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Consumer Bankruptcy Developments Ethics and Bankruptcy Alternatives Take Center Stage at ABIs 17th Annual Southwest Bankruptcy Conference

Contact: John Hartgen
             [email protected]



June 12, 2009 Alexandria, Va. -- More than 500 are expected to attend ABI’s 17th Annual Southwest Bankruptcy Conference, which will be held Sept. 10-12 at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino in Incline Village, Nev.  Programming for the conference features 9 CLE credit hours, including 1 hour of ethics. Program chairs for the conference are Jeffrey N. Pomerantz of Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP (Los Angeles) and Candace C. Carlyon of Shea & Carlyon, Ltd. (Las Vegas). The Judicial Chair is Bankruptcy Judge Gregg W. Zive (Reno, Nev.) and the sponsorship chair for the conference is Jeff Nerland of CRG Partners LLC (Santa Ana, Calif.)

An outstanding faculty of judges, academics and industry professionals will present workshops on a variety of topics, and the conference will feature a Friday luncheon keynote by Senior Economist Jerry Nickelsburg, Ph.D. of UCLA Anderson Forecast.

Prof. Nancy B. Rapoport of the William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada (Las Vegas) will moderate the “Rolling CLE” session in an exciting new format for attendees looking to obtain ethics CLE credit. Attendees will join Prof. Rapoport on a round-trip bus ride for the “multimedia ethics extravaganza” from the Reno, Nev. airport to the conference with light refreshments being served on the trip.

Attendees also can attend tow optional sessions led by the International Women’s Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation (IWIRC).

The conference features a “Judges Roundtable” with Bankruptcy Judges Samuel L. Bufford (C.D. Calif.; Los Angeles), Eileen W. Hollowell (D. Ariz.; Tucson), Christopher M. Klein (E.D. Calif.; Sacramento), David W. Houston, III (N.D. Miss.; Aberdeen), Mike K. Nakagawa (D. Nev.; Las Vegas), Randall J. Newsome (N.D. Calif.; Oakland), Steven W. Rhodes (E.D. Mich.; Detroit), Leslie J. Tchaikovsky (N.D. Calif.; Oakland), Maureen Tishe (C.D. Calif.; Woodland Hills), Michael G. Williamson (D. Fla.; Tampa), Eugene R. Wedoff (N.D. Ill.; Chicago) and Gregg W. Zive (D. Nev.; Reno).

The conference will also feature ABI's popular Great Debates series, moderated by Mitchell Ryanof Epiq Systems (Orange, Calif.). In the first debate, “The court may approve carve-outs for certain professionals and class-skipping distributions upon the approval of affected secured creditors,” Mark Shindermanof Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP (Los Angeles) will debate Brett A. Axelrod of Greenberg Traurig, LLP (Las Vegas).

In Debate No. 2, “BAPCPA provisions mandating contribution of post-petition earnings unconstitutionally mandate involuntary servitude,” Bankruptcy Judge Samuel L. Bufford (C.D. Calif.; Los Angeles) will debate Scott F. Gautier of Peitzman, Weg & Kempinsky LLP (Los Angeles).

In Debate No. 3, “Administratively insolvent cases may be administered for the benefit of secured creditors,” Eve H. Karasik of Stutman, Treister & Glatt, PC (Los Angeles) will debate Robert L. Eisenbach, III of Cooley Godward Kronish LLP (San Francisco).

Conference sessions include:

The “Current Developments in Consumer Bankruptcies” session will feature panelists Ford Elsaesser of Elsaesser, Jarzabek, Anderson, Marks, Elliott & McHugh, Chtd. (Sandpoint, Idaho), Bankruptcy Judges Eileen W. Hollowell  (D. Ariz.; Tucson) and Christopher M. Klein (E.D. Calif.; Sacramento) and Randy Nussbaum of Nussbaum & Gillis, PC (Scottsdale, Ariz.).

Panelists on the “Ethics - Walking in the Grey Areas: Advising Clients and Avoiding Pitfalls in Ethically Unsettled Areas” session include August B. Landis of the Office of the U.S. Trustee (Las Vegas), Larry Lattig of Mesirow Financial Consulting, LLC (Dallas), Bankruptcy Judge Randall J. Newsome (N.D. Calif.; Oakland) and Prof. Nancy B. Rapoport of the William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada (Las Vegas).

Steven M. Bermanof Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP (Tampa, Fla.), Candace C. Carlyon of Shea & Carlyon, Ltd. (Las Vegas), Brian I. Swett of Winston & Strawn LLP (Chicago), Donna S. Tamanaha of the Office of the U.S. Trustee (San Francisco) and Bankruptcy Judge Michael G. Williamson (M.D. Fla.; Tampa) will participate in the “Evidence/Litigation Skills” session.

“The Contested Confirmation: Traps, Potholes and Strategies (Tricks?) in a Cramdown” session will feature panelists Robin E. Phelan of Haynes and Boone, LLP (Dallas), Thomas J. Salerno of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, LLP (Phoenix), Bankruptcy Judge Leslie J. Tchaikovsky (N.D. Calif; Oakland) and John Tittle, Jr. of NachmanHaysBrownstein, Inc. (Dallas).

The “Fraudulent Conveyance Claims: Offense and Defense” session includes panelists Kathy Bazoian Phelps of Danning, Gill, Diamond & Kollitz, LLP (Los Angeles), Bankruptcy Judge Steven W. Rhodes (E.D. Mich.; Detroit), Brenda Moody Whinery of Mesch, Clark & Rothschild, PC (Tucson) and Daniel R. Williams of RSM McGladrey (Phoenix).

“Technology Transformation - Leverage the Newest Technologies Being Used by the Bench & Bar” will feature panelists ABI’s Interactive Media and Technology Director Karim Guirguis (Alexandria, Va.), Lorenzo Mendizabal of Epiq Systems (New York) and Bankruptcy Judge Eugene R. Wedoff (N.D. Ill.; Chicago).

Geoffrey L. Bermanof Development Specialists, Inc. (Los Angeles), Bruce Cox Conklin, Jr. of Kibel Green Inc. (Irvine, Calif.), Caroline Case Fuller of Fairfield & Woods, PC (Denver) and Dean G. Rallis, Jr. of Alston & Bird LLP (Los Angeles) will take part in the “Bankruptcy Alternatives: Receiverships, Foreclosures, and Workouts – In Search of a Better Way” session.

“Who Is Still Eligible for Bankruptcy Relief? Current Issues on the Means Test, Debt Limits and Serial Filers” will include panelists Kevin A. Darby of the Darby Law Practice, Ltc. (Reno, Nev.), Bankruptcy Judge Mike K. Nakagawa (D. Nev.; Las Vegas) and Claire Ann Resop of Von Briesen & Roper, SC (Madison, Wis.).

The “Understanding Cross-Border Issues in a Restructuring Situation” session will feature panelists Scott K. Brown of Lewis and Roca LLP (Phoenix), Bankruptcy Judge Samuel L. Bufford (C.D. Calif.; Los Angeles), Nicole Horton of Macquarie Capital (USA) Inc. (Los Angeles), George M. Kelakos of Kelakos Advisors LLC (Greenwich, Conn.) and Josefina Fernandez McEvoy of Fox Rothschild LLP (Los Angeles).

“Around Chapter 11 in 80 Days for Rapid Reorganizations or Liquidation” will include panelists Laurel E. Davis of Fennemore Craig PC (Las Vegas), Franklind Davis Lea of Tactical Financial Consulting, LLC (Alpharetta, Ga.), Victor A. Sahn of SulmeyerKupetz, APC (Los Angeles) and Bankruptcy Judge Gregg W. Zive (D. Nev.; Reno).

Rudy J. Ceroneof McGlinchey Stafford, PLLC (New Orleans), Bankruptcy Judge David W. Houston, III (N.D. Miss; Aberdeen), Kathleen A. Leavitt (Las Vegas) and Lenard E. Schwartzer of Schwartzer & McPherson Law Firm (Las Vegas) will take part in the “Residential Mortgages: Burning Down the House” session.

Current Developments in Commercial Bankruptcies will feature panelists Holland N. O'Neil of Gardere Wynne Sewell, LLP (Dallas),Thomas E. Patterson of Klee, Tuchin, Bogdanoff & Stern LLP (Los Angeles), and Michael D. Warner of Warner Stevens, LLP (Fort Worth, Texas).

The “Understanding Capital Markets” plenary session will include panelists Laura Davis Jones of Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP (Wilmington, Del.), Peter S. Kaufman of Gordian Group, LLC (New York), Frank A. Merola of Jefferies & Company, Inc. (Los Angeles) and Bankruptcy Judge Maureen A. Tighe (C.D. Calif.; Woodland Hills).

The optional IWIRC programs are:

The “Women and Finance: A Winning Hand” will feature Stephanie S. Anderson of AlixPartners LLP (Dallas), Kesli Jensen of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (Salt Lake City), Elizabeth B. Monty of Veriti Consultting (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Lori L. Payne of BDO Seidman LLP (Los Angeles) and Susan M. Smith of Mesirow Financial Consulting, LLC (Miami).

Jeanette E. McPhersonof Schwartzer & McPherson Law Firm (Las Vegas) will moderate the “Perspectives from the Bench and Ethical Issues” session with panelists Bankruptcy JudgeEileen W. Hollowell (D. Ariz.; Tucson), Prof. Nancy B. Rapoport of the William S. Boyd School of Law, Univ. of Nevada (Las Vegas), and Bankruptcy Judge Maureen A. Tighe (C.D. Calif.; Woodland Hills).

For more information on the Southwest Bankruptcy Conference, visit   


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