Welcome to the NCBJ’s 89th Annual Meeting at Miami Beach Blog


Welcome to the NCBJ Annual Conference Blog for our 89th Annual Meeting at the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach. Contributors to this Blog will write about a wide range of topics that we think you’ll find interesting and informative, all relevant to our meeting that is scheduled to begin on September 28, 2015. When you come back, you’ll soon the reading about–

  • Our 2015 Education program;
  • How we do it: secrets of putting on an NCBJ annual meeting;
  • Some of the many sights and sounds of South Beach; and
  • Our Final Night entertainment.

We welcome all bankruptcy professionals to submit posts for this Blog (you can find a link to the guidelines for posting on the Blog home page).

As you know, the NCBJ’s Annual Meeting is the premiere education and networking conference on bankruptcy insolvency. Last year, over 200 present and former bankruptcy judges attended, along with over 1,500 attorneys, accountants, and other insolvency professionals. Miami Beach is a vibrant seaside retreat. We have planned educational activities featuring some of the leading speakers in the country and we’ll host a varied menu of programs sponsored by our colleagues at the ABA, the American College of Bankruptcy, ABI, AIRA, CLLA, IWIRC, and TMA. But—as you’ll be hearing about in other posts—we’ve got some special non-education treats in store.

Speaking of Final Night, I‘m delighted to announce that renowned funk and soul band, Tower of Power, fit us into their 2015 tour to play our final Night Dinner. Purveyors of Urban Soul since 1968, these guys will be all over the country this spring and summer and can really bring it. I just saw them a year ago and I can testify to that.

If you’re tired of chicken and peas sit-down dinners punctuated by speeches, fear not; we’ve revamped all of that, too. This year’s Final Night festivities will include lots of tastes of Miami, several bars, and lots of seating combinations so you can network with new friends and old. And, there’ll be plenty of room to dance, because when Emilio, Doc and Tower of Power’s wind section get going, you’ll want to be up there!

So please check back periodically for new postings to the Blog. Many thanks to the talented judges who moderate. I look forward to seeing you in Miami.

Hon. Bob Nugent, President, NCBJ

Looking Back on the 2014 NCBJ Conference

The 2014 NCBJ conference in Chicago is now in the books, and was a success by any measure. More than 28 programs were offered over three days, on topics ranging from the Detroit bankruptcy case to honing trial skills to hot areas in consumer bankruptcy law.  Attendees were given the chance to talk to the panelists after many of the programs.

The Chicago River architectural boat cruise was a big hit, as was the reception at the Art Institute of Chicago, the farewell dinner (featuring Second City), the after-dinner party, and many other receptions, parties, and lunches. The weather was great; although snow has now begun to fly, conference attendees enjoyed mostly sunny days with highs in the 60s.

1,775 lawyers, spouses, and guests attended the conference. The figure includes 184 sitting, retired, or recalled judges.

Thanks to everyone who attended, with special thanks to Judge Wedoff, Judge Pepper, Judge Baer, Jeanne Sleeper, and the others who worked so hard to make the conference an educational, social, and entertainment success.

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for September 27-30, 2015, when Judge Nugent will host the 2015 NCBJ Conference at the Fountainebleau Miami Beach (a very nice hotel). Daytime highs are predicted to be in the low 80s, and the water warm enough for a swim!

Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker to Keynote ABI’s Luncheon at NCBJ

Do not miss Richmond Federal Reserve President Jeffrey M. Lacker’s keynote, “Rethinking the Unthinkable: Bankruptcy for Large Financial Institutions,” at the ABI luncheon on Friday, Oct. 10! As the resolution of large financial institutions continues to draw the attention of policymakers and media, Dr. Lacker is one of the foremost authorities on the subject. He took office on August 1, 2004, as the seventh chief executive of the Fifth District Federal Reserve Bank. In 2012, 2009 and 2006, he was a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee, which reviews economic and financial conditions, determines the appropriate stance of monetary policy and assesses the risks to its long-run goals of price stability and sustainable economic growth. Tickets to Dr. Lacker’s keynote at the ABI luncheon on Oct. 10 are going fast, so make sure to visit www.ncbjmeeting.org to pick yours up today!

Why Practitioners Attend the NCBJ Conference: “Nobody Does it Better”

“Nobody does it better” sums up why many lawyers attend the NCBJ annual conference. The conference is described as a premier educational and social event in the U.S. insolvency arena.  The conference’s high quality educational offerings, combined with outstanding social and networking opportunities, make the annual conference number one for many bankruptcy lawyers and judges, according to interviews with attendees from prior conferences.

In addition to the quality education programs, lawyers often cite the attractive venues as an additional reason to attend the NCBJ conference. The venues are well suited to combine with sightseeing or vacation opportunities. As one participant recalled, following a NCBJ meeting in San Francisco he and his wife rented a new red convertible and motored up the Pacific Coast Highway for a short vacation.

The conference also offers an opportunity to rub elbows with lawyers who have a national practice. With all the social and networking opportunities, attendees can expand the scope of their contacts and aid their practice.  These contacts often become life-long friends.  Returning to the annual conference becomes a chance to reunite with these friends.

The annual NCBJ conference brings together a large number of judges, practitioners and other insolvency professionals from around the country. It remains an extraordinary insolvency event.  This year’s Chicago conference should not be missed.


ABI Educational Offerings at NCBJ Conference 2014

The American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) is a multi-disciplinary, non-partisan organization dedicated to research and education on insolvency matters. At this year’s NCBJ conference, the ABI is offering educational sessions open to all attendees. These include several roundtable workshops covering a variety of topics, as well as a luncheon featuring leading economist Jeffrey Lacker.

The roundtable workshops differ from other panel presentations because, unlike typical panel presentations, the workshop presenters facilitate discussion with attendees rather than lecture from a prepared script. Attendees are encouraged to ask questions and give their views on the topics discussed.

All NCBJ registrants are invited to attend the workshops; ABI membership is not required. Seating is limited and is currently fully subscribed. If some ticket holders do not show then seats may become available. Open seats will be given to those waiting at the door holding wait list numbers, on a first come, first serve basis.

This year’s workshops include:
• New Bankruptcy Rules, Again? A Preview of the Upcoming New Rules and A Review Issues Arising Under Current Rule 3002.1
• Can the Trustee Bring that Lawsuit? – Exploring Standing and In Pari Delicto Issues in Chapter 11 Cases
• Still More Questions Than Answers: Unresolved and Problem Issues in Individual Chapter 11 Cases
• Advancing Straight to Go: Avoiding Pitfalls in Pre-Packaged and Pre-Arranged Chapter 11 Plans
• Who is Driving this Train? The Proper Roles of the Judge and the Trustee in Chapter 13 Cases
• So You Don’t Want to File for Chapter 11? Exploring The Pros and Cons of Common Alternatives to Chapter 11 including ABCs, Foreclosures, Receiverships and Other State Law Remedies

The ABI is also hosting a luncheon at this year’s conference, with Jeffrey Lacker as the featured guest. Mr. Lacker is the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. He has written numerous articles on monetary, financial and payment economics, and has presented his work at universities and central banks worldwide. From 1992 through 1993, Mr. Lacker taught at The College of William and Mary, and in 1997 he was a visiting scholar at the Swiss National Bank. Mr. Lacker is one of the foremost authorities on the resolution of large financial institutions facing insolvency, and he favors using bankruptcy rather than government intervention.

The ABI roundtable forums and luncheon program give attendees at this year’s NCBJ conference a variety of ways to learn about current bankruptcy issues.

ABI at the NCBJ

ABI is again proud to be the supplier of the conference App, this year better than ever! We look forward to seeing more than 1,000 members in Chicago. Friday the 10th is ABI day: our popular roundtables are once again sold out. Unique format, outstanding educational content. There is still room for you to join us for the Friday luncheon program where Judge Houser will receive this year’s Norton Judicial Excellence Award. Well deserved. Our keynote is Dr Jeffery Lacker the President of the Richmond Federal Reserve. He’s a foremost authority on the resolution of large financial institutions. Provocative speaker. Following lunch we will present a public hearing of the Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 featuring debates on three important issues now under review. The Final Report of the Commission is due out in December. Please join us at 3pm on Friday in the Columbus room.

IWIRC Fall Conference – Intermezzo Events

The International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation’s (IWIRC) 21st International Fall Conference will be held on October 7-8, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois at the Hyatt Regency.

The IWIRC Intermezzo Events truly make the IWIRC Fall Conference different and unique from other conferences. The Intermezzo Events give conference attendees a chance to get away from the conference center and explore the host city — all while networking and building relationships with other restructuring professionals. The Intermezzo Events take place from 2:00-5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 8th.

This year attendees will have the opportunity to chose from three different and fun activities.

– The Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise – Voted the #1 thing to do in Chicago by US News & World Report. Jump on board for a 3:30p.m. cruise of the 3 branches of the Chicago River as CAF certified volunteer tour guides — called docents — interpret more than 50 buildings along the Chicago River, revealing how the city grew from a small back-country outpost into one of the world’s most important crossroads in less than 100 years.

– Dessert Tasting at Mindy’s Hot Chocolate – Experience Mindy’s Hot Chocolate — one of Chicago’s most unique dining experiences. A variety of handcrafted desserts (such as petite chocolate malts, petite brioche doughnuts with hot fudge and caramel corn, cupcakes and shots of hot chocolate and other beverages) await attendees at this decadent and indulgent afternoon in Chicago.

– Signature Lakefront Neighborhoods Tour by Bobby’s Bike Hike Chicago – Grab a bicycle for this three hour, seven mile, laid back bike tour off the tourist beat and into the quiet neighborhood streets, city parks, and packed beaches on the North Side of Chicago. This tour, rated the best Chicago sightseeing tour of 2013 by Trip Advisor, gives riders a glimpse as to how Chicagoans enjoy their beautiful city. Tour highlights include the Gold Coast Mansions, Oprah’s house, the Playboy Mansion, Lincoln Park Zoo, Old Town Historic District, North Avenue Beach and the Lakefront.

Regardless of which Intermezzo Event you pick, you will definitely get to experience a little bit of Chicago! The Intermezzo Events have limited spacing and will fill up. Early registration is highly recommended. For more information about the IWIRC 21st International Fall Conference visit www.iwirc.com.

I hope to see you in Chicago!

Jennifer Kimble, Programs Director

Watch Your Email Inbox for the Materials CODES

Registered Attendees – Watch your email Inbox for the Need To Know CODES for the conference.

Coming by email the week of September 15th and 22nd are the WRITTEN MATERIALS log in and password and instructions for downloading the NCBJ conference app.

The NCBJ session materials are available now for downloading all 875 pages as one document or session-by-session.

Visit www.NCBJmeeting.org > At Conference > Education Materials – Extensive to download written materials. They will be posted until December 30, 2014.

The CLLA, ABI and AIRA session materials will be added to the website
as they become available. ABA materials are available on the ABA website, if you registered for the ABA sessions.

Downloading in advance is recommended due to file size and better Internet bandwidth in your office than at a hotel. There is no Internet service and weak phone service in the meeting rooms.

The Countdown Begins…

With only four weeks until the big NCBJ conference, we think it is a good time for us to post our 2014 invite for all to see.  With a stellar education lineup, a thriving Next Generation Program, and all of the social activities, this could be the best NCBJ yet.

PSZJ will certainly be glad to see you again.

PSZ Party-1

IWIRC’s 21st Annual Fall International Conference – Education Sessions

As part of IWIRC’s 21st Annual Fall International Conference, the Programs Committee is excited to offer two programs on hot topics in the restructuring industry on Wednesday, October 8th.  Three (3) hours of continuing legal education credit is available for attendees.

IWIRC’s first educational panel will discuss potential risks and liabilities for former partners of insolvent law firms. A timely and close-to-home subject for many, this panel discussion will offer expert insights on what can be expected of former partners following the closing of a law firm. Panelists will also analyze and debate the viability of unfinished business claims and the so-called Jewel Doctrine, following recent decisions in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (In re Heller Ehrman LLP) and the New York Court of Appeals (In re Coudert Brothers LLP and In re Thelen LLP). Other topics include the innovative use of Partner Contribution Plans in the case of In re Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.) as a means to efficiently administer and resolve potential liabilities and claims of former partners. Also considered is the applicability of professional liability insurance coverage for partners and firms in law firm insolvency cases. Featured panelists are Chris Sullivan of Diamond McCarthy LLP; Pam Phillips of Arnold & Porter LLP; Uri Gutfreund of Singer Nelson Charlmers; and Al Togut of Togut Segal & Segal LLP. John Fiero of Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP will moderate the panel.

IWIRC’s second education panel will look at the insolvency and restructuring issues facing the healthcare industry today and how they’re being addressed from experts in the field. Panelists will discuss different types of healthcare facilities and unique issues which must be considered in insolvency proceedings. The panelists are Honorable Elizabeth Stong, United States Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of New York, who provides the perspective of a federal bankruptcy judge and mediator on the Interfaith Medical Center case; Jane Jordan, Chief Counsel for Health Affairs, Emory University from the perspective of the owner and operator of hospitals and healthcare facilities; Suzie Koenig, SAK Management, an expert on finance and funding in the healthcare industry, and Felicia Perlman, a partner at Skadden Arps providing the perspective of a workout specialist on the past and current issues at the forefront of healthcare issues today.

The International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation’s (IWIRC) 21st International Fall Conference will be held on October 7-8, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois at the Hyatt Regency. For more information about the 21st International Fall Conference visit www.iwirc.com.

See you in Chicago!

Jennifer Kimble, IWIRC Programs Director