November 6, 2013
The McGeorge Property Law Student Association (MPLSA) hosted a speakers panel, “How to Think About Municipality Insolvency and Chapter 9,” on Nov. 4, 2013. It was well-attended by students, faculty and alumni.
The panelists consisted of Steven Felderstein, Marc Levinson, and Donna Parkinson, who are all practicing bankruptcy attorneys, and Chief Judge Christopher Klein. All have participated in a number of municipality bankruptcy cases in California. Steven Felderstein is also an adjunct bankruptcy professor, and Judge Klein is the Chief Judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Eastern District of California.
The event opened with a brief news clip about the Stockton case, and Mr. Levinson described Stockton's financial state that led to its filing for bankruptcy. The panelists then covered a range of topics, from the Contracts Clause and federal jurisdiction to recent California legislation regarding the Chapter 9 process. Each addressed the roles of attorneys, judges and mediators in the municipality bankruptcy process, and emphasized the prominence of the role of negotiation between competing interests when a municipality becomes insolvent.
The speakers were eager to answer questions, and mingled with students after the event. The MPLSA board was pleased with both the turn out and the substance of the presentation.