Bankruptcy 2019: Views from the Bench

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Bankruptcy 2019: Views from the Bench

September 20, 2019, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C.

The Bankruptcy 2019: Views from the Bench program is a unique opportunity for bankruptcy practitioners to hear from 17 sitting and retired bankruptcy judges during a full day of high-quality CLE and networking opportunities. This year’s program will examine a number of current bankruptcy topics, including issues related to sales, dilemmas of the creditors’ committee, a debate on the standard of disinterestedness, and much more.

The conference will also feature a revamped small-group lunchtime breakout session that will dive deeper into the morning’s topics, so attendees can enjoy a more interactive learning environment. We look forward to seeing you there!

Program co-sponsored by Georgetown Law CLE



Event Information 276344

Friday, September 20

7:30-8:15 a.m.

Registration and Continental Breakfast

Sponsored by Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

8:15-8:30 a.m.

Welcome Remarks

Donald A. Workman, Program Chair

BakerHostetler; Washington, D.C.

Jill Castleman, Executive Director, Office of Executive and Legal Education

Georgetown Law; Washington, D.C.

Samuel J. Gerdano, Executive Director

American Bankruptcy Institute; Alexandria, Va.

8:30-9:30 a.m.

Confirmation Roundtable

This session will cover a number of recent confirmation hot topics, including pre-packaged reorganization (In re FullBeauty Brands Holding Corp.), make-whole provisions (In re Ultra Petroleum Corp.), reorganization through rights offerings (In re Pacific Drilling SA), and the ‘one day’ confirmation issue (Pacific Western Bank v. Fagerdala USA-Lompac Inc.).

Jay M. Goffman, Moderator

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP; New York

Hon. Carla E. Craig

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (E.D.N.Y.); Brooklyn

Hon. Robert D. Drain

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (S.D.N.Y.); New York

Hon. Kevin R. Huennekens

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (E.D. Va.); Richmond

Peter M. Friedman, Facilitator

O'Melveny & Myers LLP; Washington, D.C.

9:30-9:45 a.m.

Networking Break

Sponsored by Gavin/Solmonese LLC

9:45-10:45 a.m.

Asset Sales

This panel will explore hot-button issues relating to sales, including: limitations on credit bidding; successor liability and related due process considerations; releases for purchasers under sale orders; and the standard for allowance of break-up fees. The panel will also reflect on lessons learned from the emergency section 363 sale of Lehman.

Paul M. Basta, Moderator

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP; New York

Hon. Jeffery W. Cavender

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (N.D. Ga.); Atlanta

Hon. Sean H. Lane

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (S.D.N.Y.); New York

Hon. Karen K. Specie

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (N.D. Fla.); Tallahassee

Martin J. Bienenstock, Facilitator

Proskauer; New York

10:45-11:00 a.m.

Networking Break

Sponsored by Polsinelli PC

11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Current Issues Concerning and New Dilemmas for Committees

How do judges view the various types of committees–official statutory committees (including unsecured creditor, equity, retiree and tort claimant committees) and ad hoc committees? Is the makeup of the committee (trade/landlords/noteholders/bondholders/litigation claimants) relevant? What is Jevic’s impact on the ability of unsecured creditors’ committees to obtain recoveries for their constituents—do committees representing deeply out-of-the-money creditors have anything left in their toolboxes? This panel will discuss these questions and more relating to official and ad hoc committees.

Norman N. Kinel, Moderator

Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP; New York

Hon. Kevin Gross

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

Hon. Laurel Myerson Isicoff

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (S.D. Fla.); Miami

Hon. Michael B. Kaplan

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. N.J.); Trenton

Laura Davis Jones, Facilitator

Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP; Wilmington, Del.

12:00-1:30 p.m.

Working Lunch: Breakouts 1-3

Sponsored by Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP

A facilitator will lead additional discussions from the three earlier panels, providing a unique opportunity for attendees to follow up on the morning’s topics in small groups over lunch with the judicial faculty.

Confirmation Roundtable

Working Lunch discussion led by:

Michael L. Bernstein

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP; Washington, D.C.


Working Lunch discussion led by:

Hon. Melanie L. Cyganowski (Ret.)

Otterbourg P.C.; New York

Current Issues Concerning and New Dilemmas for Committees

Working Lunch discussion led by:

Mark D. Collins

Richards, Layton & Finger, PA; Wilmington, Del.

1:30-1:40 p.m.

Networking Break

Sponsored by McGuireWoods LLP

1:40-2:40 p.m.

Great Debates

Resolved: A creditor in possession of a debtor’s collateral must surrender it to avoid a stay violation.

Hon. Michael E. Wiles, Moderator

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (S.D.N.Y.); New York


Pro: Hon. Eugene R. Wedoff (Ret.)

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (N.D. Ill.); Oak Park

Con: Craig Goldblatt

WilmerHale; Washington, D.C.

Resolved: The legal test or application of the standard of disinterestedness should be changed.

Thomas. M. Horan, Moderator

Fox Rothschild LLP; Wilmington, Del.


Pro: Hon. Kevin J. Carey

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

Con: Hon. Robert E. Gerber (Ret.)

Joseph Hage Aaronson LLC; New York

2:40-3:00 p.m.

Networking Break

Sponsored by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

3:00-4:00 p.m.

Avoidance Issues

This panel will discuss preferences and fraudulent conveyances, the Fairfield cases relating to extraterritoriality, and whether returning the funds acts as a defense (Kingsley v. Wetzel (In re Kingsley), 518 F.3d 874, 877-78 (11th Cir. 2008)) versus what the Seventh Circuit has ruled on the issue (Nostalgia Network Inc. v. Lockwood, 315 F3d 717, 720 (7th Cir. 2002)).

James E. Van Horn, Moderator

Barnes & Thornburg LLP; Washington, D.C.

Hon. Rebecca Buehler Connelly, Chief Judge

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (W.D. Va.); Harrisonburg

Hon. John K. Sherwood

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. N.J.); Newark

Hon. S. Martin Teel, Jr.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. D.C.); Washington

Luke A. Barefoot, Facilitator

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP; New York

4:00-4:15 p.m.

Networking Break

4:15-5:15 p.m.

Cheat, Prey, Shove: 3 Acts Forbidden by Ethics

Oftentimes lawyers must deal with people in vulnerable positions- and there are a whole host of rules that govern our behavior in those instances. Cheating (misrepresentation, rule 4.1 and 3.3), Preying (deceptive practices, rule 8.4), and Shoving (fairness to opposing parties and counsel, rule 3.4) are prohibited by the attorney ethics rules...and why not learn about them with a little humor? Join internationally recognized speaker Stuart Teicher, Esq., (the "CLE Performer") as he alerts us to the issues that should concern us when interacting with people who might be at a competitive disadvantage when facing a lawyer.

Stuart I. Teicher

Professor and Lead Educator, Teicher Professional Growth, LLC; Washington, D.C.

5:15-6:15 p.m.

Cocktail Reception


To view the full program brochure, click here

Judicial Chair

Hon. Michelle M. Harner

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. Md.); Baltimore

Program Chair

Donald A. Workman

BakerHostetler; Washington, D.C.

Advisory Board

Luke A. Barefoot

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP; New York

Paul M. Basta

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP; New York

Michael L. Bernstein

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP; Washington, D.C.

Martin J. Bienenstock

Proskauer; New York

Mark D. Collins

Richards, Layton & Finger, PA; Wilmington, Del.

Hon. Melanie L. Cyganowski (ret.)

Otterbourg P.C.; New York

Mary Joanne Dowd

Arent Fox LLP; Washington, D.C.

Cecily A. Dumas

BakerHostetler; San Francisco

Dennis F. Dunne

Milbank LLP; New York

Douglas M. Foley

McGuireWoods LLP; Washington, D.C.

Peter M. Friedman

O’Melveny & Myers LLP; Washington, D.C.

Karen A. Giannelli

Gibbons P.C.; Newark, N.J.

Jay M. Goffman

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP; New York

Kristin K. Going

McDermott Will & Emery, LLP; New York

Craig Goldblatt

WilmerHale; Washington, D.C.

Jason W. Harbour

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP; Richmond, Va.

Leslie C. Heilman

Ballard Spahr LLP; Wilmington, Del.

Erika Morabito Henderson

Foley & Lardner LLP; Washington, D.C.

Gary T. Holtzer

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP; New York

Thomas M. Horan

Fox Rothschild LLP; Wilmington, Del.

Laura Davis Jones

Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP; Wilmington, Del.

Shanti M. Katona

Polsinelli PC; Wilmington, Del.

Norman N. Kinel

Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP; New York

C. Kevin Kobbe

DLA Piper; Baltimore

David R. Kuney, Chair Emeritus

Washington, D.C.

Jeffrey A. Liesemer

Caplin & Drysdale, Chtd.; Washington, D.C.

Lorenzo Marinuzzi

Morrison & Foerster LLP; New York

Richard M. Meth

Roseland, N.J.

Joseph G. Minias

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP; New York

Paul M. Nussbaum

Whiteford Taylor Preston, LLP; Baltimore

Kevyn D. Orr

Jones Day; Washington, D.C.

Jeffrey S. Sabin

Venable LLP; New York

Michael B. Schaedle

Blank Rome LLP; Philadelphia

Jeffrey L. Tarkenton

Womble Bond Dickinson LLP; Washington, D.C.

Andrew M. Troop

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP; New York

James E. Van Horn

Barnes & Thornburg LLP; Washington, D.C.

Irving E. Walker

Cole Schotz P.C.; Baltimore


Conference Information

Hotel Reservations

We recommend the following hotels within walking distance of the Law Center:


Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
400 New Jersey Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20001
202-737-1234 or 800-233-1234
When calling the Hyatt for reservations, please request the Georgetown University volume rate, or use Corporate or Group Code 58549 online.


The Hotel George
15 E Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
202-347-4200 or 800-546-7866
When booking online, use Corporate ID 100229700 to receive the Georgetown rate.


Liaison Capitol Hill DC
415 New Jersey Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20001
(888) 513-7445 (Reservations)
[email protected] (Reservations)
When making reservations, mention the Corporate/Promotion Code GEORGETOWN.


Speakers are subject to change.

Services for People with Special Needs or Dietary Restrictions (and Nursing Mothers)

Call (202) 662-9890 or email [email protected] with your requests.

Lawrence J. Center Scholarship Program

Please submit written requests by 5:00pm on August 30, 2019 to: Scholarship Committee, Georgetown Law CLE, [email protected].

Cancellation Policy

All fees, except a $75 handling fee, will be refunded if notice of cancellation is received in writing by August 30, 2019. No refunds will be made if notice is received after August 30, although substitutions will be allowed. After August 30, upon written request, a coupon for 20% off the registration fee 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.

Program Location

Georgetown University Law Center

Hart Auditorium, First Floor

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20001


IMPORTANT: All visitors to the Law Center must enter through the second floor entrance facing New Jersey Avenue.

Parking Information

Due to the limited amount of parking available, the Georgetown University Law Center cannot provide parking for programs held there. Disabled persons may make arrangements to park at the Law Center by calling (202) 662-9330. We encourage attendees to take Metro or a taxi to the program. Drivers can use the following nearby parking garages:


Union Station Parking Garage

50 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20002

(202) 371-9441


Marcparc Parking Garage

601 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20001

(202) 789-4000

CLE and CPE credit information will be available at tables near the registration area. The tables will include applicable forms for sign-in, sign-out, and certificate requirements. You can also find instructions for each state in the “Education” section of the event app.


Please note that New York attendees must have their CLE certificates signed by a member of our team right before you leave for the day. Attendees from New York, New Jersey, and Delaware should also sign out.


If you have questions about the CLE/CPE credit process, please don’t hesitate to drop by the registration desk.

CLE Credit

Accreditation has been or will be requested for this program from states with mandatory Continuing Legal Education requirements for 6 CLE credits (based on a 60-minute credit hour), including 1.0 hour of Ethics, and 7.2 CLE credits (based on a 50-minute credit hour), including 1.2 hours of Ethics. Georgetown University Law Center is an accredited CLE provider in most MCLE states. Georgetown Law CLE is a State Bar of California-approved MCLE provider. If you have any questions about CLE, please contact Georgetown Law CLE at (202) 662-9890.

CPE Credit

Georgetown Law CLE 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 Avenue North, Suite 700, Nashville, TN, 37219-2417,

Course Level

Overview, group live, no prerequisites or advanced preparation required; 7 CPE credits in the Specialized Knowledge and Regulatory Ethics Field of Study Program.


Breakfast Sponsor


Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP   

Luncheon Sponsor


Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP   

Refreshment Break Sponsor


Gavin/Solmonese LLC   McGuireWoods LLP    Polsinelli PC    Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Exhibit Hall Sponsor

Sherwood Partners, Inc.

Conference App Sponsor

Gavin/Solmonese LLC

General Sponsors

Arent Fox LLP
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP
Ballard Spahr LLP
Barnes & Thornburg LLP
Blank Rome LLP
Caplin & Drysdale, Chtd.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Cole Schotz P.C.
DLA Piper
Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
Foley & Lardner LLP
Fox Rothschild LLP
Gibbons P.C.
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
Jones Day
McDermott Will & Emery, LLP
Milbank LLP
Morrison & Foerster LLP
O’Melveny & Myers LLP
Otterbourg P.C.
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Richards, Layton & Finger, PA
Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP
Venable LLP
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
Whiteford Taylor Preston LLP
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP

2019 Registration Rates

Registration Rates* Early Bird
(by 7/26/19)
(after 8/30/19)

ABI Member
Georgetown Law Alumnus
ABI Govt./Academic Member
Join ABI and Save*
New ABI Govt./Academic Member*

* Includes a one-year ABI membership for first-time members — a $350 value! Membership is individual and nonrefundable. Expired members should select the member rate and add in the membership renewal fee.