American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers

The American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers is a professional organization dedicated to promoting the field of commercial finance law through education, legislative reform and the recognition of distinguished practitioners, jurists and academics. The College’s mission is to bring together into an association those highly qualified members of the legal profession who, by reason of their character, skill and ability, will contribute to the goals, accomplishments and good fellowship of the College.  Additional information about the College is available at The College offers a venue to promote and recognize outstanding achievement and advances in the field of commercial finance law.

Upcoming Events 

Click here to access information about the College’s Fellows Briefings, which have been increasingly popular!

Recent Events 

The 2020 Fall Advanced Seminar 
was a well-attended, highly successful, virtual event!

  “The material was challenging and excellent...”

 “The seminar was good fun and informative, as always.  
Thank you for figuring out how to make it work on Zoom.”

College Fellows who attended the September10th Advanced Seminar found the presentations and the break-out sessions to be timely, instructive, and very stimulating. The program, The UCC and Emerging Technologies: Transactional Conundrums, included a report on the ALI/ULC Joint Committee on the UCC and Emerging Technologies (Fellow Kristen David Adams, Professor of Law, Stetson University College of Law), and up-to-date information on eContracting and eVaulting (Steve Bisbee, President and Founder, and Valerie Daly, Vice President, Customer Services, eOriginal, Inc.)  

The presenters have graciously provided their PowerPoint presentations to share with our Fellows and ACCFL website readers.  Professor Adams’ presentation can be accessed and downloaded by clicking hereIf you have no way of opening the PowerPoint, here is a pdf that was converted from it.  The eOriginal PowerPoint is accessible by clicking this link for downloading, and click here for the PowerPoint converted to a pdf 

The College also greatly appreciates the submission of hypotheticals that were used in the virtual breakout sections.  These well-crafted situations, which were provided by Fellows Stephen Sepinuck (Gonzaga School of Law), Edwin Smith (Morgan Lewis), Teresa Harmon (Sidley Austin LLP), Sandra Rocks and Penny Christophorou (Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP), were a stimulus for interactive and interesting dialogue in each breakout session.  Presentations during a summary session allowed each group to share their thoughts and ideas about the hypothetical, and prompted lively discussion.  

A special thanks goes to President Pamela Martinson, and the many technicians of Sidley Austin LLP who made the virtual seminar possible.  The officers of the College’s Executive Committee assisted with the program development, and President-Elect Marshall Grodner was instrumental in arranging for the eOriginal presentation.

The College would be remiss if it did not gratefully acknowledge and thank the Sponsors who supported this event, and allowed it to be made available free of charge to our Fellows this year.  Sponsorships are especially important to the continuation of the College’s unique programs and services that fulfill its mission and goals, particularly in this electronic era of communication and meetings.  If you are interested in becoming a Sponsor, please contact the College’s administrative office at [email protected].  

Many thanks to the following Sponsors: 

   (Patrick A. (Buzz) Guida),  (Fennemore Craig, PC)  
 (Lane Powell PC),    (McGlinchey Stafford PLLC - Platinum)
 (Sidley Austin LLP - Platinum)
  (Young Conaway Stargatt &Taylor, LLP - Gold)  

If you, your firm, company or organization is interested in becoming a sponsor, or learning more about sponsorship opportunities, please contact our administrative office at [email protected]Someone will contact you to discuss your interests and needs, as well as any updated sponsorships that will be offered in the coming months.

The College held a special virtual Meet and Greet Orientation Meeting
of the 2020 class of ACCFL Fellows,
who were admitted to the College by vote of the Board of Regents, in March 2020.

After the cancellation of the College Dinner in Boston in the Spring 2020 when the new Class of Fellows was to be welcomed into the College, the Executive Committee and Chair of the Nominations Committee Bridget Marsh scheduled the first virtual Meet and Greet/ Orientation for the new 2020 Class of Fellows on July 28, 2020 by Zoom. The Meet and Greet gave the New Fellows a chance to introduce themselves to the other new Fellows and  the Orientation gave Pam Martinson the College President a chance to introduce the Executive Committee and Chair of the Nominations Committee to the new Fellows.  Each officer provided information to the new Fellows on the workings and operations of the College and encouraged their participation in the Briefing calls and on various committees.  
                        The New Fellows include: 

      Maria J. Barclay (Thomson Reuters)
      Dawn M. Cica (Carlyon Cica Chtd)
      Bradley Gibson (First American Title Insurance Company)
      Christine Gould Hamm (Wells Fargo) 
      E. Perry Hicks (Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP)
      Lisa R. Jacobs (DLA Piper LLP)
      Edward J. Janger (Brooklyn Law School)
      Jerome McCluskey (Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP) 
      Bryon J. Mulligan (Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP)
      Roshelle A. Nagar (Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP)
      Mary Jeanne Phelan (McCarthy Tétrault LLP)
      Nancy Rigby (U.S. Bank National Association)  

      Allison Jan Satyr (Sidley Austin LLP)

The 2024 Class of members of the Board of Regents, and the new Executive Committee, was introduced to the College Fellows by Immediate Past President Norman M. Powell, in a letter to the College Fellows.  This information can be found on by clicking on the website Board of Regents and 2020-2021 Committees pages.   

Fellow Professor Stephen L. Sepinuck has been awarded the College's 2020 Grant Gilmore Award for his article The Various Standards for the "Good Faith" of a Purchaser, 73 ABA Bus. Lawyer No. 3, 581-626 (Spring 2018). 

Further information will be shared with Fellows in the future.  Please watch your email, and this space, for updates!

More information about past Annual Meetings & Dinners can be found on the Past College Events page.  Fellows will be sent updates on this year's event and registration information by email.  

ACCFL Fellows' Recent Outstanding Achievements and College News 

For more detailed information click here to go to Fellows in the News, College Activities, and the Briefing Calls for Fellows. . 

On September 24, Fellow Jennifer Hagle of Sidley Austin LLP, spoke on a fireside chat panel titled “Restructuring in the Time of Coronavirus,” as part of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, which was held as a virtual event. The panel reviewed the current and prospective state of restructuring, and addressed a variety of issues, including whether some recent innovative strategies in chapter 11 will endure in a post-pandemic world. The other panelists were James H.M. Sprayregen (Kirkland & Ellis) and Chief Bankruptcy Judge David R. Jones for the Southern District of Texas.

The College's best wishes go out to our Past President, Fellow Kenneth (Kenny) Greene (Carruthers & Roth) who was recently honored as the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Bankruptcy Section of the North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA).  The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a bankruptcy practitioner who, for not less than 25 years, has contributed to the betterment of the NCBA Bankruptcy Section and the profession, and who has set an aspiring example for those who follow. Greene is the ninth recipient of the award and it was presented at the 42nd Annual Bankruptcy Institute on November 22, 2019 in Wilmington, NC. For more information about Kenny, see Fellows in the News

It is with great pleasure that the College announces that Fellow Kenneth Chin has been selected as the recipient of NYSBA'S 2020 John E. Higgins Diversity Trailblazer Award.  Kenneth was approved by distinguished nominees from both the Committee on Diversity & Inclusion and the Committee’s Trailblazer Award Nomination Review Subcommittee.

The personalized award was presented prior to the Association’s “Opening Night Reception Celebrating Diversity”, on Monday, January 27, 2020, during the NYSBA Annual Meeting. The venue was the New York Hilton Midtown.  

On November 15, 2019, the College Co-sponsored two programs at the ABA BLS Commercial Finance Committee’s CLE Fall Forum.  The Forum was held in connection with the Secured Financing Network’s (formerly, the Commercial Finance Association) 75th Annual Convention. The College excellent programs were on the new provisions in loan documentation called “Are your Loan Documents up to Date?—Divisions, Registered and Protected Series and the Like”  (Presenters: Fellows, Norm Powell, Greg Fox and Jane Summers) and about ethics and professionalism, which was entitled “Ethics and Professionalism in the Transactional Context: Ruminations Part 9.5” (Presenter Fellow Marshall Grodner). 

The College congratulates our ACCFL Immediate Past President Norman M. Powell, who has been appointed to a two-year term on the Board of Directors of the Working Group on Legal Opinions Foundation.  Norm is a partner in the Delaware law firm of Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP, and has been a College Fellow since 2006. 

WGLO's mission is to bring together all constituencies concerned with giving and receiving legal opinions in order to foster a national opinion perspective, broaden the consensus that exists, and provide a continuing forum for discussion of opinion issues. Twice each year WGLO brings together the heads of Law Firm Opinion Committees, representatives of Bar Associations and other attorney groups as well as representatives of opinion recipients and issuers to discuss current issues confronting the legal opinion bar.

Congratulations also goes to our ACCFL President-Elect, R. Marshall Grodner for his recent election as the Chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) Business Law Section’s Commercial Finance Committee, one of the section’s largest committees. Marshall is a partner in McGlinchey Stafford PLLC in Baton Rouge, LA.  He was inducted as an ACCFL Fellow in 2006. 

The ABA BLS Commercial Finance Committee provides cutting‐edge, practical knowledge and guidance for commercial finance, real estate finance, and restructuring lawyers, focusing on new developments and industry practices in commercial finance, real estate finance, and restructurings, and facilitating the development and evolution of commercial finance, real estate finance and restructuring laws. 

The College proudly announces the honor bestowed on our Past President Sylvia Fung Chin (2017-2018), and her firm White and Case, at the 40th Anniversary celebration of the Women's World Banking, for "their tremendous support of Women's World Banking and leadership in women's financial inclusion."  Women's World Banking is an organization that designs and invests in the financial solutions, institutions, and policy environments in emerging markets to create greater economic stability and prosperity for women, their families and their communities.  Sylvia was honored for her nearly 40 years of service to Women’s World Banking, offering the organization pro bono legal and governance advice. She also served on the board of Women's World Banking as Board Secretary from 1990 to 2008.

The College also congratulates Fellow Doneene K. Damon, who was elected as Richards Layton & Finger, PA's first female President!   A recent article in Law360 notes that as an African-American woman, Doneene “concedes it has been a ‘struggle’ closing the racial and gender gaps….”  Clearly, her perseverance, knowledge, and commitment to her craft have been recognized, and stand as an example to many young female lawyers. 

An ACCFL fellow since 2012, Doneene has been busy practicing law as a partner in her firm, while holding a variety of leadership roles in the American Bar Association, the Delaware State Bar Association, and other professional groups.   At the same time, she has been breaking barriers, winning awards, and demonstrating that “diversity of thought” is important to the fabric of the legal community. 

The College sponsored a report entitled “Uniform Commercial Code Opinions in Real Estate Finance Transactions” that has been published in the Real Property, Probate and Trust Journal. Our Fellows, Steve Weise and Marshall Grodner, were Contributing Reporters. The Report can be downloaded by clicking here.

History of the College

The American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers was founded a quarter century ago, through the foresight, insight and perseverance of our co-founders Maury Poscover, David Willenzik and Earnest Bland Williams III.  Over the succeeding years, this College has inducted nearly 300 preeminent practitioners and scholars as Fellows and has firmly established itself not only as a prominent honorary society of remarkable collegiality, but importantly also as a learned, active and influential participant in the field of commercial finance law.  And now, through the labors and invaluable recollections of many, the history of the College has now been written and is available for your enjoyment.  Please click here to read the History of the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers online or to download a copy.  

2020 and 2021 Fellowship Dues 

ACCFL dues support the College services and activities during the upcoming calendar year.  If you are a current Fellow and do not have Emeritus, Judicial, or Academic status and did not yet pay your 2020 dues, or have outstanding dues but wish to be considered an active Fellow of the College, please contact our administrative office at [email protected] and we will be happy to assist you in making your payment. 

Dues invoices for the 2021 calendar year will be emailed in December to all Fellows whose dues are up-to-date.  Dues are sent to the email address that the College has on file, so make sure to update your address if it has changed, or changes, anytime before December.  Contact the administrative office if you have any questions or concerns 

2021 Annual Meeting & Dinner
April 24th, Dallas. Texas

 Plans are being made for the College's Annual Meeting & Dinner. 

The College Board of Regents is hopeful that the current pandemic will be under control and that in-person meetings will again be possible. 

Watch this home page for future information!


 The College gratefully acknowledges       and for their significant support of the College's mission and programs throughout the year, along with other sponsors who have also consistently provided support for the College's two main events:  Patrick (Buzz) Guida (of Duffy & Sweeney), and Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP.

If you, your firm, company or organization is interested in learning more about new sponsorship opportunities, contact the administrative office at [email protected].