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Meetings & Events

Educational Committee Agendas

ADR & Mass Torts

The committees will present a joint panel discussion covering two areas where ADR techniques are utilized to resolve contentious issues that are recurring regularly in mass tort cases: (1) the resolution of disputes between mass tort debtors, putative mass tort creditors and insurance carriers as to the availability and timing of insurance assets, and (2) the use of ADR techniques to resolve putative mass tort claims during the pendency of bankruptcies and as part of the post-confirmation claims allowance and distribution process.

Asset Sales

The committee will present Aggressive Acquisition Strategies: Risks and Rewards of §363 Asset Purchases. The panel will discuss claims purchases, standing, and limits on credit bidding by secured creditors. Buyer alliances with management/insiders and obtaining support from creditor constituencies also will be covered. Terminating plan exclusivity, proposing competing plans and the use of pre-packaged plans to eliminate competitive bidding will be reviewed, and limits on the court’s jurisdiction, manipulation of the claims objection process and successor liability will be analyzed.

Bankruptcy Litigation

This new committee will present Digging the Dirt: Pre-trial Discovery in Fraud Cases, which will focus on the effective use of discovery tools to investigate and build a fraud case in contested bankruptcy proceedings. Using the special techniques available in bankruptcy as well as the traditional discovery procedures, the panel will focus both on the general strategy as well as the particular problems in cases alleging fraud, such as defective or missing records, invocation of the Fifth Amendment, and the development of proof of knowledge and intent.

Business Reorganization & Young and New Members

The Business Reorganization Committee and the Young and New Members Committee will collaborate to present an educational program entitled Valuations in Chapter 11 Cases: What You Want Depends On Where You Sit (And When You Are Sitting There). This panel will explore common methodologies for determining the value of reorganizing businesses and, more critically, the use of valuation as a tactical tool by key constituencies in the case at various points on the chapter 11 timeline, including confirmation proceedings. Scheduled speakers include Scott H. Lang, Brown Gibbons Lang & Company LP; Stephen S. Gray, TRG; Jonathan Rosenthal, Saybrook; and Miles Molyneaux, Corporate Recovery, KPMG LLP. The moderator of the panel will be Melissa Kibler Knoll, KPMG LLP, co-chair of the Young and New Members Committee.

Commercial Fraud Task Force Committee

Legal and strategic issues to consider from both a debtor and creditor prospective when fraud is suspected in the current legal and regulatory environment.This topic will be of interest to a broad spectrum of ABI members including those who represent chapter 11 debtors, secured creditors, trustees and anyone who has to deal with identifying and addressing fraud issues. Our guest speakers are Ross O. Silverman of Katten, Muchin, Zavis & Rosenman, Chicago and Brian P. Netols of the same firm.  Ross and Brian are both former Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the Northern District of Illinois. Ross recently served as the Examiner in the United Airline Case. Both Ross and Brian have tremendous experience in the white collar financial crimes arena. Their practice focuses on civil litigation, primarily assisting their clients in identifying civil wrongdoing within and outside their clients' organizations.

Consumer & Professional Compensation

The committees will present Court Oversight of Creditor Professional Fees in Consumer Bankruptcy Cases: Urban Myth or Developing Practice Area, a discussion of issues relating to the allowance of creditor’s professional fees in chapter 7 and chapter 13 cases. In light of the increasing frequency of contracts that provide for attorney or “collection fees” in the world of consumer finance and the growing trend toward “nationalization” of consumer creditor practice in consumer bankruptcy cases, this is a topic of increasing importance to both debtor and creditor counsel. In addition, a review of waiver and disclosure issues in bankruptcy proceedings: Fleming, Jore, 11 U.S.C. §329 and beyond, will be discussed.

Ethics and Court Administration

This joint committee program will explore the challenges faced by both professionals and the courts in connection with selection of The Right Venue for the filing, management and “successful conclusion” of a bankruptcy case. Offering differing perspectives from the debtor, the court/bankruptcy clerk’s office, creditors and “the outside world,” this program will address the various criteria that factor into a debtor’s (and/or its counsel’s) decision to choose one bankruptcy court over another, as well as the court’s ability to administer the case once filed and its procedures for managing the debtor(s) and creditors (and their claims) going forward. In addition, the panelists will explore issues such as the “best” way and time to file a motion to transfer venue, the impact of local rules and procedures, the extent to which local case law on ethics issues influences the venue selection process, and the roles and responsibilities of local counsel, the court and the clerk’s office.

Finance and Banking & Investment Banking

The committees will present Chapeau, Sombrero or Fedora: A Lively Discussion About What Hats Investment Bankers, CRO/CRAs and Turnaround Consultants Are and Should Be Wearing. How do you determine whether you have the right professional for the job? This panel will address the distinction between financial advisory professionals hired, or recommended by, financial institutions and the roles they play at various points throughout a chapter 11 proceeding. Particular attention will be focused on the inherent conflicts that arise among these professionals as the lines among their service offerings begin to blur. Peter S. Kaufman, Gordian Group LLC, will moderate, and the panelists will include James D. Decker, Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin and Michael J. Epstein, TRG.

Health Care

This program will compare and contrast the options available for liquidating a health care entity that cannot restructure, including: bankruptcy, assignment for the benefit of creditors, state or federal receivership or conservatorship and informal liquidations.

Insurance, Construction & Surety Subcommittee

This subcommittee of the Business Reorganization Committee will present a program on American and English Insurance Insolvency Law and Practice. A panel of experts in insurance regulation, insolvency and rehabilitation will discuss recent legislative and case law developments in the United States and United Kingdom, as well as practical problems in domestic and cross-border insolvency proceedings.

International & Financial Advisors

The committees will present a joint program on The Outlook for Global Insolvencies and Distressed M & A in 2005 and Beyond, which will attempt to provide the audience with a quick global tour of what we have to look forward to in the coming year. Paul W. Kirk, Managing Director of PWC’s Global Restructuring Services Group, will be the keynote presenter. Rebecca A. Roof, AlixPartners LLC, and George M. Kelakos, Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe LLP, will serve as co-moderators of the program.

Real Estate

The committee will present a panel on Real Estate Topics in Consumer Bankruptcy, addressing such issues as the survival of tenancies by the entirety; sales of residential property free and clear of co-owners under §363(h); extraterritorial homestead exemptions; cure, modification or strip-down of mortgages on primary residences in chapter 13; and retention by debtors of leased primary residences in chapter 7.

Technology and Telecommunications Cases Committee

“Anatomy of a Technology Transaction” - Technology and telecommunication cases present debtors with opportunities to monetize assets through various technology transactions: soft asset sales, license and divestitures. In this session we will explore the anatomy of such technology transaction both form the debtor/seller’s perspective, as well as from the buyer’s perspective. We will discuss the opportunities presented by technology transactions and how such transactions come to bear. We will also focus on unique challenges and pitfalls to avoid. Both the business and legal aspects of technology transactions will be covered.  Speakers include Brian B. Sagi, President & CEO, CERIAN Technology Ventures, LLC and Janice L. Block, Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

Unsecured Trade Creditors

This presentation will focus on reclamation and the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of this equitable remedy. In addition, the committee will examine reclamation in the context of the Fleming case and the results of what ultimately led to the appointment of the first reclamation creditors’ committee.


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