Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Political Power Couple James Carville and Mary Matalin to Keynote ABIs 26th Annual Spring Meeting

Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Political Power Couple James Carville and Mary Matalin to Keynote ABIs 26th Annual Spring Meeting

Contact: John Hartgen
             [email protected]



January 11, 2008 Alexandria, Va. --More than 1,000 bankruptcy professionals will attend the American Bankruptcy Institute's (ABI) 26th Anniversary Annual Spring Meeting, to be held April 3-6, 2008, at the Renaissance 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 19.0 hours of CLE credit, including 3.0 hours of ethics.

The special guest speaker at this year's meeting will be U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. A member of the Court since 2006, Justice Alito will be featured at the Friday, April 4, luncheon. Also featured will be the political power couple of James Carville and Mary Matalin, who will speak at the Saturday, April 5, luncheon sponsored by the International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation (IWIRC).  Co-authors of the national best seller All’s Fair in Love War, and Running for President, Matalin and Carville will look at today’s most important political issues in this election year.

The conference educational program sessions begin with ABI's Twelfth 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, 'Congress Should Amend the Bankruptcy Code to Eliminate All Forms of Incentive, Bonus or Similar Compensation for Senior Executives and Other Insiders,' Babette Ceccotti of  Cohen, Weiss & Simon LLP (New York)  will debate Michael L. Bernstein of Arnold & Porter LLP (Washington, D.C.).

In Debate No. 2, 'Congress Should Amend the Bankruptcy Code to Allow Modification via a Chapter 13 Plan of the First Mortgage on the Consumer Debtor’s Primary Residence,' John Rao of the  National Consumer Law Center (Boston) will debate Prof. G. Marcus Cole of Stanford Law School (Stanford, Calif.). Congress is currently considering numerous pieces of legislation on this issue.

In Debate No. 3, 'Professional Fees in Chapter 11 Cases Are Excessive and, in Part, Result from Courts’ Inability to Rein in Fees for Fear of Losing Cases,' will be debated by Prof. Stephen J. Lubben of the Seton Hall Law School (Newark, N.J.), author of a new fee study funded by ABI, and Prof. Lynn M. LoPucki of the University of California at Los Angeles, School of Law (Los Angeles).

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.

The “CRO Roundtable: The Evolution and Challenges of Professional Management of the Reorganization Process” will be moderated by Anthony H.N. Schnelling of Bridge Associates LLC (New York) and include panelists John S. Dubel of Gradient Partners, LP (White Plains, N.Y.), Michael J. Epstein of CRG Partners (Boston), William H. Henrich of Getzler Henrich & Associates LLC (New York), Rebecca A. Roof of AlixPartners LLP (New York) and John K. Suckow of Alvarez & Marsal (New York).

ABI Resident Scholar Prof. Jack F. Williams of Georgia State University / BDO Seidman LLP will moderate the “Bankruptcy Reform Redux: Mortgage and Consumer Credit, Labor, Executive Compensation and Other Legislation in the 110th Democratic Congress” session featuring invited panelists Elise J. Bean of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (Washington, D.C.), Cindy Hayden of the Senate Judiciary Committee (Washington, D.C.), Susan Jensen-Lachmann of the House Judiciary Committee (Washington, D.C.) and John D. McMickle of Winston & Strawn, LLP (Washington, D.C.).

Jonathan P. Friedland of Schiff Hardin LLP (Chicago) will moderate “The Bankruptcy Sale Process, Part I: The ‘Pre-Auction, Bidding Procedures, Break-up and Topping Fees and Expense Reimbursement” session with  Roberta A. DeAngelis of the Executive Office for U.S. Trustees (Washington, D.C.), Sean D. Malloy of McDonald Hopkins LLC (Cleveland),  David S. Miller of Macquarie Group (Atlanta), Benjamin L. Nortman of Hilco Trading Company, Inc. (Northbrook, Ill.) and Andrea B. Schwartz of Fulbright & Jaworski LLP (New York).

The “Ad Hoc Committees and Other (Unofficial) Creditor Groups: Management, Disclosure and Ethical Issues” panel will be moderated by Robert J. Rosenberg of Latham & Watkins LLP (New York), who will be joined by panelists Martin J. Bienenstock of Dewey Ballantine LLP (New York), Bankruptcy Judge Robert D. Drain (S.D.N.Y.), Ramona D. Elliot of the Executive Office for U.S. Trustees (Washington, D.C.) and Jeffrey L. Jonas of Brown Rudnick Berlack Israels LLP (Boston).

Consumer Debtor Class Actions: One More Windmill or the Ultimate Remedy for the Subprime Mess?,” will be moderated by Rudy J. Cerone of McGlinchey Stafford, PLLC (New Orleans), Leonard J. DePasquale of the U.S. Department of Justice (Washington, D.C.), Thomas M. Hefferon of Goodwin Proctor LLP (Washington, D.C.), Bankruptcy Judge David W. Houston,III (Aberdeen, Miss.) and Karen L. Kellett of the Kellett Law Firm (Dallas).

Part II ofThe Bankruptcy Sale Process, Part I: The ‘Pre-Auction’, Bidding Procedures, Break-up and Topping Fees and Expense Reimbursement,” with moderator Jonathan P. Friedland of Schiff Hardin LLP (Chicago), will feature Peter J. Antoszyk of Proskauer Rose LLP (Boston), Lorie R. Beers of KPMG Corporate Finance LLC (New York), Robert J. Dehney of Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP (Wilmington, Del.), William Q. Derrough of Jefferies & Co. (New York) and Timothy Noonan of Oryx Capital International (Lake Forest, Ill.).

John J. Monaghan of Holland & Knight LLP (Boston) will moderate the “Drafting Around the Stay: Swaps, Forward Contracts, Repurchase Agreements and the Future of Pre-petition Agreements in Bankruptcy” with panelists Bankruptcy Judge Robert E. Gerber (S.D.N.Y.), Ben H. Logan of O'Melveny & Myers LLP (Los Angeles), Edwin E. Smith of Bingham McCutchen LLP (Boston) and Shmuel Vasser of Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP (New York).

Bankruptcy Judge Steven W. Rhodes (Detroit) will moderate the “Confirmation, Modification and Consummation of Chapter 13 Plans in the post-BAPCPA World” session with panelists  Richard J. Hayden of Richard J. Hayden, PS (Spokane, Wash.), Standing Chapter 13 Trustee Debra Miller (South Bend, Ind.), Doreen Solomon, Executive Office for U.S. Trustees (Washington, D.C.) and David S. Yen of the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago (Chicago).

The Church in Chapter 11: The Lessons of the Catholic Diocese Cases” session will be moderated by James I. Stang of Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP (Los Angeles), featuring panelists Susan G. Boswell of Quarles & Brady LLP (Tucson, Ariz.), Ford Elsaesser of Elsaesser, Jarzabek, Anderson, Marks, Elliott & McHugh, Chtd. (Sandpoint, Idaho), Prof. Marci A. Hamilton of the Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (New York), Victor A. Vilaplana of Foley & Lardner LLP (San Diego) and Bankruptcy Judge Patricia C. Williams (Spokane).

Moderator Geoffrey L. Berman of Development Specialists, Inc. (Los Angeles) will be joined by panelists Allan B. Diamond of Diamond McCarthy LLP (Houston), Susan M. Freeman of Lewis and Roca LLP (Phoenix), Ronald F. Greenspan of FTI Consulting, Inc. (Los Angeles) and Robbin L. Itkin of Steptoe & Johnson LLP (Los Angeles) for the “Liquidation and Litigating Trusts: Formation, Management, Jurisdictional and Other Issues” session.

Finding the Center: The Insolvency of Hedge Funds and Other Off-Shore Entities” will be moderated by Daniel M. Glosband of Goodwin Procter LLP (Boston) and feature panelists Karen B. Dine of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP (New York), Bankruptcy Judge Burton R. Lifland (S.D.N.Y.), Robin E. Phelan of Haynes and Boone LLP (Dallas) and Stuart Sybersma of Deloitte (Cayman Islands).

Richard M. Meth of Day Pitney LLP (Morristown, N.J.) will moderate the plenary session titled “Beyond Ethics: The Coexistence of Zealousness, Professionalism and Civility in the Insolvency Community” with panelists Prof. Paula Franzese of the Seton Hall Law School (Newark, N.J.), Melissa Kibler Knoll of Mesirow Financial Consulting, LLC (Chicago), Prof. Nancy B. Rapoport of the UNLV School of Law (Las Vegas) and Bankruptcy Judge Linda B. Riegle (Las Vegas).

The conference concludes with the “Judges’ Roundtable: Current Cases, Hot Topics and Other Developments” moderated by  Prof. Margaret Howard of Washington & Lee Law School (Lexington, Va.) and featuring Bankruptcy Judges Dennis R. Dow (Kansas City, Mo.), Joan N. Feeney (Boston), Judith K. Fitzgerald (Pittsburgh), Gregg W. Zive (Reno) and Eugene R. Wedoff (Chicago).

Back for 2008 is the Nuts and Bolts for Young Practitioners program on Thursday, April 3. 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 Annual Spring Meeting has consistently been ABI's biggest conference with more than 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 19.0 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 3, from 9:00 a.m.­ to 5:00 p.m. at the Renaissance. For details please visit the ABC Web site at or e-mail [email protected].

Those who register by Jan. 25 will receive a $100 discount on the late registration rate. Press interested in attending the conference should contact John Hartgen at [email protected]. For more information about ABI’s 26th Annual Spring Meeting, please 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 11,600 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