Other Programs

Fifth Circuit Bankruptcy Bench-Bar Conference


New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Past Event

MCLE Credit will be available

Conference attendees should prepare to be masked.  Participants will be requested to wear a mask at the conference except when presenting or actively eating or drinking.

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The Roosevelt New Orleans
130 Roosevelt Way
New Orleans, LA 70112

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Registrar: +1.972.244.3404
Fax: +1.972.244.3401
E-Mail: cail@cailaw.org


Join program co-chairs Hon. Meredith S. Grabill, Hon. Stacey G.C. Jernigan, and Hon. Katharine M. Samson and a stellar faculty of judges and practitioners for the Fifth Circuit Bankruptcy Bench-Bar Conference in New Orleans this February!

The conference will be held at The Roosevelt New Orleans, beginning the evening of February 2nd and concluding at 12:30 p.m. on February 4th.  This conference is not a boot camp—we go into topics in depth!

COVID Warning and Protocols (Updated 1/17/2022)

Local guidelines continue to change so we wanted to update you on local COVID protocols.

  • On January 12, New Orleans reinstated its indoor mask requirement. Conference attendees should prepare to be masked except while actively eating or drinking. Masks are required on public transportation in New Orleans.
  • Beginning Tuesday, February 1, a new COVID-19 Mandate Extension will go into effect in New Orleans: for everyone age 5+, the City of New Orleans is requiring proof of two doses of the COVID vaccine, except for those who have received one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, or a negative PCR, molecular, or antigen test within 72 hours at restaurants, bars, and other businesses (test results must also include the individual's name, date of test, and results clearly visible on the official report). (This applies to hotels and our meeting spaces at The Roosevelt too.)

Please review the ready.nola.gov website for current COVID restrictions and information, including how to prove your vaccination status or test results.

Note that public guidelines may change again before the conference and attendees will be expected to follow any new requirements set by the venue. Although we are excited to resume in-person events, risk from COVID-19 cannot be reduced to zero, even for those who are fully vaccinated. By attending this voluntary event, attendees acknowledge and accept the corresponding risk of exposure.

You may not attend this in-person event if at the time of the conference:

  1. You are experiencing or exhibiting any COVID-19 related symptoms as outlined by the CDC;
  2. You have been recently exposed to a person with a positive and confirmed case of COVID-19; or
  3. You have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are not cleared as noncontagious by state or local public health authorities or by a physician.

As we resume in-person events, bear in mind that individuals are at different comfort levels with social interaction, even when fully vaccinated. Please respect the boundaries set by each individual, including closeness during conversations and physical contact, such as hand shaking, and be mindful of CDC recommendations on matters such as hand washing.

Conference Co-Chairs

The Hon. Meredith S. Grabill
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Eastern District of Louisiana
The Hon. Stacey G.C. Jernigan
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Northern District of Texas
The Hon. Katharine M. Samson
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Southern District of Mississippi

Thank you to our Planning Committee

  • H. Kent Aguillard (Aguillard Law)
  • C. Davin Boldissar (Locke Lord)
  • Jason S. Brookner (Gray Reed & McGraw LLP)
  • Judge Douglas Dodd (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Middle District of Louisiana)
  • Douglas S. Draper (Heller, Draper & Horn, LLC)
  • Bradley L. Drell (Gold, Weems, Bruser, Sues & Rundell)
  • Judge Meredith S. Grabill (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Louisiana)
  • Paul E. Heath (Vinson & Elkins LLP)
  • James Henley (Chapter 13 Standing Trustees)
  • Judge Stacey G.C. Jernigan (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Texas)
  • Kristina Johnson (Jones Walker LLP)
  • Benjamin W. Kadden (Lugenbuhl, Wheaton, Peck, Rankin & Hubbard)
  • Deborah B. Langehennig (Chapter 13 Trustee, Austin)
  • Kimberly R. Lentz (Lentz & Little, P.A.)
  • J. Eric Lockridge (Kean Miller Hawthorne D'Armond McCowan & Jarman LLP)
  • Judge Christopher M. Lopez (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Texas)
  • Judge Selene D. Maddox (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Mississippi)
  • Ryan E. Manns (Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP)
  • James A. McCullough II (Brunini, Grantham, Grower & Hewes, PLLC)
  • Mark A. Mintz (Jones Walker LLP)
  • Judge Chris Mott (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Texas)
  • Judge Mark Mullin (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Texas)
  • Paul S. Murphy (Butler Snow LLP)
  • Kelli Stephenson Norfleet (Haynes and Boone, LLP)
  • Judge Neil P. Olack (Retired)
  • Rakhee Patel (Winstead PC)
  • Charles M. Persons (Sidley Austin LLP)
  • Lacey Rochester (Baker Donelson)
  • Judge Katharine M. Samson (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Mississippi)
  • Frances A. Smith (Ross & Smith, PC)
  • Judge Robert R. Summerhays (U.S. District Court Western District of Louisiana)
  • Judge Stephen Wheelis (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Louisiana)
  • Judge Jason Woodard (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Mississippi)

Schedule and Faculty

Wednesday, February 2

5:30–7:00 P.M.

Reception (and Early Registration) at the Hotel (The Roosevelt New Orleans)

Thursday, February 3

8:00 A.M.


8:15 A.M.

State By State Breakfasts, with a moderated discussion as part of each breakfast (30 minutes)


  • The Hon. Meredith S. Grabill, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Louisiana
  • Mark A. Mintz, Jones Walker LLP
  • The Hon. Stephen D. Wheelis, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Louisiana


  • Stacey Moore Buchanan, Jones Walker LLP
  • Chief Judge Jason D. Woodard, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Mississippi


  • Chief Judge Craig A. Gargotta, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Texas
  • Demetra Liggins, McGuireWoods LLP
  • The Hon. E. Lee Morris, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Texas
  • Emily S. Wall, Cavazos Hendricks Poirot, P.C.

9:30 A.M.

Welcoming Remarks

  • The Hon. Stacey G.C. Jernigan, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Texas

9:45 A.M.

Plenary Session – Getting To Know The New Judges (60 minutes)

ModeratorThe Hon. Meredith S. Grabill, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Louisiana


  • The Hon. Michelle V. Larson, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Texas
  • The Hon. Michael M. Parker, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Texas
  • The Hon. Joshua P. Searcy, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • The Hon. Jamie A. Wilson, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Mississippi

10:45 A.M.

Break (and move into Breakout Sessions)

11:00 A.M.

First Breakout Sessions (60 minutes)

Improper Purposes/How To Show A Proper Purposes In Filing Chapter 11 (Business)

Chief Judge Harlin D. “Cooter” Hale, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Texas


  • The Hon. David W. Houston III, Mitchell McNutt & Sams
  • J. Eric Lockridge, Kean Miller LLP

Portraits Of Bankruptcy Filers (Consumer)

Moderator: The Hon. Katharine M. Samson, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Mississippi

Panelists: Participating Virtually:

  • Prof. Pamela Foohey, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
  • Prof. Robert M. Lawless, University of Illinois College of Law
  • Prof. Deborah Thorne, University of Idaho

12:00 P.M.

Hosted Lunch
Announcement of the Recipients of the Michelle Mendez Award

Luncheon Presentation: (30 minutes)

COVID’s Effect On Businesses Along The Gulf Coast


  • John M. Hairston, Hancock Whitney Corp.
  • Tiffany P. Temple, Hancock Whitney Corp.

1:30 P.M.

Break (and move into Breakout Sessions)

1:45 P.M.

Second Breakout Sessions (90 minutes)

Hot/Controversial Chapter 11 Plan Provisions (Business)

Moderator: Robin Russell, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP


  • Douglas S. Draper, Heller, Draper & Horn, LLC
  • Chad J. Husnick, P.C., Kirkland & Ellis LLP
  • Prof. Lindsey D. Simon, University of Georgia School of Law
  • Theodore E. Tsekerides, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Subchapter V – Deconstructed (Consumer)

: The Hon. Eduardo V. Rodriguez, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Texas


  • Areya Holder Aurzada, Holder Law
  • Robert Alan Byrd, Byrd & Wiser
  • Robin R. De Leo, The De Leo Law Firm, LLC

3:15 P.M.

Break (and move back to Plenary)

3:30 P.M.

Plenary Session (45 minutes)

Cryptocurrencies, NFTs, Blockchain Technology And Other New Emerging And Lightly Understood Assets


  • Prof. Kristin Johnson, Emory Law School
  • Prof. Yesha Yadav, Vanderbilt University Law School

4:15 P.M.


4:30 P.M.

Plenary Session (Legal Ethics: 60 minutes)

Ethical Lessons From Neiman Marcus

The Hon. Christopher M. Lopez, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Texas


  • Henry G. Hobbs, Jr., Special Assistant to the Acting Deputy Director of Field Operations, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Chief Judge David R. Jones, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Texas
  • Patrick S. Layng, U.S. Trustee – Regions 11 and 19, U.S. Department of Justice

5:30 P.M.


5:30–6:30 P.M.

Reception At The Roosevelt New Orleans – Drinks & Small Bites

7:30– 9:30 P.M.

Optional Party At Bourbon House – Drinks & Heavy Hors D’Oeuvres

Bring your umbrellas in case it rains on the walk!

Friday, February 4

8:30 A.M.

Networking Continental Breakfast

9:00 A.M.

Plenary Session (60 minutes)

Equitable Mootness & Other Post-Confirmation Issues (Including Litigation Trusts And Burdens Of Proof On Fraudulent Transfer Adversaries, Etc.)

Moderator: The Hon. Ronald B. King, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Texas


  • Andrew W. Caine, Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones
  • Benjamin W. Kadden, Lugenbuhl, Wheaton, Peck, Rankin & Hubbard
  • Louis M. Phillips, Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP

10:00 A.M.

Break (and move into breakout sessions)

10:05 A.M.

Third Breakout Sessions (75 minutes)

DIP Financing Yesterday & Today: What Is Market Anymore? (Business)

Moderator: Chief Judge John W. Kolwe, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Louisiana


  • Jason S. Brookner, Gray Reed & McGraw LLP
  • Douglas C. Noble, McCraney Montagnet Quin Noble PLLC
  • Stewart F. Peck, Lugenbuhl, Wheaton, Peck, Rankin & Hubbard
  • Teri Stratton, Investment Banker

Chapter 13 Trustee Panel (Consumer)

Moderator: The Hon. Selene D. Maddox, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Mississippi


  • James L. Henley, Jr., Chapter 13 Trustee, Jackson, MS
  • Todd S. Johns, Chapter 13 Trustee, Shreveport, LA
  • Deborah B. Langehennig, Chapter 13 Trustee, Austin, TX

11:20 A.M.

Break (to move back to Plenary)

11:30 A.M.

Plenary Session (Legal Ethics: 60 minutes)

Diversity In The Courtroom

Speaker: The Hon. Bernice B. Donald, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

12:30 P.M.

Concluding Remarks & Adjournment

Hotel Information

The cost of housing is not included in tuition.  However, rooms (in limited number) have been reserved at The Roosevelt New Orleans, 130 Roosevelt Way, New Orleans, LA 70112. Registrants should call 504-335-3138 and reference group code CAIL or visit the website to reserve a Deluxe King room at a reduced rate of $259 + tax on 2/2 and 2/3.

The last day to obtain this special rate is January 11, 2022, or as long as rooms are still available in the block.

Book Your Hotel

Additional properties closest to the The Roosevelt New Orleans:

CLE Credit

This program is approved by the State Bar of Texas for a total of 9.5 hours, including 2.0 hour of ethics. Course ID Number: 174145053. Credit hours for other states will vary and are subject to each state’s approval and credit rounding rules. In particular, credit hours may be reduced by 1.0 of general and ethics credits in jurisdictions that do not allow credit for diversity and inclusiveness programming.

For this conference, CAIL will directly apply (if requested) for course accreditation in the following states: California, Louisiana, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia. Some of these states may not approve a program for credit hours before the program occurs. Attorneys may be eligible to receive CLE credit through reciprocity or attorney self-submission in other states. Attorneys filing by self-submission in certain states may be required to pay an additional fee. CAIL conferences are typically accredited by all mandatory CLE states.


The conference was very well organized, with great attention to detail. The subjects were well divided between Consumer & Corporate type of sessions. The speakers were excellent….

The conference was good. I was able to meet other attorneys of my vintage and judges from other districts. I look forward to attending other Bench Bar Conferences.

Great conference

Very well run! One of the best bankruptcy conferences in the country.

-- 2020 Registrants

Other Information

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Opening Reception Sponsors

Mardi Gras Sponsors

French Quarter Sponsors

Jazz Festival Sponsors

Friends of the Fifth Circuit Conference