From the Director May 2005

From the Director May 2005

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Members should have returned their Directory questionnaires by the end of April, for inclusion in the print and CD-rom version of the 2005-06 edition. This new edition will be published in the fall. Updates to the online directory can also be made anytime. To update your profile electronically, please visit You will need your user ID and password to gain access. The default user ID is your e-mail address, and the default password is your ABI membership number, which can be found above your name on your ABI Journal mailing label. Copies of the 2004-05 Directory are still available and can be ordered from West Publishing online.

Teleseminar Series Coming on the New Law

ABI will be sponsoring a series of 90-minute teleseminars on the new bankruptcy law. The programs will cover all the important changes to business and consumer practice. The distance learning technology allows you to train large groups of professionals in your firm without leaving the office; all you need is access to a speakerphone. The topics and live dates will be announced this month. All programs will be archived for access 24/7/365 via the ABI web site.

ABI Staffer Earns Design Award

ABI Graphic Designer Susan Druzak recently won two American Inhouse Design Awards from the editors of Graphic Design USA. The competition aimed to recognize the outstanding work of inhouse designers in the face of special challenges. Nearly 3,000 entries were considered and only the top 15 percent were honored. Susan won for her series of beautiful and colorful ABI conference brochures and for a special brochure directed to non-industry marketing partners. Susan joined the ABI staff two years ago and is a tremendous asset to our Communications Department—a fact now also recognized by her peers in the creative community.

Spring Issue of Law Review Coming Soon

The Spring 2005 issue of the ABI Law Review (Vol. 13, No. 1) addresses provocative issues such as whether consumer bankruptcy relief properly serves a social insurance function, the expanding universe of non-assumable/non-assignable contracts in bankruptcy and the continuing debate over the scope of state sovereign immunity after the Hood case, among other articles. Authors include Prof. Ralph E. Brubaker (University of Illinois College of Law), Prof. Marie T. Reilly (University of South Carolina Law School) and Prof. Melissa B. Jacoby (Temple University School of Law). A top group of academics and practitioners participated in a lively discussion, transcribed here, of the First Amendment and bankruptcy issues in play as a result of the pending Catholic Diocese cases. A case note analyzes the opinion in FCC v. Nextwave and an LL.M. thesis makes the case for proration under §365(d)(3). Watch for this outstanding issue coming to your desk this month. The ABI Law Review is published in conjunction with the St. John's University School of Law. The Winter 2005 issue will return to a theme issue format, focusing on the new bankruptcy law.

Save the Date for 2006 Caribbean Program

ABI will host another Caribbean/Latin American Cross-border Insolvency Symposium next year in Miami. The event, scheduled for Feb. 10, will build on the success of last November's program in Puerto Rico. Plans are for the symposium to rotate the venue between Puerto Rico and Miami. Co-chairs for the Miami event are ABI Director Trish Redmond (Stearns Weaver, et al.) and Paul Steven Singerman (Berger Singerman PA). Judge Robert A. Mark (S.D. Fla.) is the Judicial Chair, joining his colleagues from Puerto Rico (Judges Gerardo Carlo and Enrique Lamoutte). Josefina Fernandez McEvoy (Squire Sanders & Dempsey; Los Angeles) serves on the planning committee for both events. Both events will focus on cross-border implications of bankruptcy cases in the region, including the impact of the coming chapter 15 of the Code.

Thank You to Newest Endowment Donors

ABI's Endowment Fund continues to grow, thanks to the generous contributions of our members. The Fund has more than $1.4 million in cash and pledges. Donations to the Fund are not restricted, but used to secure our financial base and provide resources for research and education. Interest from the Fund is the chief source of funding for ABI's comprehensive study of professional fees practices. During this year's Annual Spring Meeting, we acknowledged those making new pledges at the Sustaining Member level ($2,000 and up) and above. Those at the Benefactor level (at least $5,000) attended a special dinner at the Tudor House Place Historic House and Garden in Georgetown. The event was again hosted by Bridge Associates LLC (Anthony Schnelling). Those attending included Steven G. Golick (Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt; New Lifetime Member -- $10,000 contribution), Steven M. Berman (Berman & Norton Breman PA), Paul Bennett Bran (Dickstein Shapiro, et al.) Howard Brod Brownstein (NachmanHaysBrownstein Inc.), Michael J. Epstein (TRG), Dion W. Hayes (McGuire Woods), Martin I. Katz (Executive Sounding Board Associates), George Kelakos (ICMB Ocean Tomo), Richard Mikels (Mintz Levin, et al.), Chester B. Salomon (Stevens & Lee PC), James H.M. Sprayregen (Kirkland & Ellis), Al Togut (Togut, Segal & Segal), and J. Scott Victor (SSG Capital Advisors LP), who all made substantial new pledges. There are many ways to support the Fund. For example, more than 25 percent of those renewing their memberships each year make an additional $30 payment allocated exclusively to the Fund. Nearly $133,000 has been added to the Fund from this method over the last three years.

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Sunday, May 1, 2005