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Nuts and Bolts of Corporate Bankruptcy 2017

Speaker(s): Alan D. Halperin, David B. Shemano, David G. Epstein, Evan C. Hollander, Hon. Sean H. Lane, Jonathan M. Landers, Joseph Samet (Ret.), Kenneth Pasquale, Lewis Kruger, Michael H. Goldstein, My Chi To, Steven H. Felderstein, Trevor R. Hoffmann
Recorded on: Dec. 18, 2017
PLI Program #: 186853

Joseph Samet?has been a partner and member of Baker McKenzie's Global Recovery, Restructuring and Bankruptcy Group, residing in the New York office. He retired from the firm in 2015, and still teaches and writes in the R & B fields. He is available for mediating, expert witness, officer/director, and other work. Since 1975, Mr. Samet has been immersed in national and international restructurings, chapter 11 reorganizations, distressed sales of assets, SIPC and bankruptcy practice, representing all parties in interest. This includes chapter 15 cases. He counsels parties in interest and transactional lawyers on potential creditors’ rights/bankruptcy implications of deals, sales, investments and litigation settlements they are considering. His experience includes structured finance, corporate governance, pre- and post-bankruptcy litigation, negotiations and mediation. He counseled on insurance, monolines and bank liquidations, and advises corporate boards. He analyzes executory contract issues, including licenses for businesses in the e-commerce economy, and gave written opinions and analysis in transactions. His practice has involved diverse businesses, including in manufacturing, financial services, retail, service, airlines, energy, healthcare, real estate, e-commerce, sports and telecommunications. He prosecuted and defended preference, fraudulent conveyance, equitable subordination and substantive consolidation actions, officer/director liability and Ponzi scheme issues. He counselled professional firms and their principals on risk management, “unfinished business” and clawback type issues. Mr. Samet has prepared expert reports and testified as an expert witness in jury trials and in an international arbitration. He has been the SDNY bankruptcy court mediation panel and took extensive meditation training courses in 1994, and in 2015 through the ABI. 

Mr. Samet is the principal co-author of the two-volume annotated Herzog’s Bankruptcy Forms and Practice published by Thomson Reuters. He has been a contributing author of Collier on Bankruptcy 15th Edition, and the Collier Bankruptcy Practice Guide treatises, having written and updated for many years three chapters on voluntary and involuntary bankruptcies totaling about 400 printed pages. He has written or co-authored published articles and outlines including on Arbitration and Intellectual Property in Bankruptcy; Breakup Fees and Topping Agreements in Sales of Assets; Multinational Insolvencies; Duties of Officers and Directors and Liability Issues; Unfinished Business; Mediation; Partners and Partnerships; The Basics of Chapter 11 and Chapter 15; and Research Tools.  

Since 1981, he has chaired or lectured at over 250 CLE and Industry programs in the U.S. and internationally on pre-bankruptcy restructuring and bankruptcy-related issues, including programs of the National Bankruptcy Judges’ Conference, the Practising Law Institute, The American Bankruptcy Institute, the Commercial Law League, the Turnaround Management Association, and INSOL. He was chair of the annual PLI programs “Current Developments in Bankruptcy and Reorganizations” 2009-2020, and “Recent Developments in Distressed Debt, Restructurings and Workouts” 2008-2020. He is now Chair emeritus. Mr. Samet was an Associate Conferee of the National Bankruptcy Conference and a member of its Bankruptcy Code Review project which was submitted to the United States Congress in 1994. He has been an Adjunct Professor at Brooklyn Law School, and served on bankruptcy committees of national and local bar associations. Mr. Samet has been regularly selected by Super Lawyers as one of the Leading Insolvency and Restructuring Lawyers, the Best Lawyers in America, in Banking and Finance Law, and Who’s Who in America. He received the 2004 Burton Award for Legal Writing at the Library of Congress as co-author of the article entitled “When Worlds Collide: Intellectual Property and Arbitration Rights in Bankruptcy Cases.” Mr. Samet is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, the ABA, the NYS Bar Association, TMA, the NYC Bar Association and CPR relating to mediation. He has served as a member of boards of directors of the American Bankruptcy Institute, the CLLA Fund for Public Education and the NY Chapter of the TMA, and is a member of the Steering Committee of the Zaretsky Roundtable at Brooklyn Law School. 

David has over 25 years’ experience as a business bankruptcy, restructuring, and commercial litigation lawyer. Before forming ShemanoLaw in March 2018, David practiced at the prominent national law firms of Winston & Strawn, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, and Robins Kaplan, and the highly regarded Los Angeles insolvency boutique of Peitzman Weg.

During his career, David has represented chapter 11 debtors, creditors’ committees, trustees, secured creditors and general unsecured creditors in all aspects of business bankruptcy and commercial litigation. He has in-depth experience handling bankruptcy and restructuring matters related to real estate, entertainment and manufacturing.

Among his recent matters are guiding David Barton Gym through its reorganization and emergence from chapter 11 protection, leading the section 363 sale of rights to The Terminator movie franchise in connection with Halcyon Holding Group’s chapter 11 matter, and representing one of the largest owners of El Pollo Loco franchises in Southern California in its chapter 11 restructuring.

David is very proud that his accomplishments have been recognized and honored by his peers. He was inducted as a Fellow of the prestigious, invitation only American College of Bankruptcy, and served as the president of the Financial Lawyers Conference. Mr. Shemano frequently lectures at events presented by the Practicing Law Institute, American Bankruptcy Institute, Beverly Hills Bar Association and other organizations.


  • Named a "Southern California Super Lawyer,” Super Lawyers (2006-2007, 2009-2019)
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America (2013-present)
  • Recognized as “Bankruptcy/Restructuring Leader” by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2012-present)

Professional Associations

  • American College of Bankruptcy, Fellow (2014)
  • Beverly Hills Bar Association, Member, Board of Governors (2009-2010); Chair, Bankruptcy Section Executive Committee (2007-2008)
  • Financial Lawyers Conference, President (2012-2013); Member, Board of Governors (2003-2005, 2008-present)


Mr. Alan Halperin has been practicing bankruptcy and insolvency law since 1990. Prior to founding Halperin Battaglia Benzija, LLP, Mr. Halperin spent six and one-half years as an associate attorney in the bankruptcy and restructuring department of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, a law firm with a national reputation in the insolvency field.

In his professional experience, Mr. Halperin has represented unsecured creditors’ committees, chapter 11 debtors and creditors of all types in numerous jurisdictions around the nation. He has also represented, and served as, numerous post-confirmation trustees. Mr. Halperin’s broad based experience enables him to provide his clients with the sound counsel they require to safely navigate the bankruptcy process. His expertise includes not only the mechanics of bankruptcy practice, but also strategic planning and formulation of exit strategies. Mr. Halperin regularly counsels financially troubled companies with respect to strategic planning, risks, alternatives and other issues. Mr. Halperin also advises committees of creditors as to how to plan for and navigate the workout and bankruptcy processes, and helps them to actively and aggressively protect their rights. He counsels individual clients with advice on how to structure their transactions with financially troubled companies, and assists in the negotiation and documentation of agreements with both bankrupt and troubled companies. In addition, he has prosecuted and defended thousands of preference actions, coordinated the mass prosecution of preference actions on behalf of post confirmation trusts, served as a mediator for preference disputes, and lectured on the topic.

Mr. Halperin is a graduate of Brandeis University (1987) and Fordham University School of School of Law (1990), and was a Dean's List student and a member of the Urban Law Journal at Fordham. He was a student intern with former Chief Bankruptcy Judge Tina L. Brozman (S.D.N.Y.) and former Bankruptcy Judge Marvin A. Holland (E.D.N.Y.). Mr. Halperin is a member of the bars of both New York and New Jersey, and is admitted to practice before various federal and bankruptcy bars situated in those states. He is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, and has lectured on a variety of bankruptcy and related state law topics. Mr. Halperin was included in Law360's list of 10 most Admired Bankruptcy Attorneys released in September 2010. He was named as one of the country's Outstanding Young Restructuring Lawyers in 2007 by Turnarounds & Workouts, and was included in Chambers USA list of recommended US bankruptcy lawyers for 2009 through 2020. Mr. Halperin was named to the 2014 and 2018 New York Metro Super Lawyer top 100 lawyers, and has been named in Super Lawyers 2006 through 2020. He has been named in Best Lawyers - Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law the 2015 through 2020.

Evan Hollander, partner in Orrick’s New York Office, is a member of the firm’s Restructuring Group.

Evan has over 25 years of experience representing debtors, secured creditors, holder of fulcrum securities, potential acquirers, and independent directors in complex U.S. and cross-border restructuring matters. Mr. Hollander is equally comfortable in the courtroom as he is at the negotiating table and the boardroom, and has extensive experience crafting and implementing restructuring plans. He also frequently assists parties interested in acquiring debt and equity securities of distressed companies.

Evan frequently writes on insolvency related topics and routinely appears on panels at industry conferences.



Jonathan M. Landers is a nationally recognized authority and practitioner in corporate bankruptcy and restructuring, insolvency and litigation matters.  He graduated from Colgate University (A.B., Phi Beta Kappa, 1962) and from Harvard Law School (J.D., magna cum laude, 1965; Harvard Law Review). 

His diverse experience includes bankruptcy, insolvency-related corporate restructuring, financing transactions, purchase and sale of assets and business enterprises, and litigation matters; representing debtors, lenders and lender syndicates, large creditors, litigation trustees and defendants, and asset sellers and purchasers.  He has also served as a corporate independent Director, most recently in the Patriot National, Inc. case, as a mediator in several substantial cases (and is a member of the United States Bankruptcy Courts’ mediation panels in S.D.N.Y., E.D.N.Y. and D. Del.) and has been an expert witness on corporate, bankruptcy and related issues.  He has served as lead counsel in numerous cases, including Boston Gen (for the Committee), Strauss Auto (for the Debtor, as litigation plaintiff), Hoop (for the Debtor operating as Disney Stores), Odyssey Group (then owner of the North Face and Head Sportswear), Insilco (for the Lending Group), Champion Homebuilders (for the Committee, as litigation plaintiff), Finova (for the Debtor), Enron (for a large creditor), Adelphia (for a large creditor/agent), Placid Oil (for a large lender), Penrod (for a large lender), Greyhound (for a contract party), and Bergner Stores (for a contract party).  His clients have included Wells Fargo Bank, Crocker National Bank, Dial Corporation, Merrill Lynch, and Citibank (in the bankruptcies of large law firms including Heller Ehrman, Thelen, and Brobeck). 

Mr. Landers is the co-author of three books and the author of more than 35 published articles on bankruptcy and related issues in corporate law and civil procedure; a former partner for 23 years with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP; a former professor/visiting professor at the Universities of Chicago, California, Illinois, San Francisco and Kansas; a frequent speaker at conferences on bankruptcy and litigation issues; one of 65 members of the National Bankruptcy Conference and a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy (founding class); and has been recognized repeatedly in New York Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America.

Ken Pasquale is a member of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP in New York, where he has practiced since 1990.  He has a diverse litigation practice in which he frequently represents institutional creditors in bankruptcy-related and complex commercial matters, including in some of the largest bankruptcy cases in history.  Ken is active in the American Bankruptcy Institute, in which he has served as co-chair of multiple committees and as a faculty member for the ABI Litigation Skills Symposium.  He is a frequent author and lecturer on bankruptcy litigation and related topics, and has repeatedly been selected by peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America in the area of Bankruptcy and Debtor-Creditor Rights.  Ken also devotes significant time towards pro bono activities through his firm’s Public Interest Project, and is a member of the board of directors of Justice in Motion, a not-for-profit organization that seeks to protect migrant rights by ensuring justice across borders .  Ken received a B.B.A. degree from Pace University and his law degree from Brooklyn Law School. 

Michael Goldstein is co-chair of Goodwin's Global Financial Restructuring Group and a veteran restructuring and insolvency lawyer with over 35 years of experience representing all stakeholders in the capital stack.

Michael is a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy and a Member of the International Insolvency Institute. He has been repeatedly listed in U.S. News-Best Lawyers (Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law; Litigation – Bankruptcy) and selected as a “Super Lawyer” in Southern California and New York. He is consistently recommended for Restructuring (including Bankruptcy) Corporate by The Legal 500 United States. He is rated AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5.0 in Martindale Hubbell. Michael was recently honored by Chambers USA as a “Recognised Practitioner” in the area of Bankruptcy/Restructuring. In 2019, Michael was honored by the Turnaround Management Association for his work as lead counsel for client Gibson Brands, Inc. in its Chapter 11 restructuring, which was named Mid-Size Company Transaction of the Year.

Michael routinely represents debtors, private equity sponsors, alternative lenders, distressed asset buyers, creditors and litigants in restructurings both in court and out of court. In addition, Michael is a frequent speaker and author on restructuring and insolvency-related topics, including as Editor of Collier on Bankruptcy, Chapter 9.

Michael began his career in 1984 with Stutman Treister & Glatt in Los Angeles and was made a partner in 1990 (1984-2008; 2012-2014), was a partner at Greenberg Traurig (2008-2012), and has been at Goodwin since 2014. Michael graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1984 and received his BS magna cum laude from Franklin & Marshall College in 1981.

My Chi To is a corporate partner and a member of Debevoise & Plimpton’s Business Restructuring & Workouts Group. She has experience representing corporations, creditors and investors in complex restructurings and bankruptcies in the U.S. and other jurisdictions. Ms. To also regularly advises clients in connection with distressed acquisitions in and out of court, including cross-border transactions, intercreditor disputes and insurance insolvency matters.

Ranked as a leading lawyer by Chambers USA and The Legal 500 US, clients describe Ms. To as a “solution-oriented” lawyer with “excellent judgment,” who “thinks through all the permutations and is great at tackling complex situations” and has the “ability to straddle that line between legal advice and practical judgment.”

Ms. To is the recipient of the Kathryn R. Heidt Memorial Award, which is the highest honor granted by the Business Bankruptcy Committee of the American Bar Association. She is a frequent speaker and author on bankruptcy and restructuring topics.

Ms. To is an editor-in-chief of the Debevoise Women’s Review and a member of the Steering Committee of the US 30% Club, a business leadership group focused on achieving 30% women on S&P 100 boards by 2020. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees of The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine. Ms. To received the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s “Best Lawyers Under 40” award.

Ms. To received an LL.L. and LL.B. in civil law and common law from the University of Ottawa and was a law clerk to the Hon. Claire L’Heureux-Dubé, Supreme Court of Canada. She received an M.Phil. in Politics from the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. During her tenure at Debevoise, Ms. To was seconded to Nishimura & Asahi in Tokyo, focusing on distressed cross-border acquisitions and restructurings. Ms. To is fluent in French.

Steven is of counsel to his boutique bankruptcy law firm. His clients include debtors, official committees, private equity funds, state agencies, public pension funds, institutional lenders, trustees and creditors in bankruptcy cases. He has helped reorganize businesses in many industries, including energy, hospitality (hotel and restaurant), forest products, food processing, publishing, entertainment, real estate development, agriculture, and financial services. 

He and his partner Paul Pascuzzi are currently co-counsel with the California Attorney General representing numerous state agencies in the Pacific Gas & Electric chapter 11 case.   Steven has represented the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) in the chapter 9 cases of the City of Vallejo and the City of San Bernardino.  Other recent engagements include representing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Stockton in its chapter 11 case.  He also represented the Creditors Committee in the Heller Erhman chapter 11 case, the Retirees Committee in the Stockton chapter 9 case, and a private equity fund in the out of court restructure of a novelty ice cream manufacturer. He served as outside bankruptcy counsel to the California Department of Transportation in the South Bay Expressway chapter 11 case, and to the California Attorney General in several large chapter 11 cases, including Pacific Lumber, Pacific Gas & Electric (2001), Enron, and Worldcom. 

From 2002 to 2014, he and Judge Michael S. McManus (ret.) taught the bankruptcy course as adjunct professors at the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law.  He has lectured for many continuing education providers, including Practising Law Institute, Strafford Webinars, the California Continuing Education of the Bar, Lorman Education Services, the National Association of Public Pension Attorneys, Central California Bankruptcy Association Institute, National Association of Bond Counsel, and local and regional bar associations.  He is a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, and a past president of the California Bankruptcy Forum, a statewide organization of bankruptcy judges and professionals.  The Best Lawyers in America has recognized his expertise in bankruptcy law for over 30 years, and in 2011 named him Sacramento Lawyer of the Year for Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights.  He has also been recognized by Super Lawyers of Northern California as a top bankruptcy lawyer.

Following law school Steven clerked for the Honorable Thomas J. MacBride, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California in Sacramento.

David G. Epstein is the holder of the George E. Allen Chair at the University of Richmond where he teaches bankruptcy and other courses.  Before moving to Richmond to be near children and grandchildren, David had several other jobs, including Dean of the University of Arkansas Law School, Dean of the Emory University Law School, partner at King & Spalding and of counsel at Haynes and Boone.

Lewis Kruger is internationally recognized for his knowledge of insolvency law. Mr. Kruger, with over 40 years of experience, has played a major role in many of the significant reorganization proceedings in the United States.

Recognized by his peers for his experience, Mr. Kruger serves as the International Bar Association’s liaison to the United Nations Committee on International Trade Law, and has been selected as a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy.

He has been a frequent lecturer on bankruptcy law for the Practising Law Institute and for Bar Associations in the United States and abroad. In addition, Mr. Kruger has taught insolvency courses at Columbia Law School, New York University School of Law, St. John’s School of Law and has lectured at Harvard Law School and Kings College, Oxford.

Mr. Kruger pursues a wide array of interests beyond insolvency including his current position as Chairman of the Board of the Museum of Art & Design in the City of New York. His past public service includes Special Counsel to the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary with respect to corporate reorganization and as Special Counsel to the Governor of New York and the New York State Urban Development Corporation.

Representative Matters

Mr. Kruger has extensive experience representing both debtors and creditors in insolvency matters. He was the co-founder and co-manager of a fund focused on acquiring/operating businesses with a view towards running and selling businesses, winding down, collecting receivables and selling assets.

Mr. Kruger served as Chief Restructuring Officer of ResCap.

Mr. Kruger’s debtor representations include Columbia Gas Systems, Seatrain Lines, Anchor Glass Container Corporation, Pegasus Shipping Hellas, Cabot Cabot & Forbes, Tosco, Tiphook Finance Corporation, Daniel M. Galbreath, Neisner Brothers, Planet Hollywood, The Icing, The McCall Pattern Company and Victor Technologies.

Honors and Awards

Mr. Kruger’s accomplishments have been recognized by a number of publications including The International Who’s Who of Insolvency and Restructuring LawyersThe International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America.

In addition, Mr. Kruger has been selected for membership in the American College of Bankruptcy.

Sean H. Lane was sworn in as a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of New York on September 7, 2010.

Judge Lane earned his B.A. from New York University College of Arts & Science in 1987 and his J.D. degree from New York University School of Law in 1991. He served as a law clerk for the Honorable Edmund V. Ludwig, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, from 1991-92. Judge Lane also clerked for the Honorable Charles R. Richey, United States District Judge for the District of Columbia, from 1992-93. From 1993 through 1997, he practiced with the law firm of Baker Hostetler in Washington, D.C., and thereafter he served as a Trial Attorney in the Department of Justice, Civil Division, National Courts Section, until 2000. From 2000 until he was appointed to the bench, Judge Lane served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, including serving as the Chief of the Tax & Bankruptcy Unit of that Office. During his time in the US Attorney's Office, he was awarded the Attorney General's Distinguished Service Award in 2005 and the Henry L. Stimson Medal by the New York City Bar Association in 2008.

Judge Lane is a member of the Federal Bar Council. He has served as an Adjunct Professor at both New York University School of Law and Fordham Law School.

Trevor Hoffmann is a partner in Haynes and Boone, LLP's Bankruptcy and Business Restructuring Practice Group.  He is based in the firm's New York office. Mr. Hoffmann has experience representing debtors, examiners, creditors, investors and special servicers in distressed acquisitions, workouts, reorganization proceedings, real estate transactions and commercial litigation.  Representative matters include:  Innkeepers, MF Global, FKF Madison Group Owner, Fedders, Shelbourne North Water Street, Broadstripe Communications, FX Luxury Las Vegas, Adelphia, and Nellson Nutraceutical.

Mr. Hoffmann was selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers’ New York Rising Stars Metro Edition for the years 2011 and 2012 and was named as a New York Super Lawyer in 2013.  Mr. Hoffmann is a member of the International Insolvency Institute’s Next Generation.

Bar Admissions

Mr. Hoffmann is admitted to practice in New York State and Ontario, Canada, as well as before the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.


Mr. Hoffmann received a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Alberta in 1995, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Toronto in 1999.