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Bankruptcy: Crossfire


Level: Advanced
Runtime: 82 minutes
Recorded Date: March 10, 2021
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Agenda

  • The Importance of "Chutzpah" in the PG&E Case
  • The Cannabis Conundrum
  • SBRA... One Year Later
  • Arbitration - Getting to the "Core" of the Issue
Runtime: 1 hour, 22 minutes
Recorded: March 10, 2021

Description

This panel is in the format of the classic current-events TV program “Crossfire” and will address “hot” and “interesting” bankruptcy issues that are not being addressed in the other sessions. Each topic discussed will have parties taking opposing positions (pro/con).

This program was recorded as part of the American Bankruptcy Institute's Bankruptcy Battleground West on March 10th, 2021.

Provided By

American Bankruptcy Institute

Panelists

Hon. Vincent P. Zurzolo

Judge
U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California

Hon. Vincent P. Zurzolo is a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Central District of California in Los Angeles. He was initially appointed on April 18, 1988, and is currently serving his third term. He served as Chief Judge from 2007-10.

Judge Zurzolo received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, San Diego in 1978 and his J.D. from the University of California, Davis School of Law in 1982.

Hon. Scott H. Yun

Judge
U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California

Hon. Scott H. Yun is a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Central District of California in Riverside, sworn in on June 23, 2014.

Prior to his appointment to the bench, he was a shareholder of Stutman, Treister & Glatt in Los Angeles, where he specialized in representing debtors, committees and other constituents in chapter 11 bankruptcy cases. Before entering private practice, he clerked for Hon. Ernest M. Robles, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Central District of California.

Judge Yun received his B.A. cum laude from University of California, Los Angeles in 1993 and his J.D. from the University of Southern California in 1996, during which time he was an extern for Hon. Barry Russell, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Central District of California.

Corey R. Weber

Partner
Brutzkus Gubner

Corey R. Weber is a litigator with Brutzkus Gubner in Woodland Hills, Calif., where he focuses his practice on bankruptcy and business and commercial litigation. He represents bankruptcy trustees, receivers, creditors and municipalities in bankruptcy proceedings, and in federal and state court litigation. He also frequently litigates fraudulent-transfer actions, including in Ponzi scheme cases.

During law school, Mr. Weber served as a judicial extern for Hon. Alex Kozinski of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and he worked for IBM’s international financial consolidation group while working toward his M.B.A. He serves as a board member and secretary of the Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society, and he is the immediate past chair and member of the Executive Committee of the California Lawyers Association (CLA) Business Law Section. He was previously appointed by the State Bar of California’s Board of Trustees as a member of the State Bar of California Business Law Section Executive Committee, and he previously co-chaired the Insolvency Law Committee.

Mr. Weber was appointed by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California as a Central District of California Lawyer Representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference for a three-year term (2016-19), and now serves as an ex officio Lawyer Representative (2019-21). He received his B.A. from the University of California, Irvine, his M.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and his J.D. from the University of Southern California Law School.

Lei Lei Wang-Ekvall

Partner
Smiley Wang-Ekvall, LLP

Lei Lei Wang Ekvall is a partner with Smiley Wang-Ekvall, LLP in Costa Mesa, Calif., and concentrates her practice on insolvency and bankruptcy-related matters, including workouts, business reorganizations, creditors’ rights, and trustee, committee and receiver representation in diverse industries such as hospitality, medical, real estate, technology, entertainment, manufacturing and retail.

Ms. Wang Ekvall served a judicial clerkship to Hon. Alan M. Ahart, William J. Lasarow, Kathleen T. Lax, Kathleen P. March, and Vincent P. Zurzolo, all U.S. Bankruptcy Judges, from October 1992 to September 1993. From September 1993 to September 1994, she clerked for Bankruptcy Court Judge Hon. Kathleen P. March.

Ms. Wang Ekvall is is vice chair of the Central District of California’s Attorney Discipline Committee, secretary of the Masters Division of the Orange County Bar Association, and a board member of the Los Angeles Bankruptcy Forum. She also serves on the board of the Orange County Bar Association’s Charitable Fund and served as its president in 2011. In addition, she has chaired various committees and sections of the Orange County Bar Association, including its Pro Bono Committee, Resolutions Committee, and Commercial Law and Bankruptcy Section. Among other recognitions, in 2019 Ms. Wang Ekvall was selected as Attorney of the Year by the Orange County Women Lawyers Association. She rated AV-Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell, and since 2008 has been named a Southern California Super Lawyer. In 2011 and 2014, she was named a Top Bankruptcy Attorney by O.C. Metro magazine.

Ms. Wang Ekvall is a frequent speaker on the topic of bankruptcy law and receiverships and co-authored Bankruptcy for Businesses, published in April 2007 by Entrepreneur Media, Inc., and distributed by McGraw-Hill. She received her undergraduate degree in information and computer science in 1988 from the University of California, Irvine and her J.D. in 1992 from the University of Southern California.

Caroline R. Djang

Partner
Best Best & Krieger, LLP

Caroline R. Djang is a partner in Best Best & Krieger LLP’s Business practice group in Irvine, Calif. She is the chief bankruptcy counsel and leads the firm’s Bankruptcy practice.

Ms. Djang practices in the areas of insolvency, bankruptcy and litigation. She counsels her creditor clients on the best strategies for pursuing and collecting debts within the bounds of bankruptcy law and advises them on their prospects for recovery. She also helps her clients in financial distress to understand their options.

Ms. Djang is an at-large member of the Ninth Circuit Conference Executive Committee and the secretary/ treasurer of the Orange County Bar Association’s Commercial Law and Bankruptcy Section. She also is a subchapter V chapter 11 trustee.

Prior to joining BB&K, Ms. Djang was a partner at Rutan & Tucker, LLP, and before entering private practice, she clerked for U.S. Bankruptcy Judges Ellen Carroll, Vincent P. Zurzolo, Sheri Bluebond and Richard M. Neiter. She received her B.A. in English and history from the University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. from Loyola Law School.

Paul D. Buie

Managing Director
Onyx Asset Advisors

Paul D. Buie is a managing director with Onyx Asset Advisors in Los Angeles, where he focuses on originations and investments for the firm. He works closely with restructuring professionals, secured lenders, corporate executives, venture capitalists and private-equity groups to help them understand and monetize the underlying value of all types of assets, including inventory, machinery and equipment, intellectual property and real estate.

Mr. Buie has more than 20 years of expertise in the advisory, monetization, valuation, treasury and lending industries. He received his B.A. in political science from the University of California, Irvine and his graduate degree from the Institut d’Etudes politiques de Paris.

Hon. Julia W. Brand

Judge
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, Central District of California

Hon. Julia W. Brand is a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Central District of California in Los Angeles, appointed on Oct. 24, 2011. On Dec. 1, 2016, she was appointed to the Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel.

Before taking the bench, Judge Brand practiced primarily with Katten Muchin Rosenman, LLP, Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber & Schreck, LLP, and Danning Gill, Diamond & Kollitz, LLP, where she represented debtors, creditors and unsecured creditors’ committees in chapter 11 cases. She was a charter member of the Southern California Network of the International Women’s Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation, and she served as Network co-chair from 2007 through 2010 and as Communications chair in 2011.

Judge Brand received her B.A. from the University of California in 1981 and her J.D. from the University of Southern California School of Law in 1985.

Hon. Sheri Bluebond

Judge
U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California

Hon. Sheri Bluebond is a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Central District of California in Los Angeles, appointed Feb. 1, 2001. She served as Chief Bankruptcy Judge for the district from Jan. 1, 2015, through Dec. 31, 2018. Previously, Judge Bluebond was a partner with Irell & Manella LLP in Los Angeles from 1995-2001, where she co-chaired its Creditors’ Rights and Insolvency Group, and specialized in bankruptcy, debtor/creditor relations and business litigation, representing debtors in possession and trustees as well as secured and unsecured creditors. From 1991-95, she was a shareholder with Murphy, Weir & Butler, and she was also an associate for Gendel, Raskoff, Shapiro & Quittner from 1983-91.

Judge Bluebond is a Fellow of the American Bankruptcy College and a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the American Bar Association and ABI. She currently serves on the Executive Committee and the Bankruptcy Committee of the Commercial Law and Bankruptcy Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the Board of Governors of the Los Angeles Bankruptcy Forum, and has at various times served on the Board of Trustees of Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles/Camp Max Straus, the Board of Governors of the Financial Lawyers Conference, the Board of Directors of the Turnaround Management Association and the Board of Trustees for the Los Angeles County Bar Association.

Judge Bluebond received her undergraduate degree from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1982 and her J.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law in 1985.

Hon. Martin R. Barash

Judge
U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California

Hon. Martin R. Barash is a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Central District of California in Woodland Hills, sworn in on March 26, 2015. He brings more than 20 years of legal experience to the bench.

Prior to his appointment, Judge Barash had served as a partner at Klee, Tuchin, Bogdanoff & Stern LLP in Los Angeles since 2001, where he counseled parties in chapter 11 cases and litigated chapter 7 and chapter 11 bankruptcy cases. Following law school, he clerked for Judge Procter R. Hug, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from 1992-93. Judge Barash is a member of ABI’s Board of Directors. He also serves as a director of the Judicial Leadership Development Council and is a member of the NCBJ Committee on Judicial Security. He previously was a member of the board of directors for the Los Angeles Bankruptcy Forum.

Judge Barash is a frequent panelist on bankruptcy law issues and has been a guest lecturer at the UCLA School of Law. He has also been involved in the local legal community as a pro bono attorney with the Public Counsel Chapter 7 Reaffirmation Hearing Clinic, and has been a volunteer judge for a course on negotiating and confirming chapter 11 plans at the UCLA School of Law and with UCLA’s Mock Trial Competition. He currently serves as a director and immediate past president of the Junior Statesmen Foundation, a national, nonpartisan organization sponsoring civics education programs for high school students.

Judge Barash received his A.B. magna cum laude in 1989 from Princeton University and his J.D. in 1992 from the UCLA School of Law, where he served as member, editor, business manager and symposium editor of the UCLA Law Review.

Robbin L. Itkin

Partner
Sklar Kirsh, LLP

Robbin L. Itkin is a partner with Sklar Kirsh, LLP in Los Angeles, and is also a mediator, trustee and advisor. Among her high-profile clients are entertainers, producers, directors, writers and athletes, company CEOs and board members, as well as private and public companies in the entertainment, sports, real estate, hospitality, manufacturing, energy, retail, transportation and other industries.

Ms. Itkin has successfully restructured billions of dollars of debt in out-of-court restructurings and in chapter 11 bankruptcy cases. She frequently speaks at educational conferences regarding commercial, bankruptcy and other matters including women’s issues, and has provided legal commentary for television and radio shows. She appeared on NBC’s Los Angeles affiliate, where she discussed her representation of season ticket-holders in the Los Angeles Dodgers bankruptcy case. She has also offered commentary on other television news outlets, including “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams,” the “Today Show,” where she spoke on women in the workplace, and C-SPAN, where she interviewed U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. The Century City Bar Association named

Ms. Itkin “Bankruptcy Lawyer of the Year” for 2013, and she has been named among the Top 100 Southern California Super Lawyers as well as among the Top 50 Women Southern California Super Lawyers. She also is listed as a “Top 100” in Who’s Who in LA Law and is recognized in The Best Lawyers in America.

Ms. Itkin currently serves as a Board Member Emeritus for the City of Hope National Medical Center and Beckman Cancer Research Institute, as a board member for the Los Angeles Women’s Leadership Council, and as a board member for the Los Angeles Chapter of Credit Abuse Resistance Education (CARE). She received her B.A. in 1981 from the University of California, Los Angeles and her J.D. in 1984 from the University of Southern California.

Hon. Neil W. Bason

Judge
U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California

Hon. Neil W. Bason is a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Central District of California in Los Angeles, appointed in 2011. While in private practice at Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin, P.C. and Duane Morris LLP, he represented a wide variety of interests in commercial bankruptcy and insolvency matters, including secured and unsecured creditors, trustees, receivers, debtors/borrowers, guarantors, prospective asset-purchasers, and other parties in interest. Before that, he clerked for Hon. Dennis Montali, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of California and Chief Judge of the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the Ninth Circuit.

Judge Bason received his J.D. magna cum laude from Boston University School of Law in 1988, where he was a note editor on its law review.

Leslie A. Cohen

Attorney & Owner
Leslie Cohen Law, PC

Leslie A. Cohen is an attorney and owner of Leslie Cohen Law, PC in Santa Monica, Calif., where she represents businesses and individuals in bankruptcy and insolvency matters, financial disputes, structuring, restructuring, reorganization, adversary proceedings and appeals. She has represented numerous asset-purchasers and sellers in negotiating and litigating bankruptcy acquisitions and contract assumptions and rejections. She also advises companies on the structuring and funding of special- purpose entities, distressed acquisitions and workouts.

Ms. Cohen is a member of the Bankruptcy Mediation Panel for the Central District of California and has been an editor of the California Bankruptcy Journal since 2007. She is an active lecturer and author, and lectures regularly at the UCLA Anderson School of Business. She has also spoken for the International Conference of Shopping Centers, ABI, the American Bar Association, the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, the Financial Lawyers Conference, the Los Angeles Bankruptcy Forum, the California Bankruptcy Forum and the Century City Bar Association, as well as private firms.

Ms. Cohen is admitted to the State Bar of California and regularly lectures at the UCLA undergraduate business law program and the UCLA Anderson School of Business graduate program.

Ms. Cohen received her B.A. in 1977 from the University of California at San Diego and her J.D. in 1980 from UCLA School of Law, where she was an associate editor of the UCLA Law Review.

J. Scott Bovitz

Partner
Bovitz & Spitzer

J. Scott Bovitz is a senior partner with Bovitz & Spitzer in Los Angeles, where he practices both consumer and business bankruptcy law and represents debtors and creditors. He is Board Certified in Business Bankruptcy Law by the American Board of Certification, which he chaired, and he is a Certified Specialist in Bankruptcy Law for the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, which he also chaired.

Mr. Bovitz is rated AV-Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell and has been selected as Southern California Super Lawyer in bankruptcy and creditor/debtor rights. In addition, he is a lawyer representative for the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, a coordinating editor of the ABI Journal, a former member of the California Committee of Bar Examiners, a former adjunct professor of law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, a former executive editor and author of Personal and Small Business Bankruptcy Practice in California, a former president of the Los Angeles Bankruptcy Forum and a former education and conference co-chair of the California Bankruptcy Forum.

Mr. Bovitz received his J.D. in 1980 from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.


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