March 28, 2011
(Judge Brown will be hosting Ch 7 & 13 home mortgage bankruptcy webinars on March 30th and April 1st , click here for more information.)
What do you think are the upcoming key developments to watch in regards to bankruptcy?
There are many issues arising out the 2005 amendments to the Bankruptcy Code; while some have been resolved by appellate decisions, including a few by the Supreme Court, many splits in bankruptcy court and appellate interpretations of the 2005 amendments still remain.
This contributes to variations in practice among the judicial districts. There are also proposed changes to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure that will affect the filing and documentation of proofs of claims.
What is your background?
I retired in 2006 as a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Western District of Tennessee, and also had been designated to sit in the Middle District of Tennessee, Southern District of Florida, Eastern District of Michigan and Western District of Kentucky.
I also served a four-year term on the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Sixth Circuit from 1999 through 2002. I received his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law, where I was elected to the Order of the Coif.
I’m a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, having served on its Board and Executive Committee, and am a Fellow in the American College of Bankruptcy.
I am the author or co-author of several texts, including Bankruptcy Exemption Manual, 2005 Bankruptcy Reform Legislation with Analysis 1st and 2d editions, Bankruptcy and Domestic Relations Manual, The Law of Debtors and Creditors, as well as bankruptcy form books, all published by Thomson Reuters.
I am also a principal contributing editor for Norton Bankruptcy Law and Practice 3rd.
I prepare a quarterly update of consumer cases for the Federal Judicial Center, which distributes those materials to all bankruptcy judges, and he is a speaker at the Federal Judicial Center’s annual seminars for bankruptcy judges.
I also speak regularly at seminars throughout the United States, on consumer bankruptcy topics. I act as a mediator in bankruptcy-related disputes, have conducted mock trials, and have testified as an expert witness in bankruptcy court trials.
How did you get into the legal world?
I started out as a teacher on the college level, but always had a desire to go to law school.
How did you become an author?
My first publication was with West, resulting from my speaking on the subject of exemptions at a national meeting of bankruptcy judges. I was asked by two co-authors to help with a new publication, the Bankruptcy Exemption Manual, which has continued to be a unique publication that is revised annually.
Do you have any advice for other individuals who might want to become a West Author?
Focus on finding a subject area in which you have experience or expertise, and spend time thinking about what the potential audience for the publication would be. Basically, you will want to “sell” to the publisher why your book would be a worthwhile publication for both you as author and for the publisher. It helps greatly if you are interested in seminar presentations, which provide a great way to promote your publication.
What is your favorite part about your trips to West?
I’ve enjoyed getting to know both the editorial people and individuals involved in marketing. I’ve found it helps the publications in which I’m involved if I contribute ideas about promotion of the publication.
What surprised you most about West?
Obviously, the size of the facility in Eagan is impressive, and in both Eagan and Rochester, I learned more about the many areas of work, other than legal, in which Thomson Reuters is involved.
Who is another person in the legal world you’d most like to meet?
Anyone on the Supreme Court.
To Kill a Mockingbird
When you were studying for your bar exam, what was your favorite snack?
I’ve tried to forget everything about the bar exam.
What was the first concert you ever went to?
My first live concert was Sonny and Cher — wow that dates me.
Who is your favorite sport team?
Since I spend part of my time in Colorado and part in Tennessee, I have to have favorite teams in both places.