The Essentials offers a comprehensive overview of the core areas of public finance. Newer bond lawyers and other market participants will receive a straightforward introduction to fundamental laws relevant to the practice, and attendees with multiple years of experience will continue to build the broad expertise necessary for a full, sound practice in public finance.

Barbara Jane League
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
Houston, TX 

Vice- Chair
Sani A. Williams
Bryant Rabbino LLP
New York, NY

Benefits of Attending

  • Bolster your knowledge of tax, securities, state law, and structuring concepts inherent in public finance.
  • Receive comprehensive, up-to-date resource materials to facilitate your day-to-day practice.
  • Connect with top professionals, peers, issuers, and other public finance market participants.
  • Earn up to 15 hours of CLE credit, including ethics credit.

Who Should Attend? Are you:

  • A bond lawyer wanting a more comprehensive understanding of the practice?
  • A lawyer in your first few years in the field? 
  • An issuer or industry professional wanting to further your knowledge of public finance?
  • A paralegal looking to deepen your understanding of public finance?
  • A lawyer seeking a general understanding of municipal finance law?

The Essentials is specifically designed to cover all core elements of public finance law and practice. It is designed for attorneys, paralegals, government officials and employees, broker-dealers, financial advisors, trustees, and other market participants.

This conference is open to anyone, so you do not need to be a NABL member to attend. Repeat attendees are strongly encouraged to sign up. In fact, repeat participants report substantial benefit from attending multiple years of the conference.

Of particular interest to returning attendees, the “Real World Examples” sessions apply the law to hypothetical fact patterns designed to address current issues commonly faced by bond lawyers. These sessions foster learning in a practical manner with interactive dialogue between panelists and attendees.


Register Online
Registration Form 


Registration Fees (NABL membership is by individual, not by firm.)

  •  $725.00 Member rate (Join NABL and save over $150 on the registration fee.)
  •  $1,375.00 Non-member rate
  •  $725.00 Federal/State/Local Government Employees (Non-members must use the registration form)
  •  $200.00 - Fundamentals of Municipal Bond Law Book (Discounted price for attendees only. The book will be shipped after The Essentials.)
Register by Friday, February 28, to be automatically entered for a 
chance to win a one-bedroom suite upgrade. 

Registration Cancellation Policy

By 3/20 - full refund

Between  3/21 - 4/3 - 50% refund

After 4/3 - no refund

Cancellations must be received in writing via fax, mail, or email.  Substitutions of attendees are permitted up to the first day of The Essentials.


Michael P. Allen
Ice Miller LLP
Indianapolis, IN

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Kenneth R. Artin
Bryant Miller Olive P.A.
Orlando, FL 

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Alison J. Benge
Pacifica Law Group LLP
Seattle, WA

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James T. Birchall
Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP
Birmingham, AL

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Jaimee L. Boyd
Foley & Judell, L.L.P.
New Orleans, LA

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Nancy Carter
The Muller Law Group
Sugar Land, TX

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Camille M. Evans
Virtus LLP
Winter Park, FL

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David J. Fernandez
Ballard Spahr LLP
New York, NY

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Julia R. Houston
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
Austin, TX

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Tyler J. Kalachnik
Ice Miller LLP
Indianapolis, IN

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Rod Kanter
Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP
Birmingham, AL

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Martye M. Kendrick, LL.M. 
Sara Leon & Associates LLC
Houston, TX 

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Laura Beth Kurtz
Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC
Harrisburg, PA 

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G. Mark Mamantov
Bass, Berry & Sims PLC
Knoxville, TN 

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Luisella P. McBride
Miles & Stockbridge P.C.
Baltimore, MD

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Rene A. Moore
Butler Snow LLP
Denver, CO

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Keisha S. Palmer
Robinson & Cole LLP
Hartford, CT

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John Hobson Presley, Jr.
Maynard Cooper & Gale P.C.
Birmingham, AL

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John F. Stanley
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
San Francisco, CA

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Timothy A. Stratton
Gust Rosenfeld P.L.C.
Phoenix, AZ

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Brian P. Teaff
Bracewell LLP
Houston, TX

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David Unkovic
McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
Lancaster, PA

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Glenn E. Weinstein
Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, P.L.C.
Chicago, IL

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Lisa M. Williams
McGuireWoods LLP
Charlotte, NC

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Hyatt Regency Dallas
300 Reunion Boulevard
Dallas, TX  75207 | P: (214) 651- 1234

The venue for The Essentials is The Hyatt Regency Dallas, which is located next to Reunion Tower, an iconic Dallas landmark. The hotel is adjacent to the heart of Downtown and is within walking distance to popular attractions such as the American Airlines Center, which is the Dallas area premier sports and entertainment arena, the JFK Sixth Floor Museum and popular local restaurants.


A limited block of guestrooms is being held at this hotel for attendees on April 15 and 16, 2020. The group guestroom rate is $229 per night single/double occupancy, which includes complimentary internet service in each guestroom and daily access to the fitness center.

Please visit to make your reservation online. If you register by Friday, February 28, you will be automatically entered for a chance to win a one-bedroom suite upgrade. The hotel reservation deadline is Monday, March 23, 2020.

A one-night nonrefundable deposit will be charged to your credit card at time of reservation, and an early departure fee will apply to guests that check in to the hotel and decide to leave early. Please ensure your reservation arrival and departure dates are correct prior to checking into the hotel. Check in is at 4:00pm and check-out is at 11:00am.


  • Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) is 18 miles or 25 minutes to hotel. Estimated one-way taxi fare is $50.00.
  • Love Field Airport is 7 miles or 10 minutes from the hotel. Estimated one-way taxi fare is $25.00.

Rental Car Services
AVIS and Budget rental car services are available at the hotel.

Self-parking in the outdoor Radish Lot is conveniently located on the north end of the hotel at the intersection of Hotel Street and Reunion Boulevard West. In/out privileges are available for overnight guests only:

  • Overnight - $19.00
  • 4-8 hours - $13.00

Valet Parking

  • Overnight - $32.00
  • 4-8 hours - $26.00

The Essentials begins with three General Sessions that all participants are encouraged to attend:

1. Structuring and Financial Aspects of a Municipal Bond Transaction. This will cover the central structural elements, documentation, and financial aspects of a municipal bond transaction.

2. General Tax Law. This will introduce federal tax laws governing municipal bonds.

3. General Securities Law. This will address federal securities laws applicable to municipal bonds.

Arbitrage & Rebate: Overview of general arbitrage concepts, arbitrage rebate requirements, and the application of the various exceptions to the arbitrage rebate rules.

Arbitrage & Rebate (Real World Examples): Discussion of hypotheticals that involve the application of certain federal tax laws relating to arbitrage rebate and the exceptions to arbitrage rebate.

Avoiding Private Activity: Overview of the private activity bond rules applicable to tax-exempt municipal bond transactions.

Avoiding Private Activity (Real World Examples): Discussion of hypotheticals that involve the application of certain private activity bond rules to tax-exempt municipal bond transactions.

IRS Issues & Enforcement: Overview of IRS enforcement of tax-exempt municipal bonds, including compliance questionnaires, voluntary closing agreement program (“VCAP”), and audits. A look into how the IRS is organized, what constitutes “guidance” from the IRS and how is it  issued, how to obtain a private letter ruling, how to participate in VCAP, rights and remedies of issuers of tax-exempt municipal bonds in the event of an audit, and other issues related to IRS enforcement.

Qualified 501(c)(3) Bonds: Introduction to the rules applicable to the issuance of 501(c)(3) bonds, including ownership and use requirements and issues specific to hospital, residential housing, and school financings as well as commonly used financing structures.

Qualified Small Issue & Exempt Facility Bonds: Overview of the rules applicable to qualified small issue bonds, including qualifying projects, prohibited and restricted uses and maximum amounts, and the rules relating to qualified exempt facility bonds.

Refunding & Reissuance: Introduction to the legal and tax aspects of refundings and the tax concepts of a reissuance.

Refunding & Reissuance (Real World Examples): Discussion of hypotheticals that involve the application of certain federal tax laws relating to refundings, including the repeal of tax-exempt advance refundings as well as reissuance.

Bank Direct Purchases: Discussion of direct purchases (private placements) by banks of bonds, including why issuers want this product, why banks provide this product, documentation requirements, and associated securities law issues.

Practical Due Diligence/Drafting the Disclosure Document: Overview of the due diligence process with which practitioners should be familiar in municipal bond transactions and practical guidance for preparing disclosure documents.

The Role of Underwriter’s Counsel: Overview of the role of expectations imposed on underwriter’s counsel in a municipal bond transaction.

Underwriting: Behind the Scenes: Introduction to and discussion of the underwriting process, including all aspects of structuring the deal through taking the municipal bonds to market.

Closing Logistics: An overview of the logistics of closing a bond transaction, including drafting of various closing papers, preparing the Form 8038G, and DTC’s role prior to, during, and after a bond closing.

Conduit Issues & Issuers: Introduction to state law creation of and limitations on conduit bond issuers, the roles of counsel, multi-state issuers, and many other issues unique to conduit bond issues.

Deal Gone Bad: This panel covers the essentials any lawyer must be aware of when facing a troubled financing post- closing. We will explain transactional tools utilized in the early stages of a distressed situation including: rights and remedies of bond holders and how financing structures, bond insurance, bond mechanics, and elements of state law can dictate or limit enforcement of remedies. The discussion also covers the relevant mechanics of bankruptcy law when early remedial efforts are unsuccessful.

Ethics for Bond Attorneys 101: This session will address, in an interactive format, some of the ethical and practical issues related to legal representations in municipal finance, including: engagement letters, delivery of opinions and conflicts of interest, and a discussion of applicable ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct. This session is anticipated to qualify for CLE ethics credit.

Leases & Other Non-Traditional Financings: Overview of certain transactions that do not fit typical structures but are common such as leases, installment payment contracts, pool programs, and others.

State Law Issues: Discussion of common state law issues that need to be addressed throughout the structuring of a municipal bond transaction and related disclosure issues.

State Law Issues (Real World Examples): Discussion of hypotheticals involving the application of certain common state law issues to be addressed throughout the structuring of a municipal bond transaction and related disclosure issues.

Closing General Session 
Friday, April 17, 11:15am - 12:30pm

The Essentials concludes with a fourth General Session entitled “Tying It All Together.” This popular session takes attendees through a typical bond issue - from the initial client call to closing - using an interactive, informal platform that incorporates concepts from across the General Sessions and Breakout Sessions. Panelists play the roles of issuer, underwriter, bond attorney, and tax attorney as they navigate through a bond transaction from start to finish. Along the way, they encounter, explain, and resolve issues typically encountered in public finance transactions.

This year’s top-notch faculty includes NABL Board members and Past-Presidents, Committee Chairs, and other esteemed colleagues. Throughout the conference, attendees have direct access to the faculty and are encouraged to ask questions.

Welcome Reception | Wednesday, April 15, 5:45pm – 6:45pm
Meet colleagues from all over the country and your region at this lively reception.

Dinner Connections | Wednesday, April 15, 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Enjoy dinner at one of Dallas' Downtown fine dining establishments in the area with a faculty member and a handful of other attendees. Sign-up sheets will identify the faculty member, and their region and area of specialty, so you can select what best suits your interests. Sign-up sheets will be provided on-site near NABL’s Check-in Desk, and registration is on a first-come, first- served basis.

Networking Reception Thursday, April 16, 5:45pm – 6:45pm
Sponsored by the NABL Diversity Committee
Eat, drink and learn interesting facts about the faculty and fellow attendees at this reception.

Morning Run and Power Walk Thursday, April 16, 6:30am - 7:30am 
Begin the day exploring beautiful Downtown Dallas on a run with new colleagues. There is no fee to participate - just bring your running shoes! Plan to meet in the hotel's main lobby at 6:15am. Participants of ALL levels are welcome.


Issuer’s Counsel Session | Thursday, April 16, 11:30am - 1:00pm
For those in-house lawyers or practitioners with an issuer’s counsel focus, this bonus session focuses exclusively on issues, topics, and other matters relating to issuer’s counsel. Lunch is provided for this session. Registration is required, and seating is limited .

Lunch on Your Own Thursday, April 16, 11:30am - 1:15pm
Enjoy one of the many popular Downtown Dallas restaurants during the Thursday afternoon extended mid-day lunch break. Restaurant options will be posted on the mobile app. (Reservations are recommended.)

Express Yourself!
Time to exercise the right side of your brain. Attendees will be challenged to submit a poem or haiku using specific terms and concepts learned over the course of the conference. Rules and the format for this optional challenge will be distributed on Wednesday. Submissions will be received throughout the conference. The winner will be announced during Friday afternoon’s “Tying It All Together” Closing General Session and will receive a $250 Visa Gift Card.

Social Wall 
The Essentials Social Wall will be located near NABL’s Check-in Desk during the conference. Tweet and post photos of your favorite activities at the conference using #NABLESS2020.

Recharge and Connect
NABL is providing space for you to recharge and connect with others between breakout sessions and during breaks. This quiet space will provide you with the opportunity to plug in your laptop and catch up on work as well as recharge your device between sessions without having to go back to your room. Recharge and Connect will be open during conference hours.


The Essentials is expected to offer CLE credit up to a total of 15 hours in states with a 60-minute CLE hour and up to a total of 18 hours in states with a 50-minute CLE hour. Included in the total hours is one 75-minute session for which ethics/professionalism credit will be sought. Few programs offer this much CLE credit through sessions geared specifically toward the municipal finance lawyer. NABL will apply for CLE credits from those states that have mandatory CLE requirements. Attendees should include applicable MCLE states and identifying numbers on their registration forms.


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