American Bankruptcy Institute Update

April 28, 2005

In This Issue


Legislation Update

Senate Panel Rejects Asbestos Injury Expansion

The Senate Judiciary Committee declined today to expand access to a proposed $140 billion asbestos compensation fund as a colleague warned the fund could run out of money within a few years in any case, Reuters reported. By a 12-5 vote, the committee rejected an amendment by Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) to compensate individuals with lung cancer that have had lengthy exposure to asbestos but show no sign the mineral injured their lungs. Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) told the panel there were 82 amendments to consider but he wanted to have a vote on the overall bill by the end of the day. "I want to be in a position to report this bill out so the majority leader has it when we return from recess (in the second week of May)," said Specter.

Some senators protested the rush to finish the bill. Sen. John Kyl (R-Ariz.) said his office was starting to hear from companies who feared the requirements to pay into the fund could force them into bankruptcy. He urged the committee to take its time. Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) also argued for more time saying arbitrary decisions would be made to finish in a day.

The bill has seven declared supporters -- five Republicans and two Democrats -- on the 18-member Judiciary Committee that has 10 Republicans and eight Democrats. Specter and the committee's ranking Democrat, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the main sponsors of the bill, told committee colleagues that they were trying to protect the core provisions of the bill but were open to changes. Specter also indicated he would be open to further changes once the bill reached the Senate floor. "We'll continue beyond this markup today," he said.

Join Online Discussion of Consumer Bankruptcy Practice Under The New Law

Join ABI’s Consumer Bankruptcy Committee co-chairs, including Judges Thomas Waldron (S.D. Ohio) and Dennis Dow (W.D. Mo.), along with ABI Resident Scholar Jeffrey Morris and ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano, on May 3 at 3 p.m. (EST) to discuss the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (S. 256), signed into law on April 20. Panelists will answer questions submitted online about the new law and how it will impact consumer bankruptcy practice. All ABI members are welcome to participate free-of-charge. A transcript of the online chat program will be posted at ABI World. Those who wish to submit questions in advance can do so beginning on Monday, May 2. For more information, click here.

Lawrence Friedman to Resign as Director of Executive Office for U.S. Trustees

Lawrence A. Friedman announced in a press release that, effective April 30, 2005, he will resign from his position as Director of the Executive Office for U.S. Trustees to pursue opportunities in the private sector. Friedman took office as Director on March 4, 2002. “Larry has distinguished himself by his unflagging dedication to improving the integrity of America’s bankruptcy system, and I thank him for his leadership and service to the Department,” Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez stated in the press release.

Audioconference to Address “Deepening Insolvency” Issues

ABI will present the second in a series of “Best of
ABI” audioconferences on May 11 . The series brings the highest rated sessions from each ABI conference right to your office.

Register for the Best of 2005 Bankruptcy Battleground West
live audioconference, "Deepening Insolvency Issues," to be held May 11, 2005 at 1:30 pm (ET). The panel will explain the concept of “deepening insolvency,” as well as current trends in the law and the very practical and new potential forms of liability possible under this fast-evolving theory. To register, click here.

Register to Attend ABI’s 12th Northeast Bankruptcy Conference

Make plans to attend the ABI’s Northeast Bankruptcy Conference, to be held July 14 - 17, 2005 at the Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club in Brewster ( Cape Cod ), Mass. The program brings together America’s preeminent insolvency professionals for four days of intense learning and entertainment. Earn up to 10 hours of CLE credits. Topics this year include Supreme Court year in review, coming changes in chapter 13 practice, new developments under Sections 523 and 727, significant tax issues in individual cases, injunctions in bankruptcy, ethics issues, the business of workouts and reorganizations, assets sales, avoidance and recovery actions, divergent precedents and practices among the First, Second and Third circuits and more! Optional events including a sea watch, kayaking and sailing in Hyannis Harbor , and a Saturday night featuring ABI’s own Indubitable Equivalents!

The event will sell out! Register online,, today!

Latest Job Postings at ABI Career Center

Check out the ABI Career Center. The Center is a one-stop site for job seekers and employers in the insolvency community. Career Center resources are available free to both employers and job seekers. New positions are featured daily. The latest listings include: