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


ABI Features Educational Opportunities at 2017 NCBJ Conference

The ABI at the NCBJ

IWIRC Plans Education Programs for the 2017 NCBJ Annual Conference

NCBJ’s Edifying and Entertaining Las Vegas Education Program

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

Last Night After Party

Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones’ Annual NCBJ Party

5K Run

Burnstein-Barkley’s 8th Annual NCBJ Conference Wake Up and Run 16,404 Feet

Las Vegas

Outdoor Adventure Opportunities Near Las Vegas

NCBJ Participates In Las Vegas Food Rescue Program

Photographing Las Vegas

NCBJ Las Vegas 2017 … Ten Reasons Why it is a Good Bet!

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


NCBJ Blog Statistics


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

Outdoor Adventure Opportunities Near Las Vegas

This is a post by Bankruptcy Judge Mark Wallace, Central District of California


If you become tired of the Strip’s glitz and glamor and feel the need for some exercise and fresh air, you may want to consider exploring one of the following areas in Las Vegas’s vicinity:

Charleston Peak Loop Trail
Drive northwest on US 95 about 13 miles and turn west (a left turn) on Kyle Canyon Road (Nevada 157). Go 19 miles past some summer homes and continue going straight on Echo Road (Kyle Canyon Road takes a sharp left – don’t take it) for about one half mile and then go right one tenth of a mile to the trail head. This is the North Loop.
The trail head’s elevation is about 7,700 feet. You’ll hike uphill through Ponderosa pine forest and quaking aspen and, further up the trail, bristlecone pines. The trail takes you over the summit of Charleston and stays at 11,000 feet for more than six miles.
The entire loop is about 13 miles of hiking and takes you up to the summit (11,918 feet) and then back down the South Loop Trail. However, you don’t have to go all the way to the top and can turn around and return to your car as the spirit moves you. Keep in mind if you decide to do the entire loop that it’s about a 1.5 mile walk from the South Loop trail head back to the North Loop trail head where you parked your car.
Do not attempt this hike if the weather is dodgy or threatening. Keep in mind that weather can change rapidly on mountains of this altitude.
The Hiker’s Guide to Nevada by Bruce Grubbs provides more information. I will have a copy of this book with me if you would like to review it.

Valley of Fire State Park
Valley of Fire State Park is about 58 miles northeast of Las Vegas. Take US 15 to Exit 75 where you will pick up a road going east into the park.
This is Nevada’s oldest state park. It comprises about 35,000 acres and is named for striking red sandstone formations. The road into the park is a loop road running for about 11 miles that will connect you back up with US 15. In addition to the scenic rock formations there are Native American petroglyphs at various locations throughout the park.
Hikes include Mouse’s Tank (0.7 mile round trip – easy), Atlatl Rock (1 mile round trip, 200 feet gain/loss) and White Domes (1 mile round trip, 200 feet gain/loss).

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
This is area is only about 30 miles from the Strip. Go south on US 15, take exit 33 to Nevada 160 and go west 10.5 miles to a junction with Nevada 159. Bear right and continue on Nevada 159 to the Red Rock National Conservation Area. There is a visitor center and fee station ($7 daily pass) where you can obtain more information about some of the following hikes: Moenkopi (2 miles, 300 feet gain/loss); Calico Tanks (2.5 miles, 450 feet gain/loss); Willow Spring Loop (1.5 miles, 200 feet gain/loss); Ice Box Canyon (2.6 miles, 300 feet gain/loss – strenuous boulder hopping required); Grand Circle Loop (11.3 miles, 1100 feet gain/loss).

NCBJ Blog Statistics

Since the inception of the NCBJ Annual Conference Blog in July 2014:
Visits to the Blog: 17,626
Page views: 39,648

2017 year to date (01-01-2017 to 10-06-2017):
Visits to the Blog: 5,270
Page views: 12,496

2016 (01-01-2016 to 10-06-2016):

Visits to the Blog: 4,372
Page views: 11,259

Calendar year 2016:
Visits to the Blog: 6,309
Page views: 16,876

Burnstein-Barkley’s 8th Annual NCBJ Conference Wake Up and Run 16,404 Feet

Burnstein Burkley is sponsoring its 8th Annual Wake Up and Run 16,404 Feet event at the NCBJ Annual Conference on Tuesday, October 10, 2017. To participate meet in the Paris Hotel Lobby at 6 a.m.

To register for the Wake Up and Run, click HERE

Burnstein Burkley actually calls it a 5K Run (which is 3.1 miles).

Note: I looked up Burnstein Burkley online and found the symbol between Burnstein and Barkley. To replicate it, I used the Shapes tool under the Insert tab in Microsoft Word, and then picked a matching color. When I pasted the shape in the Blog post, it disappeared. Bummer! So I then created a square in Photoshop, sized and colored it, and converted the image to a jpg file. I inserted the jpg images in this post between Burnstein and Barkley.

Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones’ Annual NCBJ Party

Note From the Blog Administrator

On October 5, 2017 Pachulski Stang sent the following message to Conference registrants:

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

To honor the victims of the horrific events in Las Vegas on Sunday, we have decided not to hold our traditional “After Party” at this year’s NCBJ Conference. Instead, we will be donating the party funds to United Blood Services in Las Vegas. Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones also will contribute up to an additional $50,000 to match the donations made by any NCBJ Conference attendee. Upon arriving at the conference to pick up registration materials, there will be several donation boxes for you to drop a check made out to United Blood Services (cash cannot be accepted). Checks collected by the end of the day on Tuesday, 10/10/17, will be matched by our firm. We hope you understand our reluctance to throw a party under these circumstances and look forward to hosting all of you at next year’s conference in San Antonio.

Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP

This was Pachulski Stang’s original post:

With another National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges fast approaching, Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones is looking forward to once again hosting the official NCBJ “After Party.” PSZJ, the nation’s leading corporate restructuring boutique, has hosted the event since 1999, and is well known in the bankruptcy and restructuring community for its fun and memorable themed parties.

2017’s National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges Conference will take place from October 8 – 11, 2017 in the exciting, vibrant city of Las Vegas, and what better way to celebrate the end of the conference than a Party in Paris? As you can see from pics of our successful ‘70s-themed event last year, we always aim to follow a few days of serious learning with a fun and festive good time for the bankruptcy community.

Photographing Las Vegas

In preparation for my trip to Las Vegas for the NCBJ Conference, I did some sleuthing to learn good locations to take photographs. This is what I learned.

Las Vegas Sign
The iconic “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign is located on the south end of the Strip, past Mandalay Bay in a median strip in the center of the road.


• Paris Hotel
You will be right there for the NCBJ conference. Try taking photos of the Paris Hotel’s Eiffel Tower reflected in the waters of Bellagio across the street, the Strip in front of hotel, and from the top of the Tower.

• Bellagio Hotel
This is a great place to take photos. Photograph the front of the hotel building, the fountains, and the conservatory and botanical gardens inside.

• Venetian Hotel
This is a cool building. Good photo spots include the inside entrance hall, the shopping arcade, and the lagoon

• Flamingo Hotel.
If you like Flamingos, this hotel has its own Flamingo Wildlife Habitat to photograph.

• Bally’s Hotel
Check out the entry.

• Luxor Hotel
The sphinx is photogenic.

• Excalibur Hotel
The castle tops make for a nice photo.

Neon Museum
The Neon Museum offers an advance reservation photo tour for $50. It is very popular.

Casinos (Not)
If you take photos inside a casino you may be asked to leave. I guess people do not like being seen winning all that money.

If any of you have views about good photo locations in Las Vegas, I invite you to make a post or comment on this post.

NCBJ Participates In Las Vegas Food Rescue Program

NCBJ is pleased to announce that the 91st Annual Conference will be participating with Caesars Entertainment and with Three Square to donate surplus food items from conference through Three Square’s Food Rescue program. As a contributor to Three Square’s Food Rescue program, Caesars Entertainment deepens their commitment to the community and continues to make a positive impact fighting hunger and reducing waste.

The Food Rescue program is a safe and reliable donation outlet that sources edible food to feed hungry people in Southern Nevada. These donations help to provide food assistance to nearly 140,000 hungry men, women and children in Las Vegas every month.

IWIRC Plans Education Programs for the 2017 NCBJ Annual Conference

IWIRC (International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation) has gathered an impressive collection of bankruptcy professionals to present at this year’s Conference. The educational lineup for the IWIRC program includes two panels and a luncheon.
The first panel will address challenging issues posed when “Navigating the Rough Waters of Distressed Shipping and Offshore Sectors.” Ilana Volkov of Cole Schotz P.C. will moderate. The lively presentation will include panelists Randee Day of Goldin Associates, LLC; Lois Zabrocky, President & CEO of International Seaways, Inc.; and Nelly Almeida of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP.

Next a panel of seasoned practitioners will tackle “Show Me the Money: Asset Identification and Recovery in International Insolvencies.” The team of professionals on this panel includes Lauren McKelvey of Odin, Feldman & Pittleman PC; Caroline Moran of Maples and Calder; Aruni Weerasekera of Alvarez and Marsal Asia; and Tatiana Markel of Baker Hostetler LLP.

Following these educational sessions is lunch featuring keynote speaker Michelle Tillis Lederman. She will inspire and entertain with her address focusing on “Boost your Likeability.”
The educational programs will all occur on Sunday October 8.

Registration for the IWIRC events is open to members and non-members through the IWIRC website: https://www.iwirc.com/
or contact Sheri Bedker via e-mail at sbedker@iwirc.com.

ABI Features Educational Opportunities at 2017 NCBJ Conference

At this year’s Conference, the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) is, once again, offering diverse high quality educational sessions. ABI membership is not required to attend these sessions. All NCBJ registrants are welcome. Simply register for the ABI education sessions when registering at ncbjmeeting.org.

This year’s topics include: health care restructurings, Supreme Court case review, D&O fiduciary duties for financially troubled companies, and the biggest plan confirmation issues from 2016 and 2017.

Perhaps most popular of the ABI sessions is the annual ABI luncheon. This year will not disappoint. The featured speaker is historian Douglas Brinkley who will address presidential power from George Washington to Donald Trump.

In addition to these educational programs, ABI will host a meeting of the ABI Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy at this year’s conference. On Tuesday October 10, the Commission will hold a public hearing. Instructions to offer public statements at the hearing are available at ConsumerCommission.abi.org.

The ABI offerings, luncheon, and public hearing provide exceptional enrichment for all NCBJ attendees.

The ABI at the NCBJ

It is my pleasure to serve as the Chair of the NCBJ’s Liaison Committee. Each member of the Committee serves as a liaison to an organization that interacts on one or more levels with the NCBJ. “My” organization is the American Bankruptcy Institute, on whose board I serve. Programming created and sponsored by the ABI has become a tradition at the NCBJ’s annual conference, and this year’s 91st annual conference in Las Vegas is no exception. Tuesday, October 10 features a total of six ABI Roundtable programs, running in three concurrent sessions:

At 9:00:

Roundtable # 1: The “Biggest” Plan Confirmation Issues of 2016 and 2017; and
Roundtable # 2: D&O Fiduciary Duties for Financially Troubled Companies: What to Do                              and What Not to Do;

At 10:45:

Roundtable # 3: Successful Health Care Restructurings and Chapter 11 Cases; and
Roundtable # 4: The ABI Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy, Part I; and

At 12:00:

Roundtable # 5: 2016 and 2017 Supreme Court Review Champagne 3; and
Roundtable # 6: The ABI Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy, Part II

ABI and the NCBJ have enjoyed a long and collaborative relationship. In addition to the ABI Roundtable programs:
• ABI will provide the polling software at several NCBJ Annual Meeting sessions in 2016
• ABI negotiates and pays for the internet offered to NCBJ attendees at the NCBJ Annual Meeting
• ABI develops and provides the conference App for NCBJ attendees at the NCBJ Annual Meeting
• ABI received $5,000 from the NCBJ Endowment for Education for developing and distributing bankruptcy education program/materials designed for state court judges
• ABI coordinates with NCBJ in administering NCBJ’s Blackshear Fellowship Program scholarships
• Fourteen current or former NCBJ members serve on ABI’s Board of Directors
• ABI provided scholarships to NCBJ members for law clerks to attend the annual Clerkship Institute at Pepperdine Law School
• More than a dozen NCBJ members served as judges at the annual Duberstein Moot Court Competition
• More than 100 NCBJ members served as faculty at ABI educational programs during the year

On behalf of the NCBJ and the ABI, we hope to see you at the conference.

NCBJ Las Vegas 2017 … Ten Reasons Why it is a Good Bet!

By Laura K. Grandy, United States Bankruptcy Judge, Southern District of Illinios

When you are trying to figure out how to meet your CLE requirements again this year, why not also have quality time with your friends or family at a fun place? Your best bet to make that happen is to attend the NCBJ Las Vegas conference to be held October 9-11 at the Paris Las Vegas Resort and Casino. The odds are pretty good you will learn from industry experts and judges while racking up those CLE hours !

While this town of entertainment offers lots to do, we want to share the top 10 reasons to choose NCBJ Las Vegas as one of your conferences to attend this year:

1. Observe the power of a discharge at the Hoover Dam.

2. Plan to zipline through Freemont Street and see the Neon Boneyard, Mob Museum and Old Vegas.

3. Extend your stay and hike through the Grand Canyon or Red Rock Canyon.

4. Oops go do it again at a Britany Spears, Celine Dion, Cirque de Soliel or other Vegas show.

5. Experience redemption as you sink a putt on one of many golf courses designed by pros like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Billy Casper and Greg Nash.

6. Stake your claims and interest in any number of casinos such as the classic Caesar’s Palace, Bellagio or Wynn.

7. Pool your resources at a day club such as Encore Beach or MGM Wet Republic.

8. Expand your consumer credit at fabulous shopping centers such as Caesars’ Forum, the Miracle Mile or the Fashion Mall

9. Create a cross-border sensation by booking a room at Paris and enjoy the right of direct and most convenient access to the conference.

10. Convert the burden of CLE into an enjoyable learning experience.

Bonus Reason # 11. Any Consumer Attorney Who Registers by August 7th Hits the Jackpot with a $600 Registration Fee vs. $900 If You Delay

You know it will be slots of fun…Hope to see you there.

The Members of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges