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Best Practices for Motion and Brief Drafting

Level: Intermediate
Runtime: 60 minutes
Recorded Date: September 13, 2017
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  • Best Practices for Drafting Motions and Briefs
  • Top Pitfalls for Drafting Motions and Briefs
  • Best Practices for Oral Arguments on Motions and Briefs
  • Top Pitfalls for Oral Argument on Motions and Briefs
Runtime: 1 hour
Recorded: September 13, 2017


This panel will discuss the best practices for drafting motions and briefs and presenting those filings to the court when they are contested and uncontested. The panelists also will discuss the pitfalls to avoid when drafting motions and briefs and presenting those pleadings to the court.

This program was recorded on September 13th, 2017.

Provided By

American Bankruptcy Institute
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James E. Van Horn

Barnes & Thornburg, LLP

Jim has deep experience working directly with senior management, investors, creditors and other stakeholders in matters ranging from out-of-court workouts, prepackaged and prearranged Chapter 11 reorganizations to cram down plans of reorganization and sales of substantially all assets. He is experienced in representing corporate debtors, secured creditors, asset purchasers, official committees of unsecured creditors, liquidating trustees, receivers, investors and other stakeholders, in bankruptcy courts and other courts throughout the United States. Additionally, Jim has experience serving on compliance and monitorship teams in conjunction with both transactional and litigation matters.

Chambers states that “Clients offer praise for his attention to detail and skill as a litigator,” and "Jim crafts nuanced strategies for each matter based on the surrounding circumstances and needs of his client. He is an outstanding advocate in court." Chambers also highlights that Jim “enjoys a strong reputation for his bankruptcy practice, which encompasses a wide range of insolvency law and financial restructuring work.”

Jim is a recognized leader of professional bankruptcy and restructuring organizations including serving as a member of the Turnaround Management Association Global Executive Board of Trustees and a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute Board of Directors. He is a national speaker at industry group conferences and quoted in national publications on bankruptcy and restructuring issues.

Jim holds an MBA in finance, is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Insolvency and Restructuring Advisor, and a Certified Valuation Analyst. Prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg, Jim practiced with another nationwide law firm and was an Adjunct Professor at the University of Pittsburgh Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business teaching corporate finance and restructuring. He was also a senior consultant in the Bankruptcy and Restructuring Services practice of FTI Consulting, Inc. and a senior associate in the Business Recovery Services division of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

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Leah M. Eisenberg

Of Counsel
Foley & Lardner, LLP

Leah M. Eisenberg is Of Counsel and a bankruptcy and restructuring attorney with Foley & Lardner LLP in New York, where her practice focuses on counseling clients in default, restructuring, bankruptcy and corporate trust matters, with an emphasis on indenture trustee, creditors’ committee and other creditor representations.

Prior to joining Foley, Ms. Eisenberg was a partner at a Washington, D.C.-based law firm in its New York office. Earlier in her career, she served as a first law clerk to Hon. Robert E. Gerber, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of New York. Ms. Eisenberg is admitted to the New Jersey and New York Bars and is admitted to practice in the U.S. District Courts of the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, as well as the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. She holds various positions in professional organizations, including as a co-founder and president of the Women’s Division for the New York Institute of Credit (NYIC), a member of the EDNY Chapter 11 Lawyers Advisory Committee, and a member of the International Women’s Insolvency Restructuring Confederation (IWIRC), as well as the Turnaround Management Association (TMA). In addition, she received the New York Institute of Credit (NYIC) Women’s Division Executive of the Year Award for 2018.

Ms. Eisenberg received her B.A. summa cum laude in 1997 from Binghamton University and her J.D. in 2000 from Brooklyn Law School.

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Hon. Mary F. Walrath

U.S. Bankruptcy Court District of Delaware

Hon. Mary F. Walrath is a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the District of Delaware in Wilmington, appointed in 1998. She served as Chief Bankruptcy Judge from 2003-08.

Judge Walrath previously clerked for Hon. Emil F. Goldhaber, Chief Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and was an attorney at Clark Ladner Fortenbaugh & Young in Philadelphia, concentrating in the areas of debtor/creditor rights and commercial litigation.

In addition to speaking at numerous bankruptcy educational programs and panels throughout the country, Judge Walrath is a founding member and co-president of the Delaware Bankruptcy American Inn of Court, a member of the Delaware Chapter of the International Women’s Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation (IWIRC), a member of ABI and a Fellow in the American College of Bankruptcy. She is also an editor of the Rutter Group Bankruptcy Practice Guide. Judge Walrath is active in the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges (NCBJ), having served on its Board of Governors from 2007-12, as secretary from 2013-14, as chair of its Education Committee from 2014-15 and as president from 2016-17.

She is currently NCBJ’s immediate past president. Judge Walrath served as an associate editor and then business manager of the American Bankruptcy Law Journal from 2009-15. She also testified before the House Judiciary Committee on H.R. 1667, the Financial Institution Bankruptcy Act of 2017.

Judge Walrath received her A.B. in history from Princeton University and earned her J.D. cum laude from Villanova University, where she was a member of the Villanova Law Review and was awarded the Order of the Coif.

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