- Nancy B. Clark
Well, we have nearly reached the end of my time as President. It has been my honor and privilege to serve you these past two years. I am very proud of the quality of the seminars we have provided. This is in great part due to the fantastic CDCBAA Officers, Board of Directors and the panelist who have given their time to this fantastic organization. The Officers and Directors have worked diligently to continue the high standard of MCLE's established by prior presidents and the founders of this group.
Our final event in 2016 will be our annual Calvin Ashland Award Dinner which will take place on November 3, 2016. As you know from our August Newsletter, this year we honor Chapter 7 Trustee, David Gill. You will find more about our honoree within the pages of this edition of the Newsletter.
CDCBAA's seminars will resume on January 28, 2017. M. Jonathan Hayes will be moderating our Eleventh Annual Ninth Circuit Review with the Honorable Vincent Zurzolo of the Central District of California Bankruptcy Court and the Honorable Laura Taylor of the Southern District of California Bankruptcy Court. This is always one of your best and most popular events and you will not want to miss it next year.
Finally, I would like to close out my time as President with a few observations about the consumer debtor bankruptcy bar. I recently heard one of our bankruptcy judges state that she had never practiced consumer bankruptcy prior to being appointed to the bench. Although she had been involved in Chapter 11 work prior to being appointed, she had done little to no Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 work. Therefore, the practices and procedures, the language, and the ebb and flow that has developed over the years between both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Trustee's and consumer attorneys who represented debtors and creditors was foreign to this judge. I believe this to be true of many of our judges when they first take the bench.
As you, my friends and colleagues, know, consumer bankruptcy is not the simple affair of just filling out documents and filing them, especially in Chapter 13. Debtor attorneys must spend a considerable amount of time and effort learning how to communicate with our clients who make up the vastly diverse population of the Central District of California. We must communicate and extract information in a thorough yet efficient manner in order to provide the proper guidance as to the choice of which chapter to file under and as to how to protect assets. We must explain to a population who has most likely never dealt with an attorney or the law before the parameters and limitations of bankruptcy. We must make difficult choices on what may be disclosed while protecting our clients' right to privileged information. We must balance zealous advocacy with our duties as officers of the Court. We must do the best with the facts and the documents we are provided and the deadlines we are given.
We must do all this while our fees are reviewed more closely than members of other legal specialties. We must do all this with the understanding that our judges have little experience and sometimes, little patience, for the manner in which consumer bankruptcy is practiced. We must do all this with the knowledge that our judges have a natural tendency to defer to trustees. We must do all this while running a small business and enhancing our reputations. Not an easy feat, dear friends!
CDCBAA's purposes is to assist the consumer bankruptcy bar in the Central District of California to navigate these rough waters. Your membership in this organization is a pledge to our community that you will navigate these waters with the proper understanding, knowledge and advocacy for your clients. It shows your dedication to your craft and your community. Your knowledge and experience will be shared with our judges and bridge the gap of understanding. I encourage you all to continue to support this organization and the wonderful seminars it provides as it can only enhance your practice, knowledge and reputation as a consumer bankruptcy attorney.
Nancy B. Clark
2016 CDCBAA President
Consumer/Debtor Bankruptcy Attorney
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