CLLA Western Region Conference

September 7-8, 2023


Robert Ash

AMS, a Radius Global Solutions Company

Robert Ash is a seasoned veteran of the collection industry; with over 20 years’ experience in Accounts Receivable Management, Consumer Collections and Commercial Debt Collections. His longstanding career with AMS began in 1997, when Robert joined the collection team. After six years of delivering exceptional recovery results and service to AMS’ clients, Robert was promoted to Legal Department Manager. Robert’s financial expertise and strong communication skills provide a seamless transition from collections to litigation.

As a member of the Commercial Law League of America (CLLA) and active participant within the CLLA’s Eastern Region, Robert has developed and cultivated close associations with a network of collection attorneys throughout the country, ensuring AMS’ clients have the best representation to meet their legal needs.

Ravi Batta

Rosenfeld Stein Batta, PA

Ravi Batta was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1996 and the US District Court, Southern District of Florida in 1997. Ravi received his BSBA in 1992 from Boston University and his JD in 1995 from Syracuse University College of Law. He is a member of the Commercial Law League of America, American Bar Association (Business Law Section), The Florida Bar (Business Law Section), Past President of the North Dade Bar Association and Member of the Miami Dade Bar Association. Ravi practices commercial collections, commercial litigation, real estate litigation and real estate transactional work.

Leslie Berkoff

Morritt Hock & Hamroff, LLP

Leslie A. Berkoff is a Partner with Morritt Hock & Hamroff, LLP where she serves as Chair of the firm’s Dispute Resolution Practice Group and is the former Co-Chair of the firm’s Creditors’ Rights and Restructuring Department. Ms. Berkoff splits her practice between these two Practice Groups. In the restructuring space, she concentrates her practice in chapter 11 cases, bankruptcy litigation and corporate workouts, where she represents a variety of corporate debtors, trustees, creditors, and creditor committees both nationally and locally. Ms. Berkoff is an experienced commercial litigator. Ms. Berkoff’s Dispute Resolution practice has her frequently serving as an ad hoc and panel mediator; she is on the Mediation Panel for the Eastern and Southern Districts of the United States Bankruptcy Courts in New York, the United States Bankruptcy Courts in Delaware, and the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, as well as the Commercial Mediation Panel for Nassau County and the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”). Ms. Berkoff also serves as a member of the Second Circuit United States Court of Appeals Pro Bono Appellate Mediation Panel and as a Special Master in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department Mediation Program.Ms. Berkoff is also a trained arbitrator and is a member of the AAA panel.

Ms. Berkoff is the immediate past Co-Chair of the American Bankruptcy Institute’s (ABI) Mediation Committee and is a contributing editor of the quarterly column “Mediation Matters.” She has also served as Co-Editor and contributing author of the ABI’s Bankruptcy Mediation Manual. Ms. Berkoff also serves as the American Bar Association (“ABA”) Business Law Section’s representative on the Dispute Resolution Advisory Council, and is the Chair of the Dispute Resolution Committee, the Vice Chair of Programming for the Business Bankruptcy Committee of the Business Law Section and the Vice Chair of the Bankruptcy Court Structure and Insolvency Committee. She is a contributing editor for the ABA publication “Business Law Today” on Dispute Resolution. Ms. Berkoff speaks and writes frequently on topics concerning both Dispute Resolution and Bankruptcy.

Prior to joining Moritt Hock & Hamroff LLP, Ms. Berkoff served as a law clerk to the Honorable Jerome Feller, United States Bankruptcy Judge in the Eastern District of New York, from 1991 to 1993 and to the Honorable Allyne R. Ross, Federal Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District of New York, from 1990 to 1991.

Wanda Borges, Esq.

Borges & Associates, LLC

Wanda Borges, Esq. is the principal member of Borges & Associates, LLC, a law firm based in Syosset, New York. For more than forty years, Ms. Borges has concentrated her practice on commercial litigation and creditors’ rights in bankruptcy matters, representing corporate clients and creditors’ committees throughout the United States in Chapter 11 proceedings, out of court settlements, commercial transactions, and preference litigation. She is a member and Past President of the Commercial Law League of America and has been an Attorney Member of its National Board of Governors, a Chair of the Bankruptcy Section and Creditors’ Rights Section. She is the President of the Commercial Law League Fund for Public Education. She is a member of several bar associations, including the American Bar Association, the American Bankruptcy Institute, and the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers. Ms. Borges serves on the Board of Directors of the International Association of Commercial Collectors, of which her firm is an associate member. She is an internationally recognized lecturer and author on various legal topics including Bankruptcy Issues such as 503(b)(9) claims and preferences, the Uniform Commercial Code, ECOA, FCRA, antitrust law, and current legal issues such as Credit Card Surcharge issues, social media, Cybersecurity and Ethics for the Trade Credit Grantor and current proposed legislation that may impact trade credit grantors. Ms. Borges has authored, edited, and continues to contribute to numerous publications including Thomson West’s Enforcing Judgments and Collecting Debts in New York (as its Editor-in-Chief and Lead Author), NAB’s book Out of the Red and into the Black, the BCCA’s Credit & Collection Handbook, The Financial Manager, and the CLLA’s “Commercial Law World” Magazine. She has authored the treatise “Hidden Liens, Who is Entitled to What?” and NACM’s Antitrust, Restraint of Trade and Unfair Competition: Myth Versus Reality, most recently revised in 2017. She is a contributing author to NACM’s Manual of Credit and Collection Laws and Principles of Business Credit. She has co-authored The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 – An Overhaul of U.S. Bankruptcy Law, also published by the NACM and her article has “Uniform Voidable Transactions Act (US) has been published by the British Law Journal – Insolvency Intelligence. In October 1996, Ms. Borges was awarded the Mercy College Trustee’s Medal for outstanding dedication to her profession and alma mater. In September 2000, she was named one of the “50 Outstanding Alumni” of Mercy College. In February 2001, she received the “Career Achievement Award” from the Broadcast Cable Credit Association. In November 2010, Ms. Borges received the “Robert E. Caine Award for Leadership” from the Commercial Law League of America. In April 2015, Ms. Borges received a “Woman of Distinction” award from St. Catharine Academy, her high school alma mater. Ms. Borges has been included in the New York Super Lawyers – Metro Edition list (Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights) each year since 2009. She is listed in Who’s Who in America.

Hon. Donald R. Cassling

US Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of IL

Hon. Donald R. Cassling is a United States Bankruptcy Judge in the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. He was appointed for a 14‐year term on January 18, 2012. Prior to his appointment, he was a commercial litigator at Quarles & Brady and Jenner & Block. He received his undergraduate degree from Duke University and his law degree from the University of Chicago, where he was also on the Editorial Board of the Law Review. Following graduation, he clerked for the Honorable John R. Brown, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Brad Council

Slovin & Associates Co., LPA

Brad A. Council is a partner in the Cincinnati based law firm of Slovin & Associates Co., LPA. His practice covers all areas of commercial litigation, creditor’s rights including compliance with federal and state consumer credit and collection laws, and landlord-tenant matters. He frequently represents national banking associations, finance companies, medical service providers, debt-buyers, and other credit grantors in the areas of creditor’s rights and account receivables management. He also regularly advises and counsels these organizations on issues related to compliance with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), as well as similar state law acts and regulations. Brad also represents manufacturers, sub-contractors, and material suppliers involving actions under the Uniform Commercial Code relating to sales, leases, and secured transactions.

Brad is a past chair of the Midwest Region for the Commercial Law League of America and is currently the Secretary of the Young Members Section and member of the Creditor’s Rights Executive Council. The CLLA is North America’s oldest Creditor’s Rights Organization and has been operating since 1895. Brad is also the co-chair of the Ohio Legislative Committee for RMA International, the nation’s premier trade association for companies that purchase receivables on the secondary market.

Brad received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2003 and his Juris Doctor from the Northern Kentucky University, Salmon P. Chase College of Law in 2006. During law school Brad served as the Symposium Editor for the Northern Kentucky Law Review.

Brad is licensed to practice law in the States of Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. He is also licensed to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio and Indiana.

Hon. Joan Feeney (Ret.)


Hon. Joan Feeney (Ret) JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator and Referee/Special Master – joined JAMS following almost 27 years on the bench of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts and 23 years as a member of the United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the First Circuit. Judge Feeney is a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy and served for three years on its Board of Regents. She is the co-author of the Bankruptcy Law Manual, a two-volume treatise published by Thomson Reuters West, and the co-author of a book for consumers, The Road Out of Debt, published by John Wiley & Sons. Judge Feeney was the President of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges in 2011 and 2012 and has served that organization in numerous capacities, including on its Board of Governors, Chair of the Newsletter Committee, Editor in Chief and Reporter for Conference News, and on special projects. From 2016 to 2018, Judge Feeney was the Business Manager of “The American Bankruptcy Law Journal,” the premier and most cited specialty law review in the nation and was an Associate Editor from 2013 to 2016. Judge Feeney is a founder of the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Project, a joint venture of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts and the Boston Bar Association. She was a member of the International Judicial Relations Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States from 2006 through 2012 and hosted many delegations of foreign judges in the United States and traveling to foreign countries on behalf of the federal judiciary. Judge Feeney was the Chair of the Massachusetts Bankruptcy Court’s Pro Bono Committee and Co-Chair of the Massachusetts Local Rules Committee for many years. She also served for several years on the Board of Directors of the American Bankruptcy Institute and as Judicial Chair of several regional ABI educational programs. Judge Feeney is a graduate of Connecticut College and Suffolk University Law School. Judge Feeney is a frequent panelist and lecturer on bankruptcy law topics in Massachusetts and throughout the country. In 2005, Judge Feeney received the Boston Bar Association’s Haskell Cohn Award for Distinguished Judicial Service and in 2009 the American College of Bankruptcy First Circuit Fellows recognized her for contribution to bankruptcy jurisprudence and practice. Judge Feeney was the 2018 recipient of the Charles P. Normandin Lifetime Achievement Award from the Boston Bar Association and the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges Excellence in Education Award. Judge Feeney presided over a full range of cases, including complex commercial cases with multiple parties and conflicting interests. While on the bench, she wrote over 500 opinions in many different areas of the law.

Hon. Judi Fitzgerald (Ret.)

Tucker Arensberg, PC

Hon. Judith Fitzgerald (Ret.) Retired U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, Judith K. Fitzgerald served in her home jurisdiction in the Western District of Pennsylvania for nearly 26 years. She sat by designation in the District of Delaware, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the District of the U.S. Virgin Islands. She has been blessed with an exciting, challenging and intellectually stimulating career. As a Judicial Law Clerk, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Chief Bankruptcy Judge, Professor of Law, Practitioner at Tucker Arensberg, Arbitrator, Mediator, Author and Expert Witness, she has experienced a wide variety of legal disciplines and administrative responsibilities. Judi is a Professor in the Practice of Law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where she teaches Bankruptcy and Advanced Bankruptcy. She is active in national and local professional organizations including the American Law Institute, the American College of Bankruptcy, the American Inns of Court, Commercial Law League of America, and the American Bankruptcy Institute. Among other offices, she has served as President of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges and as Chair of the Bankruptcy Judges Advisory Committee to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Judi has received numerous awards and recognitions including the Commercial Law League’s Lawrence P. King Award for Excellence in Bankruptcy and the American Inns of Court Bankruptcy Alliance Distinguished Service Award. Judi consults and lectures in matters involving trial strategy, professional responsibility, bankruptcy including mass tort bankruptcies, evidence, procedure, and contracts and participates on several committees and boards dedicated to fostering legal education and improving access to justice.

Lori Frank

Markoff Law PLLC

Lori J. Frank received her undergraduate degree from Boston University and law degree from Detroit College of Law, now known as Michigan State University College of Law. Lori is the President of the Michigan Creditors Bar Association. She is a past board member for the Commercial Law League of America and has lobbied in Congress and Lansing. Lori is an active member of the State Bar and Oakland County Bar Associations and is the proud dog mom of Big Popi & Little Khalessi.

Owen G. Hare, Esq.

Friedman, Framme & Thrush PA

Owen G. Hare, Esq. received his Bachelor of Arts from Tulane University in 2006 where he graduated with a Major in Political Science and a Minor in History. Mr. Hare attended the Tulane University Law School and obtained his Juris Doctorate in 2009. He also received a Certificate in Admiralty and Maritime Law and worked for the Tulane University Domestic Violence Clinic. Mr. Hare worked as the Managing Attorney of Florida Bankruptcy at a large national law firm for several years handling a wide spectrum of creditor rights and bankruptcy matters for secured and unsecured creditors. Mr. Hare also worked as the managing partner of a firm he started handling creditor’s rights and bankruptcy work for creditors before joining Friedman, Framme & Thrush. P.A., in April, 2016. Mr. Hare is a Principal of Friedman, Framme & Thrush. P.A., a law firm based in Owings Mills, MD. His practice has a primary focus on Commercial Bankruptcy, Commercial litigation, Banking and Finance, Commercial Creditor’s rights, and Complex Consumer Bankruptcy. Mr. Hare is an active member of the CLLA serving on the Marketing Subcommittee and Young Members Section Executive Council. Mr. Hare is licensed to practice in state, federal, and bankruptcy courts in Maryland, Florida, and the District of Columbia.

Yasamin N. Kaye

Goldberg Kohn

Yasamin N. Kaye is an Associate in Goldberg Kohn Ltd.’s Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights Group. She represents lenders in the protection and enforcement of creditors’ rights in commercial workouts and bankruptcies, including restructurings, reorganizations, sales, and liquidations. Her bankruptcy experience includes the representation of creditors and purchasers in connection with the negotiation and documentation of debtor-in-possession financing orders, cash collateral orders and sale orders. Ms. Kaye also has experience representing banks and other commercial lenders in documenting, negotiating and performing due diligence for asset based and cash flow loans.

Since 2021, Ms. Kaye has been named annually by Best Lawyers to its Ones to Watch in America list in the area of Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law. In 2020, she was honored by The Chicago Bar Foundation with The Maurice Weigle Exceptional Young Lawyer Award for her demonstrated commitment to pro bono work and community service. In 2021, she earned a Blackshear Fellowship at the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, which is awarded to five up-and-coming minority bankruptcy practitioners each year.

Conor Kelly

Webster, Chamberlain & Bean, LLP

Conor Kelly is an associate attorney at Webster, Chamberlain & Bean LLP in Washington, D.C. specializing in government relations. Before joining the firm, Conor worked as a counsel for Senator Amy Klobuchar on the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, where he focused on issues including voting rights, election administration, and investigations into events surrounding January 6. He graduated from George Washington University Law School, where he served as a member of the Federal Communications Law Journal and worked in law clerk positions on Capitol Hill and with a voting rights nonprofit. He holds a B.A. from the University of Virginia, where he majored in history and government and wrote a thesis on the Iraq anti-war movement in the United States that won the history department’s award for best undergraduate thesis in modern American history.

Daniel Kerrick

Hogan McDaniel

Daniel C. Kerrick is an experienced litigator representing creditors of all size, type and geographic origin in Delaware and Pennsylvania. His experience includes preventative legal counseling, comprehensive litigation advice and services, accounts receivable advice and management, and timely and efficient enforcement of judgments. He litigates matters in every court in the State of Delaware, including Chancery Court and Bankruptcy Court. Mr. Kerrick represents a wide variety of clients in complex commercial disputes, corporate fiduciary litigation, business divorce and control disputes. Mr. Kerrick is a published author and speaks regularly about issues affecting creditors’ rights and remedies.

Carter H. Klein

Jenner & Block LLP

Carter H. Klein is currently Of Counsel with Jenner & Block LLP and has practiced in its Commercial and Corporate Law Departments since 1974 after a two year judicial clerkship. He is liaison for the ABA’s Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) Committee to the Permanent Editorial Board of the UCC; Past Chair of ABA’s Payments Law and Letter of Credit Subcommittees and the Chicago Bar Association’s Commercial and Financial Transactions, International & Foreign Law, and Consumer Credit Committees; and for 45 years was co-author of three books on the payment articles of the Uniform Commercial Code.

Candice Kline

Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, LLP

Candice Kline is a partner at Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr focusing on bankruptcy and restructuring situations and litigation. She serves in leadership at various bar and trade associations and is a member of the CLLA’s Bankruptcy Section Executive Council. Candice has an MBA and JD and began her legal career after many years in global commercial banking and business, including startups. She practices in Illinois and Ohio with a nationwide docket in complex commercial matters.

Ronald R. Peterson

Jenner & Block LLP

Ronald R. Peterson, Partner, Jenner & Block LLP in Chicago, Illinois. He concentrates his practice in the areas of commercial, insolvency and bankruptcy law. Mr. Peterson has presided over numerous complex commercial cases, including Stotler & Co., the country’s 10th largest commodities house, and Lancelot Investors Fund, L.P., a $1.7 billion Ponzi scheme. He is the Chairman of the Creditors’ Committee in Thomas J. Petters, a $3.5 billion Ponzi scheme. Mr. Peterson served as the examiner in the Chapter 11 case of Robert Lund, a large real estate developer. Mr. Peterson has been a member of the panel of Chapter 7 Trustees for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, since 1987. He is the past President of the National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees.
Mr. Peterson is a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy and a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute. He is a member of the Business Bankruptcy Committee of the Business Law Section and the Bankruptcy Litigation Committee of the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association. He is a member of the International Association of Restructuring, Insolvency & Bankruptcy Professionals, and the Commercial Law League of America. In 2014, the Commercial Law League of America awarded Mr. Peterson the Lawrence P. King Award.

Bryan Rafferty

Commercial Collection Corp. of NY

Bryan Rafferty has an expansive knowledge of the commercial collection industry. Over his 25-year career at Commercial Collection Corp. of NY (CCC), Bryan worked his way up from an entry-level position, into being one of the co-owners of the business. Bryan expanded his knowledge about commercial collections through managing a variety of different departments which includes Sales, Collections, and Legal. With an understanding of making win-win partnerships with both creditors and attorneys, Bryan focuses on providing excellent service and leadership without sacrificing the relationships that CCC has grown to depend on. Carrying forward the legacy of the mentors before him (the late Robert Ingold & Bernie Engle), Bryan implements the best practices he has learned over his career and strives to be a knowledgeable and respected member of the commercial collection industry.

Jack Rose


Jack Rose is the CEO and founder of JR2G, LLC. The firm focuses on purchasing properties in secondary and tertiary markets. Jack is former Managing Director at Kroll LLC in the Restructuring Advisory practice in New York, where he focused his practice on distressed real estate. More than likely you may know Jack from his past life where he spent 30 years as a bankruptcy lawyer with Rosenberg & Estis, Ashurst, White & Case, Rogers & Wells (now Clifford Chance) and Weil Gotshal.

Jeffrey N. Schatzman

Schatzman & Schatzman, P.A.

Jeffrey N. Schatzman is the principal shareholder in the Miami, Florida law firm of Schatzman & Schatzman, P.A. He received his undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Florida in 1986 and his J.D. degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School (Western Michigan University) in Lansing, Michigan in 1989.

Mr. Schatzman is a member of The Florida Bar and is admitted to practice in all Florida State Courts as well as the Federal District and Bankruptcy Courts for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida and the United States Supreme Court.
Mr. Schatzman concentrates his law practice in the areas of Bankruptcy, representing creditors, debtors and trustees; Commercial Collections; Commercial Litigation; Business Transactions; and Residential and Commercial Real Estate Transactions and frequently lectures on the topics of bankruptcy and creditors’ rights.

He has been a member of the Commercial Law League of America since 1991, and has held numerous positions within the League including a three year term as an attorney member of the CLLA Board of Governors and President of the CLLA from 2013 to 2014.

Mr. Schatzman has achieved high ratings and recognition by his peers, clients and various organizations including Super Lawyers, an AV rating by Martindale-Hubble, a 10.0 rating by AVVO, one of Florida Trend Magazine’s “Legal Elite” Top Attorneys in the State of Florida and ALM’s Top Attorneys in South Florida.

Gilbert M. Singer

Marcadis Singer P.A.

Gilbert M. Singer is a Senior Partner in the law firm of Marcadis Singer, P. A., and has been practicing commercial/collection law in Florida since graduating from the University of Miami School of Law in 1979
where he earned his Juris Doctor Degree. He is a member of The Florida Bar, Hillsborough County Bar Association, as well as the Commercial Law League of America in which he served as Southern Region Chair in 2018-2019. Gil has an AV Rating with Martindale-Hubbell.

He is a longtime volunteer for the Guardian Ad Litem Program in Hillsborough County and currently volunteers with Bay Area Legal Services and with Crossroads for Florida representing older children in foster care. He has
also been active as a Board Member for Joshua House, A Kid’s Place, and For the Family. He served on the Citizens Advisory Commission to the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners and was honored in 1996 by The Florida Bar and the Florida Supreme Court for his pro bono service.

In 2002, Governor Jeb Bush appointed him to the Florida Commission on Human Relations on which he served for over 18 years. In 2011, Governor Rick Scott appointed Gil to the Judicial Nominating Commission for the 13th Judicial Circuit. In 2016, he was elected as Chair and served an 8-year term which ended in 2020. Florida’s Judicial Nominating Commissions are constitutionally created non-partisan bodies designed to interview and nominate diverse, highly qualified candidates for judgeships to the Governor for appointment when a judicial vacancy arises.

Gil serves on the Hillsborough County Republican Executive Committee and continues to be active as a volunteer in local, statewide, and national political campaigns.

Gil is incoming Chair of CLLA Southern Region, member of CLLA Legislative Affairs Committee, and Board member of Creditors Rights Section. He has lectured on collections and commercial litigation issues to numerous trade groups and Bar Associations.

Catherine L. Steege

Jenner & Block LLP

Catherine Steege is a partner with the firm of Jenner & Block LLP. She is co-chair of the firm’s Bankruptcy and Restructuring practice group, a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, and a conferee of the National Bankruptcy Conference. She recently represented USA Gymnastics in its chapter 11 case and represented McKesson and an ad hoc group of other major distributors, pharmacies, and manufacturers in Purdue Pharma’s chapter 11 case. In addition to a traditional bankruptcy practice, she has represented numerous retiree committees including the retiree committees in the Puerto Rico, Armstrong Flooring, Budd Company, Walter Energy, American Airlines, United Airlines, and Northwest Airlines chapter 11 cases and represented numerous parties in complex bankruptcy litigation matters including her representation of the Zell defendants in the Tribune fraudulent conveyance litigation, the Sentinel Management Group Litigation Trustee, the Magnatrax Litigation Trust, the NKK Litigation Trust, and the Trustees of Emerald Casino Inc. and Consolidated Industries Corp. She has an active appellate practice and argued in the United States Supreme Court on behalf of Wellness International Network in the case Wellness International Network v. Sharif and represented the petitioner in Law v. Siegel and the respondent in City of Chicago v. Fulton. She represented the examiners in the Lehman Brothers and Celsius Network chapter 11 cases and authored the sections of the Lehman Brothers Examiner’s Report that considered potential avoidance actions against various financial institutions.

Hon. Deborah Thorne

US Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of IL

Hon. Deborah L. Thorne serves as a bankruptcy judge for the Northern District of Illinois. She received her B.A. from Macalester College, a Master of Arts in Teaching from Duke University and a J.D. from Illinois Institute of Technology. She is president of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges and served as Education Chair for the 2020 Annual Meeting. She is past chair of the Chicago Bar Association Bankruptcy and Restructuring Committee and past member of the Board of Governors and chair of the Bankruptcy Committee for the Seventh Circuit Bar Association. She previously served as Vice President for Communications and Information Technology for the American Bankruptcy Institute and as a member of the Executive Committee. Judge Thorne is a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy.

Judge Thorne is the author of The Preference Defense Handbook: The Circuits Divided and a co-author of Interrupted! Understanding Bankruptcy’s Effects on Manufacturing Supply Chains, both published by the American Bankruptcy Institute.

Judge Thorne served for 19 years on the board of Women Employed, a Chicago not-for-profit policy organization focused on improving the lives of low-wage working women through enhancing access to post-secondary education and improving job quality.

Judge Thorne is married to Jerry Esrig, a judge on the Circuit Court of Cook County. They have two adult children and one granddaughter. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading, rowing and going to the park with her grandchildren.

Timothy Wan, Esq.

Smith Carroad Wan & Parikh

Timothy Wan, Esq. is Senior Partner and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Smith Carroad Wan & Parikh. Mr. Wan’s areas of expertise include managing the creditor’s rights and collection law practice, serving as General Counsel to various small businesses in the local business community, and spearheading practice in the area of entertainment law, music law, copyright, and intellectual property. Mr. Wan was admitted to the New York State Bar in January 2001, after graduating from Brooklyn Law School for his Juris Doctor where he was a member of the Moot Court Honor Society, and from Vassar College with a double B.A. in Political Science and Theatre in 1997. This background has fostered Mr. Wan’s trial and courtroom skills; throughout his career, he has successfully tried several hundred litigation matters, as well as successfully brought and defended appeals on healthcare-related matters to the appellate courts in the State of New York. Mr. Wan is admitted to the United States District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts, and a member of the New York State and Suffolk County Bar Associations. Mr. Wan is a Past Chair of the Eastern Region of the Commercial Law League of America, a Past Chair of the CLLA Young Member’s Section, past member of the Board of Governors, and served as the first ever two-consecutive-term President from 2019-2021. He also serves as the President of the New York State Creditors Bar Association. Mr. Wan is a two-time Past President of the Infinite Exchange Chapter of BNI, and a member of the International Association of Commercial Collectors. Mr. Wan is a published author of the New York chapter of the textbook, Judgement Enforcement published by Aspen Publishing, and is a featured columnist and on the Board of Associate Editors for Commercial Law World. He is also the attorney advisor to the Commack High School Mock Trial team, and regularly lectures on topics regarding creditor’s rights, collection law, business change management, improving business efficiency, and legal strategy.

Hon. Eugene R. Wedoff (Ret.)

US Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of IL

Hon. Eugene R. Wedoff (Ret.) was a bankruptcy judge in Chicago from 1987 to 2015, and chief judge from 2002 to 2007. He has served as chair of the Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules and president of both the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges and the American Bankruptcy Institute. Since 2015, he has engaged in exclusively pro bono representation of clients in bankruptcy appeals.

Beverly Weiss Manne, Esq.

Tucker Arensberg, P.C.

Beverly Weiss Manne, Esq. Tucker Arensberg, P.C. – is an experienced attorney who represents secured and unsecured creditors, lessors, and buyers of assets in bankruptcy cases, non-judicial restructurings and in complex, and distressed business and commercial credit situations and commercial finance matters. Ms. Manne is licensed in Pennsylvania and Maryland. She also is an adjunct professor at University of Pittsburgh School of Law and teaches Payment Systems and Banking, and also taught Secured Transactions for many hears. From 1981 to 1986, she was an attorney with the USDA Office of General Counsel. Ms. Manne obtained her J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh as well as her B.A., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa. She is a member of the Commercial Law League of America, serves on the Executive Council of its Creditors’ Rights Section and has served on the Executive Council of its Bankruptcy Section. Ms. Manne is Chair of the PBA Business Law Section, a member and ex-officio of the PBA Shale Energy Law Committee, the 2014 Uniform Voidable Transfer Act adoption task force, 2013 Insolvency Law Task Force, UCC Article 9 Revisions Adoption Task Forces in 2000 and 2010, and the Insolvency Law Task Force in 1994-1996. Ms. Manne is a founding member and ex-officio of the Judith K. Fitzgerald Bankruptcy Inn of Court. Ms. Manne frequently is a speaker, panelist and course planner, locally and nationally on bankruptcy, mechanics lien, oil and gas and commercial issues. She is included in the Pennsylvania “Super Lawyers Edition” and “Best Lawyers in America.”

Hon. Mary Ann Whipple

US Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of OH

Hon. Mary Ann Whipple has served as a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of Ohio, Western Division, at Toledo, since 2001 and is currently the chief bankruptcy judge of the district. She also served on the Sixth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel.

Judge Whipple grew up in Toledo. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 1977 with an A.B. degree in Russian Studies and Stanford Law School in 1981 with a J.D. degree.

Before becoming a bankruptcy judge, Judge Whipple practiced law for twenty years as a commercial, bankruptcy and employment litigator with the Toledo firm Fuller & Henry Ltd. She is admitted to practice in Ohio and Michigan.

Judge Whipple taught Creditor/Debtor Law for more than 20 years as a part-time faculty member at the University of Toledo College of Law. In addition to teaching, she has served her community as a member of the executive boards of the Owens Community College Foundation, American Red Cross-Greater Toledo Area Chapter, Lucas County Mental Health Board, Toledo Area Chamber of Commerce, Family Service of Northwest Ohio and University of Michigan Club of Toledo. She is a master in and past President  ofThe Morrison R. Waite Chapter of the American Inns of Court Foundation. Judge Whipple received The Toledo Bar Association’s 2008 Community Service Award and the Toledo Women’s Bar Association’s 2016 Arabella Babb Mansfield Award.