kenneth Epstein

Bentham IMF; New York

Cathy L. Reece

Fennemore Craig, P.C.; Phoenix

Consumer: Bad Math: Student Loan Challenges, Bankruptcy Alternatives and Discharge

Natalie Ennes

ECMC Group; Minneapolis

Pernell W. McGuire

Davis Miles McGuire Gardner PLLC; Tempe, Ariz.

Hon. Madeleine C. Wanslee

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. Ariz.); Phoenix

Michael W. Zimmerman

Berry Riddell LLC; Scottsdale, Ariz.

Evidence, Part I: Overview of the Underbrush

This panel will provide an evidence overview and primer to cover the surface issues and underlying basic evidence considerations practitioners should contemplate for their practices.

Robert M. Charles, Jr.

Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP; Tucson, Ariz.

Dawn M. Cica

Carlyon Cica Chtd; Las Vegas

Hon. Bruce A. Harwood

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. N.H.); Concord

Samuel A. Schwartz

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP; Las Vegas

12:30-1:30 p.m.

Lively Luncheon: The $1B Pyramid of Debt

Sponsored by Omni Management Group, Inc.

1:30-2:45 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions (3)

Consumer: Evidence, Part IIA: Consumer Workshop on Evidence

This panel will address up to 15 thorny evidentiary issues that commonly arise in consumer cases. The issues will be presented to a bankruptcy judge by two expert litigators in a variety of pre-trial and trial scenarios.

Stephen E. Berken

Berken Cloyes, PC; Denver

J. Scott Bovitz

Bovitz & Spitzer; Los Angeles

Hon. Daniel P. Collins

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. Ariz.); Phoenix

Karen L. Kellett

Kellett & Bartholow PLLC; Dallas

Evidence, Part IIB: Commercial Workshop on Evidence

This panel will address best practices and evidentiary issues regarding the testimony of experts. The issues will be presented in a mock-examination format with audience participation.

Candace C. Carlyon

Clark Hill PLC; Las Vegas

Eric D. Madden

Reid Collins & Tsai LLP; Dallas

Frederick J. Petersen

Mesch Clark Rothschild; Tucson, Ariz.

Hon. David T. Thuma

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. N.M.); Albuquerque

Best of the Best and Worst of the Worst: Local Rules We Love and Hate

This lively roundtable discussion will focus on adherence to local rules for purposes of malpractice prevention, civility among litigants’ counsel, professional responsibility, and related ethical considerations for practitioners by undertaking a multi-jurisdictional exploration of some of the most well regarded and most reviled local bankruptcy and district court rules, providing attendees with an opportunity to measure particular rules’ efficacy, practical effects and unintended consequences.

Hon. Kevin J. Carey

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. Del.); Wilmington

Jenny L. Doling

Doling Shaw & Hanover, APC; Palm Desert, Calif.

Jordan A. Kroop

Perkins Coie LLP; Phoenix

Lindsi M. Weber

Polsinelli; Phoenix

2:45-3:15 p.m.

Refreshment Break

Sponsored by Proskauer

3:15-4:30 p.m.

Cannabis and Bankruptcy: The Impermissible Contact High

The relaxation of marijuana statutes in many states may present financial opportunities for investors, with high rates of return and better-paying job opportunities for individuals. As with any emerging industry, consolidation and competition will create winners and losers. Whether investors, landlords, trade vendors and employees involved in the cannabis industry can restructure their debts in bankruptcy court, or even participate in a bankruptcy plan, depends on the extent of their connection to the cannabis industry. This panel will explore recent case law on the subject matter and alternative business-restructuring options when bankruptcy is not available, such as receiverships and assignments for the benefit of creditors. The panel will also address relevant consumer bankruptcy issues, including whether an individual employed in the cannabis industry may utilize chapter 13 to formulate and complete a plan.

Hon. Scott C. Clarkson

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

Peter S. Davis

Simon Consulting, LLC; Phoenix

Jason Rosell

Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP; San Francisco

Katherine E. Anderson Sanchez

Dickinson Wright PLLC; Phoenix

4:30-5:30 p.m.

Happy Hour

Sponsored by Sonoran Capital Advisors and Stoel Rives LLP

Saturday, September 7

8:00 a.m.-10:15 a.m.

ABI Registration Desk Open

8:30-9:00 a.m.

Networking Breakfast

9:00-10:15 a.m.

Hotcakes and Hot Topics: Judges’ Roundtable Q&A

This panel will feature a roundtable discussion with bankruptcy judges from the Ninth Circuit and across the country, who will share their thoughts and perspectives — and take questions from the audience — on topics of current interest in both business and consumer cases.

Andrew A. Harnisch, Moderator

May, Potenza, Baran & Gillespie, P.C.; Phoenix

10:15-10:30 a.m.




Judicial Co-Chairs

Hon. Martin R. Barash

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

Hon. Daniel P. Collins

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. Ariz.); Phoenix

Program Co-Chairs

Patrick A. Clisham

Engelman Berger, PC; Phoenix

Jordan A. Kroop

Perkins Coie LLP; Phoenix

John W. Lucas

Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP; San Francisco

Sponsorship Chair

Louis M. Bubala, III

Kaempfer Crowell; Reno, Nev.

Advisory Board

Thomas H. Allen

Allen Barnes & Jones, PLC; Phoenix

Steven M. Berman

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

Jeffrey Bjork

Latham & Watkins LLP; Los Angeles

Jason S. Brookner

Gray Reed & McGraw LLP; Dallas

Grant L. Cartwright

May, Potenza, Baran & Gillespie, P.C.; Phoenix

Alissa Brice Castañeda

Quarles & Brady LLP; Phoenix

Robert M. Charles, Jr.

Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP; Tucson, Ariz.

Dawn M. Cica

Carlyon Cica Chtd; Las Vegas

Ford Elsaesser

Elsaesser Anderson, Chtd.; Sandpoint, Idaho

A. Kyle Everett

Development Specialists, Inc.; San Francisco

Scott D. Fleming

Kolesar & Leatham; Las Vegas

Matt Foster

Sonoran Capital Advisors; Mesa, AZ 

Craig S. Ganz

Ballard Spahr LLP; Phoenix

David M. Guess

Bienert Katzman PC; San Clemente, CA

Peter J. Gurfein

Landau Gottfried & Berger LLP; Los Angeles

Sasha M. Gurvitz

Klee, Tuchin, Bogdanoff & Stern LLP; Los Angeles

Oren Haker

Stoel Rives LLP; Portland, Ore.

Andrew Hinkelman

FTI Consulting, Inc.; San Francisco

Paul S. Jasper

Rimon, P.C.; San Francisco

Steven D. Jerome

Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.; Phoenix

Cody J. Jess

Schian Walker PLC; Phoenix

Robert Jordan

KCC; New York

Lance N. Jurich

Loeb & Loeb LLP; Los Angeles

Jeannie Kim

Friedman & Springwater LLP; San Francisco

Robert J. Labate

Holland & Knight LLP; San Francisco

Heather A. LaSalle

McGlinchey Stafford PLLC; New Orleans

Eric D. Madden

Reid Collins & Tsai LLP; Dallas

Randy Nussbaum

Sacks Tierney P.A.; Scottsdale, Ariz.

Justin E. Rawlins

Winston & Strawn LLP; Los Angeles

Cathy L. Reece

Fennemore Craig, P.C.; Las Vegas

Jeffrey M. Reisner

Irell & Manella LLP; Los Angeles

Isaac Daniel Rothschild

Mesch, Clark & Rothschild, PC; Tucson, AZ

Thomas J. Salerno

Stinson LLP; Phoenix

Samuel A. Schwartz

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP; Las Vegas

Summer Shaw

Doling Shaw & Hanover, APC; Palm Desert, CA

Khaled Tarazi

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner; Phoenix

Nellwyn Voorhies

Donlin, Recano & Company, Inc.; New York

Lindsi M. Weber

Polsinelli; Phoenix

Christopher J. Wells

Alvarez & Marsal; Phoenix

Daniel R. Williams

Fenix Financial Forensics LLC; Scottsdale, Ariz.

John T. Young, Jr.

Conway MacKenzie, Inc.; Houston


Optional Events

Golf Tournament at Royal Links Golf Club

Thursday, September 5, 8:00 a.m.

Missed your invitation to play in the British Open? Don’t worry; you can still play 18 of the best holes from 11 different British Open rotation courses. Conveniently located less than nine miles from the heart of the world-famous Las Vegas Strip, Royal Links is not your typical golf course. Whether you are interested in the history of the game or just want a shot at besting Tiger Woods’s course record of 67 (Feb. 2001), Royal Links is sure to provide you with some great golfing memories. The $190 green fee includes transportation from the Four Seasons, all tournament fees and lunch at the tournament’s conclusion. Please check the appropriate box on the online registration form to play, and indicate your handicap.

Conference Information


The Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas is a sanctuary from the bright lights of the dazzling Las Vegas Strip, all located on the 35th to 39th floors of the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino Tower — ensuring a more intimate atmosphere and attentive personal service. ABI has arranged a special conference rate of $235 per night. To secure the special rate, reservations must be made directly with the resort by August 13, 2019. Reservations may only be made once you have registered with ABI. Upon payment of the conference registration fees, you will receive hotel reservation information with your conference confirmation. Rooms are held on a first-come, first-served basis. ABI cannot guarantee anyone a room after the specially rated ABI block is filled.


Fly into McCarran International Airport (LAS).

Conference Attire

Attire is casual throughout the conference.

Cancellation Policy

All fees, except a $75 handling fee, will be refunded if notice is received in writing by August 15, 2019. No refunds will be made if notice is received after August 15, although substitutions will be allowed. After August 15, upon written request, a coupon for 20% off the registration fee (not including optional events) will be issued, which can be used (by the cancelling registrant only) for any ABI educational program up to one year after this conference, or for the same conference next year.

Continuing Education

7.75 hours of CLE credit, including 1.25 hours of ethics, are pending in states calculating CLE on a 60-minute hour, and 9.3 hours of CLE credit, including 1.5 hours of ethics, are pending in 50-minute-hour states. Credit hours granted are subject to each state’s CLE credit-approval regulations and might not be approved prior to the program. California MCLE: ABI certifies that this activity has been approved for MCLE credit in the amount of 7.75 hours. NY MCLE: This course or program has been approved in accordance with the requirements of the New York State Continuing Legal Education Board for a maximum of 9 credit hours, of which 9 credit hours can be applied toward the professional practice requirement and 1.5 credit hours can be applied toward the ethics professionalism requirement. 9 hours of CPE credit, including 1.5 hours of ethics, are also available.


*ABI offers intermediate-level courses, which assume that attendees have some knowledge in 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 submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website, www.nasbaregistry.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. Illinois Attorneys: If registration fees are more than $500, attorneys who qualify will receive a reduction of at least 50% off the registration fee. For information on tuition assistance, send an email to [email protected].




Conway MacKenzie
Deloitte CRG
East West Bank
FTI Consulting, Inc.
Gray Reed & McGraw LLP
Perkins Coie LLP
Snell & Wilmer, LLP
Sonoran Capital Advisors
Stoel Rives LLP



Allen Barnes & Jones PLC
Bentham IMF
CR3 Partners, LLC
Engelman Berger, P.C.
Fox Rothschild LLP
Gavin/Solmonese LLC
Grant Thornton
Kaempfer Crowell
Omni Management Group, Inc.
Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP
Reid Collins & Tsai LLP
Rosewood Realty Group
Sherwood Partners, Inc.



Alvarez & Marsal
Ballard Spahr LLP
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP
Bryan Cave LLP
Carlyon Cica Chtd.
Development Specialists, Inc.
Elsaesser Anderson Chtd.
Fenix Financial Forensics LLC
Friedman & Springwater LLP
Holland & Knight LLP
Klee Tuchin Bogdanoff & Stern LLP
Latham & Watkins
Lewis Roca Rothgerber, LLP
Loeb & Loeb LLP
May, Potenza, Baran & Gillespie, P.C.
McGlinchey Stafford, PLLC
Mesch Clark & Rothschild
Quarles & Brady LLP
Sacks Tierney PA
Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP
Winston & Strawn LLP


Registration Rates

Registration Rates Early Bird
(postmarked by 6/28/19)
(after 8/16/19)

ABI Member
ABI Govt./Nonprofit Member
Join and Save*
New ABI Govt./Nonprofit Member*


ABI Member
Join and Save*


* Includes a one-year membership for first-time members only — a $350 value! You must be an ABI member to attend. Membership is individual and nonrefundable. If your ABI membership has expired, select the member rate and add in your ABI membership renewal fee.

Optional Events

Opening Reception
Opening Reception Guest
Golf Tournament at Royal Links
Happy Hour
Happy Hour Guest