From the Director Dec/Jan 2005

From the Director Dec/Jan 2005

Journal Issue: 
Column Name: 
Journal Article: 

New Staff Welcomed

Nichole Rawson joined our staff in October as CLE coordinator and receptionist. Nichole tracks CLE requirements for ABI's conferences and works in our front office. She is a recent graduate of Colgate University, where she was a varsity student/athlete and member of the women's softball team. Nichole's most recent job experience was with a Washington, D.C., lobbying firm. Rebecca Kimmel joined the staff in October as a staff assistant with front office and reception responsibilities. Rebecca received a degree in illustration from the Art College of Design in California after starting her academic career at Washington University in St. Louis. She has experience as a graphic designer and is currently in a part-time masters program in the digital arts at George Mason University. Both Nicole and Rebecca report to Mary Kleppinger, ABI director of Administration. Haymanate Legesse joined our staff in November as a Web site developer in ABI's Online Technology Department. She is an experienced software developer and Web designer with several years of experience for both public companies and consulting clients. A native of Ethiopia, she has an associate's degree from Sheridan College in Toronto. Hayme reports to Karim Guirguis, manager of ABI's Online Technology Department.

In addition, several ABI staff members received promotions. Sharisa Sloan is now marketing manager, overseeing advertising, exhibiting and sponsorships, as well as ABI's partner packages and the Endowment Fund. Pat Noboa is focusing more of her duties on publication fulfillment and office management. Carolyn Kanon is now director of communications, overseeing ABI's print production and public relations.

ABI to Host Reception at Law Schools Meeting

ABI will host a cocktail reception on Friday, Jan. 6, in Washington, D.C., during the annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools. The annual event brings many of the nation's academics together for programs on current scholarship. This year's program theme is Empirical Scholarship. The annual ABI reception follows the meeting of Section on Creditors' and Debtors' Rights. Section members will receive an update on ABI's many activities for academics, such as the ABI Law Review, research grants from the ABI endowment, the Duberstein National Moot Court Competition and the Robert M. Zinman Resident Scholar program. The section is chaired by Prof. Lois R. Lupica (associate dean and professor of law at the University of Maine). Lois will be the ABI Resident Scholar during the spring 2007 semester. The AALS was scheduled for New Orleans, but moved to Washington after Hurricane Katrina devastated much of the Gulf Coast.

New Titles Published

ABI's productive communications department has published three new titles recently. Bankruptcy Issues for State Court Trial Judges, written by Profs. Marianne Culhane and Michaela White of Creighton University School of Law, updates a work first published in 1991 and is used as the deskbook for ABI's program to help educate state court judges about bankruptcy. The newest edition covers the many changes made by the new bankruptcy law. The state court judges' educational program remains popular with the states and is offered at no cost through a grant from the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges endowment. A recent ABI program, done for the Ohio Judicial College, featured bankruptcy judges John Hoffman and Jeffrey Hopkins, and practitioner Brenda Bowers (Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease; Columbus, Ohio). Upcoming programs will be held in Maryland and Hawaii. Consumer Bankruptcy Fundamentals, 2d Edition, analyzes both the practical and profound changes made by the new law. Written by Thomas Yerbich (Anchorage, Alaska), co-chair of ABI's Consumer Bankruptcy Committee, the book covers both chapter 7 and 13 practice, and includes helpful forms and tables on the means test and other expense calculations under the new law. Forthcoming is Bankruptcy Issues for Commercial Landlords, Tenants and Mortgagees, written by David R. Kuney of Sidley Austin Brown & Wood (Washington, D.C.), a comprehensive yet highly readable book on the rights and obligations of tenants, landlords and third parties, covering lease assumption, rejection, curing of defaults, damage calculations and pre-petition strategies, among other matters. The book covers the important new rules in this area created by BAPCPA. All the new titles are available in ABI's online bookstore at

ABI Donates to Hurricane Relief Effort

ABI's Executive Committee unanimously approved $40,000 in cash donations to be made to the bar associations and foundations in Louisiana, Texas, Alabama and Mississippi in response to the needs of those providing legal services to communities affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The donations were delivered during the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges Annual Meeting this year in San Antonio. Bankruptcy judges from Louisiana, Texas, Alabama and Mississippi accepted the checks and forwarded them to the respective state bar foundations. Speaking for the Texas Bar Foundation, Executive Director Anne Yeakel wrote: "On behalf of the thousands of Texas lawyers who have been involved in providing legal services to victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, we thank the American Bankruptcy Institute for its very generous donation. The needs of the evacuees have strained the legal services providers, and your donation will be greatly appreciated. Knowing that your 11,000 members all across the country care about these overworked and dedicated volunteer attorneys and legal aid lawyers, I think will boost their spirits enormously." Immediately following the disasters, ABI created a special Web site for those volunteering individual services and office space to those in need ( The site also provides links to other relief efforts and offered a way for many ABI members to reach their friends and colleagues in the Gulf Coast region.

Winter Law Review to Focus Sharper Eye on the New Law

The Winter 2005 issue of the ABI Law Review returns to its familiar theme format and will feature more than a dozen essays by leading scholars and practitioners on BAPCPA. But unlike other recent efforts, this special issue will skip the merely descriptive in favor of a close examination of the ambiguities that will confront both practitioners and the courts—in other words, what issues will be litigated and appealed? Included are thought-provoking pieces by Profs. Marianne Culhane and Michaela White on the means test, Dean Nancy Rapoport on the new disinterestedness standard, Prof. Jean Braucher on the terms for holding onto cars, homes and other collateral, Dean Peter Alexander on the law's impact on women and children, Hank Hildebrand on the new notice requirements, Prof. David Epstein on non-monetary obligations under new §365(b), Lawrence Ahern on what's left of the homestead exemption and asset-protection issues, Prof. Jack Williams on the tax consequences for both businesses and individuals, Prof. Charles Tabb on preferences, Prof. Edward Morrison on financial contracts, Robert Keach on the constitutionality of the new chapter 11 for individuals, and Profs. Karen Gross and Susan Block-Lieb on credit counseling and debtor education. Prof. G. Ray Warner (St. John's University School of Law) is the faculty adviser, and he too contributes an article to this edition of the Law Review. Watch for this important issue coming soon after the new year.

Journal Date: 
Thursday, December 1, 2005