Schedule at a Glance

2018 Winter Leadership Conference THURSDAY SCHEDULE
2018 Winter Leadership Conference FRIDAY SCHEDULE
  • Optional Event: Winter Fun Run

    Sponsored by AlixPartners LLP

    • 6:00 a.m.
  • Hot Breakfast

    • 7:15-7:45 a.m.
  • Welcome remarks

    • 7:45-8:00 a.m.
  • Plenary Session

    ABI Talks

    This year the conference 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 session!

    Douglas E. Deutsch, Moderator
    Clifford Chance US LLP; New York

    Did That Really Happen in Court Today?

    Judge Carey will take a reminiscent trip through a typical day in court by recounting the successful presentations and skill sets employed by lawyers that work really well for him, as well as the ones that don’t — all in an entertaining and informative way. 

    Hon. Kevin J. Carey
    U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. Del.); Wilmington

    #MeToo: Where I’ve Been, and Where Bankruptcy Professionals Are Going

    Cathy Hershcopf graduated from law school in 1985 and entered into “big law” restructuring practice immediately — a world where women were rarely found.  Her personal journey is one that will resonate, especially in today’s environment.  Her impactful talk will also present, in an interactive format, several challenging fact scenarios from the legal workplace for the audience to consider.

    Cathy R. Hershcopf
    Cooley LLP; New York

    Sovereign Citizens Movement (Best Mid-Atlantic Bankruptcy Workshop Program)

    Tom Horan will introduce everyone to the beliefs of sovereign citizens — a loose collection of individuals who contend that the U.S. government is illegitimate and who seek to transform American society into one where government plays a minimal role. Find out what happens when their belief system collides with the Bankruptcy Code and the courts.

    Thomas M. Horan
    Fox Rothschild LLP; Wilmington, Del.

    A Rose Is a Rose Is a Rose — or Is It?

    Is a deposit in a bank a transfer of the debtor’s assets? Ron Peterson will discuss this and more, as well as review appellate court decisions of the Fourth, Sixth, Seventh and Ninth Circuits.

    Ronald R. Peterson
    Jenner & Block; Chicago

    The Jay Alix/McKinsey Dispute: "Sour Grapes" Tempest in a Teapot, or the New Normal?

    Tom Salerno will explore the dynamics of the extraordinary pending litigation involving retention disclosures between McKinsey & Co. and Jay Alix, and will discuss the potentially far-reaching legal, political and practical ramifications of that dispute for the restructuring community on all sides of the industry. Is this a tipping point for the bankruptcy world that will create a new industry order, or just a “sour grapes,” spurned advisor’s tempest in a teapot?

    Thomas J. Salerno
    Stinson Leonard Street LLP; Phoenix

    • 8:00-9:20 a.m.
  • Concurrent Sessions (4)


    The way that we practice law is changing, as the legal industry is going through a dramatic digital transformation. Cybercriminals are increasingly seeing law firms as targets for cybercrime, and clients are putting pressure on professionals to create and maintain appropriate security programs to keep their data secure. This panel of experts will discuss the current state of cybersecurity, as well as best practices for how to protect yourself from and respond to a cybersecurity attack. We will also explore how blockchain technology may be the tool of the future to keep data secure.

    John G. Loughnane, Moderator
    Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP; Boston

    Cliff Dutton
    Epiq; New York

    David Fisher
    Integra Ledger; Denver

    Rebecca Fruchtman
    Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Chicago

    Elizabeth B. Vandesteeg
    Sugar Felsenthal Grais & Helsinger LLP; Chicago


    An LLC’s Path Through Chapter 11

    Limited liability companies did not exist when the Bankruptcy Code was enacted. Case law related to LLCs and bankruptcy is conflicting and sometimes confusing. This panel will discuss the unique issues related to LLCs and bankruptcy law.

    Douglas A. Bates, Moderator
    Clark, Partington, Hart, Larry, Bond & Stackhouse; Pensacola, Fla.

    James E. Bird
    Polsinelli; Kansas City, Mo.

    Erin R. Fay
    Bayard, P.A.; Wilmington, Del.

    George E. Zobitz
    Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP; New York


    Current Issues Facing Unsecured Creditors’ Committees

    This panel of experienced professionals will discuss and analyze what it takes to maximize results for unsecured creditors in today’s chapter 11 cases.

    Anupama Yerramalli, Moderator
    Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP; New York

    Richard S. Lauter
    Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP; Chicago

    Jeffrey N. Pomerantz
    Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP; Los Angeles

    Samuel E. Star
    FTI Consulting, Inc.; New York

    Blanche Zelmanovich
    Ernst & Young LLP; New York


    Consumer: Consumer Ethics: Navigating the TightRope

    This panel will discuss recent ethics opinions and modern issues facing consumer practitioners.

    Susan M. Freeman, Moderator
    Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP; Phoenix

    Hon. Mary Grace Diehl (ret.)

    Hon. Bruce A. Harwood
    U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. N.H.); Concord

    Ariane Holtschlag
    The Law Office of William J. Factor, Ltd.; Chicago

    • 9:30-10:30 a.m.
  • Networking Break

    Sponsored by Development Specialists, Inc. and Proskauer

    • 10:30-11:00 a.m.

    Litigating New Financial Industry Issues in Bankruptcy: Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, and Other Breaking News

    Hosted by the Bankruptcy Litigation and the Commercial & Regulatory Law Committees

    Breaking stories on blockchain or cryptocurrency seem to hit the news daily. Litigating issues involving this new area presents challenges, as there is no central issuing or regulatory authority. There are no official clearinghouses or oversight by financial institutions, and users act autonomously in transactions. This panel will discuss the various measures of protection for cryptocurrency players in the financial industry and how to litigate the complex issues.

    Dave Berson
    Berson Law Group LLP; Overland Park, Kan.

    Andrew C. Helman
    Murray Plumb & Murray; Portland, Maine

    Laura E. Jehl
    BakerHostetler; Washington, D.C.

    Hon. Stacey G. C. Jernigan
    U.S. Bankruptcy Court (N.D. Tex.); Dallas


    Historical Perspectives: Bankruptcy and the U.S. Supreme Court

    Join leading bankruptcy scholars Professor Ronald J. Mann (Columbia), Professor Margaret Howard (Washington & Lee) and Professor Ralph Brubaker (University of Illinois) as they discuss Professor Mann's recent book, Bankruptcy and the U.S. Supreme Court. The presentation will not only focus on the most important bankruptcy decisions by the Supreme Court but also on the decision-making process that the Justices undertake to reach their conclusions. This session should not be missed!

    Ronald J. Mann
    Columbia Law School; New York

    Ralph E. Brubaker
    University of Illinois College of Law; Champaign, Ill

    Margaret Howard
    Washington and Lee University Law School; Lexington, Va


    Attorneys and Advisors for All of Us: Representation of Directors and Managers in the Sale of Debtor Assets

    Hosted by the Asset Sales and the Financial Advisors & Investment Banking Committees

    This panel will focus their discussion on the need for disinterested independent directors to employ their own counsel/FAs/IBs in connection with the sale of assets. The main topic will be based on the facts in the Toys “R” Us case, where six groups of independent managers and directors have their own separate counsel and advisors. The panelists believe that similar facts exist in other recent cases, and more cases will reflect this in the future. The panel will discuss such topics as the need for this type of representation, the costs associated and how such costs are accounted for in the case, and what other legal and ethical implications all of this can have on the sale of a debtor’s assets.

    Robert M. Fishman
    Fox Rothschild LLP; Chicago

    Hon. Barbara J. Houser
    U.S. Bankruptcy Court (N.D. Tex.); Dallas

    Harvey L. Tepner
    Independent Corporate Director; New York

    Aparna V. Yenamandra
    Kirkland & Ellis LLP; New York


    Access to Justice Revisited: Getting Chapter 7 Debtor Counsel Paid

    Hosted by the Consumer Bankruptcy and Legislation Committees

    A fresh start is now becoming less attainable for many debtors because the traditional "all-up-front" attorney fee approach discourages filing for chapter 7. Some attorneys are solving this problem by splitting pre-petition and post-petition services into separate agreements to allow post-petition payments for post-petition work. The panel will discuss the practical need for this type of fee arrangement, the nuts and bolts of this payment arrangement, the pros and cons of such a system, where it is and where it is not allowed under existing law, a discussion of the current case law concerning such a system, and various policy considerations under review by ABI's Consumer Bankruptcy Commission.

    John R. Bollinger
    Boleman Law Firm, P.C.; Hampton, Va.

    Prof. Laura Napoli Coordes
    Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University; Phoenix

    Adam Herring
    Executive Office for U.S. Trustees; Washington, D.C.

    Richard D. Nelson
    Cohen, Todd, Kite & Stanford, LLC; Cincinnati

    • 11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon
    • 12:00-1:50 p.m.
  • Concurrent Sessions (3)

    Internal & External Referrals: How to Get and Use Them

    This panel of experienced lawyers, claims agents, accountants and turnaround managers will provide tips on how to obtain and mine internal and external referral sources to generate business.

    Paul H. Deutch, Moderator
    Omni Management Group, Inc.; New York

    Linda V. Aron
    EisnerAmper LLP; New York

    Geoffrey L. Berman
    Development Specialists, Inc.; Los Angeles

    Pauline K. Morgan
    Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP; Wilmington, Del.

    Damian S. Schaible
    Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP; New York


    Maximizing Auction Results in a § 363 Sale

    This panel will explore how to maximize values in an auction/§ 363 sale for all constituents, and reveal “tricks of the trade” regarding how to generate value for the estate and unsecured creditors in different ways.

    Adam G. Landis, Moderator
    Landis Rath & Cobb LLP; Wilmington, Del.

    Alpesh A. Amin
    Conway MacKenzie; Chicago

    Jordan A. Kroop
    Perkins Coie LLP; Phoenix

    John Longmire
    Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP; New York

    Leon Szlezinger
    Jefferies LLC; New York


    Small Business Cases and Individual Chapter 11 Cases

    It is difficult to confirm reorganization plans in small business cases and individual chapter 11 cases. This panel will discuss best practices in getting these types of cases across the finish line.

    Randy Nussbaum
    Sacks Tierney PA; Scottsdale, Ariz.

    Hon. Martin R. Barash
    U.S. Bankruptcy Court (C.D. Cal.); Woodland Hills

    Alan D. Halperin
    Halperin Battaglia Benzija, LLP; New York

    Summer Shaw
    Doling Shaw & Hanover, APC; Palm Desert, Calif.

    • 2:00-2:50 p.m.
  • Concurrent Sessions (3)

    Takata: The Global Car Crash

    This panel will feature a discussion among key players in the Takata Automotive case addressing its complexities, including significant cross-border issues and the world’s largest automobile recall, which involved tens of millions of vehicles worldwide.

    Derek C. Abbott, Moderator
    Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP; Wilmington, Del.

    Mark E. Freedlander
    McGuireWoods LLP; Pittsburgh

    Darren S. Klein
    Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP; New York

    Alicia Masse
    Alderney Advisors; Southfield, Mich.

    Robert V. Sartin
    Frost Brown Todd LLC; Nashville, Tenn.


    Safe-Harbor Issues After Lehman

    This panel will discuss how case law since Lehman has both narrowed and expanded the various safe harbor provisions contained in the Bankruptcy Code.

    Lisa G. Beckerman, Moderator
    Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP; New York

    Joel D. Applebaum
    Clark Hill, PLC; Birmingham, Mich.

    Hon. Robert D. Drain
    U.S. Bankruptcy Court (S.D.N.Y.); White Plains

    Oscar N. Pinkas
    Dentons US LLP; New York

    Christy L. Rivera
    Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP; New York


    You be the Judge: A §523(a)(6) consumer mock trial

    This session offers a valuable-yet-fun look at §523 through a mock adversary trial. Conducted by some of the most experienced bankruptcy litigators in the country, this event will most definitely help sharpen your trial skills.

    Jon Jay Lieberman, Moderator
    Sottile & Barile LLC; Loveland, Ohio

    Hon. Dennis R. Dow
    U.S. Bankruptcy Court (W.D. Mo.); Kansas City

    Lisa Sommers Gretchko
    Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC; Royal Oak, Mich.

    David P. Leibowitz
    Lakelaw; Chicago

    • 3:00-4:00 p.m.
  • Margarita Reception

    Sponsored by Loeb & Loeb LLP and McGuireWoods LLP

    • 4:00-4:30 p.m.
  • Plenary Session

    Judges’ Round-and-Round

    In this roundtable format, attendees can visit with leading judges (each presiding at their own table) to discuss and debate the nation’s most important recent business and consumer bankruptcy decisions.

    • 4:30-5:30 p.m.
  • Women’s Reception

    • 5:30-6:30 p.m.
    • 7:30-10:00 p.m.
  • Endowment Dessert Reception

    Sponsored by Clifford Chance, Omni Management Group, Inc. and Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P.

    • 9:45-10:45 p.m.
2018 Winter Leadership Conference SATURDAY SCHEDULE
  • Hot Breakfast

    • 8:00-8:30 a.m.

    Business Valuations 101

    According to a recent study, 5 out of 4 lawyers struggle with claims calculations! In a mock court presentation, our experts examine diverging opinions over petition period interest rates, use of cash collateral, collateral assignments, and changing collateral values during the petition period.

    Franklind D. Lea, Moderator
    Tactical Financial Consulting; Alpharetta, Ga.

    Michael L. Bernstein
    Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP; Washington, D.C.

    Hon. Hannah L. Blumenstiel
    U.S. Bankruptcy Court (N.D. Cal.); San Francisco

    Kathryn B. McGlynn
    Zolfo Cooper; New York


    Realty Bites: Ethical Issues in Real Estate Cases

    Hosted by the Ethics & Professional Development and Real Estate Committees

    The panel discussion will focus on scenarios grounded in real estate and ethics, including ethical issues surrounding initial interviews and conflict checks, ethically pursuing cases posing potential good-/bad-faith issues due to cannabis-related uses of real property, whether “zealous representation” is still a guiding principle, whether one may ethically use internet “information” as a litigant and judge, and how to appropriately raise potential judicial misconduct.

    Steven N. Berger
    Engelman Berger, PC; Phoenix

    Richard P. Carmody
    Adams and Reese LLP; Birmingham, Ala.

    Hon. Laurel M. Isicoff
    U.S. Bankruptcy Court (S.D. Fla.); Miami

    Andrea Wimmer
    Schian Walker P.L.C.; Phoenix


    Keeping the Patient Alive: Avoiding Administrative Insolvency in Health Care Cases

    Hosted by the Business Reorganization, Health Care and Secured Credit Committees

    The panel will discuss the risk of administratively insolvent health care cases, the issues that create such risk, the impact on the various constituencies, and potential ways to mitigate those risks, including the use of cash collateral and availability of post-petition financing. The panel will also address one specific issue that creates the risk of administratively insolvent health care cases: the exercise of the so-called Strumpf administrative freeze by CMS on Medicare reimbursements, which can cut off the lifeline of many health care businesses.

    Richard T. Arrowsmith
    Alvarez & Marsal; Washington, D.C.

    Hon. Daniel P. Collins
    U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. Ariz.); Phoenix

    John J. Cruciani
    Husch Blackwell LLP; Kansas City, Mo.

    Nancy A. Peterman
    Greenberg Traurig, LLP; Chicago

    • 8:30-9:30 a.m.
  • Refreshment Break

    • 9:30-9:45 a.m.
  • Concurrent Sessions (2)

    Business Update: Hot Topics in Business Law

    Hear from our accomplished panelists as they highlight recent business cases of significance to bankruptcy practitioners.

    Norman L. Pernick, Moderator
    Cole Schotz P.C.; Wilmington, Del.

    Omar J. Alaniz
    Baker Botts LLP; Dallas

    Jane A. VanLare
    Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton LLP; New York

    Mark P. Williams
    Norman, Wood, Kendrick & Turner; Birmingham, Ala.


    Consumer Update: Hot Topics in Consumer Law

    The practice of consumer bankruptcy law is an ever-changing landscape, with new issues arising every day! This panel will explore some of the most recent exciting and evolving decisions including discharge of student loans, the challenges when personal property is repossessed pre-petition, pawn loans and the automatic stay, and consumer class actions in bankruptcies.

    Hon. Eugene R. Wedoff (ret.), Moderator
    Oak Park, Ill.

    Elizabeth E. Stephens
    Sullivan Hill Lewin Rez & Engel; Las Vegas

    Hon. Deborah L. Thorne
    U.S. Bankruptcy Court (N.D. Ill.); Chicago

    Daniel A. White
    Askew & Mazel, LLC; Albuguerque, N.M.

    • 9:45-10:45 a.m.
  • Refreshment Break

    • 10:45 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
  • Concurrent Sessions (3)

    Ethics Update: Show Me the Money! How to Get Paid Ethically!

    A panel of experts examines the potential pitfalls and divergent case law regarding compensation and ethical issues in bankruptcy.

    Hon. Michael A. Fagone, Moderator
    U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. Maine); Bangor

    Monique D. Hayes
    Goldstein & McClintock LLLP; Miami

    William J. Rochelle, III
    American Bankruptcy Institute; New York

    Hon. Madeleine C. Wanslee
    U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. Ariz.); Phoenix


    Should We File It Here or There? Venue Options in Cross-Border Cases

    Hosted by the International and Young & New Members Committees

    This panel will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of filing bankruptcy under chapter 15 vs. chapter 11 in the U.S. where the prospective debtor is a multinational company, and the potential consequences of each type of filing across the capital structure of the company (e.g., secured creditors, unsecured creditors, equity, etc.). The panelists, all ABI 2017 "40 Under 40" honorees, will contrast the insolvency laws of specific countries with the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, and explain how these comparisons can ultimately guide a company's decision on whether to file in the U.S. and, if so, under what chapter.

    Adam C. Ballinger
    Ballard Spahr LLP; Minneapolis

    Jeannie Kim
    Buchalter, PC; San Francisco

    Ryan A. Maupin
    Grant Thornton LLP; New York

    Zachary H. Smith
    Moore & Van Allen PLLC; Charlotte, N.C.


    Sharpening the Tools in Your Mediation Toolkit

    Hosted by the Mediation and the Unsecured Trade Creditors Committees

    Formatted largely as a mock mediation session, this interactive panel will demonstrate best practices to prepare for, participate in, and successfully conclude a mediation session. Topics will include pre-mediation written submissions, preparing clients (and oneself) for a mediation session, managing the mediator and the client once the session begins, strategies for guiding a mediation session to a successful resolution, and tips for breaking an impasse.

    Ian C. Bifferato
    The Bifferato Firm PA; Wilmington, Del.

    Kara E. Casteel
    ASK LLP; St. Paul, MN

    Hon. Leif M. Clark (ret.)
    CBInsolvency LLC; Swampscott, Texas

    Jeffrey P. Nolan
    Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones; Los Angeles

    Jeffrey W. Warren
    Bush Ross, PA; Tampa

    • 11:00 a.m.-12 noon
  • Adjourn

    • 12 noon