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Event Information 263695

Thursday, September 6

8:00 a.m.

Optional Event

Golf Tournament at Royal Links Golf Club

3:00-6:00 p.m.

ABI Registration Desk Open

6:00-7:30 p.m.

Opening Reception

Sponsored by Development Specialists, Inc. and KCC

Bars Sponsored by Bentham IMF; Omni Management Group and Schian Walker, PLC

Friday, September 7

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

ABI Registration Desk Open

7:30-8:00 a.m.

Networking Breakfast

8:00-9:30 a.m.

Very Good Debates

John W. Lucas, Moderator

Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP; San Francisco

Judicial Debate

    Resolved: Hiring an independent CRO displaces the need for the appointment of a chapter 11 trustee under § 1104(e) of the Bankruptcy Code.

     Pro: Hon. Scott C. Clarkson

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

     Con: Hon. Mary Jo Heston

     U.S. Bankruptcy Court (W.D. Wash.); Tacoma

Business Debate

    Resolved: Holders of acquired claims should be required to disclose the basis in such a claim as a condition for seeking relief in a bankruptcy case.

     Pro: Gregory E. Garman

     Garman Turner Gordon; Las Vegas

     Con: Thomas J. Salerno

     Stinson Leonard Street LLP; Phoenix

Consumer Debate

    Resolved: The exemption law of the state to which a debtor has recently moved should be used in the debtor’s bankruptcy case, with the former state law used as a cap on homestead exemptions.

     Pro: Mark Gorton

     Boutin Jones; Sacramento, Calif.

     Con: Estela O. Pino

     Pino & Associates; Sacramento, Calif.

9:30-9:45 a.m.

Coffee Break

Sponsored by Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP

9:45-11:00 a.m.

Concurrent Sessions (3)

What Are the Limits of Sale, Plan and Constitutional Mootness?

Three avenues for appellate courts to dismiss bankruptcy appeals are sale, plan and constitutional mootness. This panel will discuss the strengths and limitations of these three approaches, which appellate courts are increasingly gravitating toward and departing from, and steps and arguments parties can make to improve their chances of success in obtaining (or avoiding) dismissal of a bankruptcy appeal as moot.

Hon. Julia W. Brand

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

Cecily A. Dumas

Pillsbury; San Francisco

Susan M. Freeman

Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP; Phoenix

Thomas E. Patterson

Klee, Tuchin, Bogdanoff & Stern LLP; Los Angeles

Update Regarding Automatic Stay and Discharge Issues

This panel will discuss automatic stay and discharge injunction violations arising from withholding property to collect, statutes of limitations, and exceptions to discharge after Husky.

Robert M. Charles, Jr.

Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP; Phoenix

Dawn S. Cica

Mushkin Cica Coppedge; Las Vegas

Peter J. Gurfein

Landau Gottfried & Berger LLP; Los Angeles

Hon. Brenda Kay Martin

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

Be Careful What You Ask For: Risks and Benefits of Involuntary Bankruptcy Filings

This session will provide an overview of the requirements to file an involuntary bankruptcy case and the advantages and pitfalls that arise from these filings, including petitioner liabilities.

Hon. Martin R. Barash

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

Janet L. Chubb

Kaempfer Crowell; Reno, Nev.

Oren Haker

Stoel Rives LLP; Portland, Ore.

Jordan A. Kroop

Perkins Coie LLP; Phoenix

11:00-11:15 a.m.

Coffee Break

Sponsored by DLA Piper

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

Concurrent Sessions (3)

How to Handle Challenging Clients and Conflict Issues in Individual Cases

This panel will discuss (a) interactions with clients who have mental health problems, lying clients and unreasonable clients; and (b) spousal conflicts, joint individual and business case conflicts, conflicts that arise when changing firms, and multiple-owner business case conflicts.

Cynthia M. Cohen

Glaser Weil Fink Howard Avchen & Shapiro LLP; Los Angele

Randy Nussbaum

Sacks Tierney P.A.; Scottsdale, Ariz.

Allison M. Rhodes

Holland & Knight LLP; Los Angeles

Hon. Eugene R. Wedoff (ret.)

Oak Park, III.

Winding Down Companies When Bankruptcy Is Not an Option

This panel will discuss alternatives to formal bankruptcy, including assignments for the benefit of creditors, abstention of a bankruptcy case under § 305, receiverships, state law dissolution and out-of-court workouts.

Sara L. Chenetz

Perkins Coie LLP; Los Angeles

David M. Johnson

Sherwood Partners, Inc.; Mountain View, Calif.

K. Kevin Otus

Onyx Asset Advisors; San Francisco

Matthew P. Sorenson

Development Specialists, Inc.; Los Angeles

Ins and Outs of Dealing with Tax Claims

This panel will cover issues relating to the discharge of tax claims, objecting to tax claims and the utility of § 505, the consequences of not having tax returns on file as of the petition date, and other tax-related issues that impact debtors.

Thomas H. Allen

Allen Barnes & Jones, PLC; Phoenix

Richard D. Liebman

Grant Thornton LLP; Chicago

Hon. Mark S. Wallace

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

Kenneth C. Weil

Law Office of Kenneth C. Weil; Seattle

12:30-1:30 p.m.

Networking Luncheon

Lively Luncheon: The $1,000,000 Pyramid Goes Chapter 11

Sponsored by Omni Management Group

1:30-2:45 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions (3)

Post-Confirmation Liquidating and Litigation Trusts

This panel will discuss the process of developing and implementing post-confirmation trusts, including the transfer of litigation claims to a trust, claimant direct claims vs. company claims, trustee with discretion vs. board with veto power, voting by beneficiaries, reporting, distribution issues, funding, post-confirmation jurisdiction and involvement of the bankruptcy court, trustee liability, quasi-judicial immunity and indemnification, and interim and final distributions and tax considerations.

P. Gregg Curry

Navigant Consulting, Inc.; Phoenix

Ken Epstein

Bentham IMF; New York

Hon. Charles D. Novack

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (N.D. Cal.); Pasadena

Cathy L. Reece

Fennemore Craig, P.C.; Phoenix

The Role of Governmental Agencies in Chapter 11 Cases

This panel will discuss the role that federal agencies play in chapter 11 bankruptcy cases.

David Nelson

Boies Schiller Flexner LLP; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Samuel A. Newman

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP; Los Angeles

Michael A. Strollo

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.; Washington, D.C.

Hon. Madeleine C. Wanslee

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

Cutting-Edge Issues in Avoidance Actions

This panel will cover the effects of the recent Supreme Court decision under § 546(e) of the Bankruptcy Code, valuation of avoidance actions, pre-bankruptcy planning, creditor intervention, and conflicts preventing individual debtors from pursuing claims.

Andrew W. Caine

Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP; Los Angeles

Craig S. Ganz

Ballard Spahr LLP; Phoenix

Edward T. Gavin

Gavin/Solmonese LLP, Wilmington, Del.

Hon. M. Elaine Hammond

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

2:45-3:15 p.m.

Refreshment Break

Sponsored by Proskauer

3:15-4:30 p.m.

The ABCs of Electronic Currencies

Blockchain technology has the tech and business sectors abuzz. Legislators, regulators and the judiciary struggle to keep up with the breakneck pace of development. Much of the initial focus has been on Bitcoin, the virtual currency that was the first major blockchain-based application, but interest and activity by both industry and policymakers is quickly shifting toward broader uses of blockchains. A blockchain, also sometimes called a distributed ledger, is essentially an online database that, instead of being controlled by a central authority, is created, managed and used in a decentralized way by its users on a peer-to-peer network. The shared, transparent and unalterable nature of a blockchain creates the perfect environment for the transfer of assets (physical, informational or financial). A blockchain network eliminates the need for a central record system or intermediary to establish ownership and trust, allowing individuals with no previous relationship to exchange such assets in a secure manner. This technology is still in its infancy, but it is fast giving rise to “initial coin offerings” as a new form of raising capital, massive (and wildly speculative) investment in various virtual currencies, and other transformative technologies. Although blockchains’ possibilities are exciting, the uncertainty and instability surrounding many blockchain applications, certainly including cryptocurrencies, is likely to result in significant distressed scenarios requiring specialized knowledge of both this extraordinary technology and insolvency law.

Hon. Daniel P. Collins

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

Bryce A. Suzuki

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP; Phoenix

Christopher J. Wells

Alvarez & Marsal; Phoenix

Steven J. Yeager

State of Nevada Assembly; Las Vegas

4:30-5:30 p.m.

Happy Hour

7:30 p.m.

Optional Event

Jerry Seinfeld at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace

Saturday, September 8

8:00 a.m.-12:00 noon

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.

Patrick A. Clisham, Moderator

Engelman Berger, PC; Phoenix

10:15-10:30 a.m.

Coffee Break

10:30-11:45 a.m

Plenary Session

Ethics Roundtable

This panel will discuss various ethical issues in consumer- and business-related bankruptcy cases and other restructurings.

Heather A. LaSalle

McGlinchey Stafford PLLC; New Orleans

Douglas L. Lutz

Frost Brown Todd, LLC; Cincinnati

Hon. Paul Sala

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

Lei Lei Wang Ekvall

Smiley | Wang-Ekvall; Costa Mesa, Calif.

11:45 a.m




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, 2018. 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 16, 2018. No refunds will be made if notice is received after August 16, although substitutions will be allowed. After August 16, 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


9 hours of CLE credit, including 2.5 hours of ethics, are pending in states calculating CLE on a 60-minute hour, and 10.5 hours of CLE credit, including 3 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. NY MCLE: This transitional and non-transitional program has been approved in accordance with the requirements of the CLE Board for a maximum of 10.5 credit hours, of which 3 hours of credit can be applied toward the ethics professionalism requirement. California MCLE: ABI certifies that this activity has been approved for MCLE credit in the amount of 9 hours, of which 2.5 hours will apply to ethics. 10.5 hours of CPE credit, including 3 hours of ethics are also available.


*ABI offers intermediate-level courses, which assume that attendees have some knowledge 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, 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

Attorney Specialist Certification

The American Board of Certification (ABC) will offer its Business Bankruptcy, Consumer Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights exams at the Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas on Thursday, September 6, 2018, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Details on the certification process, exam composition and a sample exam can be obtained by calling ABC at (319) 365-2222, by emailing or by visiting the ABC website at The ABC certification programs are sponsored by the American Bankruptcy Institute and the Commercial Law League of America, and all three programs are accredited by the American Bar Association.

Optional Events

Golf Tournament at Royal Links Golf Club

Thursday, September 6, 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’ 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.

Jerry Seinfeld at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace

Friday, September 7, 7:30 p.m.

Jerry Seinfeld has been doing stand-up since “stand up” was something you did when a lady entered the room. You can see America’s favorite comedian perform his legendary comedy routine live at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas! Tickets for seats are $150 per person. Please mark the appropriate box on the online registration form.

Judicial Chair

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

John W. Lucas

Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP; San Francisco

Randy Nussbaum

Sacks Tierney P.A.; Scottsdale, Ariz.

Sponsorship Chair

Patrick A. Clisham

Engelman Berger, PC; Phoenix

Advisory Board

Thomas H. Allen

Allen Barnes & Jones, PLC; Phoenix

Steven M. Berman

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

Jason S. Brookner

Gray Reed & McGraw LLP; Dallas

Louis M. Bubala, III

Kaempfer Crowell; Reno, Nev.

Alissa Brice Castañeda

Quarles & Brady LLP; Phoenix

Robert M. Charles, Jr.

Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP; Tucson, Ariz.

Dawn M. Cica

Mushkin Cica Coppedge; Las Vegas

David D. Cleary

Greenberg Traurig, LLP; Phoenix

Ford Elsaesser

Elsaesser Jarzabek Anderson Elliott & Macdonald, Chtd.; Sandpoint, Idaho

Scott D. Fleming

Kolesar & Leatham; Las Vegas

Craig S. Ganz

Ballard Spahr LLP; Phoenix

Gregory E. Garman

Garman Turner Gordon; Las Vegas

Peter J. Gurfein

Landau Gottfried & Berger LLP; Los Angeles

Oren Haker

Stoel Rives LLP; Portland, Ore.

Andrew Hinkelman

FTI Consulting, Inc.; San Francisco

Nicole Horton

EY; Los Angeles

Paul S. Jasper

Rimon, P.C.; San Francisco

Steven D. Jerome

Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.; Phoenix

Cody J. Jess

Schian Walker PLC; Phoenix

Lance N. Jurich

Loeb & Loeb LLP; Los Angeles

Jordan A. Kroop

Perkins Coie LLP; Phoenix

Robert J. Labate

Holland & Knight LLP; San Francisco

Heather A. LaSalle

McGlinchey Stafford PLLC; New Orleans

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

Justin A. Sabin

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP; Phoenix

Robert K. Sahyan

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP; San Francisco

Thomas J. Salerno

Stinson Leonard Street LLP; Phoenix

Samuel A. Schwartz

Schwartz Flansburg; Las Vegas

Nellwyn Voorhies-Kantak

Donlin, Recano & Company, Inc.; New York

Christopher J. Wells

Alvarez & Marsal; Phoenix

Daniel R. Williams

Fenix Financial Forensics LLC; Scottsdale, Ariz.

John T. Young, Jr.

Conway MacKenzie, Inc.; Houston




Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
CR3 Partners, LLC
Development Specialist, Inc.
Donlin, Recano & Company, Inc.
FTI Consulting, Inc.
Omni Management Group
Perkins Coie LLP


Allen Barnes & Jones, PLC
Alvarez & Marsal
Bentham IMF
Conway MacKenzie, Inc.
Engelman Berger, PC
Gavin/Solmonese LLC
Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP
Sacks Tierney P.A.
Schian Walker PLC
Snell & Wilmer, L.L.P.
Stinson Leonard Street LLP
Wilmington Trust


Ballard Spahr LLP
Elsaesser Jarzabek Anderson Elliott & Macdonald, Chtd.
Fenix Financial Advisors LLC
Fennemore Craig, P.C.
Gray Reed & McGraw LLP
Holland & Knight LLP
Kaempfer Crowell
Klee, Tuchin, Bogdanoff & Stern LLP
Kolesar & Leatham
Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP

Loeb & Loeb LLP
McGlinchey Stafford PLLC
Mesch Clark & Rothschild PC
Mushkin Cica Coppedge
Onyx Asset Advisors, LLC
Quarles & Brady LLP
Schwartz Flansburg
Sherwood Partners, Inc.
Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP
Winston & Strawn LLP


Registration Rates

Registration Rates Early Bird
(postmarked by 6/22/18)
(after 8/17/18)

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


ABI Member
Join and Save*


* Includes a one-year membership for first-time members only — a $325 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
Jerry Seinfeld