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Hot Issues and Litigation Strategy Involving Preference Claims

Total Credits
1 - 1.5
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As more companies fall victim to a declining economy, the issue of preference claims has become increasingly ubiquitous. This CLE course will explain how to protect against or prosecute claims of preferential payments made by a creditor before a debtor’s declaration of bankruptcy. The course will explain how to advise companies prior to and after the filing of a bankruptcy of the common and not so common pitfalls in the plaintiff’s case in chief, as well as the effect of § 503(b)(9) (Administrative Claims) and payments under critical vendor orders on the new value defense. In addition, the course will review the heightened pleading standards under Twombly and Iqbal, and a detailed presentation of the the application of the ordinary course of business defenses.

Lecturer Bios

Joseph L. Steinfeld, Jr. Esq.

Joseph L. Steinfeld, Jr. is a managing Partner of ASK LLP resident in the Saint Paul office. Since 2000 ASK has recovered more than $250 million in avoidance claims, filed approximately 18,000 suits and under his supervision has tried over 30 cases to judgment. In addition Mr. Steinfeld has a national commercial law practice with a broad base of clients involved in significant bankruptcy cases in the major bankruptcy venues of New York, Delaware, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Mr. Steinfeld is also responsible for the firm’s transactional activities and for the marketing of its services to clients. He leads client assignments for the firm and is nationally recognized in the bankruptcy field. Mr. Steinfeld has more than 30 years’ experience in the bankruptcy, insolvency, commercial and administrative law fields and is a regular lecturer at CLE seminars offered at bar and professional association conferences and at private firms. He has published numerous articles relating to transportation and bankruptcy law and is a frequent lecturer on avoidance law and commercial litigation issues. Mr. Seinfeld’s client base affords him access to creditor committees, trustees and professionals involved in the most significant bankruptcy cases. He has served as expert witnesses on the valuation of avoidance claims and has published several articles in the ABI Journal during the past year. He has engaged in more than 100 mediations representing plaintiffs and defendants.

Mr. Steinfeld has extensive litigation and appellate experience and has argued cases before hundreds of district and bankruptcy courts, almost all U.S. Courts of Appeal and has won numerous multi-million dollar verdicts. As primary counsel for the Liquidating Trustee of Montgomery Ward he led a team of eight attorneys and recovered over $40 Million for the benefit of creditors. He performed a similar function for the Liquidating Trustees of Hechinger and the Quebecor World Litigation Trust where he has collected more than $50 Million for each estate. His is currently lead avoidance counsel in many other major cases including, Jennifer Convertibles, Rhodes Furniture, PPI Holdings, Ascendia Brands, Tom’s Foods, Radnor Holdings (Wincup), Tower Automotive, New Century Finance, Alliance Bancorp, WCI Communities, Jet Direct, Maxjet, and American Business Financial Services, Inc. He has been primary counsel in more than one hundred published opinions including before the United States Supreme Court, where he argued the case of Reiter v. Cooper, 507 U.S. 258 (1993).

Prior to joining ASK LLP Financial in 1996, he was a partner in several Washington, D.C. law firms.

Edward E. Neiger, Esq.

Edward E. Neiger is a managing Partner at ASK LLP. Prior to ASK LLP, Edward was the founding partner of Neiger LLP, a premier full service bankruptcy and corporate law firm. Prior to Neiger LLP Edward was an attorney in the Business, Finance & Restructuring department of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, one of the nation's premier restructuring practices.

At Weil Gotshal, Edward worked on behalf of such debtors as Enron, Worldcom, Global Crossing, Atkins, Parmalat and Vertis.

At Neiger LLP, Edward represented clients in the bankruptcy cases of Lehman Brothers, American Airlines and General Motors, to name a few. Edward recently represented Madison 92 Associates LLC, an $82 million New York City Marriot-flagged hotel in its successful restructuring. He successfully resolved disputes with numerous adverse parties, including its secured creditors and unions. Edward also represents a wide variety of corporate creditors in large bankruptcies. Neiger LLP represented Chinese conglomerate Heining Mengnu Group Co., Ltd. (Mengnu), the largest unsecured creditor of Jennifer Convertibles, Inc. (JC). Mengnu served as the DIP Lender and Plan Sponsor and ultimately acquired JC through a plan of reorganization, obtaining over 90% of JC's common stock. Most recently, he represented Royal Spirit Ltd., a Hong Kong company and the largest creditor of The Connaught Group, a leading manufacturer and retailer of women's designer clothing with over $100 million in annual revenue that filed for bankruptcy. He used Royal Spirit's leverage as the largest unsecured creditor to acquire The Connaught Group's assets through a joint venture with U.S.-based Tom James Company, a leading manufacturer and retailer of Men's apparel.

Edward represented the creditors' committees in the bankruptcy cases of jewelry manufacturer First Class Imports, Inc., We Recycle!, a large recycling company with locations in Connecticut and New York, the international jewelry designer Doris Panos Ltd., and TexStyle LLC, a large textile manufacturer. He also represented a group of shareholders in the bankruptcy case of Visteon, Inc. – a $2 billion dollar automotive supplier. He appealed Visteon's plan of reorganization, arguing that the shareholders were being treated unfairly under the plan. As a result of Edward's creative and persuasive legal arguments, Visteon settled with the shareholder group for $2,250,000. Finally, Edward represented the chapter 7 trustee in the bankruptcy case of Kevin C. Davis, where he recovered over $400,000 for the trustee, and wiped out over $10 million in secured debt. Most recently, he represented the trustee in the bankruptcy of The National Sports Museum, where he helped the trustee recover over half-million dollars through preference actions and "director & officer" lawsuits.

Edward is committed to giving back to the community. In law school, he assisted victims of domestic violence and was awarded the Archibald R. Murray Public Service Award in recognition of his efforts. He has been actively involved in various organizations that provide legal services to those in need on a pro bono basis, including defending low income tenants in eviction proceedings and helping Holocaust survivors recover monetary damages from the German government. Currently, the firm works with the Bankruptcy Assistance Project in helping low-income individuals file chapter 7 bankruptcy petitions, and was presented with awards recognizing its work in 2009 by Judge Bernstein (SDNY) and Chief Judge Craig (EDNY), and in 2010 by Chief Judge Gonzalez (SDNY) and Judge Stong (EDNY).

Edward authors numerous articles, which are published in national publications including, among others, the American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, the Turnaround Management Association’s Journal of Corporate Renewal, and the Bankruptcy Strategist. He also writes the Bankruptcy Update column for the New York Law Journal.

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