American Bankruptcy Institute Update

June 2, 2005

In This Issue


Legislation Update

Report Finds Underfunding at Largest U.S. Pensions

Over half of the 100 largest traditional corporate pension plans were underfunded to some degree in 2002, according to a study by congressional auditors released this week. A quarter were less than 90 percent funded, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found. The study was based on an analysis of disclosure forms filed by companies with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC). Rep. John Boehner (R–Ohio), who chairs the House Education and the Workforce Committee, said the report illustrated once again that outdated pension rules were failing to protect the interests of workers and retirees. “Today’s outdated rules also put the taxpayers at significant risk of a possible multibillion-dollar bailout of the PBGC if the agency’s financial condition continues to worsen,” he said. “Our comprehensive pension reform proposal will address these funding problems, ensure that employers properly fund their pension promises on behalf of workers, and protect taxpayers as well,” Boehner added. Boehner and Employer-Employee Relations Subcommittee Chairman Sam Johnson (R–Texas) are working with Ways & Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R–Calif.) on comprehensive pension reform legislation and are expected to have legislation ready in June.

Senate Finance Chairman Charles Grassley (R–Iowa) also is preparing pension legislation. His committee will hold a hearing on Tuesday to examine the recent decision of a bankruptcy court to allow United Airlines to shift its pension liabilities to the PBGC. Lawmakers have said they want to act on a bill before the end of the year, when a temporary fix setting the rate companies must use to calculate pension contributions expires.

Teleconference on the Impact of the New Bankruptcy Law on Small Business Development, June 15

On June 15, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and researchers from Harvard University and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, will hold a teleconference to release research findings on the potential impact of the new bankruptcy law on small business development and entrepreneurship.

Participants include Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation, Professors Robert M. Lawless, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and Elizabeth Warren, Harvard Law School. For additional information, contact Thomas Phillips at or 212-935-4655.

Make Plans to Attend ABI’s 13th Annual Southwest Bankruptcy Conference

The Four Seasons Las Vegas, an oasis from the neon lights and casinos of the Strip, is host to the 13th Annual Southwest Bankruptcy Conference, September 8–11, 2005. Situated on the top floors of the Mandalay Bay, the Four Seasons is the city’s most acclaimed hotel, a serene, non-gaming environment with exclusive facilities and spacious quarters.

The program of 12 CLE credit hours (including 1.5 hours of ethics) features a faculty of outstanding scholars, judges and practitioners from across the United States. Timely topics—all updated with the latest legislative revisions—include:

  • Point/Counterpoint: Aggressive Debtor and Creditor Strategies
  • Financial Tools and Concepts for the Chapter 11 Practitioner
  • Current Developments
  • Consumer Update: What’s Hot, What’s Not
  • Early Issues in Small Business Chapter 11s
  • Avoid Being the Target: Practical Tips to Preventing Ethics and Malpractice Claims
  • Bankruptcy Litigation Strategies

Plus optional events, including:

  • Golf at Lake Las Vegas
  • Two networking receptions
  • Twilight Helicopter Tour of the Strip
  • Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour
  • Hoover Dam Tour
  • Mamma Mia tickets at the Mandalay Bay

Register online today for the Southwest Bankruptcy Conference!

Bankruptcy Litigation Committee e-Newsletter Available Online

The May issue of ABI’s Bankruptcy Litigation Committee e-newsletter is now available online. Read articles on litigating the “ordinary course” defense under the new bankruptcy law and utilizing a jury demand to obtain leverage in a preference case.

ABI World Tutorial Highlights Membership Directory

Do You Know?

Not sure how to use ABI’s online Membership Directory? A new online tutorial demonstrates the many different ways you can search for ABI members. The tutorial features a visual demonstration of how to use the directory with both text and voiceover instructions. This is the first in a series of tutorials that will highlight the many resources and services that are available at the ABI World web site.

Order your print version of the directory online.

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: