The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) will be joining the States' Association of Bankruptcy Attorneys (SABA) to hold their annual seminar on Bankruptcy from a Government Perspective under the auspices of the National Attorneys General Training and Research Institute (NAGTRI). The program will be held at the Doubletree Hotel in Nashville, Tennesee from October 25 - 28, 2009.
As the turmoil of the last year has worked its way through the economy, there has been a flood of bankruptcy filings in every sector, ranging from the mortgage industry, to health care, to sporting endeavors, to the recent dramatic filings by two of the Big Three auto makers. In each of those areas, the States have many interests ranging from protecting consumers, to standing up for the interests of local businesses affected by the bankruptcy filings, to guarding the States’ own fiscal interests in collecting taxes, enforcing contracts, and remedying enviromental contamination at plants located in the States. What the year’s events have made clear is that the pace and size of bankruptcy filings have increased geometrically putting increased strain on the States’ ability to respond to them. As a result, the need to have counsel with bankruptcy training and experience in place in your offices has become ever more clear.
The discussion at this conference will be an invaluable opportunity for your staff and staff in your client agencies to learn about the Bankruptcy Code, the changes put in place in the statute in 2005, and the way those provisions are playing out in the new economy. The seminar runs for three and a half days and is designed to be helpful to everyone in your office, from the bankruptcy novice to the experienced practitioner. It is open to attorneys, paralegals, and other staff members in the offices of Attorneys General as well as those in other government agencies, such as revenue offices, and in private practice who work on government bankruptcy issues. It will provide an in-depth education for bankruptcy novices about the whole scope of the Bankruptcy Code as it applies to governmental entities. At the other end of the scale, it will allow your experienced counsel to engage with their peers in other States, as well as local and federal counsel, to determine how to confront the new challenges in protecting the interests of the States and your constituents. We urge you to distribute this invitation as widely as possible within your office and related agencies, as bankruptcy issues arise in every substantive area.
The seminar will begin Sunday afternoon with an optional session providing a quick overview of bankruptcy topics as a base for the more detailed discussions during the remainder of the conference. There will also be a session on e-discovery issues to assist State counsel with sorting out the vast amount of financial information that can be reviewed during the case. Over the next three days, we will work through the bankruptcy process from the initial filing through plan confirmation and thereafter. We will have a number of breakouts: some will split into beginning and advanced reviews of a topic, while others will focus separately on the interests of taxing agencies and regulatory offices. The advanced group will have an in-depth review of the use of sales as an alternative to the traditional plan process as well as discussion of scenarios inwhich the government becomes the controlling party in a bankruptcy case.
We will have a distinguished panel of presenters for the seminar, including bankruptcy judges, trustees, private attorneys, and experienced bankruptcy counsel from state, local, and federal agencies. Each has been selected based on his or her experience and expertise with respect to the unique issues faced by governmental counsel in bankruptcy court. A tentative agenda is attached hereto with generalized descriptions that be updated and expanded.