Program Schedule

 

FORTY FIFTH ANNUAL
SOUTHEASTERN BANKRUPTCY LAW INSTITUTE

MARCH 21 - MARCH 23, 2019

THURSDAY, MARCH 21, 2019 (Morning Session)
7:45 - 8:55

Registration (continued through program) and Continental Breakfast (Registrants only – included in registration fee).

8:55 - 9:00 Welcome
9:00 - 10:00

Taxes, Tariffs, and Trade Wars: Will bankruptcy lawyers be busy again soon? - Where exactly is this economy heading, and what can bankruptcy professionals expect as we move into the third year of the current administration and the mid-terms are past? Our opening session will provide expert perspective on these important and intriguing issues from UMB Bank Chief Investment Officer K.C. Mathews.

SPEAKER: KC Mathews

10:00 - 11:00

The Bankruptcy Courts' Greatest Hits: Top 10 Bankruptcy Court Decisions. - David Epstein will discuss select Bankruptcy Court cases that are amusing, have unusual facts, consider novel questions of law, or are otherwise of particular interest. David will select the highlights from both consumer and business cases.

SPEAKER: Professor David G. Epstein
11:00 - 11:15 Coffee Break (Registrants only – included in registration fee)

11:15 - 12:35

BREAKOUT
SESSIONS

Chapter 11 Breakout Session

Successfully Pursuing Prepackaged and Prearranged Chapter 11 Plans. - Prepackaged and prearranged plans have become a valuable tool for debtors and their creditor constituents to plot a path through chapter 11 that is more organized, shorter, and less expensive than traditional “free fall” bankruptcies. This panel will examine the pros and cons of those paths and provide practical advice for their successful implementation. Topics will include – what type of companies and capital structures are best suited for prepackaged or prearranged plans (and which are not); what are the key differences between a prepackaged plan, a prearranged plan, and a traditional plan; what is a typical pre- and post-filing timeline for these plans(and what “dual tracking” considerations should be made); the successful negotiation of plan support agreements; and securities law considerations in soliciting and implementing prepackaged and prearranged plans.

SPEAKERS: Jessica C. Boelter, Hon. Wendy L. Hagenau & Robert J. Keach

Consumer Litigation Toolbox Breakout Session

Consumer Case Law Update: Everything that is new in the consumer bankruptcy world! Our distinguished panel will discuss the latest consumer bankruptcy law cases. This seminar is your one stop shop to learn about all of the most recent cutting-edge cases. Don't embarrass yourself during your next court appearance. Be here or call your insurance carrier!

SPEAKERS: Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Sabrina L. McKinney & Hon. John Waites

12:35 - 1:40

Lunch (Registrants only – included in registration fee)

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 21, 2019 (Afternoon Session)

ELECTIVE PROGRAMS A AND B
Program A (Chapter 11 Workshop)
1:40 - 3:00

ELECTRONIC DISCOVERY FOR BANKRUPTCY LAWYERS. - This panel will explore the challenges and practical aspects of applying Rules 26 and 34 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure with respect to electronic discovery in bankruptcy cases. What "reasonable steps" must be taken to preserve electronically stored information, and what kind of dispute must arise before the duty to preserve ESI arises? What does it mean to say that discovery must be "proportional to the needs of the case," and how do you apply the six factors in Rule 26(b)(1) in a bankruptcy dispute? How much can a cash-poor bankruptcy estate be forced to spend responding to electronic discovery? How do you apply electronic discovery obligations to trustees, who often do not have complete access to the debtor's computers and data? What are some best practices to be used in formulating search terms to locate relevant files? When should parties be forced to search archived and deleted files using forensic consultants? How should parties approach the requirement that responses to discovery requests state "whether any responsive materials are being withheld?" In the context of contested matters, when it is likely that the time periods in the formal rules are too long to make sense, how do you get an appropriate scheduling order in place? Learn to apply the electronic discovery rules to the practical realities of bankruptcy cases.

SPEAKERS: Jeff J. Marwil, Christine Myatt & Kathy Bazoian Phelps

3:00 - 3:15

Coffee Break (Registrants only – included in registration fee).

3:15 - 4:35

Corporate Governance Issues in Bankruptcy. - When a company files for chapter 11 protection, it becomes a debtor-in-possession that remains in control of its property and operations. However, as with all companies, it is individuals – officers, managers and directors – who are usually not themselves in bankruptcy, who manage and operate the company. This panel will examine some common (and often complicated) issues that arise when the worlds of corporate governance and bankruptcy intersect. Has the company received proper authority to file for bankruptcy and should “golden share” and special director provisions in corporate governance documents be respected by the court? Is the replacement of management and/or board members on the eve of bankruptcy necessary or appropriate and how can that impact the timing of filing and the orderly commencement of the case? What happens to shareholder voting and consent rights in a chapter 11 proceeding? Additionally, the panel will discuss how the law has rapidly evolved to deal with the unique issues presented by limited liability companies. How does the Bankruptcy Code interact with state law in handling these issues, including member- and manager-managed LLCs, single-member LLCs, LLCs as assets of an estate, charging liens, restrictions on attachment or transfer of membership interests, and forced insolvencies?

SPEAKERS: Hon. Jefffrey W. Cavender, Elizabeth A. Green & Prof. Juliet M. Moringiello

4:35 - 6:00

Cocktail Reception (Registrants and Spouses)

Program B (Consumer Workshop)
1:40 - 2:20

Conversion Tricks and Traps: Chapter 7 to Chapter 13, Chapter 13 to Chapter 7, and back again! - Conversions present a host of questions. How do you convert a case from one chapter to another? Can additional creditors be added at the time of conversion? What pleadings must be filed? Does the filing date or the conversion date control eligibility for discharge? Is a new means test required? What is property of the estate? What constitutes a bad faith conversion? Does the new trustee get a second bite at the apple for objections to exemptions? How long does a successor trustee have to act? Are the valuations and lien strips binding after a conversion from Chapter 13 to Chapter 7? Is there another bar date after the case converts? What happens to all of the money the Chapter 13 Trustee has collected? This panel will hit all of these questions and more.

SPEAKERS: Henry E. Hildebrand, III & Jill A. Michaux

2:20 - 3:00

Watch Out! Creditor friendly cases that you need to know. - There are certain cases that creditors’ attorneys love to cite and debtors’ attorneys hate to hear about. This panel will do an in-depth discussion of many of the most recent "creditor friendly" cases. If you represent creditors, you need to hear this panel so you can arm yourself and if you represent debtors, you need to hear this panel so you can defend your client effectively.

SPEAKERS: Mary Beth Ausbrooks & Kelly M. Hagan

3:00 - 3:15 Coffee Break (Registrants only – included in registration fee).
3:15 - 3:55

Booted... Kicked Out! Chapter 7 dismissal issues. - You filed a Chapter 7 case and the United States Trustee wants to dismiss the case for cause! How do you defend against these motions? How could you have avoided that problem before you even filed the case? What are the factors that courts analyze and what arguments will save your client’s case? This panel will help you grapple with these issues effectively.

SPEAKER: H. David Cox
3:55 - 4:35

Student Loan Hardship Discharge: Capturing the Unicorn - The days of a bankruptcy discharge automatically wiping out student loans are long gone. Now, if your client has a pulse, getting that hardship discharge of student loans is notoriously difficult. This panel will give you all of the tools you need to help your deserving clients get that discharge when they really need it.

SPEAKERS: Mary Beth Ausbrooks & Hon. Lisa Ritchey-Craig
4:35 - 6:00

Cocktail Reception (Registrants and Spouses)

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2019 (Morning Session)
8:00 - 9:00

Continental Breakfast (Registrants only – included in registration fee).

9:00 - 10:00

Circuit Splits and the Supreme 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: G. Eric Brunstad, Jr.
10:00 - 11:00

Dotting The I’s and Crossing The T’s: Avoiding Bar Complaints and Legal Malpractice Claims. - No attorney wants to have to hire their own attorney to deal with a mess they’ve inadvertently made, but getting named in a lawsuit or disciplinary complaint is an ever present risk for both experienced and novice attorneys. In this presentation a legal malpractice and ethics expert will advise on the latest best practices for avoiding claims and disciplinary complaints from clients and former clients. The emphasis will be on rules you think you know, but probably don’t. Stick around for this presentation to get your ethics CLE hours and to keep yourself out of the line of fire!

SPEAKER: David Lefkowitz
11:00 - 11:15 Coffee Break (Registrants only – included in registration fee).

11:15 - 12:35

BREAKOUT
SESSIONS

Chapter 11 Breakout Session

HOW TO HANDLE YOUR EXPERT WITNESSES LIKE AN EXPERT. - The panel will explore the challenges and pitfalls of retaining and using expert witnesses effectively. What do you have to tell the other side? Are your communications privileged? Does it matter if the expert is retained by counsel instead of a party? What about the expert’s reports and work papers – do you have to produce those? Must the expert even prepare a written report? How can you help your expert prepare the most effective report? Are the rules different if the expert isn’t going to testify? How should you prepare your expert to testify on direct or cross-examination at a deposition or trial? Can your expert help you depose and cross-examine the opposing experts? Learn to tackle the requirements of Rule 26 successfully and prepare your case ethically and effectively in order to maximize the value of your expert witnesses.

SPEAKERS: Jeff J. Marwil, Kathy Bazoian Phelps & Hon. Frank J. Santoro

Consumer Litigation Toolbox Breakout Session

I Object! Evidence in Bankruptcy Court. - Bankruptcy court is fairly laid back when it comes to presenting evidence, but you have a big evidentiary hearing next week. What witnesses do you need to get those business records admitted into evidence? A hearsay objection? How do you get around that? Can your client testify about the value of assets or do you really have to pay an appraiser? Learn about these and other complex evidence issues in this hands-on evidence toolbox.

SPEAKERS: Alane Becket, Hon. Edward J. Coleman, III, Hon. Cynthia A. Norton & Hon. James P. Smith

12:35 - 1:40

Lunch (Registrants only – included in registration fee).

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2019 (Afternoon Session)

ELECTIVE PROGRAMS A AND B
Program A (Chapter 11 Workshop)
1:40 - 3:00

Claims Trading - Buyers, Sellers, and Debtors Beware!! - Explore recent and significant case developments addressing claims trading, including: (i) risks associated with claims trading; (ii) limitations on the assignability of claims and/or the right to vote an assigned claim; (iii) potential claim designation; (iv) “bad faith” associated with purchasing claims to support/reject a plan; and (iv) the “proper” classification/designation of claims purchased by/from insiders.

SPEAKERS: G. Eric Brunstad, Jr., Jorian Rose & Daniel H. Slate
3:00 - 3:15 Coffee Break (Registrants only – included in registration fee).
3:15 - 4:35

Intellectual Property and Digital Assets. - Issues with respect to the assumption, assignment, and rejection of executory contracts granting rights with respect to patents, copyrights, trademarks and other intellectual property; treatment in bankruptcy of digital assets, such as domain names, social media accounts, and virtual currencies.

SPEAKERS: Jessica C. Boelter, Robert J. Keach & Prof. Juliet M. Moringiello

Program B (Consumer Workshop)
1:40 - 2:20

Small Chapter 11 vs. Big Chapter 13: Which one is best for you and your client? - Your client fits within the debt limits for a Chapter 13, but it feels more like a Chapter 11 because of the weighty issues involved. A Chapter 13 case takes a lot less time and costs your client a lot less money, but can you really handle all of the issues your client has in a Chapter 13 plan? This panel will help you work through the analysis of all of these issues so you can put your client in the right type of case.

SPEAKERS: H. David Cox & Robert C. Furr
2:20 - 3:00

Practical Practice Points: Handling your problem children. - It's not just an alliterative title. This panel will address various issues in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 that are crucial to your debtor practice. How do you handle garnishments for your clients? How can you handle aggressive homeowners’ associations? Does filing a joint case help or hurt your client? How do you handle special counsel when your client has a non-bankruptcy cause of action? How do you handle the all too common good faith objections? This panel will cover all of these issues and more.

SPEAKERS: Jill A. Michaux & Hon. Cynthia A. Norton
3:00 - 3:15 Coffee Break (Registrants only – included in registration fee).
3:15 - 3:55

Death and Divorce in Bankruptcy. - They are not quite as certain as taxes, but you will deal with death and divorce in the bankruptcy world sooner or later. Should your clients finish the divorce before the bankruptcy or should they file bankruptcy then divorce? How do you handle probate issues after a bankruptcy filing? This panel will help you spot the issues and handle them effectively as they arise.

SPEAKERS: Hon. Edward J. Coleman, III & Kelly M. Hagan
3:55 - 4:35

Debt Limits in Chapter 13: What counts and what doesn't? - Do you have to include student loans in the debt limit calculations? Do you have to include personal guarantees for business loans in the debt limit calculations? What about tax debt? Does it make a difference if the case will be closed without a discharge of certain tax debts? Some recent case law suggests you may be able to leave taxes out of the debt limit calculations. How do you have to treat the taxes in the plan? Is it a violation of the automatic stay for the student loan creditor to cancel an income driven repayment plan? This panel will discuss all of the recent case law that touches on these issues so you can help your highly educated, tax riddled clients get the debt relief they need in a Chapter 13.

SPEAKERS: Hon. Paul M. Baisier & Sabrina L. McKinney

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 23, 2019 (Morning Session)
8:00 - 9:00

Continental Breakfast (Registrants only – included in registration fee).

9:00 - 10:00

OMG Professionalism! The Millennials v. The Old Guard. - As Millennials pass the bar and join our forces, they are impacting the way we see and define professionalism. Suits and ties every day are on the way out and more firms have accepted that business casual may not need to be limited to Fridays. These changes go far beyond choice of clothing. The world is less formal and it is starting to make the practice of law less formal. But how far is too far? How much professionalism do your clients require? What about the courtroom or the creditor meeting? This lively panel will examine these questions and more!

SPEAKERS: Christine Myatt, Tiffany Williams Roberts & Hon. John Waites
10:00 - 11:00

Litigating Over Automatic Stay and Discharge Violations: - Procedural options for preventing and redressing violations of the automatic stay and/or the discharge injunction; Availability of contempt sanctions for intentional but “good faith” violations; Types of damages and other remedies which may be obtained under various circumstances, including punitive damages and attorneys’ fees; Evidentiary standards which govern the court’s determination of “good faith” and other relevant facts; Sovereign immunity and other hurdles facing the debtor in challenging actions by governmental entities; Potential use of § 105 by corporate debtors to obtain attorneys’ fees and punitive damages for willful violations; Judicial estoppel and other relief available to creditors, including annulment and nunc pro tunc modification.

SPEAKERS: Hon. Paul M. Baisier & Robert C. Furr
11:00 - 11:15 Break
11:15 - 12:15

TIME WAITS FOR NO ONE. EXCEPT IN BANKRUPTCY. SOMETIMES. Understanding the Benefits and Limitations of Section 108 and other bankruptcy statutes of limitation. - The commencement of a bankruptcy may affect litigation deadlines, jurisdictional and otherwise, which can keep lawyers up at night pondering the imponderable: how the Dickens can the client continue to assert its claims? And, of course, the consequences of a slight miscue can be devastating to your client (and perhaps to your career). This session will explore the impact of Section 108 on non-bankruptcy-related time limitations affecting the rights of various parties in a bankruptcy case, including (i) the extension for the debtor or trustee of the period to commence litigation or take certain actions (such as exercising rights of redemption), (ii) the applicability and operation of the statutes of limitations on avoidance actions, (iii) possible tolling of bankruptcy actions, and other deadlines, and (iv) the interaction of Section 108 with other sections of the Bankruptcy Code or with non-bankruptcy statutes.

SPEAKERS: Hon. Frank J. Santoro & Daniel H. Slate