Avoiding Malpractice and Other Common Pitfalls in Consumer Cases

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 70 minutes
Recorded Date: September 08, 2017
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  • Considerations for The Initial Intake
  • Good Fences Make Good Neighbors
  • The Mechanics of Representation
  • Collateral Issues and Malpractice Hot Topics
  • When it's Time to Say Goodbye to a Client, Godspeed, Safe Travels
Runtime: 1 hour and 10 minutes
Recorded: September 8, 2017


This panel will highlight practice risks that include debtor and creditor viewpoints. The topics will include: tracking and anticipating obvious and unknown deadlines, appreciating inherent conflicts that may pose ethical problems as well as critical path obstacles to hidden conflicts of interest, springing conflicts of interest, undisclosed client expectations creating dissatisfaction with the process and outcome, and underestimating expense and delay leading to crisis of payment and inability to effectuate strategy.

This program was recorded on September 8th, 2017.

Provided By

American Bankruptcy Institute


James F. Kahn

Kahn & Ahart, PLLC

James F. Kahn is a third-generation commercial law and bankruptcy attorney, who has been in private practice in Phoenix, Arizona since 1972. He has been designated a Southwest Super Lawyer for 2007-2015 by Thomson Reuters. Jim has served as Adjunct Professor of Law at Phoenix School of Law 2007-2013.

Mr. Kahn concentrates his practice in the areas of Bankruptcy and Creditors’ & Debtors’ rights. In 1988, he was certified as a Bankruptcy Specialist by the State Bar of Arizona, Board of Legal Specialization. Mr. Kahn has served on numerous committees and regularly lectures in various educational programs on bankruptcy as well as Creditors’ and Debtors’ rights. He served as Chairman of the Arizona State Bar Committee on Creditors’ and Debtors’ Rights and as Chairman of the Bankruptcy Section of the Arizona State Bar. Mr. Kahn has served as a Judge Pro Tem of the Superior Court of Arizona (1995-2015).

James F. Kahn is the founder and senior attorney of Kahn & Ahart, PLLC (Bankruptcy Legal Center™) in Arizona. He is a veteran attorney with more than 40 years of experience practicing law. He devotes his practice to representing individuals and businesses in bankruptcy and creditor’s and debtors’ rights cases.

James earned his JD at the Wayne State University Law School in 1972.

Stephen E. Berken

Berken Cloyes, P.C.

Stephen E. Berken is a partner with Berken Cloyes, PC. His practice focuses on areas of consumer bankruptcy law. Mr. Berken earned his B.A. degree, cum laude, from the University of California in 1981, and his J.D. degree from Hastings College of the Law, University of California in 1984. Mr. Berken is a frequent lecturer before various professional groups. Mr. Berken handles cases involving Chapter 7 and 13, defense and prosecution of bankruptcy adversary matters.

He is the Colorado state chair for the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. He is the founding member of the Colorado Consumer Bankruptcy Association. He is the creator of the Colorado Debtors' Counsel Listserv, an Internet-based source of information for debtors' counsel in the state of Colorado. The Listserv is provided as a free service to counsel of the Debtors' Bar. Mr. Berken is on the ABI Advisory Board for Colorado. Mr. Berken is a board-certified expert in consumer bankruptcy, American Bankruptcy Board of Certification. He is the state chair for C.A.R.E. (Credit Abuse Resistance Education). Mr. Berken was named Bankruptcy Attorney of the Year by 5280 Magazine for 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Stephen earned his B.A., Cum Laude in political science from the University of California in 1981 and his JD from the University of California-Hastings College of Law in 1984.

Hon. Deborah J. Saltzman

United States bankruptcy court, Central District of California

Hon. Deborah J. Saltzman is a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Central District of California in Los Angeles, appointed March 18, 2010, and also hears cases in the Northern Division in Santa Barbara.

Prior to her appointment to the bench, she practiced bankruptcy law in Los Angeles for 12 years, spending most of her career with O’Melveny & Myers LLP. While in practice, she represented debtors, secured and unsecured creditors, asset-purchasers, creditors’ committees and landlords in chapter 11 and out-of-court restructurings, as well as in related financing transactions and litigation.

Judge Saltzman is the chair of the Central District Bankruptcy Court’s Education Committee and designs educational programs for the court’s judges, law clerks and externs. She also regularly teaches continuing education programs for the bar and speaks on issues related to bankruptcy and restructuring.

Judge Saltzman is a member of the national Next Generation CM/ECF working group to develop updates to the electronic filing systems for the nation’s bankruptcy courts. She also recently participated in a conference regarding the proposed national chapter 13 form plan and related updates to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure.

Judge Saltzman is a member of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, ABI, the Financial Lawyers Conference, the Los Angeles Bankruptcy Forum and the Inland Empire Bankruptcy Forum.

She received her B.A. in 1991 from Amherst College Phi Beta Kappa and her J.D. in 1996 from the University of Virginia School of Law.

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