ABIs 25th Annual Spring Meeting Set for April 12-15

ABIs 25th Annual Spring Meeting Set for April 12-15

Contact:  John Hartgen
              [email protected]



January 4, 2007, Alexandria, Va. --More than 1,000 bankruptcy professionals will attend the American Bankruptcy Institute's (ABI) 25th Anniversary Annual Spring Meeting, to be held April 12-15, 2007, at the JW Marriott in Washington, D.C. ABI’s largest conference features a number of educational programs to address a wide array of timely insolvency issues, and will offer 15.5 hours of CLE credit, including 3.0 hours of ethics.

The special guest speaker at this year's meeting will be former U.S. Attorney General and Senator John Ashcroft. Ashcroft, author of Never Again: Securing America and Restoring Justice, will be featured at the Saturday, April 14, luncheon sponsored by the American College of Bankruptcy. Also featured will be Chris Gardner, whose rags-to-riches tale from homelessness to Wall Street is now inspiring millions in the current hit movie The Pursuit of Happyness, starring Will Smith. Gardner is the luncheon keynote on Friday, April 13.

Back for 2007 is the Bankruptcy Fundamentals: Nuts and Bolts for Young Practitioners program on Thursday, April 12. At this special day-long seminar for beginning insolvency practitioners, an outstanding faculty of judges and practitioners will explain the fundamentals of bankruptcy in separate consumer and business tracks.

The conference educational program session begin on April 13 with ABI's Eleventh Annual Great Debates, moderated by ABI's Vice President of EducationRobert J. Keach of Bernstein Shur (Portland, Maine). The event consists of three debates.  In Debate No. 1, 'Under §363, Property Can Be Sold Free and Clear of Claims,' Robert M. Fishman of Shaw Gussis Fishman, et al. LLC (Chicago) will debate Dillon E. Jackson of Foster Pepper PLLC (Seattle).

In Debate No. 2, 'Individual Chapter 7 Debtors Have an Absolute to Convert to Chapter 13,' Craig Goldblatt of WilmerHale LLP (Washington, D.C.) will debate G. Eric Brunstad, Jr. of Bingham McCutchen LLP (Hartford, Conn.). The issue is pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

In Debate No. 3, 'Loan-to-Own DIP Lenders Should Not Be Allowed to Credit Bid,' will be debated by former ABI president Michael P. Richman of Foley & Lardner LLP (New York) and Thomas J. Salerno of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, LLP (Phoenix).

Expert panels have been organized in concurrent sessions, allowing conference attendees to choose the ones that most interest them.  Speakers include bankruptcy judges, accountants, attorneys, turnaround managers, law professors, trustees and others.

'And Now for Something Completely Different: A Roundtable on Bankruptcy, Labor and Credit Issues and the New Congress' will feature panelists William A. Brandt, Jr. of Development Specialists, Inc. (Chicago), William A. Derrough of Jefferies & Company, Inc. (New York), Travis B. Plunkett of the Consumer Federation of America (Washington, D.C.) and Clifford J. White, III, Executive Office for U.S. Trustees (Washington, D.C.). A member of Congress will also join the panel.

Bankruptcy Judge Joan N. Feeney (Boston) will moderate the 'Judges’ Roundtable: Supreme Court Year in Review (and Other Appellate Issues),' featuring bankruptcy judges Kevin J. Carey (Wilmington, Del.), Robert E. Gerber (New York), Jeffery P. Hopkins (Cincinnati) and Gregg W. Zive (Reno, Nev.).

'Ready, Set, Go: A Practical Guide to Preparing and Filing a chapter 11 Case and Surviving the 'First Days'—Part I' will be moderated by Kathryn Pamenter of Goldberg Kohn Bell, et al, Ltd. (Chicago) and feature panelists Mark D. Collins of Richards, Layton & Finger, PA (Wilmington, Del.), Dallas M. Darland of TRG (Boston) and Tinamarie Feil of BMC Group (Seattle).

Part II of 'Ready, Set, Go: A Practical Guide to Preparing and Filing a Chapter 11 Case and Surviving the “First Days,” will feature Bankruptcy Judge Charles G. Case, II (Phoenix), Debra I. Grassgreen of Pachulski, Stang, Ziehl, et al. LLP (San Francisco), Bankruptcy Judge William C. Hillman (Boston), Melissa Kibler Knoll of Mesirow Financial Consulting, LLC (Chicago) and Charles F. Kuoni, III of Corporate Revitalization Partners, LLC (Chapel Hill, N.C.).

Moderated by David B. Stratton of Pepper Hamilton LLP (Wilmington, Del.), 'Real Estate Redux: What the New 'Dirt Cases' Will Look Like' will feature panelists Matthew Bordwin of Keen Consultants, LLC (Great Neck, N.Y.), David L. Bruck of Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis LLP (Woodbridge, N.J.), Ronald F. Greenspan of FTI Consulting, Inc. (Los Angeles) and Bankruptcy Judge Linda B. Riegle (Las Vegas).

'Key Restructuring Issues in Energy, Telecom and Utility Cases: Lessons for the New Cases from the Last Wave' will feature panelists John R. Castellano of AlixPartners LLP (New York), Jeremy Fagot of PA Consulting (Denver), Thomas E. Lauria of White & Case LLP (Miami), Nicholas P. Leone of The Blackstone Group (New York) and Matthew Mazzucchi of Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin (Minneapolis).

Moderator Dennis J. LeVine of Dennis LeVine & Associates, PA (Tampa, Fla.) will be joined by panelists Alane A. Becket of Becket & Lee, LLP (Malvern, Pa.), Bankruptcy Judge Eileen W. Hollowell (Tucson, Ariz.), W. Clarkson McDow of the Office of the U.S. Trustee, Region 4 (Columbia, S.C.) and Chapter 13 Trustee Gerald M. O’Donnell (Alexandria, Va.) for the 'Getting to the Finish Line: Current Issues in Chapter 13 Plan Confirmation, Implementation and Discharge' session.

'Equity Rises Again: Strategies for Interest-Holders in Chapter 11 Reorganizations and Sales' will be moderated by Jeffrey L. Jonas of Brown Rudnick Berlack Israels LLP (Boston) and feature panelists Lorie R. Beers of the Gordian Group, LLC (New York), Anders Maxwell of Peter J. Solomon Company, L.P. (New York), Thomas E. Patterson of Klee, Tuchin, Bogdanoff & Stern LLP (Los Angeles) and Paul N. Silverstein of AndrewsKurth LLP (New York).

Jo Ann J. Brightonof Kennedy Covington Lobdell & Hickman, LLP (Charlotte, N.C.) will moderate 'The Death of Deepening Insolvency? Corporate Governance for Troubled Companies after the Delaware Cases,' which will feature panelists Jonathan P. Friedland of Kirkland & Ellis LLP (Chicago), Prof. Michelle Morgan Harner of the University of Nebraska College of Law (Lincoln, Neb.), Marc D. Puntus of Miller Buckfire & Co., LLC (New York) and Russell C. Silberglied of Richards, Layton, Finger, PA (Wilmington, Del.).

'Health Care Business Restructurings and Liquidations after BAPCPA: Issues and Strategies for the 'New' Cases' will feature moderator Sarah B. Foster of Haynes and Boone, LLP (Austin, Texas) and panelists Bernard A. Katz of J.H. Cohn, LLP (Edison, N.J), Suzanne Koenig of SAK Management Services, LLC (Chicago), Hal F. Morris of the Office of the Texas Attorney General (Austin) and Nancy A. Peterman of Greenberg Traurig, LLP (Chicago).

Moderator Richard M. Meth of Day Pitney (Florham Park, N.J.) will be joined by panelists Barbara S. Gillers of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, LLP (New York), Judith Greenstone Miller of Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer & Weiss, PC (Southfield, Mich.), Prof. Nancy B. Rapoport of the University of Houston Law Center (Houston) and Bankruptcy Judge Steven W. Rhodes (Detroit) for the plenary session 'The Application of State Ethics Rules in Bankruptcy: Are We Just Holding Our Noses and Looking the Other Way?'

The plenary session 'Selecting and Qualifying an Expert: Not Just Anyone Will Do' will be moderated by Robert J. Keach of Bernstein Shur (Portland, Maine) and feature panelists Bankruptcy Judge Stan Bernstein (Central Islip, N.Y.), Howard Brod Brownstein of NachmanHaysBrownstein, Inc. (Narberth, Pa.), Mark M. Maloney of King & Spalding LLP (Atlanta) and R. Scott Williams of Haskell Slaughter Young & Rediker, LLC (Birmingham, Ala.).

The Annual Spring Meeting has consistently been ABI's biggest conference with over 1,100 attendees. It is one of two annual conferences where ABI committees and subcommittees meet. More than 20 such committees will hold programs for CLE credit. The four-day conference offers approximately 15.5 hours credit, including 3.0 hours of ethics.The conference also provides attendees with numerous opportunities to network with their colleagues. 

The American Board of Certification (ABC) will offer its Consumer Bankruptcy, Business Bankruptcy and Creditors' Rights exams on Thursday, April 12, from 9:00 a.m.­5:00 p.m. at The JW Marriott. For details please visit the ABC web site at www.abcworld.org or e-mail [email protected].

Those who register by January 26 will receive a $100 discount on the late registration rate. To find out more information about ABI’s 25th Annual Spring Meeting, please visit www.abiworld.org/ASM07.


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 11,500 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 www.abiworld.org. For additional conference information, visit http://www.abiworld.org/conferences.html.