Affiliate Education Programs

ABI Sessions

The Convergence of Nonprofit Law and Bankruptcy Law

This presentation will go beyond the basics of a nonprofit bankruptcy that precludes an involuntary filing or conversion to chapter 7, but will take a deeper dive to consider several unique features (or pitfalls) of a nonprofit restructuring for consideration by both practitioners and the courts.  For example, how does an organization’s mission impact a court’s review of the debtor’s business judgment in assessing sales for substantially all assets?; how does a cramdown plan work for a nonprofit when there are no equity holders, and is the absolute priority rule even relevant?; do the fiduciary duties of a nonprofit board shift when the organization is insolvent?; and, how to successful emerge from bankruptcy when there are competing nonapplicable laws impacting the nonprofit and its reorganization plan, including health care, energy, environmental, and exit financing.

The Top 5 Rochelle’s Daily Wires of 2024

For many bankruptcy professionals, it has become a daily habit to review Rochelle’s Daily Wire headlines and broaden our knowledge on topics that both directly impact our practice, or our industry in general.  Applying ABI analytics, we have selected the 5 most read Daily Wire posts from Bill Rochelle during the past year.  Bill will review the issues, why they captivated our attention and are required study for every practitioner and judge.  Bill and the panelists will illuminate us and consider how each decision will have an impact on the development of the bankruptcy system.

How to Effectively Interact with The Court

Effective interactions with the Court and its chambers are a necessary tool of every professional and must be mastered to efficiently manage any bankruptcy case or proceeding.  This panel would focus on how practitioners and judges can and should take steps to build a transparent and effective professional relationship, including (a) interacting inside the courtroom (standing at podium v. sitting at counsel table), (b) communicating with chambers (emails or telephone calls with courtroom deputy, law clerk, or judge), (c) addressing delayed rulings and opinions that a practitioner believes may impact the reorganization of a case (from requesting a status hearing to request for removal or other actions that may be seen by lawyers as professional suicide), (d) bringing discovery disputes that do not resemble a sandbox fight, (e) raising thorny issues of judicial recusal and professional conflicts of interest, and (f) relationships with local practitioners to help familiarize the out of district practitioners with local practice and customs. The focus of the panel will be on practical approaches for practitioners and the court to efficiently navigate a reorganization case. 

CLLA Programs

Keynote Luncheon — From Strava and Beyond: Co-founder Michael Horvath on Technology’s Disruption of Entrepreneurship, Capital Systems and Markets

With over 120 million (and growing) global users and billions of uploads, Strava is the world’s largest dataset of human activity that’s been used for logging workouts, urban planning and even military operations. Michael Horvath, a globally renowned innovator and visionary, will share his views on AI’s increasing impact on the traditional roles of venture capital and entrepreneurs, its potential to break the status quo models, and broader impact on the U.S. and global economies. Starting as an economics and entrepreneurship professor before a tech industry career leading to Strava, Michael will draw upon his diverse and unique background to provide attendees his rarely shared in-depth insights and thought-provoking prospects of how technology and its acceleration may define or determine the human experience in the 21st century and beyond.

Michael Horvath is Co-founder of Strava, the software company and platform for active people, based in San Francisco, California. Founded in 2009, the Strava community has grown from a handful of friends to a brand that is loved by hundreds of millions around the world. Prior to Strava, Michael co-founded Kana Software, an enterprise software firm that IPO’d in 1999. And he was CFO and VP of Operations at GlycoFi, a biotech start-up acquired by Merck in 2006. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Northwestern University and an A.B. in economics from Harvard University. While at Harvard, he was men’s lightweight crew team captain and the seeds of what would become Strava were first planted during all the time spent at Newell Boathouse. In his former life, Michael was an economics professor at Stanford University and an entrepreneurship professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Lawrence P. King Award Recipient

Each year, the Executive Council of the Commercial Law League’s Bankruptcy Section presents the Lawrence P. King Award to recognize a lawyer, judge, teacher or legislator who exemplifies the best in scholarship, advocacy, judicial administration or legislative activities in the field of bankruptcy. The award is designed to recognize the lifetime achievements of Professor King, which includes contributing to the practice of bankruptcy law through teaching, by working to elevate the profession and through bankruptcy-related legislative activities.

This year’s recipient is Ralph Brubaker, the James H.M. Sprayregen Professor of Law at the University of Illinois, where he teaches courses in bankruptcy, bankruptcy procedure, corporate reorganizations, federal courts, conflict of laws (private international law), contracts, and restitution. Professor Brubaker has three degrees from the University of Illinois, including his J.D. summa cum laude and an M.B.A., and he received Bronze Tablet distinction (highest honors) and C.P.A. certification as an undergraduate.  He clerked for Judge James K. Logan of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, and he practiced in the bankruptcy and corporate reorganization group with the law firm Squire, Sanders & Dempsey (now Squire Patton Boggs) in Cleveland, Ohio. Professor Brubaker was a member of the faculty at the Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia from 1995 until 2004, when he returned to his alma mater. Professor Brubaker is the Editor-in-Chief and a contributing author for West’s Bankruptcy Law Letter, he is co-author of a bankruptcy casebook, and he has written dozens of journal articles and essays. He is particularly expert in the complex jurisdictional and procedural facets of federal bankruptcy proceedings. Professor Brubaker has been an editorial advisor for the American Bankruptcy Law Journal, the American Bankruptcy Institute Law Review, and the Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal. He is a member of the American Law Institute, a Conferee of the National Bankruptcy Conference, and a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, for which he has been the Scholar-in-Residence. Professor Brubaker has served on the executive committee of the board of directors of the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), and he was a member of the advisory committee on business enterprise sales for the ABI’s 2014 Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11.

Frank Koger Memorial Education Program: “To Appeal or Not to Appeal” – The Jurisdiction of an
Appellate Court to Hear a Case After Ritzen

On January 14, 2020, the Supreme Court of the United States issued an opinion Ritzen Group, Inc. v. Jackson Masonry, LLC, 589 U.S. _ (2020), clarifying what constitutes a final order for purposes of bankruptcy appeal. The Ritzen decision comes a few years after the Supreme Court in Bullard v. Blue Hills Bank unanimously held that an order denying confirmation of a plan was not final because the plan process could continue notwithstanding the denial. The Supreme Court unanimously held that a bankruptcy court’s order denying relief from the automatic stay constitutes a final order, and thus, that order may ─ and must─ be immediately appealed if so desired. The Court’s theory was that, unlike the plan confirmation process at issue in Bullard (which allows parties to continually propose plans after denial until one is confirmed), the stay relief proceeding is its own complete procedural unit, separate and apart from any claims resolution issues. The holding is important because parties normally only have an absolute right to appeal when an order is final. An interlocutory order may only be appealed only with leave of court. Accordingly, as a result of this decision, creditors and parties in interest must carefully assess whether their orders are final for which an appeal must be immediately taken, or interlocutory.

The program will consist of an appellate argument on the topic of finality for purposes of appellate jurisdiction based on the application of the Supreme Court’s decision in Ritzen before three sitting federal judges. The program will commence with the appellate argument, followed by questions and comments from the judges and then a presentation of appellate pointers – “Best Practices.”
Judith Greenstone Miller will be moderating the program. Honorable Morgan Christen, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Anchorage, Alaska, Honorable Eric D. Miller, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Seattle, Washington, and Honorable Robert J. Faris, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, will be judging the appellate argument. G. Eric Brunstad, Jr. will be representing a creditor appellant and arguing that notwithstanding that normally an order approving a disclosure statement is not final for appeal purposes, because of the alleged patent defect, the order is and should be treated as final for appellate purposes. Patricia Ann Redmond will be representing the debtor appellee that sought and obtained approval of the disclosure statement that is alleged to be patently unconfirmable on its face and arguing that the order approving the disclosure by the bankruptcy court is not a final order for which appellate review is permitted.

Moderator: Judith Greenstone Miller, Senior Counsel, Taft Stettinius & Hollister, LLP, Southfield, MI

Panelists: Honorable Morgan Christen, US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, Anchorage, AK; Honorable Eric D. Miller, US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, Seattle, WA; Honorable Robert J. Faris, US Bankruptcy Court, District of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI; G. Eric Brunstad, Jr., Dechert, LLP, Hartford, CT;
Patricia Ann Redmond, Stearns Weaver Miller, Miami, FL