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Members in the News Written by:
Beverly Hoeftman
ABI Membership Specialist

bhoeftman@abiworld.org

Web posted and Copyright © February 1, 2004, American Bankruptcy Institute.

BI's Technology and Telecommunication Cases Committee is dedicated to the study of issues unique to bankruptcy cases filed by high-tech and telecommunications companies. It is co-chaired by Nancy A. Peterman of Greenberg Traurig's Chicago office, and Joel H. Levitin from Dechert LLP in New York.

Nancy A. Peterman came to Greenberg Traurig in 1999 as one of the first three attorneys recruited for the firm's newly opened Chicago office, and was named a shareholder the following year. Currently she is a partner and chair of its Restructuring, Bankruptcy and Reorganization Department. She concentrates her practice on bankruptcy and creditors' rights law including the representation of secured creditors, committees, debtors and asset purchasers. Her experience includes the nation's largest physician practice management chapter 11 case, where she served as counsel to the unsecured creditors' committee in the FPA Medical Management case.

Ms. Peterman earned both her B.A., with high distinction, and her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Michigan, and was Board-certified in business bankruptcy law in 2001 by the American Board of Certification. Her court admissions include the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. She also assisted in drafting U.S. Senate Bill No. 840, amendments to the Bankruptcy Code for health care businesses, which unanimously passed as Amendment 1730 to S.625 in November 1999.

Prior to her involvement with the Technology and Telecommunication Cases Committee, Ms. Peterman was a co-chair of ABI 's Health Care Committee. She is also a contributing editor for the ABI Journal's Intensive Care column, which covers health care bankruptcy issues, and served as assistant editor and contributing author for the ABI's Health Care Insolvency Manual.

Joel H. Levitin chairs Dechert's international bankruptcy/corporate recovery and insolvency group. Joel was once a summer lifeguard, learning how to rescue people in trouble. Today his practice focuses on the rescue of troubled companies and corporate restructuring. He also represents trustees, boards of directors, creditors, bondholders, committees, equity sponsors and other parties-in-interest in a wide variety of bankruptcy proceedings, as well as in out-of-court restructurings and workouts. Mr. Levitin has extensive experience negotiating and litigating issues arising from DIP financing arrangements and the use of cash collateral, the confirmation of reorganization plans, preferential transfers and fraudulent conveyances, the appointment of receivers and trustees, lender liability and equitable subordination matters, and purchases and sales of the assets of distressed companies. He was selected in 2001 as one of Turnarounds & Workouts magazine's eight "Outstanding Bankruptcy Lawyers 40 and Under."

Mr. Levitin graduated from Duke University magna cum laude in 1984 and from the University of Chicago Law School with honors in 1987. Mr. Levitin was elected to the ABI Board of Directors in April 2001, and previously served as chair of the Young Members Committee, the Bankruptcy Rules Committee, and the Bidding Procedures Subcommittee of the Asset Sales Committee. He is also an ABI Endowment Fund Contributor at the Sustaining Member level.

Both Joel and Nancy were members of a panel of experts featured by ABI in a press educational teleseminar held dedicated to examining the legal, business and financial aspects of high tech and telecommunication bankruptcy cases. They will be holding a joint meeting with the Uniform Commercial Code Committee at the Annual Spring Meeting in Washington, D.C., April 17 at 8:00 a.m.

Other Members in the News

Ronald Scott Kaniuk, formerly of Salomon Green & Ostrow P.C., has become of counsel to the firm Kera Graubard & Litzman, with offices at 240 Madison Avenue, 7th Floor, New York, NY, (212) 681-1600, fax (212) 681-1601, rkaniuklaw@aol.com.€The general-practice firm handles real estate, litigation, bankruptcy and collection matters.€Mr. Kaniuk is admitted to practice in New York, New Jersey and Florida.

Joseph S.U. Bodoff announced the expansion of Bodoff & Slavitt LLP and its relocation to 225 Friend Street, Boston, MA, 02114-1812. Mr. Bodoff is executive editor of ABI's Web Site Editorial Board.

Ronald Hornberger, a shareholder in the firm Plunkett & Gibson Inc. in San Antonio, and a contributing editor to the ABI Journal's "Benchnotes" column, was named as one of the state's best attorneys in "Texas Super Lawyers," a list of the top legal counselors in the November issue of Texas Monthly. He has practiced law in Texas for 27 years and is listed as a "super lawyer" in the Bankruptcy and Workout category. He also has been listed in the Best Lawyers in America in Bankruptcy.

Former ABI President Ford Elsaesser was named to the list of "100 Influential Idahoans" for his work on the Pend Oreille Basin Commission. Mr. Elsaesser is with the Sandpoint, Idaho firm of Elsaesser, Jarzabek, Anderson, Marks, Elliott & McHugh Chtd.

Gary Marsh, a partner in McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP's Atlanta office, has been selected as a fellow in the American College of Bankruptcy. Georgia Trend Magazine also selected him as one of "Georgia's 2003 Legal Elite," and the Atlanta Magazine named him one of "Georgia's Super Lawyers for 2004." Mr. Marsh, who is also listed in The Best Lawyers in America, focuses his practice on business bankruptcy and litigation.

The Trumbull Group LLC, Windsor, Conn., announced that Ronda K. Collum joined the company as a senior consultant. Ms. Collum brings 22 years of experience providing claim, financial and forensic accounting services to debtors, creditors' committees and trustees, and has provided analysis and testimony on issues involving financial reporting, substantive consolidation, plan feasibility, liquidation scenarios, balloting results, preferences and claim reconciliation.

Kennedy, Covington, Lobdell & Hickman announced that Jo Ann J. Brighton, formerly a partner at Nixon Peabody LLP, has relocated to Charlotte, N.C., and joined the firm as special counsel in its Debt Finance Department. Ms. Brighton is a contributing editor to the ABI Journal's "News at 11" column and is certified in business bankruptcy by the American Board of Certification. An ABI member since 1990, she will continue her practice representing secured creditors, syndicated DIP loans, business reorganization and bankruptcy.

Foley & Lardner partner Mark J. Wolfson, Tampa, Fla., has been elected to serve on the Executive Committee of The Florida Bar Business Law Section for 2003-04 as secretary-treasurer of the Executive Council. In 2002-03, Wolfson was chair of the Business Law Section's Legislation Committee. Over the past years, he has also served as chair of the section's Bankruptcy/UCC Committee and as editor of the committee's publication, The Quarterly Report. Mr. Wolfson is chair of Foley & Lardner's Litigation Department in Tampa and is the leader of the firm's Business Reorganizations Practice Group for the Southeast region. He has extensive experience in bankruptcy cases, primarily representing secured creditors, creditors committees, buyers of assets in chapter 11, shareholders and parties to contracts, such as landlords and franchisers.

Doug Kelly, an associate in the Orlando, Fla., office of Holland & Knight, has been appointed an adjunct professor at the Florida A&M University College of Law in Orlando, where he will teach bankruptcy and creditors' rights. With Holland & Knight, Kelly primarily focuses his practice on the representation of secured and unsecured creditors in state and bankruptcy court. He will continue his full-time practice at Holland & Knight. Mr. Kelly is a member of the Central Florida Bankruptcy Lawyers Association, ABI, the Orange County Bar Association and the Business Law Section of the Florida Bar.

Luis A. Abreu announced he has become a principal in the firm of Carter, Craig, Bass, Blair & Kushner in Danville, Va. Mr. Abreu has been a practicing attorney in Danville and all adjoining areas for more than 22 years and will continue to focus his practice on debtor/creditor relations, bankruptcy, general business and litigation. Mr. Abreu generally represents creditors and has been an ABI member for 10 years. He can be reached at 126 South Union Street, P.O. Box 601, Danville, VA 24543-0601, labreu@ccbbk.com.

Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c. shareholder Peter C. Blain, Milwaukee, has been elected to the American College of Bankruptcy, one of only five Wisconsin attorneys to be elected. Mr. Blain is chair of the Bankruptcy and Creditors' Rights Department of the firm, where he represents creditors, committees, trustees, debtors, financial institutions and others in bankruptcy proceedings. He is a former chair of the State Bar of Wisconsin's Bankruptcy, Insolvency and Creditors' Rights Section and Bankruptcy Bench/Bar Committee, and of the Milwaukee Bar Association's Bankruptcy Section. Mr. Blain has been continuously listed in Best Lawyers in America since 1987, is listed in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in American Law, and is also a noted author and speaker on bankruptcy topics.

The Denver firm of Pearson, Horowitz, Poskus & Burnett P.C. announced that Bart Burnett has become a shareholder in the firm. He has more than 17 years of experience in bankruptcy, financial restructuring and insolvency law, including business reorganization under chapter 11, out-of-court workout matters, and representation of secured lenders, creditors and borrowers.

ABI Director Hon. William Bodoh was the subject of a Jan. 4, 2004, profile in tje Youngstown, Ohio, Vidicator upon his retirement from the bench at the end of 2003.

Poyner & Spruill LLP is pleased to announce that Lisa P. Sumner, Diane P. Furr and S. Andrew Jurs have become partners. Ms. Sumner practices in the areas of bankruptcy, creditors' rights and commercial litigation in the firm's Raleigh, N.C., office, and has experience representing secured and unsecured creditors, creditors' committees and chapter 11 debtors in bankruptcy court and in negotiations regarding workouts. She also has experience representing banks and other business interests as plaintiffs and defendants in commercial litigation. Ms. Sumner is licensed to practice law in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia and may be reached at (919) 783-2869 or lsumner@poyners.com. Ms. Furr practices in the areas of bankruptcy and creditors' rights, banking, commercial law and workouts in the firm's Charlotte, N.C., office. She represents lenders, trade creditors and lessors in chapter 11 cases involving contested matters and issues involving preferences, reclamations, debtor-in-possession financing and asset purchases. She has served on the advisory board of ABI's Southeast Bankruptcy Workshop. Ms. Furr is licensed to practice law in North Carolina and South Carolina and may be reached at (704) 342-5338 or dfurr@poyners.com. Mr. Jurs practices in the areas of bankruptcy, creditors' rights and commercial litigation, particularly bankruptcy litigation, in the firm's Charlotte, N.C., office. He represents lenders, lessors, trade creditors and equity-holders in commercial cases, including various contested matters and plan-confirmation issues on behalf of lenders. Mr. Jurs is licensed to practice law in North Carolina and South Carolina and may be reached at (704) 342-5301 or sajurs@poyners.com.

Kenneth W. Mann, a partner with mergers and acquisitions firm Equity Partners Inc. (EPI), Easton, Md., announced that the firm was retained by Wellington Leisure Products Inc. to seek buyers for the Madison, Ga.-based debtor-in-possession. In September, various EPI-generated sales were approved in the Middle District of Georgia, including going-concern transactions and sales of intellectual, personal and real property from other operations that had ceased operations. Mr. Mann can be reached at (410) 822-0216 or mann@equitypartnersinc.com.

David Buxbaum, chairman emeritus of Buxbaum Group, Calabasas, Calif., has been appointed a commissioner of the Palm Springs International Airport and was also named to the Regional Board for Research and Education of the Jerry Pettis Loma Linda Veterans Administration Hospital in Redlands, Calif. He was additionally named treasurer of that board. In his role with the Palm Springs Airport, Mr. Buxbaum will represent his hometown of Rancho Mirage on the commission. Mr. Buxbaum, the firm's founder, has been involved in retailing, inventory liquidations and consulting for more than 50 years. Buxbaum Group, together with affiliate Buxbaum/Century, is one of the largest liquidators and appraisers of retail and wholesale inventories, as well as machinery and industrial equipment, across North America.

Goulston & Storrs, Boston, announced that Mary Ellen Welch Rogers had joined the firm as a member in the Asset Backed Lending Practice within its Commercial Group. For more than 10 years, Ms. Rogers has represented secured and unsecured creditors in negotiation and preparation of out-of-court workouts and restructurings, and in reorganization and liquidation cases. Her practice encompasses complex asset-based loan documentation, loan workouts and debtor-in-possession financing, with a particular focus on retail. Ms. Rogers is a member of ABI, the Turnaround Management Association, the Association of Commercial Finance Attorneys and the International Women's Insolvency Conference, as well as the Massachusetts, Maine, Boston and Women's Bar Associations.

The South Texas College of Law Board of Directors in Houston announced it has elected Hugh M. Ray as a new member. Mr. Ray heads the national bankruptcy practice of the firm Andrews Kurth LLP, working in its Houston and New York offices. He is a past chairman of the American Bar Association's Business Law Section's Business Bankruptcy Committee and served on the ABA's Standing Committee on Judicial Selection, Tenure and Compensation.

Miller & Holguin announced that Barry S. Glaser has joined the firm as chair of the its newly launched Bankruptcy and Creditors' Rights Practice Group. Formerly a partner at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, Mr. Glaser's practice focuses on creditors' rights, insolvency, real estate, and commercial litigation matters. His extensive experience includes the representation of creditors (secured and unsecured), debtors, creditors' committees, bankruptcy trustees and state court receivers, as well as parties interested in acquiring assets or controlling equity positions in financially troubled businesses. He is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in California, as well as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. District Court of Hawaii.

The international law firm of Greenberg Traurig LLP announced the opening of their Dallas office with 20 attorneys who bring experience from such firms as Andrews & Kurth, Patton Boggs and Larson King. With their move into the Dallas area, the nation's ninth largest metropolitan area, Greenberg Traurig expands its key practice and industry groups and strengthens its national and international presence. The group includes shareholder Michelle A. Mendez, president-elect of the Bankruptcy Section of the Dallas Bar Association, whose practice is focused on the representation of distressed companies, debtors, creditors, committees, equity-holders, trustees, examiners, financial advisors, liquidators and purchasers of assets in distressed situations. She is joined by associate John K. Turner, who has participated in the representation of debtors, creditors and creditors' committees in reorganization and liquidation proceedings, including those of Service Merchandise Inc., Trans World Airlines Inc. and The Caldor Corp. He also published "Giving God the Unavoidable Preference: Tithing and the Religious Liberty and Charitable Donation Protection Act of 1998," ABI Journal, November 2000.

Wormser, Kiely, Galef & Jacobs LLP, New York, announced that Janice B. Grubin has joined the firm as partner and chair of its Bankruptcy Department. With a practice encompassing the transactional and the litigation aspects of insolvency, Ms. Grubin represents debtors, creditors, trustees and official and unofficial committees in voluntary and involuntary bankruptcy proceedings and workouts. Ms. Grubin served on the Second Circuit Task Force's Advisory Committee on the Bankruptcy Courts, and participated in the founding of the Metro New York Chapter of the International Women's Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation. Now located at 825 Third Ave., New York, NY 10022, Ms. Grubin can be reached at (212) 687-4900 or jgrubin@wkgj.com.

Miller Nash LLP recently announced the addition of new associates to its Seattle and Portland, Ore., offices. John Chung, who now focuses his practice on insolvency and reorganization, was previously a database and document manager at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He is a member of the Washington State Bar Association and serves on the newsletter committee of the Asian Bar Association of Washington. Ashley S. Hohimer is a member of the firm's business department and focuses her practice on creditors' rights, with an emphasis on bankruptcy, insolvency and reorganization. She is admitted to practice in Oregon and federal courts, and is a member of the Oregon State Bar's debtor-creditor section.

Sherwood Partners Inc.'s move to Palo Alto, Calif., was prominently featured in an Associated Press article by business writer Michael Liedtke. The profile of founder and principal Martin Pichinson highlighted the recent relocation of the turnaround firm's headquarters to Silicon Valley. Further information on the firm's services and location can be found on its web site at www.shrwood.com.

McGlinchey Stafford PLLC, New Orleans, is pleased to announce that partner Rudy J. Cerone has been named as the 2004 president of the American Board of Certification. As a member of ABC's first certification class, Mr. Cerone was also recognized for 10 consecutive years of ABC certification in business bankruptcy law. Mr. Cerone is a member of the firm's commercial litigation section with primary emphasis in the areas of business bankruptcy and commercial litigation. He has been an ABI member since 1997 and serves as chair of its Business Reorganization Committee's Subcommittee on Hospitality, Entertainment Venues & Gaming.

Sarah Weaver announced the opening of her law office, to be known as Sarah Weaver, Attorney at Law PLLC. Located at 1325 Fourth Ave, Suite 940, Seattle, WA 98101-2509, she will represent debtors and creditors in business and personal financial reorganizations, and can be reached at (206) 388-0168. Ms. Weaver has been an ABI member since 1994.

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP announced that Steven Golick, of the law firm's Toronto office, has been named National Volunteer of the Year by Kids Help Phone, Canada's only toll-free, 24-hour, national bilingual telephone counseling service for children and youth. Mr. Golick was a founding member of this organization and has provided pro bono services since before its inception in 1989, and drafted its original bylaws. He and his partners and associates at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt provide legal services to Kids Help Phone on an ongoing basis.

Michael M. Parker was one of 13 new partners announced by Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, effective Jan. 1, 2004. Prior to becoming partner, Mr. Parker served as a senior associate in Fulbright's San Antonio office. He focuses his practice on workouts, business bankruptcy and commercial litigation matters. He was named a "Texas Super Lawyer" in the November 2003 issue of Texas Monthly magazine and was named one of the 12 "Outstanding Young Bankruptcy Lawyers" in the April 1999 issue of Turnarounds & Workouts (the only Texas lawyer to receive this honor). He was certified in 1999 by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in both business bankruptcy law and consumer bankruptcy law.

The Bankruptcy Section of the Alaska Bar Association recently passed a resolution expressing their gratitude for the extraordinary education efforts of Thomas J. Yerbich. Mr. Yerbich, an ABI member since 1997, is a vice chair of ABI's Consumer Bankruptcy Committee and a contributing editor of the Consumer Corner column of the ABI Journal. He also wrote the ABI-published Consumer Bankruptcy: Fundamentals of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

Barbara Franklin, who retired from the Department of Justice in October 2002, was also admitted to practice law in Hawaii in November 2003. She will continue to practice bankruptcy in both Alaska and Hawaii, and can be contacted in Honokaa, Hawaii, at (808) 775-1555 or barbara.franklin@verizon.net. The former assistant U.S. Trustee for the District of Alaska has been a continuous member of ABI since 1991.

In November 2003, three ABI members were appointed as bankruptcy court judges. The Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals installed Dennis R. Dow as bankruptcy judge for the Western District of Missouri. He replaced Frank Koger, who died in January 2002. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Dow was a partner at Shook, Hardy & Bacon in Kansas City, Mo. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the area of bankruptcy since 1995 and is a vice chair of ABI's Consumer Bankruptcy Committee.

Ten-year ABI member Lawrence S. Walter, formerly head of Sebaly, Shillito & Dyer LPA's bankruptcy and commercial law group, was appointed to the bankruptcy bench in the Southern District of Ohio in Dayton. He concentrated in bankruptcy, creditors' rights and commercial law, and also has considerable experience representing creditors and trustees in consumer cases. On the debtor side, he also represented small businesses in workouts and reorganizations. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit announced the appointment of former U.S. Trustee Maureen A. Tighe as a judge on the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles. Ms. Tighe previously served as a U.S. Trustee for the Department of Justice in Los Angeles, where she managed and administered bankruptcy cases in the Central District. From March 2002 she also served as interim U.S. Trustee in the region, which includes Southern California, Hawaii, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Previously, Ms. Tighe served as an assistant U.S. attorney in Los Angeles from 1988-98. In that position, she served as deputy chief of the Major Frauds Section and chairperson of the Bankruptcy Fraud Task Force. She joined ABI in 1998 and currently co-chairs its Commercial Fraud Task Force and is on the Advisory Board of ABI's Bankruptcy Battleground West program. The position she fills was previously held by Kathleen P. March, who has returned to private practice at The Bankruptcy Law Firm PC in Los Angeles ((310) 559-9224 or kmarch@bkylawfirm.com).



 

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