From the Director Sep 2003

From the Director Sep 2003

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Giant New Directory Coming Soon

The 2003-04 edition of the ABI Membership Directory will soon land on your desk. You'll know it when you see it! Nearly 1,000 pages strong, it's a powerful symbol of our membership growth to now more than 9,500 members. The firm directory section, listing members in the law, accounting and turnaround firms where we have at least five members, is now up to 310 firms nationwide. This "directory within a directory" is a must-have guide to the top professionals in our world. The committee section and members by profession section are also at record numbers. In part because of its size, this will be the last edition regularly published and distributed to all members in print form. Next year, ABI will move to an electronic format in CD-rom and online versions that will be continuously updated. As always, we thank West for its generous support of the Directory over the last several years, and for their help as we transition to the new format. West plans to continue to print the Directory for those ABI members who still desire this format via sales from West's publications catalogue.

New Grant Awarded to Study Serial Ch. 13 Filers

ABI's Research Grant Committee has approved a grant of nearly $40,000 for an empirical study of serial chapter 13 filers. The principal investigator is Dr. Jean Lown Ph.D., a professor of consumer science at Utah State University. The project will determine the incidence of serial and repeat filers, the characteristics of these filers and the factors that contribute to legitimate repeat filings by honest debtors, including factors that interfere with successful completion of chapter 13 repayment plans. The project will analyze two sets of data to examine the incidence of legitimate repeat filings and abusive serial filings: a data set of 400,000 chapter 13 cases from the National Data Center and data from cases filed in Utah. Utah's bankruptcy judges, Hon. Judith Boulden and Hon. Glenn Clark, are supporting the project. Utah has the highest per-capita consumer bankruptcy filing rate in the nation, with nearly 40 percent of the cases filed in chapter 13. The ABI Endowment Fund has awarded more than $285,000 in grant money for scholarly projects since 1998. For more information on the Fund, visit the endowment page at ABI World.

Date Set for Duberstein Competition, 2004

March 8, 2004, is the date for the final round of the 12th Annual Judge Conrad B. Duberstein National Moot Court Competition. Law schools and bankruptcy teachers will receive the program brochure in September. Last year, a record 30 teams from 25 schools competed, with the University of Miami earning the top prize. The final night awards dinner will be held at the historic and elegant Regent Hotel on Wall Street. Last year's gala attracted more than 600 practitioners, judges, academics and students from around the nation. The event is cosponsored with St. John's University School of Law and is the nation's only moot court devoted to bankruptcy. The final round will again be judged by the chief bankruptcy judges of the Southern and Eastern districts of New York and leading federal appellate judges. The fact patterns and lower court decisions are conceived and prepared by the LL.M. in bankruptcy students at St. John's, now under the direction of Prof. G. Ray Warner. Bar groups are encouraged to sponsor teams from their states. For more information on this rewarding experience, please contact me.

Coming Soon: Joint ABI/INSOL International Web Site is the address for the new website on cross-border insolvency, developed by the ABI and INSOL. The new site, to be launched in late September in conjunction with the INSOL Americas conference in Las Vegas, will feature daily insolvency news from around the globe, links to all member associations of INSOL, legislative developments from around the world, cross-border protocols and conventions, publications and more. An Advisory Board of prominent world practitioners will help supply fresh content, making the site the first stop for all professionals interested in international insolvency. Special thanks are due to Steven Golick and Tracy Sandler of Osler, Hoskins and Harcourt (Toronto) for their great help in conceptualizing and executing the project.

Christopher Buckley Luncheon Keynote, Mexican Judges Education Program Highlight ABI Activities at NCBJ

Best-selling satirist and Washington insider Christopher Buckley will be the featured speaker for the ABI luncheon at this year's annual meeting of the NCBJ on Oct. 17. Over the past 15 years, Buckley, the son of author and commentator William F., has established himself as America's funniest political satirist by writing one hilarious novel after another. We will have signed copies of his latest book, titled No Way to Treat a First Lady, at the event. Called "unspeakably and endlessly funny, unless you're a former president" by Kirkus Reviews, the novel's main characters will strike you as more than a little bit familiar. The speech continues ABI's tradition of sponsoring noted authors at this event, following talks in years past by Doris Kearns Goodwin and Scott Turow. Also that week, ABI and the NCBJ International Law Committee will fund and host a parallel educational program for six judges from Mexico. The judges will visit both the Los Angeles and San Diego bankruptcy courts and meet with judges and other court personnel, including the U.S. Trustee. The purpose of the program is to gain a better understanding of the respective bankruptcy systems and how to enforce judgments across borders. Organizing the program on behalf of the ABI is Josefina Fernandez McEvoy (Los Angeles). Look for further details in next month's issue.

Journal Date: 
Monday, September 1, 2003