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14th Annual Review of 9th Circuit Decisions Saturday January 18, 2020, Southwestern Law School

14th Annual Review of 9th Circuit Decisions on Bankruptcy in 2019

January 18, 2020
Presented by:
Central District Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney Association

Hon. Christopher Klein
Bankruptcy Judge, Eastern District of California

Hon. Julia Brand
Bankruptcy Judge, Central District of California, Los Angeles Division, and member of 9th Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel

M. Jonathan Hayes
Resnik Hayes Moradi LLP

Southwestern Law School Read more…

San Fernando Valley Bar Association; Small Business Reorg Act Program Friday, 12/13, 2019 at 12 noon

Email from Steve Fox

Dear All:

We have a really timely and good program for you.

Starting in February, 2020, small businesses (including individuals) will have a new means to reorganize under chapter 11, the Small Business Reorganization Act (or “SABRA”).  The Act packs a lot of power, a lot of issues and a lot of food for thought.  Perhaps 90% of all businesses filing under chapter 11 could be eligible to opt in to SABRA and its provisions.  SABRA may also be a means to handle oversized chapter 13 cases.

The panel has been working hard on this topic.  Lew Landau is an experienced chapter 11 practitioner.  Jeremy Rothstein of Greenberg & Bass is the author of an article about SABRA.  Judge Ahart (ret) is well known to section members as a fine speaker and thinker. Yours truly is also on the panel.  Given the amount of material and issues, the panel will speak for 2 hours instead of the normal 1 and ¼ hours.  The panel has spent hours debating the statutes, what they mean or what they could mean.  If the panel does not have definitive answers, something which happens when a new law is passed, the panel will have the right questions. Read more…

Random thoughts for the week.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is authorized for 29 judges. As of last week, it is finally full. Of those, eight were appointed by Trump, and seven by Obama, or slightly more than half.  Rounding out the rest, five were appointed by George Bush, and nine by Bill Clinton – so 13 republicans and 16 democrats. For completeness, there are also 18 “senior status judges,” who take a reduced load of cases. The senior status judges don’t vote on en banc petitions.  The 9th Circuit had 10,500 new case filings in 2018.

I was visiting with a couple non-bankruptcy lawyer friends who are almost as old as me, 120 years of experience at the table. I mentioned that debts go away in bankruptcy, liens don’t.  Huh?  You don’t owe the car debt anymore but if you don’t pay it they can take the car.  One said “bizarre”!  If it’s bizarre to experienced lawyers, I can understand a little better why it makes no sense to our consumer clients.

Desiree Causey is having the trip of a lifetime. She and her husband started in Rome – seems like a few weeks ago. Then to Greece, Israel, Palestine, Egypt to see the pyramids, Jordan. I see her posts on facebook everyday.

It’s really annoying to me that the two California senators are holding up confirmation of a badly needed Central District judge.  I’m a lifelong Democrat so it’s not politics to me.  But according to an article in the Daily Journal today – 11/22/2019 – the candidate Jeremy Rosen is clearly qualified and has significant “support among ideologically-diverse colleagues” but our senators are withholding approval “effectively vetoing Rosen’s candidacy, at least for now.”

By the way, November 22 is the darkest day of my life.  I was a freshman at Serra High School in Gardena in 1963 when JFK was shot down.  They announced it on the school intercom.   I still rarely watch the documentaries about that day.

David Guess joins Greenberg Traurig

Guess_David_340My friend David Guess has joined the international law firm of Greenberg Traurig, “a law firm with more than 2,100 lawyers in 41 locations,” according to the website which says:

“David M. Guess focuses on business bankruptcy cases, out-of-court workouts, and bankruptcy litigation. He represents debtors, secured and unsecured creditors, asset purchasers, trustees, committees, litigation trusts, fraudulent transfer defendants, landlords, and others. David has particular experience in real estate, hospital, skilled nursing facility, retail, and restaurant bankruptcies, bankruptcy appeals, and fraudulent transfer litigation arising from failed LBOs and spinoffs.”

cdcbaa The torch has been passed, looking forward to the new year

Hale for postLucy professional photo

We had a great time at the Calvin Ashland Awards Dinner last week, honoring Howard Ehrenberg as the Trustee of the Year.  I’ll post his remarks soon.  His best advice to other trustees was, “Never take possession of something that has to eat.”

We also recognized our outgoing President Roksana Moradi-Brovia, and swore in incoming President Hale Antico.  Hale has been involved with the cdcbaa since before I joined the group and is a great consumer lawyer.  He built our first website.  He has been there very step of the way with my partner Roksana the last two years.  We are in good hands.  He has true enthusiasm and interest in our group and in continuing the good work we do.

Our incoming Vice-President is Lucy Mavyan, attorney for Chapter 7 Trustee Wes Avery.   We are looking forward to her active involvement.

Judge Charles Novack, Northern District Judge who did the 9th Circuit Review with Judge Julia Brand and I at Loyola Law School two years ago,  told me in July at the 9th circuit Judicial Conf in Spokane that he is still shocked that we got so many people to come to the program on a Saturday.  He was clearly impressed.  Judge Chris Klein from Sacramento will be coming down again this January to do the program with Judge Brand and I on January 18, 2020. Read more…

Loyola Law Students Practicum Reception

Email from Keith Higginbotham:

To all my cdcbaa colleagues that answered the call and attended Judge Klein’s Reception for the six Loyola law students’ Practicum Reception, I wholehearted thank you.  Judge Klein was VERY pleased at cdcbaa’s response to her request for participation.  The food was excellent and there were four judges present to mingle with — including the Chief Judge herself.  A good time was had by all.

This is one of the many reasons why the Court is often turning to cdcbaa for participation and input in its various endeavors.  We are recognized as the BK Bar Association that “gets things done.”

Again, I am very proud of this organization and I thank the many cdcbaa members that attended this event yesterday.

Keith Higginbotham

Civil Code Section 1632 – Do retainer agreements have to be in the language the client speaks?

Learning stuff for the Ethics program I’m doing for the Federal Bar Assn on November 22, 2019.  California law requires the retainer agreement to be translated into “the language the agreement was negotiated in.”   I guess as long as I’m doing the “negotiating,” no translated copy is required, since I don’t speak any other language (except bankruptcyese).  At the program I will be asking the two experts with me whether the retainer should be translated nevertheless; the pros and cons of doing that.

California Civil Code 1632.
(b) Any person … who negotiates primarily in Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, or Korean, orally or in writing, in the course of entering into any of the following, shall deliver to the other party …, a translation of the contract or agreement in the language in which the contract or agreement was negotiated, that includes a translation of every term and condition in that contract or agreement:

(6) A contract or agreement, containing a statement of fees or charges, entered into for the purpose of obtaining legal services, when the person who is engaged in business is currently licensed to practice law …

(g) The term “contract” or “agreement,” as used in this section, means the document creating the rights and obligations of the parties and includes any subsequent document making substantial changes in the rights and obligations of the parties. The term “contract” or “agreement” does not include any subsequent documents authorized or contemplated by the original document such as periodic statements, sales slips or invoices representing purchases made pursuant to a credit card agreement, a retail installment contract or account or other revolving sales or loan account, memoranda of purchases in an add-on sale, or refinancing of a purchase as provided by, or pursuant to, the original document.

(k) Upon a failure to comply with the provisions of this section, the person aggrieved may rescind the contract or agreement in the manner provided by this chapter.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 117, Sec. 1. (SB 245) Ef

CLA Business Law Section Program – Hard Money Lending Issues in Bankruptcy – October 29, 2019

Hard Money Lending Issues in Bankruptcy

Presented by the Business Law Section Insolvency Law Standing Committee

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Alston & Bird
333 S. Hope Street, 16th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90071

Parking will be validated for cars arriving after 5:30 p.m.


Kit Gardner, Law Offices of Kit J. Gardner
Steven Kurtz, Levinson Arshonsky & Kurtz, LLP
Eve Karasik, Levene, Neale, Bender, Yoo & Brill LLP
Honorable Scott H. Yun, United States Bankruptcy Court Read more…

Federal Bar Association 16th Annual Bankruptcy Ethics Symposium – November 22, 2019

You can access the program brochure here.


Hon. Victoria S. Kaufman, United States Bankruptcy Court
Hon. Scott C. Clarkson, United States Bankruptcy Court
J. Scott Bovitz, Bovitz & Spitzer
Stella Havkin, Havkin & Shrago
Arthur Margolis, Margolis & Margolis LLP
Jim Selth, Weintraub & Selth APC
John Sheller, Esq.
Cathy Ta, SulmeyerKupetz APC
M. Jonathan Hayes, Resnik Hayes Moradi LLP

• Common ethical traps for bankruptcy practitioners
• Bankruptcy Lawyer Trip Ups: Law Firm Technology; Less Than Perfect Law Firm Practices; and The Very Best of
Those Gosh Darn Solicitations That Land in My In Box Every Single Morning
• Day One: Retainers, Trust Accounts and Getting Started on the Right Foot

Program Chair: Joseph Boufadel, Salvato Law Offices

2019 Lazarow Awards – November 14, 2019

Email from Barbara Sanchez

Hi Jon,

I hope you and yours are doing well.

The Debtor Assistance Project is hosting the Lasarow Awards Reception at the Roybal Building on Thursday, November 14, from 6-8 p.m. Each of the Central District’s Self-Help Centers will honor an outstanding volunteer. I hope you will join me for this free event with Central District Judges and court staff, representatives from the Self-Help Clinics, attorneys, volunteers, and supporters.

Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County is proud to present the 2019 Lasarow Award to longtime volunteer Patricia Said, in recognition of her exceptional pro bono service. In addition, Public Counsel will be honoring Judge Zurzolo for his work over the past 20 years in advocating to make the courts more accessible to their clients.

Please see below for information about the 2019 Lasarow Awards Reception, and a link you can use to register.  I would appreciate your responding to me, as well.

With your help, the San Fernando Valley Self-Help Desk has assisted more than 10,000 visitors. Together, we are changing lives. Thanks so much for your support!

Best regards,



You can register at: