Virtual Program Schedule


2021 SOUTHEASTERN BANKRUPTCY VIRTUAL LAW INSTITUTE

MAY 5 - MAY 6, 2021

WEDNESDAY, MAY 5, 2021
JOINT SESSION Jason Watson, Presiding
1:00 - 1:10

Welcome by Jason Watson

1:10 - 2:10

Economic Overview – Light at the End of the Tunnel - After a severe recession due to a global societal shock, a public health crisis, we are adapting and now see light at the end of the tunnel. Is the light a signal of an economic recovery? Or are the lights signaling risks, perhaps a freight train coming right at us?

SPEAKER: KC Mathews

2:10 - 2:20

Break and Transition to Breakout Sessions

BREAKOUT
SESSIONS

2:20 - 3:20

Chapter 11 Breakout Session
Austin Jowers, Presiding

Mass Tort Bankruptcies and Third Party Releases: Observations from the Frontlines - Addressing mass tort liability through bankruptcy is not new – but with the emergence of talc litigation, the opioid crisis and other mass tort trends, mass tort bankruptcies are at the forefront of the restructuring world.  A key component of these cases, as well as many other complex bankruptcy cases, is the third party release – a source of ongoing debate in the bankruptcy courts.  This panel, incorporating leading perspectives from the bench, bar and academia, will examine these issues in detail and addressing both historic and current trends, and the latest developments in these headline restructuring issues. 

SPEAKERS: Jeff Bjork, Prof. Ralph Brubaker & Judge Michael Wiles

Consumer Breakout Session
Mary Ida Townson, Presiding

Small Businesses Big Challenges - The debtor has a small business and is in personal financial trouble. Can the business owner file a personal bankruptcy? Is a chapter 13 or a chapter 7 a better option? What if the business is an LLC or a corporation and not a sole proprietorship? Does the client need to wind down the business before filing a personal bankruptcy or can the business keep operating? Are the assets and liabilities of the business listed in the personal schedules? What about personal guaranties for the business debts? Can personal guaranties be discharged even if the business keeps operating? What information will you need for a chapter 13 Business Debtor Questionnaire? What can a chapter 7 trustee do with the business? See this panel before you wind up in a bad situation with a business debtor!

SPEAKERS: Judge Paul Bonapfel, Miriam Goott & Soneet Kapila

3:20 - 3:30

Break

BREAKOUT
SESSIONS

3:30 - 4:30

Chapter 11 Breakout Session
Austin Jowers, Presiding

363 Sales and Successor Liability: Does One Size Really Fit All? - How clear is “free and clear”? The do’s and don’ts of documenting and structuring sales to avoid post-closing assertion of claims against the purchaser. What provisions will courts allow in sale orders to head off potential successor liability issues? What types of notice is required or advisable with respect to various types of creditors and claims? Methods for dealing with unknown claims and claimants. Ability of bankruptcy courts and state courts to interpret and enforce sale orders post-closing. When is it advisable to effectuate a sale under a plan rather than Section 363, or versus nonbankruptcy options, such as Article 9 or receivership?

SPEAKERS: Bob Keach, Michael Klein & Teri Stratton

Consumer Breakout Session
Mary Ida Townson, Presiding

The Ball and Chain: The Non-Filing Spouse and Partial Interest Issues - Wedded bliss can get sticky in the bankruptcy world. How does the income of a non-filing spouse impact a case? If the NFS has higher income, is that a problem for the debtor? Can the marital adjustment expenses in the means test be larger than the non-filing spouse’s income? What if the marriage is post-petition in a Chapter 13? What if the debtor doesn’t know details about their spouse’s income or assets and doesn’t have access to the information? Does that create a bad faith issue for the debtor? How can you force a non-debtor to participate in a bankruptcy when he or she is not a party?

What about jointly owned property or a life estate or remainder interest? How does a partial interest in goods impact their case and the value of the asset? Is the co-owner going to get sued under 363(h)? What if said property is fully encumbered and the trustee makes a deal with the creditor for a short sale? How do you protect your client’s homestead exemption if the trustee sells the property? What if the property is fully encumbered by a tax lien or a judgment lien? Are tax and/or judgment liens treated differently than mortgages? What about marshalling issues? How do all of these issues impact the valuation and the potential sale of the asset? This panel will discuss these issues and more so that you have the tools to protect your client, and maybe the ball and chain as well!

SPEAKERS: Judge Paul Bonapfel, Miriam Goott, Soneet Kapila & Mary Viegelahn

4:30 - 5:00

Virtual Happy Hour!

 

THURSDAY, MAY 6, 2021
JOINT SESSION Jason Watson, Presiding
1:00 - 1:10

Welcome by Jason Watson

1:10 - 2:10

Supreme Court and Appellate Court Roundup: Latest Developments in Bankruptcy Issues in the Supreme Court and Circuit Courts. Eric Brunstad will discuss recent Supreme Court opinions and pending Supreme Court cases addressing bankruptcy issues and how those cases will affect our practices.  Eric will also explore splits among the Circuits on bankruptcy issues, the likelihood of resolution by the Supreme Court, and implications for consumer and business practitioners.

SPEAKER: Eric Brunstad
2:10 - 2:20 Break
2:20 - 3:20

Life in the Time of COVID: Ethical Issues Facing Attorneys During the Pandemic - This panel will examine several of the novel issues that attorneys have been facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and related quarantine and remote working environment, including (1) the duty to understand the benefits and risks of relevant technology (i.e., "don't be a cat"); (2) remote testimony and related ethical issues; (3) protecting confidentiality in a remote world (proper technology, Alexa issues, having others around while discussing with clients); and (4) supervising lawyers/non-lawyers when not in the office (Rule 5.1 and 5.3).

SPEAKERS: Judge Bess Creswell, Prof. Nancy Rapoport, Judge James Sacca & George L. Washington, Jr.
3:20 - 3:30 Break and Transition to Joint Session

BREAKOUT
SESSIONS

3:30-4:30

Chapter 11 Breakout Session
Austin Jowers, Presiding

Current Leading Issues for Secured Lenders - This panel will examine how the bankruptcy and restructuring landscape has shifted for secured lenders in light of some recent landmark decisions and large administratively insolvent cases. Among other topics, this panel will discuss the Momentive Performance Materials decision and its impact on secured creditor’s cram down risk, as well as the recent decisions in La Paloma Generating Co., Energy Future Holdings, and MPM Silicones with respect to those court’s varying interpretations of intercreditor agreements. Finally, the panel will provide an overview of how bankruptcy courts, creditors’ committees, the US Trustee’s office, and other constituents have evolved their approaches to certain provisions in DIP and cash collateral orders (e.g., carve outs, 506(c) waivers, budget requirements, stub rent payments, etc.) in light of heightened concerns arising from several recent high-profile administratively insolvent cases (Toys ‘R Us, Sears, and Shopko). 

SPEAKERS: Julia Frost-Davies, Reggie Dawson & Tedd Dillman

Consumer Breakout Session
Mary Ida Townson, Presiding

Case Law Update: What’s New in the World of Consumer Bankruptcy? - This is the panel everyone in the consumer bankruptcy world needs to hear to stay current in their practice. It will cover all the latest, greatest, cases and will keep you from committing malpractice. ‘Nuff said!

SPEAKERS: Judge D. Sims Crawford, Beth Anne Harrill & Sabrina McKinney

4:30 - 4:40

Break

BREAKOUT
SESSIONS

4:40 - 5:40

Chapter 11 Breakout Session
Austin Jowers, Presiding

Changes on the Waterfront: Small and Middle Market Chapter 11 Cases - This is a small and middle market 11 smorgasbord. What are any effects of recent legislation and decisions in small and middle market cases? This panel discussion will cover the SBRA (Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019), its genesis, use, and forecast areas for potential litigation. What is the projected impact on parties-in-interest: founders and families (and retention of equity or not), employees, suppliers, lenders, and communities? What are best strategies on “moving” the case and “affording” chapter 11 (by managing admin costs) including Subchapter V trustees, use of third party neutrals and third party vendors? Is there a committee? What is the role of a committee? What are best practices on managing ESI (electronically stored information) and use of e-discovery? What are a lender’s avenues to limit their bankruptcy risk? What financing opportunities are possible in these cases?

SPEAKERS: Derek Abbott & Bob Keach

Consumer Breakout Session
Mary Ida Townson, Presiding

Chapter 7 and 13 Discharge: The Dessert After the Dinner - The discharge is like dessert after the dinner. But what debts are actually discharged? What about that judgment against your client? What about unpaid attorney’s fees from a divorce case? Does it matter how the divorce decree is worded? Specifically, who is the debtor supposed to pay, the divorce attorney or the ex-spouse? What can creditors do to anticipate and possibly block a discharge of the debt? Can you structure a litigation settlement agreement to account for bankruptcy and to set up a res judicata/collateral estoppel argument in nondischargeability proceedings?

What about special situations in a Chapter 13 like missed mortgage payments? Does the fact that the debtor did not stay current or did not “cure and maintain” the secured debt payments bar the discharge? The 11th Circuit Case, In re Dukes, says failure to stay current or “cure and maintain” secured debt payments might bar the discharge. Can you draft a Plan that will give your client a better shot at a discharge? This panel will cover all the ins and outs of thorny discharge issues.

SPEAKERS: Michelle Bass, Marcy Ford, Sabrina McKinney, Judge Cynthia Norton & Travis Sasser