Young & New Members Committee Meeting Minutes

2007 Annual Spring Meeting

On Thursday, April 12, 2007, the Young and New Members Committee participated in the well attended Young and New Members/Ambassadors reception that was held in connection with ABI’s Ambassador Program and at which time, first time conference attendees were able to meet with, and learn about the ABI from, their respective ambassadors.  The successful reception was followed by the Young and New Members educational committee meeting that was held jointly with the Unsecured Trade Creditors Committee on Saturday 14, 2007.  The program, entitled “Fifty Ways to Leave Your Debtor: Lesser Known Remedies For Jilted Creditors” discussed less traditional creditor remedies availableunder both state and federal laws. Remedies discussedincluded state and federal trust fund laws (i.e. PACA, Builders Trust Fund), various lien andArticle 2 rights and remedies), setoff and recoupment, as well as other remedies that are not alwaysat the tip of a creditor's tongue when faced with the financiallytroubled customer.  The panel, consisting of Brian Shaw, Deborah Thorne and Bruce Nathan, covered the practical aspects ofutilizing these remedies to protect creditors' rights, insideand outside of the bankruptcy arena, and presented a debtor's perspectiveon how to address and react to these remedies when asserted against it either before or after the commencement of a bankruptcy case.

2006 Winter Leadership Conference

On Thursday, November 30, 2006, the Young and New Members Committee participated in the well attended Young and New Members/Ambassadors reception, that was held in connection with ABI's Ambassador Program and at which time, first time conference attendees were able to meet with, and learn about the ABI from, their respective ambassadors. The successful reception was followed by the Young and New Members educational committee meeting that was held jointly with the Business Reorganization Committee and the on Friday, December 1, 2006. The program, entitled “You Can Run, But Can You Hide? - Are Third Party Releases Permissible in Plans of Reorganization?” discussed the propriety of such releases for professionals, officers and directors and third party co-defendants. The panel, comprised of the Honorable Judith Fitzgerald, from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Ronald Barliant from Goldberg Kohn Bell Black Rosenbloom & Moritz Ltd and Bill Kosturos from Alvarez & Marsal, was moderated by Brian Shaw of Shaw Gussis Fishman Glantz Wolfson & Towbin LLC. The panel addressed the reasons for third party releases, the typical requirements for obtaining such releases (if permitted) and the practical methods by which to obtain and implement them through the confirmation process. Noting that such releases are not universally accepted, the panel also keyed the audience into the different positions taken by the circuits with respect to third party releases. Given the diverse perspectives on the panel -- debtors' and creditors' counsel, a jurist and a business advisor -- the discussion provided an interesting and insightful presentation to all who attended.

2006 Annual Spring Meeting

During the Spring Meeting, the Young and New Members Committee jointly presented an educational program on Chapter 15 with the International and Litigation Committees.  With the assistance of many program participants (including the YNMC's chairs, Brian Shaw and Doug Deutsch),  the program provided a  birds-eye view of how lawyers, clients and judges would conduct a joint multi-jurisdictional hearing before two leading jurists.  

The program's stage was divided into two sides, with Judge Barry Russell on one side (in Los Angeles) and Justice James Farley on the other (in Toronto).   Both faced the bankruptcy filings (a Chapter 15 in the United States and a CCAA in Canada) of a fictitious company named FuelTech.  Most of the participants served as counsel to an interested party in the proceedings, and each clearly had different interests in the outcome.  Should a DIP be granted by Judge Russell in the United States despite the fact that FuelTech had first filed for CCAA relief in Canada before Justice Farley?  This tough question, along with many others, was clearly argued before both Judge Russell and Justice Farley, allowing all to see the power and limitations of Chapter 15 and the need for the two courts to deal with country based interests and biases fairly.  Happily, the disputes were educational and the program was lively, despite the fact that it began at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning.  Overall, all seemed to agree that the program was a great success.

The Young and New Members Committee also co-sponsored the Ambassador /YNMC Reception during the Spring meeting.  We are happy to report that this event was also well-regarded.  The new Ambassador Program is designed to encourage new members to become more familiar with ABI and its services early in their membership and thus become more involved with ABI.  YNMC, of course, has similar goals.  At the reception, each new member was assigned a more senior ABI "sponsor" who talked to the new member about ABI, introduced the member to various staff members and other ABI members and generally tried to welcome the new member to ABI.   A large number of new members attended as did various (not brand-new) YNMC members and a host of more senior ABI officers, directors and ambassadors. 

2005 Annual Spring Meeting

On Thursday evening, the Young & New Members Committee convened its traditional first night get-together. Co-chairs Doug Deutsch and Brian Shaw welcomed the group and made a few remarks regarding the purpose of the Committee, and the activities of its three sub-committees, Programming, Publications and Networking. In addition, their was also an introduction to Saturday’s educational program on Pre-arranged Bankruptcy, put on jointly with the Financial Advisor Committee. The evening meeting was followed by the traditional Young & New Member Reception.

On Saturday morning the Young & New Member Committee and Financial Advisor Committee convened its joint educational session, “Bringing a Prearranged Plan Together—Can We Agree to Agree?” Steven Victor of Development Specialists Inc. moderated a panel of experts that included Ron Kubick of GE Commercial Finances, Adam Paul of Kirkland & Ellis and Peter Kaufman of Gordian Group, LLC. The panelist presented many opinions and other guidance on Pre-arranged bankruptcy from various points of view including those of a crisis manager, debtor and its counsel, investment banker and distressed lender. All in all the program was very informative and a great success, as was the joint effort of the two committees.

2004 Winter Leadership Conference

The Young & New Members Committee (YNMC) met at 5:00 p.m. on December 2, 2004 at the Winter Leadership Conference. The meeting was lead by co-chairs Brian Shaw and Doug Deutsch and included

  1. Introduction/orientation to ABI;
  2. YNMC subcommittee updates;
  3. Introduction of the YNMC/BRC joint committee program by Mark Jones of Mesirow Financial Advisors.

The meeting was followed by a reception with the ABI board of directors that featured a spectacular array of cheeses and breads.

The YNMC reconvened at 9:30 a.m. on December 3, 2004 for its joint meeting with the Business Reorganization Committee for the program “Valuation in Chapter 11 Cases: What You Want Depends On Where You Sit (And When You Are Sitting There).” YNMC’s Melissa Kibler Knoll moderated the panel, which included BRC co-chair Bob Keach and others. The program started with a overview of how valuation effects various aspects of a Chapter 11 case, and discussed various methodologies used to perform valuation in the Chapter 11 context. The panel then presented a case study that was utilized to show attendees how different methodologies, and subtle changes in approaches and mathematics can be utilized to present valuation in the most beneficial manner to your position in the Chapter 11 case. YNMC was very pleased with the joint committee meeting and intends on continuing its use of the dual Thursday evening/collaborative educational at future conferences.

2004 Annual Spring Meeting

The meeting was led by co-chairs Brian Shaw and Melissa Kibler Knoll and included

  1. Introduction/orientation to ABI, including discussion of “What’s New at ABI” by Caroline Milani, Chris Thackston and Beverly Hoeftman;
  2. YNMC subcommittee updates (programming, publications/website and networking);
  3. Introduction of the YNMC/ADR joint committee program by Catherine Zinn and Lester Levy.

The meeting was followed by a reception with the ABI Board of Directors sponsored by Corporate Revitalization Partners.

The YNMC reconvened at 8:00 a.m. on April 17, 2004 for its joint meeting with the ADR Committee for the program “ADR In Bankruptcy Cases: The Next Frontier?.” YNMC’s Brian Shaw moderated the panel, which included ADR committee co-chairs Lester Levy and Judge Barbara Houser, along with ADR Committee member Jack Fishman. The program started with a brief overview of ADR (alternative dispute resolution) in its various forms, including the growth of ADR in the judicial system and a benefits analysis relative to traditional litigation. Panelists then discussed specific bankruptcy issues relative to the prevalence of ADR’s use in practice both nationally and regionally, typical uses such as avoidance actions, judicial views on use of ADR, and examples of specific programs. The panel presentation and ensuing committee discussion provided a forum both for the YNMC’s members to learn about ADR and for all participants to exchange ideas on using ADR more effectively in the bankruptcy process. YNMC was very pleased with the joint committee meeting and anticipates using a collaborative format with other committees in the future as a way to provide YNMC members with relevant substantive programming and introductions to other committees.

2003 Winter Leadership Conference

The committee meeting was held at 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 4, 2003. It was attended by those committee members that were not participating in the Nuts & Bolts Seminar that was conducted that day. The attending members and Committee Co-chair Brian Shaw, along with Jim Whitney of AlixPartners, held an informal networking discussion. In addition, questions about the committee and ABI activities and opportunities for involvement were addressed. The meeting was adjourned at 5:20.

2002 Winter Leadership Conference

The meeting was held on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2002, at 4:30 p.m. in Tuscon, Ariz.

Melissa Knoll and Brian Shaw, two of three of the committee’s co-chairs, presided over meeting.

The opening discussion introduced the new path on which the committee was headed and the meeting primarily focused on that issue. Items presented to the committee and discussed included:

  1. Plans for increasing young membership within the ABI;
  2. Plans for increasing young and new member activity within the ABI;
  3. Current proposals regarding young and new members “welcome” packages and ABI conference discounts;
  4. Members interest in and plans to implement several subcommittees;
  5. The April 2003 “baby bankruptcy seminar,” to be conducted on the Thursday of the ABI National Conference;
  6. The eduicational session being sponsored by the committee at the April 2003 conference;
  7. The planned April 2003 committee meeting that is planned to focus on marketing issues for young lawyers; and
  8. Members input on all of the subjects above.

The meeting concluded at approximately 5:30.

2001 Winter Leadership Conference

Several members of the Young and New Members Committee met at the Winter Leadership Conference to discuss benefits of ABI membership, options for involvement in committees and other ABI functions, and future programming ideas and activities for the committee. Joel Levitin spoke about the newly formed Technology Committee, in addition to providing input based on his prior experience as chair of the Young and New Members Committee. The committee then was joined for a reception by the Executive Committee of the ABI Board of Directors, as well as other new members.

2001 Annual Spring Meeting

The committee co-chairs took this opportunity to meet and greet several of our new members and to familiarize them with membership benefits and resources available through the ABI. Prof. G. Ray Warner gave an interactive presentation on various sections of the Revised Uniform Commercial Code and noted potential problems that may arise with its implemenation in July 2001. We concluded our meeting with a reception at which our members had an opportunity to meet members of ABI’s Board of Directors.

2000 Annual Spring Meeting

The committee held an informal discussion about opportunities available to new and young members to become actively involved in the ABI. Several ideas were presented on new programs and services that would be of particular interest to new and young members. These ideas will be presented to the ABI leadership.