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ABI Once Again Partners with UMKC to Hold the 29th Annual Midwestern Bankruptcy Institute Program in October

Contact: John Hartgen


June 17, 2009, Alexandria, Va. — The American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) and the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law are again partnering to present the 29th Annual Midwestern Bankruptcy Institute program on Oct. 2. The conference will take place at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown in Kansas City, Mo. The Midwestern Bankruptcy Institute features distinguished speakers on current developments. There will also be a discounted Consumer Track featuring breakout sessions specifically designed for consumer practitioners. Attendees will have the opportunity to earn 8.0 hours of CLE credit, including 1.0 hour of ethics.

Ronald S. Weiss of Berman, DeLeve, Kuchan & Chapman, LC (Kansas City) and Mark G. Stingley of Bryan Cave LLP (Kansas City) are the program co-chairs. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis R. Dow (W.D. Mo.; Kansas City) is the judicial chair of the Midwestern Bankruptcy Institute Program.

Bankruptcy Judges Dennis R. Dow (W.D. Mo.; Kansas City) and Robert E. Nugent (D. Kan.; Wichita) will join Barkley Clark of Stinson Morrison Hecker, LLP (Kansas City) for the “Case Law Update” plenary session.

ABI Resident Scholar Prof. Adam J. Levitin of the Georgetown University Law Center (Washington, D.C.) will provide the luncheon keynote, a legislative update on “Views from Inside the Capital Beltway.”

The conference will also feature ABI’s popular “Great Debates” program, consisting of three debates moderated by Paul D. Sinclair of Polsinelli Shughart PS (Kansas City). In Debate No. 1, “Section 548(c)'s Good-Faith Defense Should Be Unavailable in Ponzi Scheme Cases,” Brian L. Shaw of Shaw Gussis Fishman Glantz Wolfson & Towbin LLC (Chicago) will debate Keith M. Aurzada of Bryan Cave LLP (Dallas).

In Debate No. 2, “Congress Must Allow Courts to Lienstrip Home Mortgages,” Tara Twomey of the National Consumer Law Center (Carmel, Calif.) will debate Paul H. Berens of Bradshaw, Steele, Cochrane & Berens (Cape Girardeau, Mo.).

In Debate No. 3, “In Applying the Means Test, the Court May Determine the Necessity and Reasonableness of Payments on Secured Debts,” Gil Weisman of Becket & Lee, LLP (Malvern, Pa.) will debate Bankruptcy Judge Arthur B. Federman (W.D. Mo.; Kansas City).

Also included in the programming is a “Judges Roundtable,”moderated by Mark A. Shaiken of Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP (Kansas City, Mo.), with Bankruptcy Judges Robert D. Berger (D. Kan.; Kansas City), Dennis R. Dow (W.D. Mo.; Kansas City), Arthur B. Federman (W.D. Mo.; Kansas City), Janice M. Karlin (D. Kan.; Topeka), Robert E. Nugent (D. Kan.; Wichita), Dale L. Somers (D. Kan.; Topeka), Kathy A. Surratt-States (E.D. Mo.; St. Louis) and Jerry W. Venters (W.D. Mo.; Kansas City).

The Business Track breakout sessions include:

The “Business Ethics: Counseling the Closely Held Corporate Debtor: Bankruptcy Planning and Professional Ethics” session will be discussed by Prof. Jeffrey W. Morris of the University of Dayton School of Law and Of Counsel, Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur (Dayton, Ohio) and Bankruptcy Judge Jerry W. Venters (W.D. Mo.; Kansas City).

“The Baptist Foundation of Arizona - A Chapter 11 Case Where the Ponzi Scheme was in the Church” session will be discussed by Clifton R. Jessup, Jr. of Greenberg Traurig, LLP (Dallas).

Daniel F. Dooley of MorrisAnderson & Associates, Ltd. (Chicago), ABI Resident Scholar Prof. Adam J. Levitin of the Georgetown University Law Center (Washington, D.C.), Deborah L. Thorne of Barnes & Thornburg LLP (Chicago) and John Tittle, Jr. of NachmanHaysBrownstein, Inc. (Dallas) will participate in the “Financing a Chapter 11 - Pre, During, and Exit” session.

The Consumer Track breakout sessions include:

The “Consumer Ethics: Prebankruptcy Estate Planning” session will feature panelists Thomas M. Mullinix of Evans & Mullinix, PA (Shawnee Mission, Kan.), Robert J. Blackwell of Blackwell & Associates, PC (Fallon, Mo.) and Bruce E. Strauss of Merrick, Baker & Strauss, PC (Kansas City, Mo.).

Jay Fleischman of Fleischman Consumer Law Center (Brooklyn, N.Y.) will present the “Discharge Violations and Protecting your Clients from Creditor Abuses” session.

The “Representing Small Business Clients” session includes panelists Cynthia F. Grimes of Grimes & Rebein, LC (Lenexa, Kan.), David P. Leibowitz of Lakelaw/Leibowitz Law Center (Waukegan, Ill.) and Cathleen Cooper Moran of the Moran Law Group, Inc. (Mountain View, Calif.).

Click on the link below for more information on the 29th Annual Midwestern Bankruptcy Institute program.


ABI is the largest multi-disciplinary, nonpartisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency. ABI was founded in 1982 to provide Congress and the public with unbiased analysis of bankruptcy issues. The ABI membership includes more than 12,000 attorneys, accountants, bankers, judges, professors, lenders, turnaround specialists and other bankruptcy professionals providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information. For additional information on ABI, visit For additional conference information, visit