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Event Information 270144

Monday, February 18

9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.


5:00-6:00 p.m.


6:00-6:15 p.m.

Presentation of Shapero Cup Award and Best Oral Advocate Award

6:15 p.m.

Awards Reception


*Timing subject to change based on the number of teams.

**Additional Ticket Required.  View "Symposium" Tab for more information.


Join ABI and the committee of The Walter Shapero Bankruptcy Symposium for an educational session following the inaugural Shapero Cup Moot Court Competition.  The one-hour symposium will feature speakers below in discussion about the same fact pattern the teams argued earlier in the day. Stay for the awards ceremony and a cocktail reception to congratulate the eight participating teams and network with colleagues.

This event is a great opportunity to connect with area insolvency professionals, engage with expert speakers, and honor our colleague, mentor and friend, Judge Shapero.

About Judge Shapero

Hon. Walter Shapero was appointed as a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan in 1988. After serving the full term of his appointment, he continued to serve as a bankruptcy judge in recall status until he retired in September 2016, and always carried full case load. Throughout his judicial career, Judge Shapero was known for his scholarly, intellectually curious and thorough approach to legal issues, and for his gracious, humble and civil approach to all of the lawyers and parties who appeared in his courtroom.

Judge Shapero received his A.B. in 1951 from the University of Michigan and his LL.B. in 1954 from the University of Virginia Law School, where he served as an editorial board member of the Virginia Law Review. He was admitted to the State Bar of Michigan in 1955. In 1954, Judge Shapero clerked for a Michigan Supreme Court Justice before entering in private practice in 1956 with Shapero, Shapero and Cohn, which later became Bromberg, Robinson, Shapero, Cohn and Burgoyne. He concentrated his law practice in real estate and served as an adjunct law professor at both the University of Detroit Law School and Wayne State University Law School.

The Honorable Walter Shapero Bankruptcy Symposium, named in Judge Shapero’s honor for his many years of outstanding service as a bankruptcy judge, is a nonprofit entity dedicated to the advancement of knowledge and understanding of bankruptcy law. Established in 2004, the symposium annually puts on scholarly presentations regarding bankruptcy law.

Featured Speakers

Susan M. Cook

Warner Norcross & Judd LLP; Midland, Mich.

Anthony J. Kochis

Wolfson Bolton PLLC; Troy, Mich.

Hon. Daniel S. Opperman

Chief Judge of the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the 6th Circuit

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (E.D. Mich.); Bay City


U.S. District Courthouse

231 W. Lafayette Boulevard

Room 115
Detroit, Mich.


Monday, February 18, 2019
5:00 p.m. Symposium*
6:00 p.m. Presentation of Shapero Cup Award and Best Oral Advocate Award
6:15 p.m. Reception


Tickets: $25 each*

*Includes 1 hour of CLE (pending). CLE will only be offered for IL, IN, MI, OH, and WI.

Competition Information

The inaugural Shapero Cup Regional Moot Court Competition (the “Regional”) is scheduled for Monday, February 18, 2019, at the U.S. Bankruptcy Courthouse in Detroit.

The Regional is open to law schools from the Sixth Circuit and is designed in part to serve as formal practice for law school teams competing in the Duberstein Moot Court Competition at St. John’s University School of Law in New York City in March (the “Duberstein Competition”). The Regional is not an elimination round for the Duberstein Competition. Rather, it is an opportunity for the student advocates to hone their skills on the same case problem they will argue in New York. The Shapero Cup will be judged by leading members of the bench and bar.

For the Regional, teams do not need to submit briefs. Each team will argue in the preliminary round, with one argument for the petitioner and one argument for the respondent. The two teams with the highest average score in the preliminary round will advance to the final round.

Awards will be given at the Regional, which will include the Shapero Cup for the first-place team and a plaque for the top oralist.

To participate, please review the Official Rules and return the completed application to Bethany Spencer at

Planning Committee

Allison R. Bach

Dickinson Wright PLLC

Michael E. Baum

Schafer & Weiner, PLLC

Leslie Berg

Office of the U.S. Trustee

Ian Bolton

Ian Bolton Law Group

Kelley Callard

Office of the U.S. Trustee

Sean M. Cowley

Office of the U.S. Trustee

Ethan Dunn

Maxwell Dunn, PLC

Lisa Sommers Gretchko

Howard & Howard

Wallace M. Handler

Sullivan, Ward, Asher & Patton, P.C.

David A. Lerner

Plunkett Cooney, P.C.

Craig S. Schoenherr, Sr.

O'Reilly Rancilio P.C.

Hon. Phillip J. Shefferly, Chief Judge

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (E.D. Mich.)

Official Rules


Any accredited law school located in the Sixth Circuit (Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee) may enter one or two teams to participate in the Regional. The event is designed to serve as formal practice for the Sixth Circuit law schools that are competing in the 2019 Duberstein Competition.



Each participating school may enter up to two teams composed of two or three students each. All team members must be enrolled at the school that they represent at the time of the competition.


There shall be no substitution of team members after the Application Form is submitted, except upon written permission from the Regional.


There shall be no brief submissions for the Regional. Competitors are scored on oral advocacy only.



  1. IN GENERAL. Each team will argue in the preliminary round, with one argument for the petitioner and one argument for the respondent. The two teams with the highest scores in the preliminary round will advance to the final round.
  2. PAIRINGS OF TEAMS. Pairings in the preliminary round will be chosen at random.
  3. TIME AND PLACE. Oral arguments will take place on February 18, 2019, at the U.S. Bankruptcy Courthouse in Detroit.


The winner of the 2019 Shapero Cup will be announced at the Awards Reception.


The scores for each round will be based on oral argument.


Each team is limited to thirty (30) minutes of oral argument. Two (2) team members will argue in each round. How the thirty (30) minutes allotted for the argument is divided among team members may be made at the discretion of the team, but no team member shall be apportioned less than ten (10) minutes for oral argument. The petitioner may reserve up to three (3) minutes of rebuttal time prior to the commencement of the argument. Teams that reserve rebuttal time shall notify the judges and/or bailiff on how to deduct rebuttal time. Time reserved for rebuttals shall be counted as part of the thirty (30) minutes allotted for the argument. Judges reserve the right to allow for additional time at their discretion.


The competitor with the highest mean (average) score for oral argument will be chosen as the best oral advocate. The winner of the best oral advocate award will be announced at the Awards Reception.



No team member, coach or faculty adviser of a team participating in the Regional may attend an argument of any other team during the preliminary round. The number of attendees to each argument is limited to the competing team members, their families, and two coaches or two faculty advisors. All participants may attend, and are strongly encouraged to attend, the final round.


There shall be no communication in any form from any member of the audience, including other team members sitting in the audience, once a round has begun.


The Regional may assess such penalties, including disqualification, as it deems reasonable and appropriate for any failure to comply with the foregoing rules. Any decisions, penalties or other actions taken by the Regional will be final and binding on all participants. The Regional reserves the right to make and implement any further rules and procedures deemed advisable for the conduct of this event.



Bethany Spencer, CMP
American Bankruptcy Institute


Competing Schools

Case Western Reserve University
Michigan State University (2 teams)
The Ohio State University
University of Memphis (2 teams)
University of Michigan


Patron Sponsors

Howard & Howard Howard & Howard Jaffe Raitt Heuer & WeissStevenson & Bullock PLC

Benefactor Sponsor

Dickinson Wright

Host Sponsor

Bodman PLC

Supporting Sponsors

Gold Lange & Majoros, P.C.
Plunkett Cooney
Hon. Steven Rhodes (Ret.)


Wolfson Bolton PLLC


For sponsorship opportunities, please download the form and return to Bethany Spencer.