Commercial Law League of America

CLLA  NATIONAL CONVENTION

MAY 15-17, 2024         SWISSÔTEL, CHICAGO

Commercial Law League of America

CLLA  NATIONAL CONVENTION

MAY 15-17, 2024
SWISSÔTEL, CHICAGO

William H. Thrush, Jr.
2023-2024 CLLA President

It won’t be long before the CLLA’s 130th National Convention arrives in May 2024. And now is the time to mark your calendars to join us in Chicago.

I love the City of Chicago. There is so much to do and see there, whether it’s catching a Cubs game, visiting the Art Institute, taking the architecture boat tour, soaking in the view from atop the Willis Tower, snapping a selfie in front of the Bean, strolling the lakefront, searching for the best deep dish pizza or Chicago-style hot dog, digging some blues music at Buddy Guy’s or Kingston Mines, or treating yourself to some shopping on the Magnificent Mile (like maybe buying a new hat). No matter which way you go, you are bound to have a good time.

What better way to enjoy that good time than to pair it with 3 super days of professional camaraderie, networking, education, and fellowship! This year’s conference looks to be better than ever, with great speakers and educational topics, awards, fun events and, of course, business development and networking opportunities. And don’t forget that we will install this year’s new slate of leaders, including your 2024-2025 President, Ted Hamilton! You won’t want to miss it.

Also, in keeping with the tradition started by last year’s First Lady, Maria Kozelek, the current First Lady, Nancy Thrush, will be hosting an event to benefit the Women’s Empowerment and Networking Event. Last year’s event was such a success you will surely want to be a part of this year’s event as well.

So, as I head into the turn and look toward the back-nine of my Presidential term, I am so excited about what the future holds for our organization. We have momentum. We have engagement. We have energy. And we have each other. What could be better? Won’t you come out to Chicago and help us celebrate the premier commercial law trade organization in the world?

William H. Thrush, Jr.
2023-2024 CLLA President

It won’t be long before the CLLA’s 130th National Convention arrives in May 2024. And now is the time to mark your calendars to join us in Chicago.

I love the City of Chicago. There is so much to do and see there, whether it’s catching a Cubs game, visiting the Art Institute, taking the architecture boat tour, soaking in the view from atop the Willis Tower, snapping a selfie in front of the Bean, strolling the lakefront, searching for the best deep dish pizza or Chicago-style hot dog, digging some blues music at Buddy Guy’s or Kingston Mines, or treating yourself to some shopping on the Magnificent Mile (like maybe buying a new hat). No matter which way you go, you are bound to have a good time.

What better way to enjoy that good time than to pair it with 3 super days of professional camaraderie, networking, education, and fellowship! This year’s conference looks to be better than ever, with great speakers and educational topics, awards, fun events and, of course, business development and networking opportunities. And don’t forget that we will install this year’s new slate of leaders, including your 2024-2025 President, Ted Hamilton! You won’t want to miss it.

Also, in keeping with the tradition started by last year’s First Lady, Maria Kozelek, the current First Lady, Nancy Thrush, will be hosting an event to benefit the Women’s Empowerment and Networking Event. Last year’s event was such a success you will surely want to be a part of this year’s event as well.

So, as I head into the turn and look toward the back-nine of my Presidential term, I am so excited about what the future holds for our organization. We have momentum. We have engagement. We have energy. And we have each other. What could be better? Won’t you come out to Chicago and help us celebrate the premier commercial law trade organization in the world?

EDUCATION PROGRAMS

Here’s your chance to fulfill your CLE and CEU certification requirements by attending the educational programs throughout the event.


A Note from the Education Committee Chair

“The Education committee is pleased to present its programming for this year‘s National Convention.

There will be something for agencies, attorneys, and forwarders this year with sessions on best business practices, as well as complex programs for creditors’ rights and bankruptcy. We also have the honor of welcoming multiple distinguished speakers on our education panels, including several current/past judges, and law school professors. Also, our government affairs committee will provide an update on CLLA’s legislative efforts. We are confident that these educational programs will meet our members’ wide-ranging interests and will provide any required education credit.

We look forward to seeing everyone in 2024.”     


 
B
en Farrow, CLLA Education Chair

CONVENTION EVENTS

Business Session – a Town Hall Meeting that includes the Annual Report from the League President and the Treasurer’s Report.
Nominating Debates (when necessary) –
Make informed decisions on candidates running for office.
Change of Officers –
Introduction of the newly installed officers.
President’s Cup –
Recipient recognition.

Networking Opportunities

Pop Culture Buffs… bring your best brain-teasing solving mind, and join our Master of Ceremonies, Timothy Wan, for a lively interactive hour of team building and competition!

Back by Popular Demand… It’s GOOSE Time Part 2!
Honk Honk…Grab your teammates for another round of endless opportunities to compete in a fun and memorable convention scavenger-type hunt.

AceBounce… AceBounce is the perfect spot for a night of laughter and fun around the table.

Karaoke Nightcap… Hosted by the Young Members’ Section (YMS). Let your singing talent shine at the Karaoke nightcap with desserts at the Swissôtel.

Baseball in the Bleachers… Optional Activity. Limited tickets/space available.

Sponsorship will provide you with exposure to attorneys, agencies and commercial collection professionals. This is a great opportunity to showcase your company name as one of the sponsors at the 130th National Convention. Choose your sponsorship level when you register. Show your support and sponsor today!

BENEFITS:

All sponsors will be listed on:

  • CLLA website
  • Email promotions
  • On-site Signage
  • Event Program
  • Social Media

EXCLUSIVE SPONSORSHIPS:

  • Lanyards – $800  SOLD
  • Program – $750  SOLD
  • Pocket Guide – $500  SOLD
  • Notepads – $350  SOLD
  • Pens – $350  SOLD
  • Multi Device Charging Station – $250 SOLD

GENERAL SPONSORSHIPS:

  • Evening Receptions – $750
  • Thursday Luncheon – $750  
  • Daily Breakfasts – $550
  • Networking Breaks – $400 
  • General Convention Sponsor – $250

LANYARDS

PROGRAM

POCKET GUIDE

NOTEPADS

PENS

MULTI DEVICE CHARGING STATION

Registration Information

Save $100! Early registration deadline is Friday, March 8, 2024.

Swissôtel Chicago

323 East Upper Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 565-0565
www.swissotel.com

Designed by renowned Chicago architect Harry Weese, Swissôtel Chicago is an award-winning luxury hotel overlooking the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, and just steps from the Magnificent Mile. The distinctive 4-diamond, all-glass hotel offers spectacular wrap-around views from Navy Pier to Millennium Park, 662 guest rooms and suites, five premier ballrooms, state-of-the-art penthouse fitness center, and spotless European-style service.

Hotel Reservations

Make your hotel reservation as early as possible to ensure you receive the discounted rate (subject to availability).

Making your reservation by phone, call the Reservations Department at 1-888-737-9477 or the Global Reservation Centre at 1-800-441-1414. Be sure to mention you are with the Commercial Law League of America-CLLA to receive the group rate.

On-line reservations can be made by clicking the link: https://book.passkey.com/e/50725849.
Room Rate: $269/night, single/double occupancy, plus applicable taxes (currently 17.4%) (NO resort fee). Room cut-off is Friday, April 14, 2024.

Parking

Swissotel: Valet Parking overnight with in/out access is $78/night. Nearby Self-Parking Garages:

 

    • 303 East Wacker Garage (303 E. Wacker Dr.)
    • Coast Parking (345 E, W. Wacker Dr.)
    • The Tides at Lakeshore East (360 E. South Water St.)
    • Illinois Center (111 E. Randolph)
    • Park Millennium Parking Garage (221 N. Stetson Ave.)
To find discounted parking near the hotel, download the SpotHero app to your mobile device and search the area.

Weather

Average Chicago temperatures for mid-May are high 70’s/low 50’s. Come prepared, it’s Chicago!

Transportation

Visit this link for driving directions: https://www.swissotel.com/hotels/chicago/explore-hotel/

REGISTRATION DEADLINE

Friday, April 12, 2024

*Disclaimer: CLE credit available to attendees in qualifying states who register on or before March 8. We cannot guarantee state accreditation after March 8.
**One registration form per member.
***Please note that business colleagues are not eligible to register under this category.

Member/Non-Member Registration Fee Includes:

  • Access to all Educational Sessions
  • Continuing Education: CLE/CEU
  • Daily Breakfast and Breaks
  • Goose Chase
  • Thursday’s Lunch Buffet
  • Women’s Empowerment & Networking Event
  • Evening Receptions
  • Game Show
  • Thursday Evening Karaoke Bar Nightcap
  • Friday’s Annual Awards Brunch

Spouse/Guest Registration Fee Includes:

  • Daily Breakfast and Breaks
  • Goose Chase
  • Thursday’s Lunch Buffet
  • Women’s Empowerment & Networking Event
  • Evening Receptions
  • Game Show
  • Thursday Evening Karaoke Bar Nightcap
  • Friday’s Annual Awards Brunch

Virtual Registration Fee Includes:

  • Access to all Educational Sessions
  • Continuing Education: CLE/CEU
  • Thursday’s Business Meeting
  • Friday’s Annual Awards Program

Women’s Empowerment & Networking Event Thursday, May 16

For a second year, CLLA has invited Dress for Success Worldwide (DFS) Central to our special luncheon. We will be fortunate to hear from a few women who have been supported by the DFS organization who will share their inspiring stories. The Executive Director will also share how the CLLA donation last year (over $10,000!) has aided their mission.

The purpose of this event is to encourage networking for the women members and spouses of the CLLA, as well as educate and inspire with new philanthropic opportunities. A buffet lunch will be served, and each attendee will receive a special gift! Additionally, charitable donations to benefit Dress for Success will be accepted during the event.

We look forward to seeing you in Chicago in May 2024!

Law Offices of Gary A. Bemis
Tucker Arensberg, PC
Friedman, Framme & Thrush, PA
Miller Cohen Peterson Young, PC
Crystal R. Cole, Attorney at Law
Ben Farrow
Beverly Manne
Wagner, Falconer & Judd, Ltd.
Gilbert Garcia Group
Natalia Minassian
Phil Lattanzio
Anonymous

CONVENTION SCHEDULE     AT-A-GLANCE

Back by Popular Demand… It’s GOOSE Time Part 2!

Honk Honk…Grab your teammates for another round of endless opportunities to compete in a fun and memorable convention scavenger-type hunt.

Competitor Teams will be given a series of “Missions”, all of which will be tracked on an app, “Goosechase”. At the end of the convention, winning teams will receive gift card prizes!
We hope you will join in the fun and make new connections!

15 
Wednesday

9:00 AM — 6:00 PM REGISTRATION
10:30 AM — NOON Board of Governors Meeting
NOON — 1:00 PM Leadership Lunch
1:00 — 1:45 PM Committee Meetings
1:45 — 2:00 PM BREAK
2:00 — 2:45 PM Executive Council Meetings
2:45 — 3:00 PM BREAK
3:00 — 3:45 PM Regional Executive Council Meetings
3:45 — 4:00 PM BREAK
4:00 — 5:00 PM Legislative Forum
5:15 — 6:15 PM First Time Attendee’s Orientation (BY INVITE ONLY)
6:30 — 7:30 PM Welcome Reception
9:00 — 11:00 PM Nightcap

Reconnect with colleagues and celebrate the first night of National at the Welcome Reception.

17 
Friday

7:30 AM — NOON REGISTRATION
8:00 — 9:00 AM Breakfast and Networking
8:30 — 9:30 AM Cybersecurity for Law Firms
9:30 — 9:45 AM BREAK
9:45 — 11:00 AM Litigating on Dual Fronts: Examining War Stories and Real-World Cases Involving Litigation Inside and Outside Bankruptcy
11:00 AM — 12:30 PM Brunch Buffet, Annual Awards, and Farewell

16 
Thursday

7:00 AM — 6:00 PM REGISTRATION
7:15 — 7:45 AM Past Presidents’ Breakfast
7:30 — 8:00 AM Breakfast and Networking
8:00 — 8:30 AM Welcome/Annual Business Meeting
8:45 — 9:45 AM TRACK ONE: Good Forwarders Go Bad
TRACK TWO: Hot Topic in Bankruptcy Case Law
9:45 — 10:00 AM BREAK
10:00 — 11:00 AM TRACK ONE: Packers & Stockyards Act Hidden Statutory Liens That Will Bite You in the PACA!
TRACK TWO: The New Day of Real Estate: How the Market Reset is Impacting Bankruptcy Law
11:00 — 11:15 AM BREAK
11:15 AM — NOON General Membership Meetings
12:15 — 1:30 PM General Membership Lunch Bufffet
12:15 — 1:30 PM Women’s Empowerment & Networking Luncheon
1:30 — 2:30 PM TRACK ONE: Ethical Tips from Movies & TV Lawyers
TRACK TWO: Four Years of the SBRA: How Is It Working?
2:30 — 2:45 PM BREAK
2:45 — 4:15 PM Caution, Beware of Potholes in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
4:15 — 4:30 PM BREAK
4:30 — 5:30 PM Pop Culture Game Show
5:30 — 6:30 PM Thursday Evening Social
9:00 — 11:00 PM Karaoke Nightcap and Desserts at the Swissotel

ABOVE: Ron Peterson, Jenner & Block LLP, receiving the President’s Cup at the 129th CLLA National Conference.

EDUCATION     AT-A-GLANCE

Wednesday, May 15
4:00- 5:00 PM CST

Legislative Forum

CLLA panelists will provide a review of CLLA legislative and government affairs efforts during the past year, inform members about the political make-up of the current Congress and possibilities for legislation impacting the commercial law, and educate attendees about the legislative process; including drafting legislation and policy positions for consideration by members of Congress and aligned interested parties and organizations.

PANELISTS: Peter Califano, Niesar & Vestal LLP, San Francisco, CA; Conor Kelly, Webster, Chamberlain & Bean, Washington, DC; Dan Kerrick, Hogan McDaniel, Wilmington, DE; Gilbert M. Singer, Marcadis Singer P.A.

Thursday, May 16
8:45- 9:45 AM CST
TRACK 1

Good Forwarders Go Bad

Join us for a practical discussion between a panel of agencies and attorneys as we talk about how to handle cases that we’d rather walk away from, but it’s what you do for a good client! We’ll be discussing some do’s and don’ts on handling those situations and best practices for the relationship. This session will also touch on hot topics and relationship management tips.

PANELISTS: Robert Ash, Radius Global Solutions, Fair Lawn, NJ; Matias Eduardo Garcia, Barnett & Garcia, PLLC, Austin, TX; Bryan Press, Metro Group Maritime, Livingston, NJ

Thursday, May 16
8:45- 9:45 AM CST
TRACK 2

Hot Topics in Bankruptcy Case Law

This session will be a summary of important bankruptcy cases decided through March 29, 2024, including recently decided U.S. Supreme Court cases.

SPEAKER: Ronald Peterson, Of Counsel at Jenner & Block, LLP, Chicago, IL

Thursday, May 16
10:00 AM-11:00 AM CST
TRACK 1

Packers & Stockyards Act-Hidden Statutory Liens That Will Bite you in the PACA!

Our speaker will outline and discuss the use of the Packer & Shippers Act and Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act as it applies to collections in the agricultural industry. Both transactional and litigation with questions and answers from the audience.

SPEAKER: George F. Braun, Law Offices of George Braun, Washington, DC

Thursday, May 16
10:00 AM-11:00 AM CST
TRACK 2

 

The New Day of Real Estate: How the Market Reset is Impacting Bankruptcy Law

Our speakers will examine the ongoing volatility of the real estate market and trends to watch for by bankruptcy practitioners. The discussion will examine how to do workouts in an evolving lending environment and evaluate whether filing bankruptcy is the best course of action. The speakers will also discuss takeaways from the WeWork cases and other recent bankruptcy filings. They also will consider such topics as the enforceability of arbitration clauses and handling pre-negotiation letters. Our speakers will also address such issues as dealing with landlord liens and waivers, and why residential property conversions may not be the answer in this environment.

SPEAKERS: Hon. Thomas Lynch, US Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of IL, Rockford, IL; Jack Rose, Law Offices of Jack Rose, PLLC, LLC, Bronxville, NY; Matthew Tabloff, Hilco Real Estate, LLC, Northbrook, IL

Thursday, May 16
1:30-2:30 PM CST
TRACK 1

 

Ethical Tips from Movies & TV Lawyers

Ethical legal actions are at the core of any and every successful law-related business endeavor, so attorneys, agencies and forwarders will find tremendous value, insight, and education in an entertaining and informative way, which will benefit your business, improve your caseload, and illustrate the value of using a CLLA vetted and approved attorney. Our speaker will use 5-6 television and movie clips to demonstrate some typical ethical issues and apply the model rules to provide guidance.

SPEAKERS: Ben H. Farrow, Anderson, Williams & Farrow, LLC, Montgomery, AL;
William H. Thrush
, Friedman, Framme & Thrush, P.A., Owings Mills, MD

Thursday, May 16
1:30-2:30 PM CST
TRACK 2

Four Years of the SBRA: How is it Working?

The Small Business Reorganization Act is four years old. What lessons have we learned? In the post-COVID world, does Subchapter V work better for small businesses? How do creditors view the Subchapter V experience? What have Subchapter V trustees learned about their role in a case? Join our experienced panel as they discuss practical issues addressing the ways in which Subchapter V is working and perhaps not working so far.

PANELISTS: Matthew Brash, Newpoint Advisors Corporation, Schaumburg, IL; Zach B. Shelomith, LSS Law, Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Beverly Weiss Manne, Tucker Arensberg, PC, Pittsburgh, PA; Hon. Mary Ann Whipple, US Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of OH, Toledo, OH

Thursday, May 16
2:45-4:15 PM CST

 

Caution, Beware of Potholes in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

The program will provide an opportunity for attendees to ask the experts about Chapter 11 cases and obtain guidance on identifying and avoiding the potholes along the way – starting with first day motions and continuing through plan confirmation.

Discussion topics to include:

  • What to look for in the first day motions.
  • Avoiding stay violations.
  • How to reserve your rights if there is a DIP lender.
  • Understanding cash collateral order(s) and monthly operating reports.
  • Determining if you have reclamation rights.
  • What sale motions mean for creditors.
  • Cure amounts and what to do if your agreement is assumed and assigned (or not assumed).
  • Identifying critical vendors.

PANELISTS: Hon. Janet Baer, US Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of IL, Chicago, IL; Candice Kline, Saul Ewing, LLP, Chicago, IL; Hon. Judith Fitzgerald (ret.), Tucker Arensberg, PC, Pittsburgh, PA; Thomas R. Fawkes, Tucker Ellis LLP, Chicago, IL

Friday, May 17
8:30-9:30 AM CST

 

Cybersecurity for Law Firms

In the upcoming cybersecurity session tailored for legal professionals, attendees will gain invaluable insights into fortifying their digital practices against today’s most pervasive cyber threats. The program will kick off with an in-depth exploration of business email compromise (BEC), a type of cyber fraud that could devastate a firm’s financial integrity. We will unravel the deceptive tactics used by cybercriminals and provide practical defense strategies. The session will then pivot to the menacing landscape of ransomware attacks, discussing how these malicious software breaches can lock down critical data and disrupt legal operations. Participants will learn how to not only prevent such attacks but also how to respond effectively if they occur. Lastly, we will delve into the robust cybersecurity controls necessary for the protection of confidential client information. From encryption to two-factor authentication, lawyers will leave equipped with a toolkit of measures designed to uphold their ethical obligations in maintaining client confidentiality in the digital age.

SPEAKER: Marco Alcala, Alcala Consulting, Inc., Pasadena, CA

Friday, May 17
9:45-11:00 AM CST

Litigating on Dual Fronts – Examining War Stories and Real-World Cases Involving Litigation Inside and Outside Bankruptcy

The panelists will address “cross-over” issues in the gray areas of the law that affect both bankruptcy and creditors’ rights attorneys. The program will be centered on real-world cases handled both inside and outside of bankruptcy. Discussions topics will include: fraudulent transfer cases (where a judgment against the principles is non-dischargeable), Ponzi scheme cases, (when there is a presumption of insolvency), RICO cases (when there is NO presumption of insolvency), director and officer litigation arising out of bankruptcy cases and judgment collection, dealing with bad faith filings and vexatious litigants, application of the Colorado River Doctrine and first to file rule, and debtor’s standing to prosecute claims outside of bankruptcy court.

PANELISTS: Joseph A. Marino, Marino, Mayers & Jarrach, LLC, Clifton, NJ; Randall Woolley, Darcy & Devassy PC, Chicago, IL; Kirk B. Burkley, Bernstein-Burkley, PC, Pittsburgh, PA

MORE INFORMATION

Code of Conduct

The Commercial Law League of America has zero-tolerance for discrimination and all forms of harassment, including but not limited to sexual harassment. Our zero-tolerance policy means that no form of discriminatory or harassing conduct by or towards any CLLA member, exhibitor, presenter, attendee, vendor or staff member will be tolerated. The CLLA is committed to assuring compliance with its policy at all levels within the association. By registering for this event, you agree to accept the Code of Conduct Policy.

CLE Credit

The Commercial Law League is applying for CLE with those states that require CLE credits for their licensed attorneys. All attorney attendees will receive a CLE Attendance Record form in their registration packet. At the conclusion of the Conference, please submit your form via email to mary.mccann@clla.org by Friday, May 31, 2024, or drop off your form at the Registration Desk.

CEU Credit

All CLLA Certified Agencies will receive a CEU Attendance Record form in their registration packet if recertification credits for the next fiscal year are needed. At the conclusion of the Conference, please submit your form via email to mary.mccann@clla.org by Friday, May 31, 2024, or drop off your form at the Registration Desk.

Special Needs

The Commercial Law League of America is happy to assist you with any special needs or requirements you may have. Visit the Registration Desk and a staff member will be happy to assist.

Dress Code

All CLLA Convention events are business casual.

Presentation Information

Commercial Law League of America’s 2024 National Convention presentation materials will be available to view/download through a link provided via email the week following the convention.

Name Badges

The Commercial Law League of America requires all attendees to properly display their name badge at all Convention sessions and events.

How do I access sessions?

All sessions will be accessible via Zoom. One week prior to the convention, you will receive an Attendee Information email that will direct you to the Convention Resource Center for all Zoom links to the sessions. We recommend downloading the app and setting up an account (it is free) before the first session. You can download it here: https://zoom.us/download.

Will I receive CLE/CEU for participating inthe live sessions?

All live sessions will be accredited with the state(s) in which members are registered. Be sure to register on or before Friday, March 8 in order to receive CLE state(s) accreditation.

What happens if I am unable to attend the live sessions?

Don’t worry, all the sessions will be recorded and available up to 30 days following the convention to all registered attendees. We will do everything possible to get all pre-recorded sessions accredited with each state. We ask that you know your state’s requirement(s) to insure acceptance of your session(s) for CLE.

To adhere to most states’ accreditation of CLE’s for recorded sessions, the recorded sessions must be “interactive”. You will need to identify the two (2) floating images during the viewing of the recorded session. You will need to write down the floating images on your CLE Form for each recorded session you view.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations must be submitted in writing. Registration fee refunds will be granted on the following schedule.

Cancellation notice received by Monday, April 22, 2024, will receive 100% refund less $50 processing fee, between April 23-May 6 will receive a 50% refund and no refund on or after May 7, 2024.

Cell Phones

Please be considerate in your cell phone use. CLLA requests that electronic devices be silenced in all sessions as a courtesy to the presenters and attendees.

EDUCATION PROGRAMS

Here’s your chance to fulfill your CLE and CEU certification requirements by attending the educational programs throughout the event.


A Note from the Education Committee Chair

“The Education committee is pleased to present its programming for this year‘s National Convention.

There will be something for agencies, attorneys, and forwarders this year with sessions on best business practices, as well as complex programs for creditors’ rights and bankruptcy. We also have the honor of welcoming multiple distinguished speakers on our education panels, including several current/past judges, and law school professors. Also, our government affairs committee will provide an update on CLLA’s legislative efforts. We are confident that these educational programs will meet our members’ wide-ranging interests and will provide any required education credit.

We look forward to seeing everyone in 2024.”    


 
B
en Farrow, CLLA Education Chair

CONVENTION EVENTS

Business Session – a Town Hall Meeting that includes the Annual Report from the League President and the Treasurer’s Report.
Nominating Debates (when necessary) –
Make informed decisions on candidates running for office.
Change of Officers –
Introduction of the newly installed officers.
President’s Cup –
Recipient recognition.

Networking Opportunities

Pop Culture Buffs… bring your best brain-teasing solving mind, and join our Master of Ceremonies, Timothy Wan, for lively interactive hour of team building and competition!

Back by Popular Demand… It’s GOOSE Time Part 2!
Honk Honk…Grab your teammates for another round of endless opportunities to compete in a fun and memorable convention scavenger-type hunt.

AceBounce… AceBounce is the perfect spot for a night of laughter and fun around the table.

Karaoke Nightcap… Hosted by the Young Members’ Section (YMS). Let your singing talent shine at the Karaoke nightcap with desserts at the Swissôtel.

Baseball in the Bleachers… Optional Activity. Limited tickets/space available.

Sponsorship will provide you with exposure to attorneys, agencies and commercial collection professionals. This is a great opportunity to showcase your company name as one of the sponsors at the 130th National Convention. Choose your sponsorship level when you register. Show your support and sponsor today!

BENEFITS:

All sponsors will be listed on:

  • CLLA website
  • Email promotions
  • On-site Signage
  • Event Program
  • Social Media

EXCLUSIVE SPONSORSHIPS:

  • Lanyards – $800  SOLD
  • Program – $750  SOLD
  • Pocket Guide – $500  SOLD
  • Notepads – $350  SOLD
  • Pens – $350  SOLD
  • Multi Device Charging Station –
    $250 SOLD

GENERAL SPONSORSHIPS:

  • Evening Receptions – $750
  • Thursday Luncheon – $750
  • Daily Breakfasts – $550
  • Networking Breaks – $400 
  • General Convention Sponsor – $250

LANYARDS

PROGRAM

POCKET GUIDE

NOTEPADS

PENS

MULTI DEVICE CHARGING STATION

Registration Information

Save $100!
Early registration deadline is Friday, March 8, 2024.

REGISTRATION DEADLINE

Friday, April 12, 2024

*Disclaimer: CLE credit available to attendees in qualifying states who register on or before March 8. We cannot guarantee state accreditation after March 8.
**One registration form per member.
***Please note that business colleagues are not eligible to register under this category.

Member/Non-Member Registration Fee Includes:

  • Access to all Educational Sessions
  • Continuing Education: CLE/CEU
  • Daily Breakfast and Breaks
  • Goose Chase
  • Thursday’s Lunch Buffet
  • Women’s Empowerment & Networking Event
  • Evening Receptions
  • Game Show
  • Thursday Evening Karaoke Bar Nightcap
  • Friday’s Annual Awards Brunch

Spouse/Guest Registration Fee Includes:

  • Daily Breakfast and Breaks
  • Goose Chase
  • Thursday’s Lunch Buffet
  • Women’s Empowerment & Networking Event
  • Evening Receptions
  • Game Show
  • Thursday Evening Karaoke Bar Nightcap
  • Friday’s Annual Awards Brunch

Virtual Registration Fee Includes:

  • Access to all Educational Sessions
  • Continuing Education: CLE/CEU
  • Thursday’s Business Meeting
  • Friday’s Annual Awards Program

Swissôtel Chicago

323 East Upper Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 565-0565
www.swissotel.com

Designed by renowned Chicago architect Harry Weese, Swissôtel Chicago is an award-winning luxury hotel overlooking the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, and just steps from the Magnificent Mile. The distinctive 4-diamond, all-glass hotel offers spectacular wrap-around views from Navy Pier to Millennium Park, 662 guest rooms and suites, five premier ballrooms, state-of-the-art penthouse fitness center, and spotless European-style service.

Hotel Reservations

Make your hotel reservation as early as possible to ensure you receive the discounted rate (subject to availability). Making your reservation by phone, call the Reservations Department at 1-888-737-9477 or the Global Reservation Centre at 1-800-441-1414. Be sure to mention you are with the Commercial Law League of America-CLLA to receive the group rate.

On-line reservations can be made by clicking the link: https://book.passkey.com/e/50725849.
Room Rate: $269/night, single/double occupancy, plus applicable taxes (currently 17.4%) (NO resort fee). Room cut-off is Friday, April 14, 2024.

Parking

Swissotel: Valet Parking overnight with
in/out access is $78/night.
Nearby Self-Parking Garages:
  • 303 East Wacker Garage (303 E. Wacker Dr.)
  • Coast Parking (345 E, W. Wacker Dr.)
  • The Tides at Lakeshore East (360 E. South Water St.)
  • Illinois Center (111 E. Randolph)
  • Park Millennium Parking Garage (221 N. Stetson Ave.)
To find discounted parking near the hotel, download the SpotHero app to your mobile device and search the area.

Weather

Average Chicago temperatures for mid-May are high 70’s/low 50’s. Come prepared, it’s Chicago!

Transportation

Visit this link for driving directions: https://www.swissotel.com/hotels/chicago/explore-hotel/

Women’s Empowerment & Networking Event Thursday, May 16

For a second year, CLLA has invited Dress for Success Worldwide (DFS) Central to our special luncheon. We will be fortunate to hear from a few women who have been supported by the DFS organization who will share their inspiring stories. The Executive Director will also share how the CLLA donation last year (over $10,000!) has aided their mission.

The purpose of this event is to encourage networking for the women members and spouses of the CLLA, as well as educate and inspire with new philanthropic opportunities. A buffet lunch will be served, and each attendee will receive a special gift! Additionally, charitable donations to benefit Dress for Success will be accepted during the event.

We look forward to seeing you in Chicago in May 2024!

Law Offices of Gary A. Bemis
Tucker Arensberg, PC
Friedman, Framme & Thrush, PA
Miller Cohen Peterson Young, PC
Crystal R. Cole, Attorney at Law
Ben Farrow
Beverly Manne
Wagner, Falconer & Judd, Ltd.
Gilbert Garcia Group
Natalia Minassian
Phil Lattanzio

CONVENTION SCHEDULE
AT-A-GLANCE

Back by Popular Demand… It’s GOOSE Time Part 2!

Honk Honk…Grab your teammates for another round of endless opportunities to compete in a fun and memorable convention scavenger-type hunt.

Competitor Teams will be given a series of “Missions”, all of which will be tracked on an app, “Goosechase”. At the end of the convention, winning teams will receive gift card prizes!
We hope you will join in the fun and make new connections!

15  Wednesday

9:00 AM — 6:00 PM REGISTRATION
10:30 AM — NOON Board of Governors Meeting
NOON — 1:00 PM Leadership Lunch
1:00 — 1:45 PM Committee Meetings
1:45 — 2:00 PM BREAK
2:00 — 2:45 PM Executive Council Meetings
2:45 — 3:00 PM BREAK
3:00 — 3:45 PM Regional Executive Council Meetings
3:45 — 4:00 PM BREAK
4:00 — 5:00 PM Legislative Forum
5:15 — 6:15 PM First Time Attendee’s Orientation (BY INVITE ONLY)
6:30 — 7:30 PM Welcome Reception
9:00 — 11:00 PM Nightcap

Reconnect with colleagues and celebrate the first night of National at the Welcome Reception.

16  Thursday

7:00 AM — 6:00 PM REGISTRATION
7:15 — 7:45 AM Past Presidents’ Breakfast
7:30 — 8:00 AM Breakfast and Networking
8:00 — 8:30 AM Welcome/Annual Business Meeting
8:45 — 9:45 AM TRACK ONE: Good Forwarders Go Bad
TRACK TWO: Hot Topic in Bankruptcy Case Law
9:45 — 10:00 AM BREAK
10:00 — 11:00 AM TRACK ONE: Packers & Stockyards Act Hidden Statutory Liens That Will Bite You in the PACA!
TRACK TWO: The New Day of Real Estate: How the Market Reset is Impacting Bankruptcy Law
11:00 — 11:15 AM BREAK
11:15 AM — NOON General Membership Meetings
12:15 — 1:30 PM General Membership Lunch Bufffet
12:15 — 1:30 PM Women’s Empowerment & Networking Luncheon
1:30 — 2:30 PM TRACK ONE: Ethical Tips from Movies & TV Lawyers
TRACK TWO: Four Years of the SBRA: How Is It Working?
2:30 — 2:45 PM BREAK
2:45 — 4:15 PM Caution, Beware of Potholes in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
4:15 — 4:30 PM BREAK
4:30 — 5:30 PM Pop Culture Game Show
5:30 — 6:30 PM Thursday Evening Social
9:00 — 11:00 PM Karaoke Nightcap and Desserts at the Swissotel

17  Friday

7:30 AM — NOON REGISTRATION
8:00 — 9:00 AM Breakfast and Networking
8:30 — 9:30 AM Cybersecurity for Law Firms
9:30 — 9:45 AM BREAK
9:45 — 11:00 AM Litigating on Dual Fronts: Examining War Stories and Real-World Cases Involving Litigation Inside and Outside Bankruptcy
11:00 AM — 12:30 PM Brunch Buffet, Annual Awards, and Farewell

ABOVE: Ron Peterson, Jenner & Block LLP, receiving the President’s Cup at the 129th CLLA National Conference.

EDUCATION
AT-A-GLANCE

Wednesday, May 15
4:00 – 5:00 PM CST

 

Legislative Forum

CLLA panelists will provide a review of CLLA legislative and government affairs efforts during the past year, inform members about the political make-up of the current Congress and possibilities for legislation impacting the commercial law, and educate attendees about the legislative process; including drafting legislation and policy positions for consideration by members of Congress and aligned interested parties and organizations.

PANELISTS: Peter Califano, Niesar & Vestal LLP, San Francisco, CA; Conor Kelly, Webster, Chamberlain & Bean, Washington, DC; Dan Kerrick, Hogan McDaniel, Wilmington, DE; Gilbert M. Singer, Marcadis Singer P.A.

Thursday, May 16
8:45 – 9:45 AM CST
TRACK 1

Good Forwarders Go Bad

Join us for a practical discussion between a panel of agencies and attorneys as we talk about how to handle cases that we’d rather walk away from, but it’s what you do for a good client! We’ll be discussing some do’s and don’ts on handling those situations and best practices for the relationship. This session will also touch on hot topics and relationship management tips.

PANELISTS: Robert Ash, Radius Global Solutions, Fair Lawn, NJ; Matias Eduardo Garcia, Barnett & Garcia, PLLC, Austin, TX; Bryan Press, Metro Group Maritime, Livingston, NJ

Thursday, May 16
8:45 – 9:45 AM CST
Track 2

 

Hot Topics in Bankruptcy Case Law

This session will be a summary of important bankruptcy cases decided through March 29, 2024, including recently decided U.S. Supreme Court cases.

SPEAKER: Ronald Peterson, Of Counsel at Jenner & Block, LLP, Chicago, IL

Thursday, May 16
10:00 – 11:00 AM CST
TRACK 1

Packers & Stockyards Act-Hidden Statutory Liens That Will Bite you in the PACA!

Our speaker will outline and discuss the use of the Packer & Shippers Act and Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act as it applies to collections in the agricultural industry. Both transactional and litigation with questions and answers from the audience.

SPEAKER: George F. Braun, Law Offices of George Braun, Washington, DC

Thursday, May 16
10:00 – 11:00 AM CST
Track 2

 

The New Day of Real Estate: How the Market Reset is Impacting Bankruptcy Law

Our speakers will examine the ongoing volatility of the real estate market and trends to watch for by bankruptcy practitioners. The discussion will examine how to do workouts in an evolving lending environment and evaluate whether filing bankruptcy is the best course of action. The speakers will also discuss takeaways from the WeWork cases and other recent bankruptcy filings. They also will consider such topics as the enforceability of arbitration clauses and handling pre-negotiation letters. Our speakers will also address such issues as dealing with landlord liens and waivers, and why residential property conversions may not be the answer in this environment.

SPEAKERS: Hon. Thomas Lynch, US Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of IL, Rockford, IL; Jack Rose, Law Offices of Jack Rose, PLLC, LLC, Bronxville, NY; Matthew Tabloff, Hilco Real Estate, LLC, Northbrook, IL

Thursday, May 16
1:30 – 2:30 PM CST
TRACK 1

Ethical Tips from Movies & TV Lawyers

Ethical legal actions are at the core of any and every successful law-related business endeavor, so attorneys, agencies and forwarders will find tremendous value, insight, and education in an entertaining and informative way, which will benefit your business, improve your caseload, and illustrate the value of using a CLLA vetted and approved attorney. Our speaker will use 5-6 television and movie clips to demonstrate some typical ethical issues and apply the model rules to provide guidance.

SPEAKERS: Ben H. Farrow, Anderson, Williams & Farrow, LLC, Montgomery, AL;
William H. Thrush
, Friedman, Framme & Thrush, P.A., Owings Mills, MD

Thursday, May 16
1:30 – 2:30 PM CST
Track 2

   

Four Years of the SBRA: How is it Working?

The Small Business Reorganization Act is four years old. What lessons have we learned? In the post-COVID world, does Subchapter V work better for small businesses? How do creditors view the Subchapter V experience? What have Subchapter V trustees learned about their role in a case? Join our experienced panel as they discuss practical issues addressing the ways in which Subchapter V is working and perhaps not working so far.

PANELISTS: Matthew Brash, Newpoint Advisors Corporation, Schaumburg, IL; Zach B. Shelomith, LSS Law, Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Beverly Weiss Manne, Tucker Arensberg, PC, Pittsburgh, PA; Hon. Mary Ann Whipple, US Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of OH, Toledo, OH

Thursday, May 16
2:45 – 4:15 PM CST

 

Caution, Beware of Potholes in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

The program will provide an opportunity for attendees to ask the experts about Chapter 11 cases and obtain guidance on identifying and avoiding the potholes along the way – starting with first day motions and continuing through plan confirmation.

Discussion topics to include:

  • What to look for in the first day motions.
  • Avoiding stay violations.
  • How to reserve your rights if there is a DIP lender.
  • Understanding cash collateral order(s) and monthly operating reports.
  • Determining if you have reclamation rights.
  • What sale motions mean for creditors.
  • Cure amounts and what to do if your agreement is assumed and assigned (or not assumed).
  • Identifying critical vendors.

PANELISTS: Hon. Janet Baer, US Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of IL, Chicago, IL; Candice Kline, Saul Ewing, LLP, Chicago, IL; Hon. Judith Fitzgerald (ret.), Tucker Arensberg, PC, Pittsburgh, PA; Thomas R. Fawkes, Tucker Ellis LLP, Chicago, IL

Friday, May 17
8:30 – 9:30 AM CST

Cybersecurity for Law Firms

In the upcoming cybersecurity session tailored for legal professionals, attendees will gain invaluable insights into fortifying their digital practices against today’s most pervasive cyber threats. The program will kick off with an in-depth exploration of business email compromise (BEC), a type of cyber fraud that could devastate a firm’s financial integrity. We will unravel the deceptive tactics used by cybercriminals and provide practical defense strategies. The session will then pivot to the menacing landscape of ransomware attacks, discussing how these malicious software breaches can lock down critical data and disrupt legal operations. Participants will learn how to not only prevent such attacks but also how to respond effectively if they occur. Lastly, we will delve into the robust cybersecurity controls necessary for the protection of confidential client information. From encryption to two-factor authentication, lawyers will leave equipped with a toolkit of measures designed to uphold their ethical obligations in maintaining client confidentiality in the digital age.

SPEAKER: Marco Alcala, Alcala Consulting, Inc., Pasadena, CA

Friday, May 17
9:45 –11:00 AM CST

Litigating on Dual Fronts – Examining War Stories and Real-World Cases Involving Litigation Inside and Outside Bankruptcy

The panelists will address “cross-over” issues in the gray areas of the law that affect both bankruptcy and creditors’ rights attorneys. The program will be centered on real-world cases handled both inside and outside of bankruptcy. Discussions topics will include: fraudulent transfer cases (where a judgment against the principles is non-dischargeable), Ponzi scheme cases, (when there is a presumption of insolvency), RICO cases (when there is NO presumption of insolvency), director and officer litigation arising out of bankruptcy cases and judgment collection, dealing with bad faith filings and vexatious litigants, application of the Colorado River Doctrine and first to file rule, and debtor’s standing to prosecute claims outside of bankruptcy court.

PANELISTS: Joseph A. Marino, Marino, Mayers & Jarrach, LLC, Clifton, NJ; Randall Woolley, Darcy & Devassy PC, Chicago, IL; Kirk B. Burkley, Bernstein-Burkley, PC, Pittsburgh, PA

MORE INFORMATION

Code of Conduct

The Commercial Law League of America has zero-tolerance for discrimination and all forms of harassment, including but not limited to sexual harassment. Our zero-tolerance policy means that no form of discriminatory or harassing conduct by or towards any CLLA member, exhibitor, presenter, attendee, vendor or staff member will be tolerated. The CLLA is committed to assuring compliance with its policy at all levels within the association. By registering for this event, you agree to accept the Code of Conduct Policy.

CLE Credit

The Commercial Law League is applying for CLE with those states that require CLE credits for their licensed attorneys. All attorney attendees will receive a CLE Attendance Record form in their registration packet. At the conclusion of the Conference, please submit your form via email to mary.mccann@clla.org by Friday, May 31, 2024, or drop off your form at the Registration Desk.

CEU Credit

All CLLA Certified Agencies will receive a CEU Attendance Record form in their registration packet if recertification credits for the next fiscal year are needed. At the conclusion of the Conference, please submit your form via email to mary.mccann@clla.org by Friday, May 31, 2024, or drop off your form at the Registration Desk.

Special Needs

The Commercial Law League of America is happy to assist you with any special needs or requirements you may have. Visit the Registration Desk and a staff member will be happy to assist.

Dress Code

All CLLA Convention events are business casual.

Presentation Information

Commercial Law League of America’s 2024 National Convention presentation materials will be available to view/download through a link provided via email the week following the convention.

Name Badges

The Commercial Law League of America requires all attendees to properly display their name badge at all Convention sessions and events.

How do I access sessions?

All sessions will be accessible via Zoom. One week prior to the convention, you will receive an Attendee Information email that will direct you to the Convention Resource Center for all Zoom links to the sessions. We recommend downloading the app and setting up an account (it is free) before the first session. You can download it here: https://zoom.us/download.

Will I receive CLE/CEU for participating inthe live sessions?

All live sessions will be accredited with the state(s) in which members are registered. Be sure to register on or before Friday, March 8 in order to receive CLE state(s) accreditation.

What happens if I am unable to attend the live sessions?

Don’t worry, all the sessions will be recorded and available up to 30 days following the convention to all registered attendees. We will do everything possible to get all pre-recorded sessions accredited with each state. We ask that you know your state’s requirement(s) to insure acceptance of your session(s) for CLE.

To adhere to most states’ accreditation of CLE’s for recorded sessions, the recorded sessions must be “interactive”. You will need to identify the two (2) floating images during the viewing of the recorded session. You will need to write down the floating images on your CLE Form for each recorded session you view.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations must be submitted in writing. Registration fee refunds will be granted on the following schedule.

Cancellation notice received by Monday, April 22, 2024, will receive 100% refund less $50 processing fee, between April 23-May 6 will receive a 50% refund and no refund on or after May 7, 2024.

Cell Phones

Please be considerate in your cell phone use. CLLA requests that electronic devices be silenced in all sessions as a courtesy to the presenters and attendees.

Become A Member

Membership provides an opportunity to connect with professionals in your field and promote your services to other industry members.

Being engaged, involved, active, and present makes all the difference. Network and make new business contacts. Keep your CLE requirements up-to-date and find out about pending legislation that could affect your daily work, before it goes into effect by joining the CLLA.

CLLA ZOOM Discussions And Webinars

CLLA’s recorded Zoom Discussions and Webinars are available for viewing at your convenience. 

130th CLLA National Convention

Join us for this annual event, the largest gathering of the year! Meet with us for valuable education and networking opportunities.

Hill Day 2024!

A great opportunity to promote CLLA in DC and work on behalf of the issues that affect you. We hope you can join us!

CLLA Southern Region Conference

Thank You to attendees, speakers and sponsors. Click for photos!

Contact Us

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Contact Info

3005 Tollview Drive, Rolling Meadows, Illinois 60008

+312 240 1400

info@clla.org

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