2017 Bankruptcy Bench-Bar Retreat
Session Descriptions



Issues in Consumer Practice

This three-part session will explore hot topics and trends in student loans, exemptions, and the national form plan. 

The student loan segment will provide practical information on dischargeability issues, including drafting effective complaints, identifying appropriate defendants, locating information about student loan creditors and servicers, and settlement techniques. 

Facilitators:  Suzana Koch, Wayne Novick, Jeffrey Rosenstiel, and Phyllis Ulrich

The exemptions segment will provide an overview of Ohio exemptions law by exploring common issues facing practitioners and the court, recent case law developments, and a best practices question and answer session. 

Facilitators:  Richard Baumgart, Rocco Debitetto, Judge Alan Koschik, and Frederic Schwieg

The national form plan segment will discuss the language, related rules changes, and impact on local practice prompted by the national form plan that will take effect on December 1, 2017.

Facilitators:  Robert Harbert, Lauren Helbling, Randy Reeves, Keith Rucinski, and Elizabeth Vaughn

Issues in Commercial Practice

This two-part session will address current issues of importance to commercial bankruptcy practitioners.    

The first segment will explore several aspects of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent opinion in Czyzewski v. Jevic Holding Corp., 580 U.S. __ (2017).  In Jevic, the Supreme Court held that bankruptcy courts may not approve structured dismissals providing for distributions that do not follow statutory priority rules without consent of affected creditors.  The presenters will discuss how Jevic might be persuasively distinguished, the procedural posture of the case, Justice Thomas’ dissent, the role of the Creditors’ Committee in Jevic, and how Jevic may impact future cases, including dismissals involving “gifting.” 

Facilitators:  Kari Coniglio, David Coyle, and Sherri Dahl,

The second segment will discuss the issues and opportunities surrounding 363 sales in a franchise environment, including trademarks, franchise rights/obligations, negotiation of the APA, hold backs, location closure issues, interim management agreements, and other important topics.

Facilitators:  Michael Kaczka, John Lane, Scott Opincar, and Christopher Peer

Town Hall Meetings

Town Hall Meetings will provide a forum for the judges and practitioners to discuss areas of importance in each specific court location. The judges will provide helpful legal practices specific to their individual courtrooms, answer questions from attorneys, and provide comments about current issues. 


Akron:  Judge Alan M. Koschik

Canton:  Chief Judge Russ Kendig

Cleveland:  Judge Arthur I. Harris and Judge Jessica E. Price Smith

Toledo:  Judge John P. Gustafson and Judge Mary Ann Whipple

Youngstown:  Judge Kay Woods


An Assistant U.S. Attorney and FBI Special Agent will discuss cyber security, examine cyber crime threats, and offer guidance to help safeguard clients’ personal financial information and protect attorneys and law firms from liability for security breaches.  Their presentation will assist attendees in meeting their obligations under Comment 8 to Rule 1.1 and Rules 1.4, 1.6(c), and 5.3(a) of the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct. This session is particularly timely as the Ohio Board of Professional Conduct recently authorized Ohio lawyers to provide legal services through virtual law offices in Opinion 2017-5.

Facilitators:  Matthew Shepherd and Bryan Smith

Case Law Update

The Case Law Update session will alert practitioners to recent case law of interest, provide information about recent interpretations of the law in frequently recurring fact patterns, and encourage discussion between attendees about the practical impact of recent developments in the law.

Facilitator:  Chief Judge Russ Kendig

Rules Update

This session will provide attendees with an update regarding amendments to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and the Official Bankruptcy Forms.  Other activities of the Judicial Conference’s Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules will be summarized as well.

Facilitator:  Judge Arthur I. Harris

Tax Issues

The session on tax issues will identify common tax issues in consumer and commercial bankruptcy cases, such as tax return filing requirements, lien priority, dischargeability, and tolling. 

Facilitators:  Alison Archer, Emly Berndt, and Cory Steinmetz

Judges’ Panel

Join this plenary discussion with the Judges of the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Ohio.  The Judges will provide feedback regarding court-related practices, rules, and procedures.  Attorneys may submit questions of interest for the judges during the online registration process. 

Facilitators:  Chief Judge Russ Kendig, Judge John P. Gustafson, Judge Arthur I. Harris, Judge Alan M. Koschik, Judge Jessica E. Price Smith, Judge Mary Ann Whipple, and Judge Kay Woods

FBA-NDOC   Administrative Offices   P.O. Box 14760, Cleveland, OH  44114
Phone: 877-322-6364     Email: admin@fba-ndohio.org

(c) 2017  FBA-NDOC  

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