Bankruptcy Bench Meets Bar Conference 2013: What did you enjoy most?


On Thursday, May 30th, the BBA hosted its largest CLE event of the year, the 23rd Annual Bankruptcy Bench Meets Bar Conference, at the Taj Hotel. Bankruptcy professionals and Federal Bankruptcy Court Judges met and shared insights, observations, and analysis on key issues for 2013 and beyond.


The June 10th issue of BBA Week wanted to follow up with attendees and get their feedback on another great event, so we asked:

"What did you enjoy most about this year’s Bankruptcy Bench Meets Bar Conference? "

If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Eric Fullerton at

Renee Burgher – Boston Community Capital
“The beautiful Taj hotel, free flowing drinks, and enticing fare set the stage for a wonderful educational and entertaining evening. My favorite parts of the evening were the Ambassador Program and the last panel on Attorney-Client Privilege, “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me…Whether or Not I Waived My Attorney-Client Privilege.”

With the help of my Ambassador, Macken Toussaint, I met an array of fascinating and engaging individuals, and I’m almost certain that wasn’t because of those free flowing drinks I mentioned.

Though a three hour program with no planned breaks seemed a bit much, my table was ready for the final panel, and educational competition. The panelists were all entertaining and very convincing. Our table ended up getting less than perfect score. But, the laughs, connections, and the knowledge I left with made the night an absolute win.”

John Morrier – Casner & Edwards, LLP
“Two things – one serious, and one not so much. It was terrific to see a full room, with the full range of the bankruptcy community, and especially gratifying to see so many new faces.  There was a nice group of law students, recent graduates and newer lawyers there, making the connections that foster our professional community. And it was entertaining to see Chief Judge Bailey channel his inner Alex Trebek running his panel presentation game show style. When he’s out from behind the bench, he can bring the funny!”

Pamela A. Harbeson - Looney & Grossman LLP
“The annual Bankruptcy Bench Meets Bar Conference is a terrific event.  It is always wonderful to hear practitioners and judges speak on interesting and important current topics. I am impressed and humbled by the judiciary’s willingness to share their time and insights with us.  The occasion also provides an excellent opportunity to see and network with other members of the practice area.  I always have a great time and this year was no exception.”

Michael J. Pappone - Goodwin Procter LLP
"Where to start? Well, I’ll go with the new faces that represent the future of the insolvency community. Final answer!

I was thrilled to meet a half dozen first-time attendees and learn what motivated them to join with us in developing constructive solutions to financial challenges. I’m hoping to keep in touch with them as their practices grow and to see their names popping up as candidates to head committees of the Bankruptcy Section."

Ann Marie Maccarone - Partridge, Snow & Hahn, LLP
“The agenda was timely and informative.  I also enjoyed the interactive portion of the program.  The fact patters were thought provoking and I enjoyed discussing them with my peers.”

Christopher J. Somma - Goodwin Procter LLP
“I liked the Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me…Whether Or Not I Waived My Attorney-Client Privilege with the Honorable Frank Bailey as the Game Show Host.  The setup was excellent.  The panel was great and the idea of having audience participation novel. Who knew ethics could be fun?!”

Laura D. Sannicandro - Orlans Moran PLLC
“As an attorney new to bankruptcy law, I was quite impressed by the congeniality of the bankruptcy bar.  The event was well organized and the speakers were insightful.  I particularly enjoyed the balance between learning bankruptcy law updates and the social aspect of the event.  I look forward to attending more BBA Bankruptcy events in the future.”

Donald R. Lassman - Law Office of Donald R. Lassman
“I very much enjoyed the interactive segment on bankruptcy ethical issues, even though my table did not answer enough questions correctly to be awarded the coveted “first in line” spot for the post-conference reception!  Great new location as well.”

Christopher W. Parker - Law Offices of Christopher W. Parker
“My favorite part of this year’s Bankruptcy Bench Meets Bar Conference was the quiz show parody panel entitled, “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me…Whether Or Not I waived My attorney Client Privilege.” Judge Bailey, the Moderator, kept the presentation moving and the audience engaged with a light, humorous touch, backed by familiar pre-recorded “quiz show music.” Panelists Bean, Devine, and Loughnane were well-prepared and entertaining. Despite an impressive complement of ethical luminaries, my table was able to answer only one of the six questions correctly.”

Lynne Xerras - Holland & Knight  
"While I enjoy all aspects of the program, this year, I thought the "game show" structure of the presentation on privilege issues was particularly great.  The interactive component got us to lighten up and have some fun collaborating with our colleagues yet still provided a much needed refresher on the subject.   I truly appreciate the work that all of the speakers put in to the event each year to make it such a success."

Richard A. Mestone - Mestone & Associates LLC
“I always liked the fact that the bench bar dissects and gives it perspective on controversial issues that may have developed throughout the year and/or revisits these types of issues after some time has passed to see how the courts have digested them discussing recent decisions that one may not have had an ability to see or read to illustrate the trend.  In addition, I especially enjoyed the game developed by Judge Bailey's panel wherein the attendees, in a game format, were tested on their knowledge (this one having been the issue of privilege).  It made us think about what we may or may not know in a fun manner. It also got people at the tables, who may or may not know each other, to interact and continue that interaction socially well after the education portion ended.”

Warren E. Agin - Swiggart & Agin, LLC
“As always, the prime seat in the house is next to Tom Raftery. Although that honor went to Steve Darr, I was one seat over and still got to see Tom's cartoons for the evening.”

David Baker - Law Office of David G. Baker
“The annual events are always well worth the time and expense.  The most entertaining part of this year's program, in my opinion, was the take-off on the radio program Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me.  I just hope Peter Sagal was down with that!”

Patricia Antonelli - Partridge, Snow & Hahn, LLP
“I really enjoyed the interactive program on the attorney-client privilege topic and the opportunity to reconnect with other bankruptcy practitioners and Judges.”

David Mawhinney - K&L Gates LLP
“Highlights from this year's Bankruptcy Bench Meets Bar Conference included the comprehensive update on Stern v. Marshall and the ethic's "game show" hosted by Hon. Frank J. Bailey.  Thanks to the Taj for providing lovely accommodations.”

Nina Parker - Parker and Associates
"For twenty- three years the Bench has met the Bar.
We’ve traveled from near and traveled from afar.

Annually we explore what the nuances of the Bankruptcy Code are.
And then, of course, we’re rewarded by fine food and an open bar.

Ambassadors were assigned to first time attendees.
They got to know many of us -and we made friends with ease.

The CLE is enlightening and the time with colleagues a treat.
Quite frankly – in my book the BBA Bankruptcy Section can’t be beat!"