Deal Gone Bad 


The panel covered the essentials of which any lawyer should be aware when unexpected issues arise in the years following a closing that result in bondholders holding troubled or defaulted securities. Topics covered included: transactional documents and tools to forestall the exercise of creditor rights while efforts are undertaken to resolve the issues at hand, how certain key indenture mechanics work, material elements of state law, and, naturally, material provisions of bankruptcy law and procedure when efforts to salvage the troubled transaction are unsuccessful. The panel was included NABL members having considerable experience with troubled securities, and included discussions of helpful points and key takeaways from several distressed debt situations.

Panel Chair: Rod Kanter, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, Birmingham, AL


Ann D. Fillingham, Dykema Gossett PLLC, Lansing, MI
Floyd C. Newton, III, King & Spalding LLP, Atlanta, GA
John Hobson Presley, Jr., Maynard Cooper & Gale P.C., Birmingham, AL



Ethics: Conflicts, Competence and Confidentiality 


Attorney liability is an issue of increased concern for bond counsel, issue's counsel, disclosure counsel and underwriter's counsel. Public finance lawyers are exposed to client and third-party claims and increased scrutiny of municipal finance transactions by regulatory agencies. The panel discussed the latest trends in how bond counsel can be exposed to professional liability. The panel featured a practical discussion of how exposure to liability can be reduced and how losses may be prevented. Emphasis was given to understanding current and ever-expanding bases of liability under the Model Rules, recent ethics decisions, industry standards, and Treasury guidance and SEC Enforcement actions. The panel highlighted the latest trends in engagement letters, identifying counsel roles, avoiding conflicts of interest and using disclaimers. Discussion topics included client confidentiality in the electronic and social media environment under Model Rule 1.6.

Panel Chair: Andrew R. Kintzinger, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, Washington, DC

Panelist: Keirston R. Woods, Bryant Miller Olive P.A., Washington, DC


Ethics: Diversity & Implicit Bias: An Introduction to Implicit Bias, Its Effects on the Practice of Law, Including Costs and Practical Solutions for Taking Control 


Although America has been heralded as the great "Melting Pot," it has been studied and proven over the years that, notwithstanding our diversity, we all have unconscious biases that unintentionally affect every aspect of our dealings with others. Is bias an unfortunate and inevitable part of our "DNA" as Americans? The panel provided practitioners with invaluable insight into the issue of unconscious bias, as well as a forum for dialogue and exchange of ideas on this sensitive issue.

Panel Chair: Sani A. Williams, Esq., Bryant Rabbino LLP, New York, NY


Karen M. Jordan, Dentons US LLP, Saint Louis, MO
Latasha R. Thomas, Clark Hill PLC, Chicago, IL
Peter Wilson, Jr., Proskauer Rose LLP, New York, NY