Federal Bar Association Bankruptcy Section for Western District of Michigan About Contact

Bankruptcy Section Micigan FBA

The Federal Bar Association – Bankruptcy Section is an organization which supports attorneys practicing bankruptcy law in Western Michigan through education,  practice development, professional recognition and social events.

FBA Bankruptcy Section Annual SeminarEVENTS |FBA Bankruptcy Section News MichiganNEWS | FBA Bankruptcy Section Document ArchiveDOCUMENT ARCHIVE | About Bankruptcy Section MichiganABOUT US | FBA Bankruptcy Section Steering CommitteeSTEERING COMMITTEE

FBA Bankruptcy Section Annual SeminarEVENTS

Our good and faithful Clerk of the Court, Daniel M. LaVille,  is retiring after many years of excellent work running our court.  We are honoring him with a party at the University Club in Grand Rapids on July 24, 2019 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m..  Come and enjoy refreshments and let Dan know that we will all miss him.   The University Club is at the top of the Fifth Third Building in downtown Grand Rapids at 111 Lyon NW, Suite 1025, Grand Rapids, MI 49504 (616) 456-8623.  The building has parking off Ottawa and Monroe, in addition to the many other places to park in downtown GR. 

2019 Summer Seminar.  This year’s annual event will be held from July 26, 2019 to July 28, 2019 at Crystal Mountain, Michigan.  Note that, this year, we start on a Friday, not a Thursday, as we have done in the past.  Sign up now! 

FBA Bankruptcy Section News MichiganNEWS

Dear Members and Friends of the Bankruptcy Section for the Federal Bar Association – Western District of Michigan,

Due to increased interest in the substantive articles published in the Bankruptcy Section’s newsletter, as well as the frequency of the events pertaining to the Bankruptcy Section and the Bankruptcy Courts for the Eastern and Western District of Michigan, the Bankruptcy Section has decided to restructure the formatting of its newsletter into two components. The first will consist of a monthly email containing news and information regarding upcoming events in the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan. The second component will consist of a quarterly electronic publication, entitled the “Michigan Bankruptcy Journal”, which will consist of substantive legal articles, comments, and briefs. The Bankruptcy Section believes this new format will balance the need for more frequent notifications regarding upcoming events with the desire to maintain a quarterly publication that provides an avenue for Michigan bankruptcy practitioners and related professionals to publish written works and newer members of the bar to remain apprised of legal developments.

If you have any questions about this new format, or you know of someone who should be added to our email list, please feel free to reach out to a member of the Steering Committee.

Michigan Bankruptcy Journal
The Michigan Bankruptcy Journal will be published electronically and distributed by email on the fourth Friday in each of February (Winter), May (Spring), August (Summer), and November (Fall). Submissions from members of the bar and other insolvency professionals are welcome. There are no requirements as to length or format, and contributing authors are free to retain publishing rights. Submissions are due on the Monday immediately preceding the publication date. If you would like to submit an article, comment, or brief for publication, please contact Greg Guest at gguest@dickinsonwright.com.

To view editions of the Michigan Bankruptcy Journal, go to our DOCUMENT ARCHIVE section of this webpage.  

FBA Bankruptcy Section News MichiganPAST NEWS

Debtors Bar of West Michigan 9th Annual Winter Conference
The Debtors Bar for the Western District of Michigan will be hosting its 9th Annual Winter Seminar on January 21, 2019, at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Please review the brochure for detailed information.

Bankruptcy Best Practices Seminar 2018
Full announcement.

The State of the Court Luncheon.
Noon, Friday, October 26, 2018
JW Marriott International Ballroom.

Guest Speaker:
Steven W. Rhodes
Retired Chief Judge - United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
Full announcement.


Summer Seminar 2018

We held the 30th Annual Bankruptcy Seminar at the Park Place Hotel in Traverse City from July 26-28, 2018.  This was an excellent opportunity to learn from very experienced commercial and consumer insolvency professionals during a robust educational program that also includes 19 sitting and retired judges.  The seminar also provided a number of opportunities for social interaction in a casual setting that foster the collegiality of our bankruptcy bar that we all enjoy and value.  This year we have added the inaugural Trial Advocacy Skills Workshop, a full day, intensive workshop led by a faculty of distinguished judges designed to build your trial skills and confidence.  This seminar continues to be one of the most competitively priced continuing legal educational opportunities in the Midwest.  People particularly commented about how helpful the educational program sessions were for our practice of Bankruptcy Law in Western Michigan. 

Michigan Uniform Commercial Real Estate Act Seminar
The State Bar of Michigan and the Federal Bar Association offered a program entitled Michigan’s “New” Uniform Commercial Real Estate Receivership Act on May 23, 2018 in the offices of Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss, P.C. located in Southfield, Michigan. 

Bankruptcy Boot Camp 2018
The seminar was held on May 11, 2018 at Grand Valley State University’s Eberhard Center.  Speakers include the Bankruptcy Judges for the Western District of Michigan. Flyer and registration packet

Turnaround Management Association, West Michigan 3rd Annual Luncheon Series:  "Welcome to the World of Oz".  All 3 of our Bankruptcy Judges will speak at this event on March 13, 2018.  The topic is "We Are Off To See The Wizard".   This is one in a series of events where they will focus on a singular kind of risk that Turnaround professionals and clients encounter on a routine basis.  Where: The University Club, 111 Lyon St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503  Time: 11:45 AM - 1:00 PM


On January 15, 2018, the Debtor’s Bar of West Michigan held its 8th Annual Winter Seminar. It was very good. We covered recent topics and plan issues in chapter 13, information on the Michigan Unemployment Insurance controversy, chapter 7 issues and then the always valuable case law update and view from the bench. Thank's to the leadership of the Debtor’s Bar and speakers for leading this event. Contact the Debtor’s Bar at Mike Hanrahan Mike@ChaseBylenga.com for more information about this and future events.


We held the annual State of the Court luncheon on October 13, 2017 at the JW MARRIOT hotel in downtown Grand Rapids.  As always, the food was wonderful, thanks to Michael Maggio who made the selections.  Our Chief Judge, the Honorable Scott W. Dales, made astute observations about the year and other topics and Chair Ben White guided us through a delightful luncheon event.  The Speaker was Lawrence Ponoroff, Dean of the MSU College of Law, and he discussed potential changes to Chapter 13 law for consideration.  We also honored James Batchelor, who recently retired from the TROTT firm.  Jim was a long-time creditor attorney and he received the 2017 David Nims/Laurence Howard Civility Award Civility Award, which is a great honor, recognizing his ability to work effectively for his clients while treating others with dignity and respect.  Congratulations to Jim and we will miss you. 

2017 State of the Court


We held the 29th Annual Bankruptcy Section Seminar at Boyne Highlands from July 27 - 29, 2017. Hey, next year is the 30th anniversary of this event! You will not want to miss that.


Those who attended stated that the seminar was one of the best offerings of educational materials in recent memory. Thanks to all the presenters who made that possible. See photos of some of the events.

As usual, there was ample time for fun, food, and games. See our photos of the winners of the Bocce competition. (A first for us, by the way.)


Michelle Wilson and Todd Almassian organized this event. The educational co-chairs were Judge James W. Boyd and Judge John T. Gregg. We also had committees to develop material related to consumer issues (Elizabeth Clark, Rebecca Johnson-Ellis, and Robert Shefferly) and commercial issues (Allison Bach, Elisabeth Von Eitzen and Steve Rayman). Thanks to them, their staff, and everyone else who helped.

Again, next year should be something special. It will held at the Park Place Hotel in Traverse City, Michigan, from July 26 - 28, 2018. We look forward to seeing you there!

View the Summer 2017 Publication

Thursday Nov 30th - Dec 14th

Monday September 18th, 2017
GVSU Eberhard Center, Grand Rapids Michigan

View the Winter 2017 Publication

View the Fall 2016 Publication

Debtor’s Bar of Western Michigan Annual Conference was held January 16, 2017. 
See their website for this: http://www.debtorsbar.com

Upcoming changes to our Local Rules: Provide your input into this process!  Our court established a committee to review our Local Rules.  This is going to be a comprehensive review, so it sounds like everything is on the table for possible change.  If you have an opinion about how things are done, send it to the committee.  See the announcement for this on the Court website.  Your deadline is 1/31/2017 and send items to  Katrina_Shellman@miwb.ucsourts.gov.

Chapter 13 Basics. The US Trustee office organized a full day of training on this topic on October 17, 2016. It was packed with important information and tips from experienced attorneys. Thanks to all who participated in this event.

State of the Court Luncheon
. Another great event on October 21, 2016, with a speaker who addressed bankruptcy issues presenting pending before the United States Supreme Court. Thanks to those who organized this event.

Our 2016 Summer Seminar on Mackinac Island was great! 
Our hosts at the Mission Point Resort did a wonderful job.  We attended many valuable educational sessions. 

We presented significant awards:

The Lion Award was presented to retired Judge Jeffrey R. Hughes.

The David Nims/Laurence Howard Civility Award was presented to Carol J. Chase of Chase & Bylenga PLLC.  The Education award was presented to Mary K. Viegelahn, formerly chapter 13 trustee here, now chapter 13 trustee in San Antonio, Texas.

Most of the Official Bankruptcy Forms changed, effective December 1, 2015. See the court website, which can link you to all forms used in bankruptcy proceedings. http://www.miwb.uscourts.gov/


FBA Bankruptcy Section Steering Committee



© Copyright - Federal Bar Association - Bankruptcy Section for the Western District of Michigan
Maintained by Chad Edwards