ABIs Twentieth Winter Leadership Conference to Take Place December 4-6

ABIs Twentieth Winter Leadership Conference to Take Place December 4-6

Contact: John Hartgen  
   (703) 739-0800
               [email protected]



August 19, 2008, Alexandria, Va. — The American Bankruptcy Institute’s (ABI) Twentieth Annual Winter Leadership Conference will take place Dec. 4-6 at the Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa in Tucson, Ariz. The conference will feature a record 31 panel sessions examining the distress in the mortgage and real estate industries, as well as international and municipal bankruptcies, along with 19 educational sessions from ABI’s membership committees looking at a wide range of bankruptcy topics. The conference includes a luncheon keynote by award-winning writer William Safire. A columnist for the New York Times, Safire was awarded the Pulitizer Prize for distinguished commentary in 1978 and was awarded the nation's highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 2006.

The conference educational program sessions begin with ABI's popular Great Debates series, consisting of three debates.  In Debate No. 1, “Administratively Insolvent Cases Should Be Administered Solely for the Benefit of Secured Creditors, ” Jeffrey S. Sabin of Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP (New York) will debate Deborah L. Thorne of Barnes & Thornburg LLP (Chicago).

The second debate, “Special Conflicts Counsel Resolve Potential Disinterestedness Issues for Debtor's Lead Counsel,” features Richard L. Epling of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP (New York) debating Annette W. Jarvis of Ray, Quinney & Nebeker PC (Salt Lake City).

The final debate “The 2008 Election Results Mean Major Changes are Coming in Consumer Credit and Bankruptcy,” features a debate between Gail Hillebrand of the Consumers Union (San Francisco) and John McMickle of Winston & Strawn LLP (Washington, D.C.).

Concurrent general sessions include:

The “Gift Plans, Settlements, Releases and Other Confirmation Strategies: Winning Strategies Revealed in the Lending Cases” session, will be moderated by Thomas Moers Mayer of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP (New York) with panelists Ronald E. Gold of Frost Brown Todd LLC (Cincinnati) and Bankruptcy Judge Eugene R. Wedoff (Chicago).

Josefina Fernandez McEvoyof K&L Gates LLP (Los Angeles) will moderate the “Insolvency and the Increasing Role of Distressed Investment Firms in the Pacific Rim: New Challenges and Opportunities in Asia” session, featuring panelists Gordon W. Johnson of EM Advisors (Reston, Va.), Michel Lowy of Deutsche Bank (Hong Kong), Dr. Yu-An Rao of the Pacific Rim Institute for Development & Education (Shanghai, China) and Rachel Raha Shahid-Saless of The World Bank (Washington, D.C.).

“Bankruptcy's New Wave – Preparing for the Perfect Storm: Which Sectors Will Take a Direct Hit?” to be moderated by Deirdre A. Martini of Wachovia Capital Finance (New York), includes panelists Michael Friedman of Richards Kibbe & Orbe LLP (New York) and Melissa Kibler Knoll of Mesirow Financial Consulting, LLC (Chicago).

The “Mortgage Industry: Who Holds the Paper and How Much Is Really Due? How to Police Lenders and Protect Homeowners” session will be moderated by Rudy J. Cerone of McGlinchey Stafford, PLLC (New Orleans) with panelists William R. Greendyke of Fulbright & Jaworski LLP (Houston), Mark A. Redmiles, the Deputy Director of the Executive Office for the U.S. Trustees (Washington, D.C.), and Bankruptcy Judge Steven W. Rhodes (Detroit).

Moderator Paul Steven Singerman of Berger Singerman, PA (Miami) will be joined by panelists Robert M. Hirsh of Arent Fox LLP (New York), Neil Luria of Navigant Capital Advisors, LLC (Shaker Heights, Ohio) and Lawrence E. Young of AlixPartners LLP (Dallas) for the “Real Estate Bankruptcies: What's Happening Now, and What's Next? Dealing with the Litigation Wave in Residential and Commercial Cases” session.

The “Chapter 9: Coming to a Town Near You! Welcome to the Next Financial Bubble” session, to be moderated by H. Slayton Dabney, Jr. of King & Spalding LLP (New York), features panelists Lynn Hamilton Butler of Brown McCarroll, LLP (Austin, Texas), Alan B. Jaffe of RBC Capital Markets Corporation (Birmingham, Ala.) and Marc A. Levinson of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP (Sacramento, Calif.).

Bradley D. Sharp of Development Specialists, Inc. (Los Angeles) will moderate the “Art of Deal-Making in Bankruptcy: Negotiating Skills & Strategies for Today's Complex Cases” session with panelists Peter M. Gilhuly of Latham & Watkins LLP (Los Angeles), Ronald L. Glass of GlassRatner Advisory & Capital Group LLC (Atlanta) and Peter S. Kaufman of the Gordian Group, LLC (New York).

Moderator Claire Ann Resop of von Briesen & Roper, SC (Madison, Wis.) will be joined by panelists Bankruptcy Judge Dennis R. Dow (Kansas City, Mo.) and Cynthia F. Grimes of Grimes & Rebein, LC (Lenexa, Kan.) for the “Chapter 13 Plans The Latest on Modification Standards, Measuring Disposable Income and Plan Duration” session.

The “Circuit Splits: The Widening Gap and Its Impact on Venue Selection” plenary session will be moderated by Robert J. Keach of Bernstein Shur (Portland, Maine) and feature panelists Patti H. Bass of Bass & Associates, PC (Tucson, Ariz.), Laura Davis Jones of Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP (Wilmington, Del.) and Michael P. Richman of Foley & Lardner LLP (New York).

The “Getting Ahead of the E–discovery Curve: Best Practices, Including Professional and Ethical Limitations” session features a discussion between Mark A. Berkoff of DLA Piper US LLP (Chicago) and Ken Withers of The Sedona Conference (Phoenix).

Mark M. Maloney of King & Spalding LLP (Atlanta) and Bankruptcy Judge Barry Russell (Los Angeles) will take part in the “Evidence/Trial Practice Program: The Art of Trial Advocacy and Persuasion in Brief” session.

For more information on the Winter Leadership Conference, please visit http://www.abiworld.org/WLC08.   



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 11,700 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.htm