About the Event


Join ABI in sunny Southern California for the Annual Winter Leadership Conference! The Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes is the setting for this year's annual program, which features topics designed for consumer and business practitioners, as well as financial advisors. As always, the conference provides numerous social and fun events to network and renew friendships with your colleagues from around the nation and overseas. We look forward to seeing you in December!

10+

hours

Earn up to 10.8 hours of CLE credit, including up to 3.4 hours of ethics and substance abuse, and up to 10.5 hours of CPE credit, including 3 hours of behavioral ethics.

70+

speakers

Industry thought leaders, including more than a dozen judges, populate the ABI Talks, concurrent sessions and committee programs.

18+

networking

Mingle at carefully designed social and optional events throughout, all in a stunning, comfortable and family-friendly setting.

Schedule Highlights


Thursday, December 5, 2019
9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
American Board of Certification Exams
10:00 a.m.
Optional Event
9 Holes of Golf at The Links at Terranea
12:00-6:00 p.m.
Registration Desk Open
1:00 p.m.
Optional Event
Tennis Tournament at the Peninsula Racquet Club
Sponsored by Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.
2:00 p.m.
Optional Event
Afternoon Coastal Hike
4:00-6:00 p.m.
Exhibit Hall Open
5:00-6:00 p.m.
“40 Under 40” Reception
Sponsored by Epiq
6:00-7:30 p.m.
Opening Reception
Sponsored by FTI Consulting, Inc.; Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP; and Stretto
Bars sponsored by East West Bank; Getzler Henrich & Associates LLC; Jenner & Block; and SSG Capital Advisors, LLC
Friday, December 6, 2019
6:00-7:00 a.m.
Optional Event
Winter Fun Run (5K)
Sponsored by Validity
6:00-7:00 a.m.
Optional Event
Tai Chi by the Sea
7:30 a.m.
Breakfast
8:15-8:25 a.m.
Welcome Address
8:25-9:25 a.m.
(Plenary)
ABI Talks

This year, the WLC opens with ABI Talks, one of our highest-rated programs ever! Based on the incredibly popular “TED Talks” format, ABI Talks address diverse and interesting bankruptcy topics. If you consider yourself a bankruptcy guru, or just want to be one, you will not want to miss this featured program!

Super-Speedy Prepacks: What Are They Good For?
Earlier this year, a chapter 11 case was filed and a plan confirmed in 19 hours. A one-day prepack offers several advantages to creditors and debtors alike. What cases are a good fit for a lightning-speed chapter 11, and what due process concerns must be satisfied?
Jay M. Goffman
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP; New York


New Reorganization Hope for Main Street Debtors
Will the new Small Business Reorganization Act lead to more successful restructurings and fewer liquidations of small businesses while still protecting creditors’ rights?
Hon. Michelle M. Harner
U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. Md.); Baltimore


The Rhetoric and Reality of Student Debt
Is there too much emphasis on reducing student loan debt, including through bankruptcy, and not enough about the real causes of skyrocketing college costs?


9:30-10:30 a.m.
(Concurrent)
Why Venue Matters in Chapter 11 Cases
This panel will focus on obtaining successful chapter 11 results in certain jurisdictions while analyzing why you should or shouldn’t file in a particular jurisdiction. The panel will discuss advantages and disadvantages of filing in certain jurisdictions, including local rule advantages (i.e., Texas) and case law advantages or disadvantages.
9:30-10:30 a.m.
(Concurrent)
Hit ’Em Below the Belt (and in the Wallet): Professional Fees and Leverage Post-ASARCO
This panel will analyze the instances over the last few years where creditors have brought challenges to estate professional fees, focusing on Pillowtex, retainers and other objections. How can professionals protect themselves when they are well into a case?
9:30am-10:35am
(Concurrent)
Bankruptcy & Marijuana
Hosted by the Emerging Industries and Technology Committee
With the legalization of marijuana in many states, there are now large numbers of individuals and businesses that derive their income from growing and selling marijuana and from other business activities related to marijuana. This session addresses the issues that emerge when individuals and businesses in this industry encounter financial problems. What are the sources of governing law (state/federal)? Is bankruptcy an option? How are marijuana-related income and assets treated? What are a bankruptcy trustee’s rights and responsibilities in dealing with a marijuana-related business? What ethical issues arise for attorneys representing individuals and entities in this industry? How does the U.S. Trustee’s Office address these issues in light of the conflict between federal law and some states’ laws? What is the direction of the developing body of bankruptcy case law regarding this industry?
9:30-10:30 a.m.
(Concurrent)
Litigating Issues in a Health Care Case
Hosted by the Bankruptcy Litigation and Health Care Committees
10:30-11:00 a.m.
Networking Break
Sponsored by Proskauer
11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon
(Concurrent)
How Investors Evaluate Distressed Deals
Restructuring professionals deal daily with distressed transactions involving all industries, shapes and sizes. Distressed investors are critical drivers of the restructuring industry and the U.S. economy as a whole. What drives distressed investors? How do they evaluate potential distressed targets? This panel consists of distressed investors and professionals representing distressed investors who evaluate these assets and close these deals.
11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon
(Concurrent)
Sponsor Liability, Including Liability Relating to Sponsors Purchasing Debt or Equity in Their Portfolios
Hosted by the Business Reorganization and Claims Trading Committees
11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon
(Concurrent)
Mediating with a Higher Power: Mediation of Disputes with Governments and Governmental Agencies
Hosted by the Mediation and the Commercial and Regulatory Law Committees
11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon
(Concurrent)
Proposed Bankruptcy Legislation in 2019 and 2020
Hosted by the Legislation Committee
The panel will discuss proposed legislation and how it will affect bankruptcy practice, reviewing the HAVEN Act and other veteran legislation, the Small Business Reorganization Act, the Family Farmer Relief Act, various student loan bills and others.
12:00-1:50 p.m.
“40 Under 40” Luncheon
Featuring Keynote by Dr. Jen Welter, the First Female NFL Coach
1:55-2:55 p.m.
(Concurrent)
The Role of a Patient Care Ombudsman in a Business Bankruptcy
This session will focus on the views of patient care ombudsmen (PCOs) on the quality-of-care issues they routinely confront in chapter 11 cases; how debtor, secured lender and committee professionals react to either support or suppress the findings made by health care experts; in-depth analysis of what constitutes the proper protocol to evaluate quality of care; the differences in the approaches made to the PCO role by a doctor, nurse and/or health care administrator; whether PCOs universally should be doctors, nurses or health care administrators and not lawyers posing as health care professionals; the obligations of PCOs to tell quality-of-care stories without concern for the potential economic impact on an exit strategy in the bankruptcy (i.e., sale, potential loss of license, etc.); the impact of transfer trauma on a change of control arising from a potential sale of the health care business; how the PCO is differentiated from a state long-term-care ombudsman, Medicare and Medicaid surveyors; and the PCO’s role as patient advocate in bankruptcy cases.
1:55-2:55 p.m.
(Concurrent)
Avoiding Chapters 22, 33 and 44: Feasibility and Plan Confirmation
All constituents in the chapter 11 plan process want their reorganized debtors to be wildly successful. This panel will focus on how the chapter 11 process can be used to satisfy the feasibility standard in § 1129(a), with an emphasis on avoiding subsequent filings, and will outline the top 10 tricks to improve feasibility.
1:55-2:55 p.m.
(Concurrent)
Signs and Symptoms of Substance Use and Mental Health Issues Among Attorneys
This panel will be led by a senior program analyst for the Law Assistance Program for the State Bar of California and will be an interactive discussion about how prevalent substance use and mental health issues are among attorneys, and how substance use and mental health issues impair an attorney’s ability to perform legal services competently. The panelists will also describe the signs and symptoms of substance abuse, addiction, depression, anxiety and stress, and provide information on lawyer-assistance programs and other resources.
2:00-4:00 p.m.
Optional Event
Painting by the Sea
2:55-3:10 p.m.
Refreshment Break
Sponsored by Development Specialists, Inc.
3:10-4:10 p.m.
(Concurrent)
Ethics Jeopardy
This session will be an interactive program that will inform participants and provide guidance concerning fundamental issues and best practices surrounding professional responsibility and ethical conduct. Part trivia, part panel presentation, the session will engage participants to self-select “answers” from several Jeopardy categories focused on issues of interest, then provide the corresponding “questions” (prizes will be awarded). For each answer/question, our panel will provide analysis and commentary. Plus, you get ethics credit just for showing up!
3:10-4:10 p.m.
(Concurrent)
The Party’s Over; Now, Who’s Cleaning Up?: The Post-Apocalyptic Landscape Following a § 363 Sale
The purchaser has bought all the assets, and management has a new boss. Who is left to clean up, and what are the tax, governance, potential claims against management and D&O implications that need to be addressed should the case convert? This session will address these issues and more.
3:10-4:10 p.m.
(Concurrent)
Walk a Mile in My Shoes: The Ethics Challenges of Bankruptcy Attorneys Who Represent Debtors in Chapter 13 Cases
There have been significant challenges to the roles that counsel to debtors and creditors have played in chapter 13 cases since the enactment of BAPCPA, with little recognition that the success in completing a case through discharge is directly proportional to the efforts of the professionals involved in the proceeding, often in the face of contending with very difficult clients and circumstances. Many programs focus on the poor behaviors of counsel in an effort to provide examples or what “not to do.” This interactive ethics panel will require the panelists to take on role-reversals and encourage audience participation and debate about what can be done to support experienced professionals, and to avoid the continued diminution of the practice by having parties take on the challenges of the “other side.”
4:10-4:40 p.m.
Margarita Reception
Sponsored by Loeb & Loeb LLP and McGuireWoods LLP
4:40-5:40 p.m.
(Concurrent)
The Intersection of the Federal Arbitration Act and the Bankruptcy Code: Whose Discretion Is It, and What Does It Mean to the Future of Bankruptcy?
Neither the Bankruptcy Code nor the Bankruptcy Code’s legislative history contains an exception to the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). As a result, bankruptcy courts grappling with whether to enforce an arbitration clause in bankruptcy have focused on whether there is an inherent conflict between the Bankruptcy Code and enforcement of arbitration pursuant to the FAA. The determination that arbitration is required could be the death knell for bankruptcy debtors. This panel will explore, in instances where arbitration is required, how to avoid jeopardizing the central objectives of the Bankruptcy Code that enable debtors to obtain a fresh start, as well as how to ensure uniformity of results to avoid what could be “wildly inconsistent” outcomes in arbitration that impact debtors on an individual and case-by-case basis.
4:40-5:40 p.m.
(Concurrent)
Chapter 13 Fees (Ethics)
Hosted by the Consumer Bankruptcy and Ethics & Professional Compensation Committees
4:40-5:40 p.m.
(Concurrent)
Asset Sales and Financial Advisors Committee Session
Hosted by the Asset Sales and Financial Advisors & Investment Banking Committees
There have been significant challenges to the roles that counsel to debtors and creditors have played in chapter 13 cases since the enactment of BAPCPA, with little recognition that the success in completing a case through discharge is directly proportional to the efforts of the professionals involved in the proceeding, often in the face of contending with very difficult clients and circumstances. Many programs focus on the poor behaviors of counsel in an effort to provide examples or what “not to do.” This interactive ethics panel will require the panelists to take on role-reversals and encourage audience participation and debate about what can be done to support experienced professionals, and to avoid the continued diminution of the practice by having parties take on the challenges of the “other side.”
6:00-7:00 p.m.
Women’s Reception
Sponsored by AlixPartners LLP
6:00-7:00 p.m.
American Board of Certification Reception
7:00-10:00 p.m.
Winter Soirée
Entertainment sponsored by Alston & Bird LLP; Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP; Fox Rothschild LLP; Gavin/Solmonese LLC; Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP; and Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP
9:30-10:30 p.m.
Anthony H.N. Schnelling Endowment Fund Event
Sponsored by Omni Management Group, Inc.
Saturday, December 7, 2019
7:45-8:30 a.m.
Breakfast
8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Optional Event
Whale-Watching Tour
8:30-9:30 a.m.
(Plenary)
Judges’ Round-and-Round
In this round-and-round format, visit with leading judges to discuss and debate the nation’s most important recent business and consumer bankruptcy decisions.
9:30-9:45 a.m.
Networking Break
9:45-10:45 a.m.
(Concurrent)
Current Events and Hot Topics
William J. Rochelle, III
American Bankruptcy Institute; New York
9:45-10:45 a.m.
(Concurrent)
How to Negotiate and Draft Sale Documents and Pleadings in Chapter 11 Cases
This panel will focus on drafting skills for bankruptcy and restructuring attorneys. It is intended to provide a practical “how to” discussion and analysis of negotiating and drafting chapter 11 sale documents and pleadings, including asset-purchase agreements, bid-procedure motions and orders, sale motions and orders, and related documents. The session will also provide form documents and discuss heavily negotiated or scrutinized provisions.
10:45-11:00 a.m.
Networking Break
11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon
(Concurrent)
WrestleMania: Who Wins When Consumer Protection Statutes Take On the Bankruptcy Code?
The FDCPA, FCRA, TILA, RESPA and the Bankruptcy Code often are incompatible with each other. Sometimes these conflicts are one-on-one, but often one of these statutes frustrates the purpose of two or more of the other statutes simultaneously. Bankruptcy exemptions and/or guidance are rare in the consumer-protection statutes, leaving it to practitioners and courts to attempt to harmonize the statutes and regulations. This panel will focus on competing statutes and regulations and how they are intertwined with the necessity for the consumer bankruptcy attorney to ensure that there is regulatory compliance. This panel will discuss not only winners and losers, but also how debtors’ counsel can best gird up for battles in the ring. This is a nuts-and-bolts approach to often-complicated arenas.
11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon
(Concurrent)
Ponzi Schemes, EB-5 Schemes and Other Schemes Involving Real Estate
Hosted by the Commercial Fraud and Real Estate Committees
11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon
(Concurrent)
The Continued Use of Blocking Directors and Managers in Bankruptcy-Related Transactions
Hosted by the Unsecured Trade Creditors and Secured Credit Committees
12:00 noon
Adjourn

Pricing


Registration Rates.

    • $995

      (BEFORE 10/4/19)

    • Early

      • ABI Member $995
      • Join and Save* $1,320
      • Non-Member Rate $1,520
      • Gov't./Aca. Member $445
      • Gov't./Aca. New Member* $570
    • Register
    • $1,095

      (10/5/19 - 11/8/19)

    • Regular

      • ABI Member $1,095
      • Join and Save* $1,420
      • Non-Member Rate $1,620
      • Gov't./Aca. Member $495
      • Gov't./Aca. New Member* $620
    • Register
    • $1,195

      (AFTER 11/8/19)

    • Late

      • ABI Member $1,195
      • Join and Save* $1,520
      • Non-Member Rate $1,720
      • Gov't./Aca. Member $545
      • Gov't./Aca. New Member* $670
    • Register


* Includes a one-year ABI membership for first-time members — a $350 value! Expired members should select the member rate and add in the membership renewal fee. Membership is individual and nonrefundable.

Our Sponsors




sp1 sp2 sp3 sp4
sp1 sp2 sp3 sp4
sp1 sp2 sp3 sp4
sp1 sp2 sp3 sp4
sp5 sp6 sp7 sp8
sp5 sp6 sp7 sp8
sp5 sp6 sp7 sp8
sp5 sp6 sp7 sp8
sp9 sp10 sp11 sp12
sp9 sp10 sp11 sp12
sp9 sp10 sp11 sp12
sp9 sp10 sp11 sp12





Contact


American Bankruptcy Institute

Address


66 Canal Center Plaza
Alexandria, VA

Phone

(703) 739-0800

Email

Questions about the Conference:
jguirguis@abiworld.org.