Fundamentals of Bankruptcy Law - CLE, Continuing Legal Education - ALI
Fundamentals of Bankruptcy Law
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Why You Should Attend


The continuing economic downturn and the home mortgage crisis have resulted in a marked increase in both business and consumer bankruptcy filings. Whether you’re just starting a bankruptcy practice or need to learn about the field because it affects your clients, company, or cases, this course is for you. Featuring six sitting and former U.S. Bankruptcy Judges, this comprehensive and highly acclaimed program teaches you the fundamentals of bankruptcy law and provides a solid foundation in this unique and important practice area. It also features:


Full-day concurrent sessions on consumer and individual bankruptcy issues and on chapter 11 business reorganization.

Based on the highly acclaimed publication, Fundamentals of Bankruptcy Law; registrants receive a complimentary copy of the latest edition!

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What You Will Learn


This comprehensive program covers all the basic areas of bankruptcy liquidation and rehabilitation, both the substantive and procedural law, and pays special attention to the kinds of problems you’re likely to encounter. It takes into account significant changes in the law affected by the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, as well as new challenges presented by the current economic conditions.


Starting with a brief overview, the course examines:

The court system and bankruptcy administrative apparatus

Eligibility for relief under the Bankruptcy Code and how cases get started

The concepts of the bankruptcy estate and the trustee’s avoiding powers

The so-called administrative powers, including the automatic stay and the power to use or sell property, particularly the power to use a secured creditor’s collateral, as well as the power to reject, assume, or assign executory contracts


From the standpoint of creditors in general, the focus is on who is entitled to distribution in a bankruptcy case and in what order of priority. From the standpoint of the secured creditor in particular, the focus is on how and when the law may invalidate or impair the creditor’s security interest and what the creditor can do to best protect its position.


The second day of the course features two concurrent sessions, both of which will be available for on-demand access after the course. One track (which will be webcast) is devoted to the fundamentals of chapter 11 business reorganization, including both the provisions of the law that enable the debtor to keep operating and those that relate to the negotiation, formulation, confirmation, and consummation of the reorganization plan itself. Both small and large business chapter 11 cases are discussed. The other track concentrates on consumer and individual bankruptcy issues, including the law relating to exemptions, the right to discharge, and the dischargeability of particular claims, as well as the chapter 11 and 13 alternatives to a bankruptcy liquidation case. Special consideration is given to the treatment of home mortgages in bankruptcy.


All discussions include participation by the faculty panel who will answer registrants' questions.

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Who Should Attend

Bankruptcy, banking, and corporate attorneys, in-house counsel, and those representing government agencies should attend this continuing legal education program by ALI CLE.


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Planning Chairs

K. John Shaffer, Stutman, Treister & Glatt, P.C., Los Angeles (also on faculty)

Bruce A. Markell, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, Las Vegas (also on faculty)

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Mary Grace Diehl, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, Atlanta

Eric L. Frank, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, Philadelphia

Ralph R. Mabey, Stutman, Treister & Glatt, P.C., Salt Lake City; former U.S. Bankruptcy Judge

Elizabeth L. Perris, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, Portland, Oregon

Eugene R. Wedoff, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, Chicago



ALI CLE Program Attorney: Amy S. Weinberg


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Program Schedule

Subject to minor change. All times are Eastern Time.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

7:30 a.m.  Course Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:25 a.m.  Administrative Remarks - ALI CLE Program Attorney

8:30 a.m.  Overview
Overview of the Bankruptcy Code; bankruptcy jurisdiction (original and removal); allocation of bankruptcy jurisdiction between District and Bankruptcy Judges; venue; appeals

9:30 a.m.  Commencement of the Case
Voluntary and involuntary petitions; initial filings, including bankruptcy schedules

10:00 a.m.  The Bankruptcy Estate

10:45 a.m.  Networking and Refreshment Break

11:00 a.m.  Automatic Stay
Protection of property of the estate (automatic stay against lien enforcement, turnover of property, prohibition against forfeitures)

12:15 p.m.  Lunch Break

1:15 p.m.  The Trustee’s Avoiding Powers
The trustee as a hypothetical lien creditor; the trustee as a bona fide purchaser; the trustee as a successor to the rights of creditors; fraudulent transfers; invalidation and subordination of statutory liens; limitations on avoiding powers; liability of transferees; preservation of transfer; set-off; preferential transfers

2:15 p.m.  Executory Contracts, Leases, Sales, and Abandonment

3:00 p.m.  Networking and Refreshment Break

3:15 p.m.  Claims Allowance and Distribution
Secured vs. unsecured claims; priorities; subordination; claims objections

4:15 p.m.  Discharge
Scope, timing

4:45 p.m.  Adjournment for the Day


Friday, April 26, 2013

8:00 a.m.  Networking Session and Continental Breakfast

(Registrants may shuttle between meeting rooms. Live and webcast registrants will have free on-demand access to both sessions after the course.)

SESSION ONE: CHAPTER 11 BUSINESS REORGANIZATIONS (available via live video webcast)

8:30 a.m.  Reorganization vs. Liquidation; Chapter 11 Overview

9:00 a.m.  Early Challenges in Chapter 11 Cases
The beginning of the chapter 11 case; cash collateral; DIP financing; single asset real estate cases

10:30 a.m.  Networking and Refreshment Break

10:45 a.m.  Asset Sales
Procedures; sales free and clear of liens; sub rosa plans

12:15 p.m.  Lunch Break

1:15 p.m.  The Plan Process
Formulation of the plan; disclosure statement; acceptances of the plan; confirmation and “cram down”; effect of confirmation; consummation

3:15 p.m.  Networking and Refreshment Break

3:30 p.m.  Variations
Chapter 15; small business debtors; individual chapter 11 debtors

4:45 p.m.  Adjournment


8:30 a.m.  Overview of the Consumer Bankruptcy Schemes
Chapters 7, 11, and 13 for individual debtors

9:00 a.m.  Commencement and Eligibility
Means testing; conversion; dismissal

10:00 a.m.  Exemptions

10:30 a.m.  Networking and Refreshment Break

10:45 a.m.  The Fresh Start and Other Matters of Particular Importance to the Individual or Consumer Debtor
The debtor’s duties; examination and immunity; the automatic stay against lawsuits; exemptions and Spendthrift Trusts; redemption; protection of the discharge; reaffirmation; home mortgages

11:45 a.m.  Nondischargeability; Denial of Discharge
Grounds of objection to discharge; non-dischargeable debts; other effects of discharge

12:15 p.m.  Lunch Break

1:15 p.m.  Nondischargeability; Denial of Discharge (continued)

2:15 p.m.  Chapter 13
Chapter 13 adjustment of debts of individuals with regular income; application of other chapters; commencement of the case and conversion to or from chapter 13; rights and powers of trustee and debtor; plan confirmation and its effect; modification of plan; small business chapter 13 cases

3:15 p.m.  Networking and Refreshment Break

3:30 p.m.  Chapter 13 (continued)

4:15 p.m.  Individual Chapter 11 Cases

4:45 p.m.  Adjournment

Total 60-minute hours of instruction: 13.5, including at least one full hour on ethics and professional responsibility issues, accepted as such by most, but not all, MCLE jurisdictions. For more information on CLE credits for a particular jurisdiction, click on the “Mandatory CLE Credit” link in the box titled, “Course Details,” at the top left of this web page.

Suggested Prerequisite: Limited experience in general legal practice or completion of CLE Orientation Course

Educational Objective: Acquisition of knowledge and skills to develop proficiency as a practitioner

Level of Instruction: Basic

Click Here for MCLE Credit Information

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Here's what registrants have said about this course:

“The faculty was absolutely top notch.”


“The content of this course is excellent! It truly supplemented my general language of bankruptcy. I would definitely recommend this course to any young attorney who is new to bankruptcy.”

“The panelists were extremely knowledgeable and great presenters. Having bankruptcy judges/former judges was outstanding, especially since they presented well.”

“A great way to gain a general understanding of bankruptcy law. Excellent panelists and an excellent program. Thanks!”

“There was a lot of ground to cover. I’m glad there were concurrent sessions. It allowed me to pick the area I was most interested in, and it allowed more time to focus on certain topics.”

“Bankruptcy law is becoming increasingly important to commercial litigators. I had never studied bankruptcy law in an organized way but saw a need to have greater familiarity and knowledge of the field. These concepts have an impact in general commercial litigation. This course was perfect for me. It was a well-organized, well-presented ‘A to Z of Bankruptcy Law.’ It won’t make me a bankruptcy expert but it helps me see issues and problems in my commercial cases.” – Kenneth A. Caruso, Bracewell & Giuliani LLP, New York

“Outstanding course. All presenters were knowledgeable and skilled at imparting knowledge. Their candor was welcome and refreshing. Bankruptcy is not my primary area of practice but the quality of the presenters/panel made me sorry it isn’t.”

“I came to the seminar wanting a solid foundation of all aspects of bankruptcy. I was amazed at the level of talent of the speakers. Because many of the staff were judges, I got the benefit of judicial opinion on specific scenarios. Each of the speakers were extremely well organized and had prepared themselves well for their presentations. It was top notch, well organized, cutting edge information. This was incredibly useful. Top notch talent and top notch presentation!”

“I am an attorney working for the EPA. My cases frequently involve bankruptcy matters on specific issues. My experience suggested that I lacked the big picture of bankruptcy law. I took this course hoping that it would give me the big picture. It did. Impressive faculty. Each presenter articulated subject matter in a clear and understandable way.”

“Wonderful interaction between panelists! I truly enjoyed the questions asked by the panelists and their skillful way of ensuring that the presenter covers all relevant issues. Lots of energy and great pace. Outstanding practical tips regarding motion practice, court rules, etc.”

“Great course. I have been practicing for 20 months and most of my time is spent in bankruptcy court. This course was extremely helpful in gaining valuable knowledge in my representation of creditors.”

“Definitely going to use your course again in the future.”

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