Welcome to the 2017 NCBJ Las Vegas Annual Conference Blog + Index

Welcome to the 2017 NCBJ Las Vegas Annual Conference Blog. A good place to start is NCBJ President Mary F. Walrath’s President’s Letter for the Conference Blog, which you can find HERE. Judge Walrath, Bankr. D. Del., and her team have been working hard to put on a conference that will be both educational and entertaining.

The Conference is a great place to learn, network, and have fun. It uniquely provides a forum for a wide variety of bankruptcy and insolvency organizations. Bankruptcy Judge Frank J. Bailey, D. Mass., is this year’s NCBJ education chair. Check out his post giving an overview of this year’s NCBJ education program. And that, of course, is only a part of the Conference’s education offerings.

Keep checking back to the Blog to read more posts. You will find new articles about Conference programs, Las Vegas, the NCBJ, and much more.

NCBJ President’s Message

Judge Walrath’s President’s Letter for the Conference Blog

Programs
NCBJ’s Edifying and Entertaining Las Vegas Education Program

A Confluence of ABA, ABI, ABLJ, ACB, AIRA, FBA, IWIRC, and NCBJ

Las Vegas

Today’s Las Vegas Latest, Greatest Dining Destinations

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Las Vegas NV Weather in October

In what town is the Paris Las Vegas Hotel located? Welcome to Paradise

NCBJ Partners
An Invitation from NACBA

ABA-NCBJ liaison

PRESIDENT’S LETTER FOR THE CONFERENCE BLOG

Posted by NCBJ President Mary F. Walrath, United States Bankruptcy Judge, District of Delaware

Welcome to the 2017 NCBJ Conference Blog! Our 91st Annual Conference will be held October 8 to 11 at the Paris Las Vegas.

There will be plenty of CLE/CPE opportunities. Our Education Chair, Frank Bailey, and his committee of preeminent bankruptcy judges, academics and professionals have put together an outstanding array of educational offerings. We will repeat two popular formats used last year: the judges’ roundtables (we will have two this year) and Broken Bench Radio (which has been updated as the Broken Bench TV Show). Wednesday, our final half day will feature a panel of general counsel advising you on how to get and keep their business and a conversation with renowned author Michael Lewis (Liars’ Poker, The Big Short, The Blind Side, Moneyball and his most recent The Undoing Project). There will be an international program presented in partnership with III and an academic symposium presented by the American Bankruptcy Law Journal and the American Bar Association. The ABA, ABI, CLLA, AIRA, and IWIRC will also offer programs of interest. This year the Federal Bar Association (FBA) will be presenting a program at our conference for the first time.

There will also be networking opportunities, from the opening reception presented by AIRA to the Final Night Cocktail Reception. Because Las Vegas has premiere shows and entertainment galore, there will not be a Final Night Dinner. Instead, discount tickets to Vegas shows will be available through links on our website. Jennifer Lopez, The Righteous Brothers, Donny and Marie Osmond, Cirque du Soleil, Blue Man Group, and David Copperfield, are just a few of the acts in town.

This year’s conference is not to be missed! Check back on this Conference Website periodically for new postings.

I hope to see you in Las Vegas!

Mary F. Walrath, NCBJ President

Today’s Las Vegas Latest, Greatest Dining Destinations

USA Today’s Las Vegas Latest, Greatest Dining Destinations

Come on – we all know the justification to the management committee for a trip to Las Vegas is the fabulous education programs at NCBJ. But did you also mention the important relationship building and business development groundwork you plan to do with your national referral network ?

USA Today Travel April 9, 2017 did your homework for “where to eat and drink” that are hot culinary spots. Click HERE to check out the USA Today article Las Vegas’ Latest, Greatest Dining Destinations for Vegas insider best picks for breakfast/brunch, buffets, international specialties, and pizza.

ABA-NCBJ liaison

Greetings NCBJ friends!

I am the NCBJ liaison to the American Bar Association, which has a wide range of programs and opportunities of interest to judges and lawyers who work in the bankruptcy area. These include a terrific series of programs at the NCBJ annual conference every year that are presented by the ABA Business Law Section’s Business Bankruptcy Committee.

As liaison, my role is to facilitate cooperation and communication between the NCBJ and the ABA, and to serve as a contact point for requests for programs, collaboration or support between the organizations. So please let me know if you have any questions about how the ABA can be a resource for you and your colleagues, and please let me know if you have any suggestions as well!

–Elizabeth Stong, EDNY

In what town is the Paris Las Vegas Hotel located? Welcome to Paradise.

Who is buried in Grant’s tomb?
What color is the White House?
In what town is the Paris Las Vegas Hotel located?

Answers

Grant
White
Paradise

Paradise??? Am I out of my mind? Am I hallucinating? Maybe, but the Paris Las Vegas Hotel actually is located in an unincorporated town called Paradise, not in the City of Las Vegas. In fact, most of the Las Vegas strip, UNLV, the McCarran International Airport, and even the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign, are not located in Las Vegas. They are located in Paradise, Nevada.

Paradise, NV is an unincorporated township. As such, it does not have its own municipal government. Clark County, in which Paradise is located, provides all government functions and town services for the township. And significantly, businesses located in Paradise do not pay taxes levied by the City of Las Vegas.

The United States Census Bureau has designated Paradise as a Census Designated Place (CDP). The Census Bureau defines CDPs as “the statistical counterparts of incorporated places, and are delineated to provide data for settled concentrations of population that are identifiable by name but are not legally incorporated under the laws of the state in which they are located . . . . There are no population size requirements for CDPs.”

The United States Postal Service has not parsed the distinction between the unincorporated township of Paradise and the City of Las Vegas. Paradise has USPS Las Vegas mailing addresses.

Police protection in Paradise is provided by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. In 1973 the Las Vegas Police Department and Clark County Sheriff’s Office consolidated to create the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

Welcome to Paradise!

A Confluence of ABA, ABI, ABLJ, ACB, AIRA, FBA, IWIRC, and NCBJ

There is remarkable diversity of organizations present in the bankruptcy and insolvency field who participate in NCBJ’s Annual Conference, perhaps more than at any other single bankruptcy conference. It is a great place to network and meet colleagues and bankruptcy judges. In addition to NCBJ, organizations presenting educational programs, presenting awards, hosting receptions, convening meetings, or sponsoring breakfasts, lunches or dinners at this year’s Conference include:

American Bar Association (ABA)

American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI)

American Bankruptcy Law Journal (ABLJ)

American College of Bankruptcy (ACB)

Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors (AIRA)

Commercial Law League of America (CLLA)

Federal Bar Association (FBA)

International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation (IWIRC)

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Las Vegas NV Weather in October

Click National Weather Service for charts and graphs extracted from the National Weather Service Las Vegas Climate Book about:

Temperature
Normal and record highs and lows in Las Vegas in October
Average Las Vegas Temperature by Decade
Population
Clark County, Nevada Population by Decade
Precipitation
Normal Monthly Precipitation in Las Vegas
Normal Record and Daily Precipitation in Las Vegas in October
Total Yearly Precipitation In Las Vegas (1937-2015)
Humidity
Normal Daily Relative Humidly in Las Vegas in October
Wind Speed
Mean Average Wind Speed in Las Vegas by Month

An Invitation from NACBA

Hello Members of NCBJ:

I am the NCBJ liaison to the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (“NACBA”). As such, my role is to facilitate cooperation and communication between the NCBJ and NACBA and to serve as a contact point for requests for programs, collaboration or support between the organizations. Previously, Mary Walrath forwarded an invitation from James J. Haller, President of NACBA to attend NACBA’s 25th Annual Convention in Orlando, FL at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel from May 4-7, 2017. It looks to be a very interesting program with wide ranging topics. The conference agenda can be found on NACBA’s website.

Andy Altenburg

NCBJ’s Edifying and Entertaining Las Vegas Education Program

Posted by Frank J. Bailey, NCBJ Education Committee Chair and United States Bankruptcy Judge, D. Mass.

The education programs in San Francisco were among the best ever in the 90 plus years of our conference. Thank you Judge Bonapfel and your committee. So the pressure is on to keep the ball rolling. The education programs for the 2017 Annual Conference in Vegas are planned and will be a blockbuster, with something for everyone from the high rollers to the “I’d rather be reading a good book crowd.”

Let me start with the good book. On the final day, which is Wednesday this year, we will offer three presentations of interest to insolvency professionals and judges (and their guests). Michael Lewis, best-selling author of the Wall Street thriller “The Big Short” and sports classics “Moneyball” and the “Blind Side,” will be interviewed by Judge Kevin Carey. We expect that Michael will focus his interview answers on the intersection of Wall Street and Main Street. He will also talk about how his books have been turned into academy award nominated films. Bring your Michael Lewis best sellers because he will offer autographs on your books (or, I suppose, on your e-readers). But even Michael Lewis may not be the highlight of the Wednesday programming. Several large company general counsel have agreed to talk about how they select counsel and their perceptions of the bankruptcy system. Finally, as we know, while bankruptcy offers an honest debtor a fresh start, not all debtors are honest. At a Wednesday program judges will be asked to sit at tables with attendees and to participate in a program that attempts to understand the sociological and psychological reasons that good people sometimes do bad things and perhaps what can be done about it. Phew, and that’s just one day of the conference. But we have much more.

On the theory that if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, Monday morning will start with a review of hot topics presented by a series of interviews managed by a pair of law professor/TV personalities in a freshening of hit 2016 Broken Bench Radio program. the education committee is working hard on producing a new edition of Broken Bench TV. Then, over the next two days, you will have a chance to drill down into new and difficult topics such as LLCs in bankruptcy, successor liability after GM, the ever challenging third party release problem, and the best practices in handling and judging retail bankruptcies.

What else? Bankruptcy is intended to be a negotiated process. Indeed, it works best that way. The committee has arranged to have one of the leading negotiation specialists from Harvard on hand to discuss, one-on-one with Judge Jeff Hopkins, the best ways to get to yes and the reasons a deal happens or does not happen.

We will also explore the fundamental changes in our economy, our political and legal systems, and our society that have resulted in a move away from formal bankruptcy court adjudication. Who and what caused this tectonic shift? And will the seismic plates realign, or is this the new normal? The education committee has an all-star panel ready to answer these difficult, but core, questions.

As we know from the several year march toward a national chapter 13 plan, we do not all do things the same way in this business. Unique practices, policies and cultures exist throughout our system. We call that Locality Differences, and the committee is planning a program that explores these differences and the reasons for them. Do they all achieve fairness? Should you be following a practice that they are using in another district? Come find out.

That is just a sample of what the programming will be in Vegas. Of course the ABLJ, ABA, ABI, FBA, and other partners and affiliates will be presenting programming of their own. Please look at the conference website beginning in April for more details and changes. Check back here for timely updates. And get ready to join us in America’s playground, Las Vegas, in October!

2016 NCBJ San Francisco Annual Conference – Conference News Photographers Off Duty

Bankruptcy Judges Bob Jacobvitz (D.N.M.) and Rodney May (M.D. Fla.) are the two NCBJ Conference News photographers. If you have attended an NCBJ conference, you may have seen us taking pictures. Below are photos we took while in San Francisco to attend the Annual Conference or in Sonoma and Napa Valleys after the Conference.

Click on a photo to enlarge it, then backspace to return to this post.

Photos by Robert H. Jacobvitz

This is the downstairs of the Mercantile Building in San Francisco where a bankruptcy judges dinner was held Thursday night during the Conference. This is quite a place.
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After the SF Annual Conference, my wife and I headed north to spend a couple days in wine country. Our first stop was the Patz & Hall Winery in the City of Sonoma in Sonoma Valley.
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We then headed south to the Ridge Lytton Springs Winery near Healdsburg. This is one of Ridge’s beautiful vineyards.
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Our final winery visit of the day was at the Matanzas Creek Winery near Santa Rosa to taste some excellent Merlot. The next three photos depict the winery’s wonderful lavender garden. The lavender had already been harvested leaving behind these sculpted plants.
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This interesting shed is to the left of the Matanzas Creek lavender garden.
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The next day we visited three wineries near Calistoga at the north end of Napa Valley: Chateau Montelena, Frank’s Family Vineyard and Clos Pagase

I took the next five photos at Chateau Montelena, one of the world’s great wineries. This is the north side of the winery.
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A close up of wine barrels shown in the preceding picture.
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This tasting room is just inside Chateau Montelena’s visitor’s center.
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A bridge next to the Chateau Montelena Chinese water garden built by a prior owner.
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A Pagoda at the Chateau Montelena Chinese water garden.
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Frank’s Family Winery is not quite as picturesque as some of the other wineries we visited, but the people are very friendly and the wine is excellent.
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Finally, we visited the Clos Pagase Winery. It is quite a place to see. The first photo shows a vineyard just outside the winery.
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This is a hallway we traveled to get to a Clos Pagase tasting room.
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And this is quite some tasting room.
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Photos by Rodney May

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