- Brett Curlee
I hope you all had a great summer. We are kicking off the fall season with a number of important events.
First, I am proud to announce the first season of the Southern California Bankruptcy Inn of Court sponsored by the CDCBAA. The Inn of Court is a time-honored tradition going back to the British Barrister system prior to the American Revolution and we are one of only four bankruptcy Inn’s in the United States.
The Inn of the Court will have six dinner meeting starting October 16, 2007 at Taix Restaurant, at 1911 Sunset Boulevard, in Los Angeles. If you have not received your invitation, please call our Inn of Court Coordinator, Cynthia Meza, at (818) 242-1100 for more information and an invitation. Cynthia, thanks for your hard work and dedication in helping the committee get the Inn off the ground!
The Inn will feature interactive programs and an opportunity for bankruptcy judges, bankruptcy attorneys, U.S. Attorneys, and law students interested in practicing bankruptcy law, yes law students, to sit down and engage in the civil art of conversation, team building, and mentoring while enjoying a meal together, as colleagues sharing experiences and insights. All participants are required to check their game faces at the door, and to be ready to enjoy an evening of fine dinning and collegiality. I would especially like to thank the committee that worked so hard on this event, including Judge Robert Kwan, James King, Byron Moldo, David Tilem, and Dennis McGoldrick for their hard work. Byron and Jim, the extra effort that you put in this summer was especially appreciated. I would also like to thank Chief Judge Zurzolo and Bankruptcy Judges, Alan M. Ahart, Samuel Bufford (CDCBAA’s Judge of the year for 2005), Thomas Donovan, Meredith Jury, Geraldine Mund, Maureen Tighe, and Kathleen Thompson for their support in getting this Inn off the ground.
Our next CDCBAA meeting, October 20, 2007, will be unique given its importance to all bankruptcy practitioners. Judge Donovan will be present for a detailed discussion on the Local Bankruptcy Rule revisions, and to take and receive feed back from us regarding proposed changes to the local rules. If you wish to comment on the proposed local rules, e-mail your comments to committee chair, Lou Esbin at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also e-mail Lou if you need a copy of the proposed rules. Everyone is invited to attend this meeting, whether they are CDCBAA members or not. Please put your comments in writing and e-mail them to Lou so that they can be compiled and presented in advance to Judge Donovan.
Next, an event with the rock stars of the Ninth Circuit; October 23, 2007 will be “An Evening and Dinner with the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel.” The Honorable Judges, Montali, Pappas, and Jury will be presenting and discussing the do’s and don’ts of effective advocacy skills before the BAP. We will also have the Clerk of the Court for the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel, Mr. Harold Marenus who will comment on the do’s and don’ts of the BAP Clerk’s Office. This is a must-see for anyone who will be arguing an appeal before the BAP.
The CDCBAA intends to end this year with a BANG! The Fourth Annual 2007 Calvin Ashland Awards Dinner will take place this year on November 7, 2007 at 6:00 p.m. honoring this year’s recipient, U.S. Trustee Peter C. Anderson. The three prior recipients are Chapter 13 Trustee, Ms. Nancy Curry, the Honorable Samuel L. Bufford, and Kenneth Klee. I cannot say enough about how this year’s honoree has taken on the role not only as a worthy advocate, but as a trusted and respected leader in the bankruptcy community. This year’s recipient of the Calvin Ashland Award continues the tradition of honoring professionals in the bankruptcy community who have dedicated their lives to improving the bankruptcy system. Peter, Nancy, Ken, Judge Bufford, you have made a huge difference. Thank you.
I also want to thank our guest speakers at our last two monthly meetings. On May 12, 2007, Chapter 7 and 13 trustees, Tim Yoo, David Seror, Ross Gonzalez, Helen Frazier, and Jason Rund, presented a great program on “how to get along with your chapter 7 trustee.” On September 15, 2007, the Honorable Robert Kwan, Richard Stack, from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Neal Kakuske from the IRS, Steve Mather and A. Lavar Taylor, put on an wonderful program on discharging taxes in bankruptcy. On behalf of the CDCBAA, I thank you ladies and gentlemen for all of the hard work and time.
As our practices pick up in the coming months I hope many of you will find the time to give something back to the bankruptcy community. In the past few months Bankruptcy Judges, Trustees, the U.S. Trustee’s Office, the U.S. Attorneys Office, and even the staff at the Internal Revenue Service have supported the CDCBAA by giving their time to putting on great programs! It is with that generosity in mind that I ask each of you to give something back. Judge Vincent Zurzolo recently asked the CDCBAA to assist the Public Counsel Debtor Assistance Project (“DAP”) by donating our time to help consumer debtors unable to pay for our services. I was surprised to learn that no more than 250 pro bono bankruptcies per year have ever been filed.
Jon Hayes and Keith Higgenbotham have taken on the task of improving procedures and access of our membership to doing pro bono chapter 7 projects and to work with Judge Zurzolo to simplify the process for attorneys to represent indigent clients coordinated through the offices of Public Counsel. When I asked Peter C. Anderson to lend a hand in this worthwhile project, all he wanted to know was the committee’s first meeting date. Jon will be working with Marisa Hawkins at Public Counsel, and fellow CDCBAA members Keith Higginbotham and Dennis E. McGoldrick. Once the committee completes its work, I am going to challenge each of our 127 members to donate their time by each taking on at least one pro bono case a year. Thanks to Judge Zurzolo, Peter Anderson, Jon, Keith, Dennis, and Marissa for making this happen!
On behalf of myself and the Board of Directors, I want to thank our membership for all of their support for the CDCBAA this year. We are honored to serve the most sophisticated, dedicated chapter 7 and 13 bar in the country. It is an honor serving you.
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