Bankruptcy 2021: Views from the Bench

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Bankruptcy 2021: Views from the Bench

September 24, 2021 • JW Marriott • Washington, D.C.

ABI’s Bankruptcy 2021: Views from the Bench program is a unique opportunity for bankruptcy practitioners to hear from more than 20 sitting and retired bankruptcy judges during a full day of high-quality CLE and networking opportunities. This year’s in-person program will include a two-part session on confirmation issues and will cover such timely topics as real estate and small business reorganization. Great Debates and ethics sessions will round out the day’s programming.

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. 

Because you might not be able or ready to travel to our in-person event, ABI will be bringing Bankruptcy 2021: Views from the Bench to you virtually, live from Washington, D.C. Attendees of the virtual program will be able to be present for livestreamed panels and have access to on-demand sessions through October 24, 2021. We look forward to seeing you there!


Sponsorships are available; please email Michelle Burnett at [email protected].


Event Information 297198

The health and safety of our attendees, guests and ABI staff is always our top priority, so ABI is working closely with our hotel partners to ensure that best practices are in place throughout every step of your meeting journey. By registering for the program, attendees and their guests agree to ABI’s COVID-19 Safety Protocols and Release.

Throughout the course of the program, ABI will be complying with, and expects its attendees and their guests to comply with, the preventive measures put in place by the JW Marriott, which can be found here: Health & Safety Precautions. These include social distancing while inside and wearing masks at program sessions and events. ABI will also require all attendees to complete a health check form the morning prior to attending the program. The link to the health check will appear in an attendee email prior to the start of the program. For more information on the hotel’s enhanced precautions, please visit ABI will also be providing contactless check-in and CLE tracking for attendees.

Friday, September 24

7:30-8:15 a.m.

Registration and Breakfast with the Judges and Advisory Board *In-person attendees only*

Sponsored by Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

8:15-8:30 a.m.

Welcome and Opening Remarks

8:30-9:30 a.m.

Confirmation: Brave New World?

This session will cover one-day cases and the impact of the extraordinary and unforeseen changes in the economy. Are death-trap plans permissible or bad faith? The panelists will also discuss feasibility in a post-COVID world and RSAs.

Jay M. Goffman, Moderator

Rothschild & Co.; New York

Hon. Robert D. Drain

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (S.D.N.Y.); White Plains

Hon. Christine M. Gravelle

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

Hon. Marvin P. Isgur

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (S.D. Tex.); Houston

Leslie C. Heilman, Facilitator

Ballard Spahr LLP; Wilmington, Del.

9:30-9:45 a.m.

Networking Break

9:45-10:45 a.m.

Confirmation: The Rest of the Story

The panelists will continue the conversation on confirmation by examining judicial vs. market valuation, valuation in light of Speedcast Int’l., equitable mootness, exclusivity termination, and the latest developments in § 363 sales.

Paul D. Leake, Moderator

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

Hon. Janet S. Baer

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (N.D. Ill.); Chicago

Hon. Clifton R. Jessup, Jr.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (N.D. Ala.); Decatur

Hon. David R. Jones

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (S.D. Tex.); Houston

Hon. Sean H. Lane

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

Anupama Yerramalli, Facilitator

Latham & Watkins LLP; New York

10:45-11:00 a.m.

Networking Break

Sponsored by McGuireWoods LLP

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

The Changing Real Estate Landscape

The panelists will compare the leniency of bankruptcy courts vs. state courts in regard to real estate, including their flexibility on assumption/rejection and delayed rent payments, and the resulting impact on commercial properties and law firms, as well as adequate protection. The implications of the Fulton decision will also be discussed.

Michael L. Bernstein, Moderator

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

Hon. Lisa G. Beckerman

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (S.D.N.Y.); White Plains

Hon. Rosemary J. Gambardella

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

Hon. Cecilia G. Morris

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (S.D.N.Y.); Poughkeepsie

Hon. Karen B. Owens

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

Kristin K. Going, Facilitator

McDermott Will & Emery; New York

12:00-1:30 p.m.

Working Lunch *In-person attendees only*

Lunch with the judges and faculty from the morning’s panels, with new facilitators leading the discussions.

Sponsored by BakerHostetler and Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones

Confirmation: Brave New World?

Damian S. Schaible

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP; New York

Confirmation: The Rest of the Story

Dan T. Moss

Jones Day; Washington, D.C.

The Changing Real Estate Landscape

Lorenzo Marinuzzi

Morrison & Foerster LLP; New York

1:30-1:40 p.m.

Networking Break

1:40-2:40 p.m.

Great Debates

Norman N. Kinel, Moderator

Squire Patton Boggs; New York

Resolved: The Bankruptcy Code impliedly repeals the Federal Arbitration Act with respect to disputes regarding the allowance of claims against a bankruptcy estate.

Pro: Hon. Ashely M. Chan

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (E.D. Pa.); Philadelphia

Con: Hon. Eric L. Frank

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (E.D. Pa.); Philadelphia

Resolved: A chapter 11 plan of reorganization may lawfully release the liability of a third party for its own tortious conduct without the consent of the creditor whose claim is being released.

Pro: Hon. Janet E. Bostwick

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. Mass.); Boston

Con: Hon. Frank J. Bailey

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. Mass.); Boston

2:40-3:00 p.m.

Networking Break

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

3:00-4:00 p.m.

Small Business Reorganization

This panel will explore the eligibility of small businesses to file under the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 (SBRA) and the benefits of doing so, along with recent developments and hot topics in this area of the law. The panelists will also discuss Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and whether these loans count toward debt ceilings (is it debt or a grant?), as well as § 525, which prohibits the Small Business Administration (SBA) from discriminating against debtors.

Laura Davis Jones, Moderator

Pachulski, Stang, Ziehl & Jones; Wilmington, Del.

Hon. Rebecca B. Connelly

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

Hon. John T. Dorsey

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

Hon. James J. Tancredi

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. Conn.); Avon, Conn.

Hon. Michael G. Williamson

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (M.D. Fla.); Tampa

Alexa J. Kranzley, Facilitator

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP; New York

4:00-4:15 p.m.

Networking Break

4:15-5:15 p.m.

Ethics: The Game-Changing Benefits of Diversity & Elimination of Bias

This session will focus on several of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, including 4.1 (Truthfulness to Others), 7.1 (Communications Concerning Lawyer’s Services) and 8.4 (Misconduct). The panelists will address compensation and diversity in U.S. law firms and the elimination of bias; the importance of diversity and inclusion regarding creativity and innovation, the correlation with financial performance, and improving the workplace and client relationships; and ways in which law firms can actively combat unconscious bias and make retention of diverse talent a priority.

Hon. Kevin J. Carey (ret.), Moderator

Hogan Lovells US LLP; Philadelphia

Hon. Elizabeth L. Gunn

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

Hon. Jeffrey P. Hopkins

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (S.D. Ohio); Cincinnati

Hon. C. Ray Mullins (ret.)

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

Hon. Deborah L. Thorne

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (N.D. Ill.); Chicago

5:15 p.m.

Cocktail Reception *In-person attendees only*

Sponsored by Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and Proskauer Rose LLP

Judicial Chair

Hon. Michelle M. Harner

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

Program Chair

Donald A. Workman

BakerHostetler; Washington, D.C.

Advisory Board

Marc E. Albert

Stinson LLP ; Washington, D.C.

Luke A. Barefoot

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP; New York

Michael L. Bernstein

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

Robert Britton

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

Hon. Kevin J. Carey (ret.)

Hogan Lovells US LLP; Philadelphia

Mark D. Collins

Richards, Layton & Finger, P.A.; Wilmington, Del.

Hon. Melanie L. Cyganowski (ret.)

Otterbourg P.C.; New York

Laura Davis Jones

Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones; Wilmington, Del.

Mary J. Dowd

Arent Fox LLP; Washington, D.C.

Dennis F. Dunne

Milbank LLP; New York

Douglas M. Foley

McGuireWoods LLP; Washington, D.C.

Jay M. Goffman

Rothschild & Co.; New York

Kristin K. Going

McDermott Will & Emery; Washington, D.C.

Jason W. Harbour

Hunton Andrews Kurth; Richmond, Va.

Leslie C. Heilman

Ballard Spahr LLP; Wilmington, Del.

Thomas M. Horan

Cozen O’Connor; Wilmington, Del.

Vincent Indelicato

Proskauer; New York

Shanti M. Katona

Polsinelli PC; Wilmington, Del.

Norman N. Kinel

Squire Patton Boggs; New York

C. Kevin Kobbe

DLA Piper; Baltimore

Alexa J. Kranzley

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP; New York

David R. Kuney, Chair Emeritus

Washington, D.C.

Paul D. Leake

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

Jeffrey A. Liesemer

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

Robert K. Malone

Gibbons PC; Newark, N.J.

Lorenzo Marinuzzi

Morrison & Foerster LLP; New York

Richard M. Meth

Roseland, N.J.

Joseph G. Minias

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP; New York

Erika L. Morabito

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP; Washington, D.C.

Dan T. Moss

Jones Day; Washington, D.C.

Lauren A. Moskowitz

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP; New York

Michael B. Schaedle

Blank Rome LLP; Philadelphia

Damian S. Schaible

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP; New York

Jeffrey L. Tarkenton

Womble Bond Dickinson (US) 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

Anupama Yerramalli

Latham & Watkins; New York


Program Location
JW Marriott Washington, DC
1331 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004

Parking Information

We encourage attendees to take the Metro or a taxi to the program.

The Hotel’s Valet Parking will remain operational and is located at the Front Drive on 14th Street NW between Pennsylvania Avenue NW and F Street NW. Valet parking services are available at a cost of $63. Due to the construction please anticipate longer wait times for Valet to retrieve cars.

Drivers can use the following nearby parking garage:

One Parking
1325 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005
12 Hour Rate: $28
24 Hour Rate: $35

1310 G St Garage – ParkChirp
1310 G St. NW, Washington, DC 20005
Reserve parking online / rates varies

Colonial Parking
607 14th Street NW Lot 558– The Westory
1 Hour - Until Closing: $23
Overnight: $35

Ronald Reagan Building Parking
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004
2 Hour: $20
2 to 4 Hours: $22
4 to 15†Hours $25
14 to 24 Hours: $35

6 hours of total CLE credit, including 1 hour of ethics, are pending in states calculating CLE on a 60-minute hour, and 7.2 hours of total CLE credit, including 1.2 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 nontransitional program has been approved in accordance with the requirements of the CLE Board for a maximum of 6 credit hours, of which 1 hour 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 6 hours, of which 1 hour will apply to ethics.

7.2 hours of total CPE credit, including 1.2 hours of ethics of CPE credit, are also available.

➤ CPE credit is NOT AVAILABLE for virtual program attendees.

➤ Bankruptcy 2021: Views from the Bench session recordings will be viewable for on-demand credit until October 24, 2021.

* ABI offers intermediate-level courses, which assume that attendees will have at least some detailed 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 submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website,


Breakfast Sponsor

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

Luncheon Sponsors

Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones

Refreshment Break Sponsors

McGuireWoods LLP
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Cocktail Reception Sponsors

Proskauer Rose LLP
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Conference Hall Sponsors

Sherwood Partners, Inc.

Attendee Email Sponsor

Cozen O'Connor

Wifi Sponsor


General Sponsor

Ballard Spahr LLP

Supporting Sponsors

Arent Fox LLP
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP
Barnes & Thornburg LLP
Blank Rome LLP
Caplin & Drysdale
Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton LLP
Cole Schotz P.C.
Cozen O'Connor
Davis Polk
DLA Piper
Hogan Lovells US LLP
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
Latham & Watkins LLP
McDermott Will & Emery, LLP
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP
Morrison & Foerster LLP
Otterbourg P.C.
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP
Richards, Layton & Finger, PA
Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP
Stinson LLP
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP

Registration Rates


In-Person Attendee Rates Regular Rate Late Rate (after 9/10/21)

ABI Member
ABI Govt./Nonprofit/Aca. Member
Join & Save*
New Govt./Nonprofit/Aca. ABI Member*


Online Attendee Rates  

ABI Member
ABI Govt./Nonprofit/Aca. Member
Join & Save*
New Govt./Nonprofit/Aca. ABI Member*

* Includes a one-year ABI membership for first-time members — a $375 value! Membership is individual and nonrefundable. If your membership has expired, select the member rate and add in your membership-renewal fee.

Cancellation Policy

In-Person Attendee Cancellation Policy

All fees, except a $75 handling fee, will be refunded if written notice of cancellation is received by September 2, 2021. No refunds will be granted after September 2, but substitutions will be allowed. After September 2, 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.

Online Attendee Cancellation Policy

No refunds will be granted for the online program. Should you become unable to attend any or all of the sessions, a recording of all sessions will be sent to you, along with the corresponding educational materials.

Anti-Harassment Policy

The American Bankruptcy Institute is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery are not appropriate for any conference venue, including talks. Conference participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the conference without a refund at the discretion of the conference organizers. Our anti-harassment policy can be found at

Financial Hardship Statement

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, ABI may allow the individual to work at the 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. Financial assistance is available for this program. Illinois Attorneys: If registration fees are more than $500, attorneys who qualify will receive at least a 50% reduction in the registration fee. For more information, please contact the American Bankruptcy Institute at (703) 739-0800 or send an e-mail to [email protected].