Approved for 7.0 hours of CLE credit, including 1.0 hour of ethics and professionalism in Kansas and Missouri.
On line registration for this event is now closed. However, space is still available. To register, please call 785-234-5696. Electronic program materials will be emailed to you.
Room Block Information
Sleeping rooms at the Hyatt
Regency are available to program participants at a rate of $129 per night plus
tax. The last day to make reservations
at this rate is Thursday, March. 19.
Please note, after that time the hotel will honor the $129 rate based on
availability. To make reservations, please visit https://resweb.passkey.com/go/ksbarassn or call 888-421-1442 and let the operator
know the date and that you are with the Kansas Bar Association group.
8:30 a.m.• Registration & Continental Breakfast
** The breakfast is sponsored by Bruce, Bruce & Lehman LLC, Wichita
9:00 a.m. • Chapter 13: Mortgage Cramdown
Dr. Richard S. Gendler, Richard S. Gendler & Associates, P.A., Miami Gardens, Florida
This presentation will be a review of my J.S.D. dissertation from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, an abbreviated version of such having recently been published in the American Bankruptcy Institute Law Review. My study examined the manner in which bankruptcy law's prohibition against modifications of debtors' principal residence mortgages in chapter 13 hindered an effective response to the recent foreclosure crisis. My original empirical study examined the effectiveness of the present bankruptcy system as a home-saving mechanism for underwater homeowners. In my study, all the chapter 13 cases filed in the Southern District of Florida in April 2009 were scrutinized to compare the rate of effectiveness of underwater principal residence mortgage cures to other cases that proposed permissible court-ordered mortgage modifications. My research concluded that of the various forms of relief afforded to chapter 13 property owners, a principal residence underwater mortgage cure proved least effective. My empirical findings suggest that removing the bankruptcy prohibition against principal residence cramdown in chapter 13 would substantially improve a bankrupt homeowner's probability of saving a home from foreclosure. Accordingly, my article advocates amending the Bankruptcy Code to remove the restriction against a bankruptcy court ordering a principal residence mortgage modification.
9:50 a.m. • Chapter 12 Agricultural Economics and Predictions
Roger A. McEowen, Center for Ag Law and Taxation, Ames, Iowa
10:40 a.m. • Break
10:55 a.m. • Bankruptcy Appeals: A Judge’s Perspective
Hon. Tom R. Cornish, Judge, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Okmulgee, Oklahoma
Hon. Janice M. Karlin, Judge, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Topeka
Hon. J. Thomas Marten, Judge, U.S. District Court, Wichita
Hon. Dale L. Somers, Judge, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Topeka
Judges from the Federal District Court and the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel will discuss recent changes to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure and Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure affecting appeals, along with issues in filing and pursuing bankruptcy appeals.
** The Bankruptcy Appeals Panel is sponsored by Lentz, Clark & Deines P.A., Overland Park
11:45 a.m. • Lunch (provided)
12:15 p.m. • Luncheon Keynote Presentation: Is Chapter 11 Dead?
Hon. Stuart M. Bernstein, Judge, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, New York, New York
Judge Bernstein will discuss how chapter 11 originated with the railroad equity receiverships, the changes that have occurred to chapter 11, primarily in larger cases, that have raised questions about its continued viability as a means of reorganization and some of the current proposals regarding how to fix it.
** The lunch is sponsored by Gay, Riordan, Fincher, Munson & Sinclair, P.A., Topeka
1:05 p.m. • Short Break
1:15 p.m. • Life, Liberty, Liens and the Pursuit of Happiness: Current Lien Issues in Bankruptcy Cases
Jeff Deines, Lentz Clark Deines P.A., Overland Park
Hon. Robert D. Berger, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Kansas City, Kan.
A discussion of current trends and issues related to liens in bankruptcy cases, including topics such as lien stripping, lien redemption, tax liens and select current UCC lien developments.
2:05 p.m. • Divesting the Debtor of Title to Overencumbered Real Estate
Jan Hamilton, Chapter 13 Trustee, Topeka
Larry A. Pittman II, Consumer Law Center of Kansas City, Kansas City, Missouri
2:55 p.m. Break
3:10 p.m. • Ante Up! You Have to Pay to Play: Fee Issues in Consumer and Business Bankruptcies (Ethics panel)
David P. Eron, Eron Law P.A., Wichita
Eric L. Johnson, Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP, Kansas City, Missouri
Wesley F. Smith, Stevens & Brand LLP, Lawrence
Recent cases have discussed the ability of Debtor’s attorneys to be paid in various bankruptcy cases. These cases have caused practitioners to take stock of fee agreements, policies and protocols. This presentation offers a review of these recent cases and the rules that govern compensation in a bankruptcy case.
4:00 p.m. • Adjourned
This program is co-sponsored by: The Bar Plan
, Bruce, Bruce & Lehman LLC
, Depew Law Firm, Eron Law
, Lentz, Clark & Deines P.A.
, Gay, Riordan, Fincher, Munson & Sinclair, P.A.
and Woner, Glenn, Reeder & Girard, P.A.
Dr. Richard S. Gendler received a B.A. from the University of Hartford, a J.D. from the University of Miami School law, and both an LL.M. and J.S.D. from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law.
In Addition to practicing law, Dr. Gendler serves as full time professor teaching Business Law at Florida Atlantic University School of Business. He also serves as an adjunct professor of law for the Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s online LL.M. program, and routinely teaches legal education courses on topics related to consumer bankruptcy. Dr. Gendler has served on the Bankruptcy Mortgage Mediation Committee in the Southern District of Florida, and presently serves on the Florida Bar Federal Court Practice Committee.
Dr. Gendler’s bar admissions include the Florida Bar, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Tax Court. Dr. Gendler is licensed by the State of Florida as a 2-15 life, health and variable annuity agent and is an appointed title insurance agent for Attorneys Title Insurance Company.
Mr. McEowen is the Leonard Dolezal Professor in Agricultural Law at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, where he is the Director of the ISU Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation. Before joining Iowa State in 2004, he was an associate professor of agricultural law and extension specialist in agricultural law and policy at Kansas State. From 1991-1993, Professor McEowen was in the full-time practice of law with Kelley, Scritsmier and Byrne in North Platte, Nebraska. Professor McEowen conducts approximately 80-100 seminars annually across the United States for farmers, agricultural business professionals, lawyers, and other tax professionals. He also conducts three radio programs (two airing monthly and the other bi-weekly) heard across the Midwest. He is a member of the Iowa and Kansas Bar Associations and is admitted to practice in Nebraska. He is also a past member of the AALA Board of Directors.
Judge Tom R. Cornish was appointed as United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District of Oklahoma on February 8, 1994. He was reappointed to this position on February 8, 2008. In addition to his duties as bankruptcy judge, Judge Cornish sits on the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, and served as its Chief Judge. This court reviews a majority of all appeals from eight bankruptcy courts in the six states that comprise the Tenth Circuit. He has served on that Panel since its inception in 1996. He also serves as a mediator in each of Oklahoma’s three federal judicial districts. Judge Cornish received his undergraduate degree from Oklahoma State University, his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law, and his Master of Laws degree from the University of Virginia. Prior to his appointment as Bankruptcy Judge, Judge Cornish served on the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals from October 1977 until February 1984. He served as presiding judge of that Court from 1979 to 1981. The Court is a court of last resort for criminal cases in Oklahoma. Judge Cornish was the youngest judge ever appointed to a court of last resort in Oklahoma. He also has experience as a lawyer in private practice, having been a member of law firms in McAlester, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In private practice, Judge Cornish was primarily engaged in civil litigation in state and federal courts, with extensive arbitration and mediation experience for private corporations. As a Bankruptcy Judge, he has successfully incorporated his skills in mediation and arbitration, proving to be an innovative and practical judge, who treats all those who appear before him with compassion and respect.
Judge Karlin received her undergraduate degree and law degree from the University of Kansas, serving as Note and Comment Editor for the Kansas University Law Review. She is the chair of the Bankruptcy Judges Advisory Group to the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, she is the Court's liaison to the Bankruptcy Bench Bar Committee, and she serves on the Board of Editors of the Journal of the Kansas Bar Association. She also participates in the ""Bigs in Schools"" program with Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Topeka and is a member of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, the American Bankruptcy Institute, the American Bar Association, the Kansas Bar Association and the Women Attorney Association of Topeka.
Tom Marten was appointed United States District Judge in January 1996. He is a 1973 graduate of Washburn University, and a 1976 graduate of the the Washburn University School of Law. Following a one-year clerkship with retired U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Tom C. Clark, Marten practiced law with Kutak Rock in Omaha, NE and Minneapolis, MN from 1977-1981. He then joined Bremyer & Wise, P.A. in McPherson, Kansas, where he enjoyed nearly fifteen years of general civil and criminal trial practice before his appointment to the federal bench.
Somers was a private practitioner in Topeka for 32 years, prior to becoming a bankruptcy judge in September, 2003. In March, 2010 Somers was appointed to the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Tenth Circuit. He has an undergraduate degree from Kansas State University and a law degree from the University of Kansas. He is a past president of the Kansas Bar Association. He was included in the publication "Best Lawyers in America” in the area of bankruptcy for many years. Prior to becoming a judge, he was selected to be a fellow of the American Bar Association and to membership in the American College of Bankruptcy.
Hon. Stuart M. Bernstein was sworn in as a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of New York on November 24, 1993, and served as Chief Judge of the Court for ten years. He also served as a member of the Judicial Conference Committee on the Administration of the Bankruptcy System from 2006 through 2012, and currently serves as a member of the of Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules. In addition to his judicial duties, he has served as an adjunct professor of law at the Cardozo Law School and St. John's Law School where he currently co-teaches a course in Bankruptcy Reorganization. He has also authored several articles and lectured on behalf of ALI-ABA, the American Bankruptcy Institute, the New York State Bar Association and the Georgetown Law Center.
Judge Bernstein is a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the American Bar Association and the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges. In addition, he is a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy and a Member of the International Insolvency Institute and INSOL International.
Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Bernstein practiced with the Manhattan law firm of Kensington & Ressler P.C., and also served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
Jeff Deines is a partner in Lentz Clark Deines PA. He regularly represents debtors in Chapter 11 reorganizations, as well as individuals in complex personal bankruptcy cases. Jeff is certified in Business Bankruptcy by the American Board of Certification, and has published articles related to bankruptcy and tax issues in the American Bankruptcy Institute Journal and the Kansas Bar Journal. He is the immediate Past-President of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bankruptcy Bar Association and is on the Planning Board of the Midwestern Bankruptcy Institute sponsored by the American Bankruptcy Institute.
Berger received his B.A. in history and political science from the University of Kansas in 1983 and his J.D. from the Washburn University School of Law in 1986. After graduation, Judge Berger entered private practice. In 2003, he was appointed to the Kansas City Division of the Bankruptcy Court as the successor to the Honorable John T. Flannagan. Prior to his appointment, Judge Berger practiced law as a bankruptcy and insolvency specialist representing debtors and creditors. He was among the first group of attorneys in Kansas and Missouri certified by the American Board of Certifications in both consumer and business bankruptcy law. Judge Berger has written numerous articles on bankruptcy issues, including Chapter 13 tax matters, and is a contributing author for the Kansas Bar Association’s Bankruptcy Handbook. Judge Berger has also served as a frequent lecturer on bankruptcy, insolvency and related tax issues. He counts among his affiliations membership in the American Bankruptcy Institute and the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges.
Hamilton is the Chapter 13 Trustee for Topeka, Kansas. He has served in this position since 1998. He is a graduate of Washburn University and Washburn School of Law. Prior to his appointment, Hamilton was in private practice for 25 years with many years of experience in bankruptcy, related areas and litigation. He is a Fellow in the American College of Bankruptcy. Hamilton is a frequent speaker at legal seminars, locally and nationally. He also is an adjunct bankruptcy professor at Washburn University School of Law and occasionally writes for national publications. Most recently, he was counsel of record in the United States Supreme Court case of Hamilton v. Lanning.
Larry A. Pittman, II, founded the Pittman Law Firm, LLC, now the Consumer Law Center of Kansas City, LLC, in 2007. Today, he primarily represents consumers on a broad range of mortgage-related matters. He has experience handling mortgage-driven bankruptcies under Chapters 7, 13, and 11. He also litigates mortgage-related claims in both Federal and State Court, as well as general consumer claims under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and Missouri’s Merchandising Practices Act. Recently, he began assisting consumers on student loan-related matters both inside and outside of bankruptcy.
Mr. Pittman is a former law clerk to Hon. Robert D. Berger, United States Bankruptcy Judge and a past President of the Kansas City Bankruptcy Bar Association.
David Eron is the owner of Eron Law, P.A., a three attorney firm in Wichita, Kansas. He represents businesses and consumers in bankruptcy, litigation, and commercial transactions. David serves as the president of the KBA Bankruptcy and Insolvency Section and is a past member of the Kansas Bankruptcy Bench Bar Committee. He regularly presents seminars and writes articles on bankruptcy related topics and is a past contributing editor of the American Bankruptcy Institute Journal. David received the KBA's Pro Bono Certificate in 2013. Prior to forming Eron Law, David worked as a Trial Attorney for the U.S. Trustee in Kansas. He is a native of California and started his career with a large firm there representing debtors, trustees, and creditors in all chapters of bankruptcy. David received his B.A. in Political Science from Iowa State University in 1998 and graduated with honors from the University of Iowa College of Law in 2002.
Eric L. Johnson, Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP, Kansas City, Missouri
Johnson is a partner at Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP in Kansas City. His practice involves representation of creditors, trustees, debtors, and other interested parties in insolvency related matters. Johnson received his under graduate degree the University of Northern Iowa, and his law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law. In addition to being a frequent speaker on insolvency related topics, Johnson is currently serving as an executive committee member for the KBA Bankruptcy and Insolvency Section, co-chair for the Midwest Bankruptcy Institute Advisory Board and the Missouri Commercial Law Committee, Membership Director for the ABI Bankruptcy Litigation Committee, and as a member of the Advisory Board for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Missouri. Johnson is a past president of the Kansas City Bankruptcy Bar Association and former member of the Bench Bar Committee for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Kansas.
Wesley F. Smith, Stevens & Brand LLP, Lawrence
Smith is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and the University of Kansas School of Law. He is the past-president of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Section of the Kansas Bar Association. He is a partner at Stevens & Brand, LLP in Lawrence and Topeka and primarily represents debtors and creditors in bankruptcy cases. Smith is an adjunct professor of law at the University of Kansas, teaching commercial law and is frequently a lecturer on bankruptcy and commercial law for continuing education classes. Since 2008, he has been chosen as one of the Best Lawyers in America, in the area of bankruptcy. Since 2009 Smith has been chosen as a Super Lawyer in the area of bankruptcy & creditor/debtor rights in the Kansas City metropolitan area.