Interviews with NABL Members from NABL News
Jeffery J. Qualkinbush, Barnes & Thornburg LLP, Indianapolis, IN
1. Tell us something unique about yourself…
My wife and I are the recent parents of two Cavachon puppies, Max and Callie. Yes, call us crazy taking on two at once, but who needs sleep anyway?
2. As Chair of The Workshop: Virtual 2020, what were some of the challenges and opportunities you faced in transitioning from in-person to virtual?
I believe there have been two big challenges with this transition, each of which have created amazing opportunities. The first challenge was just trying to get myself up to speed very quickly with what current technology would allow in the way of a the virtual experience in order to make it as much like an in-person experience, and I am just amazed at how far technology has advanced in a very short period of time. Therefore, I truly believe that The Workshop: Virtual 2020 will continue to provide opportunities for many of the key collaborative experiences and interactions among our panelists and our attendees that have been present in prior in-person Workshops. The second challenge was trying to determine which panel sessions to offer given the reduced schedule we created to provide attendance across all four time zones during a reasonable time of the day. While I wish we could have retained all of the 30 panels in order to provide all of our members the opportunity to cover all of the areas in which many of us practice, that just wasn’t realistic. However, I do believe that, based on the information we received from the member survey as well as input from the two Workshop Vice Chairs, the NABL Education and Member Services Committee, and the NABL Board of Directors, we have a program that our attendees will find topical, informational and covering all of the core elements of today’s municipal bond practice.
3. What component of The Workshop are you looking forward to the most?
Of course, I am extremely excited about all of the panel sessions because I know how much work each of our panels have done over the last year to make each of them the best panels ever presented. However, given the current political environment, I am most excited to hear from our General Session speaker, Jonathan Capehart. You may remember that Mr. Capehart was supposed to be the keynote speaker at The Institute 2020. So, I am very appreciative that he has been flexible and willing to join us at The Workshop. I really look forward to hearing his insights as to what we may expect over the last few weeks of this year’s election season.
4. What are three main reasons why someone in the public finance industry should attend The Workshop?
First, the public finance practice continues to be a constantly changing practice in the core areas of federal tax laws, federal securities laws and state laws. Each of the panels at The Workshop will make sure that attendees are provided the most up-to-date information regarding all three of these areas, but more importantly, a thoughtful and in-depth analysis of such information. Second, as with prior Workshops, The Workshop: Virtual 2020 will provide attendees with the opportunity to hear directly from representatives from Treasury, the IRS, the SEC and the MSRB concerning areas of focus by each of these entities and their thoughts on how current laws and regulations apply to each of our practices. Third, even with the reduced schedule, The Workshop is still providing attendees to obtain up to 10 hours of CLE, which includes the possibility of 2 hours of ethics credit for a very reduced price. I don’t know of any other conference available during the current year at which attendees can obtain this much CLE over the same period of time, especially one focused on the public finance practice.
5. What recent trends or real-time issues will be discussed at The Workshop that’s important for public finance attorneys and other industry participants to know?
Given how rapidly the world, in general, and our clients’ needs, more specifically, are changing in this COVID-19 world of 2020, all of the panels, by default, will be covering recent trends or real-time issues applicable to their panel topic. More specifically, we will be covering topical federal tax law and security law issues facing most of our clients, updates on the LIBOR Phase-Out, recent developments in public-private partnership transactions, insights into diversity and implicit bias issues and ways we can all combat them, and issues related to bank direct purchases.