In The News

ACCFL Newsletter – September


Your executive committee (consisting of the current officers and past president) have been actively involved in several projects over the last several months and I am pleased to report to you on current College activities:

1. On Thursday, August 7, 2008, the College co-sponsored with the Association of Commercial Finance Lawyers (ACFA) the Don Rapson memorial dinner in New York. Also providing financial sponsorship for the dinner were CIT and Columbia University. Approximately 100 people were in attendance including Don’s wife and two sons. Our planning committee of Ed Smith, Tom Snow, Harry Sigman, Maury Poscover and Leianne Crittenden did a masterful job. For those of you who did not attend, attached are copies of the remarks delivered by Ed Smith, as the master of ceremonies for the evening, Harry Sigman and Don’s son, David Rapson.

2. I have been asked to share with you the dates for the upcoming ACFA meetings to be held in New York:

  • Thursday, October 16, 2008: Vince Paparo – Sharia Law
  • Monday, November 17, 2008: Jerry Hurwitz and Andrea Schwartz – Update on Fraudulent Conveyance Law
  • Tuesday, January 6, 2009: Michael Rubin – Ethics
  • Wednesday, February 4, 2009: Chester Lustgarten – Financial Markets Instruments as Collateral
  • Monday, March 16, 2009:Ellen Levine – Healthcare and Government Receivables
  • Snow Date: Tuesday, April 21, 2008

3. Your technology committee consisting of Steve Leitess, Linda Rusch and myself have been working with a consultant to upgrade our website. We anticipate with our consultant’s assistance hiring a website vendor in the very near future to make two essential upgrades to the College’s website. First, improve the profiles of each of our fellows and provide pictures and more biographical information, essentially along the lines of the so-called “green book” that many of you will remember was published many years ago and is now outdated. Our goal is to have each fellow have the ability to log into the website, by assigned login and password, and update his or her information on standard templates and be responsible for maintaining the content of that information. Second, we want to have email capability among our fellows, regents and officers. We are finding that communications by conventional email often lead to those emails getting trapped in fellows’ spam filters. By improving our communication capabilities, our long range goal is to have the College a more collegial group that can rely upon each other for professional referrals and sources of vital information. You will hear more about this in the near future.

4. We were one of the co-sponsors of a luncheon held by the Uniform Law Commissioners at their annual conference held this past July. The luncheon was designed to educate Commissioners on international aspects of the work of the Uniform Law Conference and to get their buy in on continuing to develop international projects that draw on the work of the Conference. It had the participation of the Conference leadership, some of the key Commissioners involved in the Conference’s international projects and the US State Department. Examples of the Conference’s projects in the commercial law field include the recent preparation of reservations and understanding for US ratification of the UN Convention on the Assignment of Receivables in International Trade and a similar current project for the UN Convention on Independent Guaranties and Standby Letters of Credit.

5. The executive committee has approved the College’s co-sponsorship with the Commercial Law Center of the Gonzaga University School of Law of a symposium to be published in the Gonzaga Law Review in the spring of 2011. We will split the costs of the symposium with the Commercial Law Center up to a maximum financial responsibility of $15,000. The topic of the symposium is Revised Article 9, ten years after its enactment. We anticipate that it will also be dedicated to the memory of Don Rapson. Our financial assistance will be used for the costs of printing increased copies of the publication, paying honoraria to authors, and possibly help subsidize a conference that may be held in connection with the symposium (although no decision has yet been on that). As a co-sponsor, the College would receive appropriate recognition as one of the sponsors and an equal say in all major decisions that affect the symposium. We owe a debt of gratitude to our fellow, Steve Sepinuck, for bring this opportunity to the College.

As a part of our co-sponsorship, we have the opportunity of appointing a symposium editor whose principal responsibility will be to assist in the solicitation for the authors of the articles that will appear in the symposium. If any of you are interested in being the College’s symposium editor, please contact me as soon as you.

6. The College has endorsed the Statement on the Role of Customary Practice in the Preparation and Understanding of Third-Party Legal Opinions. That Statement will be published in an upcoming issue of the Business Lawyer and will contain the endorsement of the College. Attached is a copy of the Statement in its final form for those of you who have not seen it. We all thank Steve Weise for his tireless efforts in pushing this project over the goal line and providing another source of content for judges and juries in determining relevant customary practice in opinion practice.

7. Committees for 2008-2009 have now been formed. Attached is a complete roster of chairs and membership. I would ask each of you to start thinking now for possible fellows to be elected next spring and be in touch with Leianne Crittendon to obtain the necessary forms and procedures to be followed to process a nomination. Also, if during the year you come across a publication that you think is worthy of recognition for a Grant Gilmore award, please pass that information on to Howard Darmstadter who has agreed to chair that effort this coming year. Finally, the College last awarded the Homer Kripke Award in 2005 and bestowed the Special Service award in 2002, and a committee has been formed in accordance with the protocols established by the Board of Regents at its last meeting to seek out and recognize deserving persons. You will be hearing more about the process as that committee gets organized and establishes the procedures he intends to use.

8. A Board of Regents telephone meeting is scheduled for 3 pm, eastern time, November 6. Dial in information will be provided closer in time to the date of that meeting. At that meeting, the Board will be asked to approve the College’s Statement of Financial Sponsorship Policies and Procedures which have been adopted by the Executive Committee and recommended to the Board of Regents for its adoption. A copy of the proposed sponsorship policy is attached.

9. Our treasurer, Linda Sartin, reports that we now have close to 200 Fellows and most, but not all, of those Fellows that are not exempt from paying dues have sent in their check for the annual $200 dues. But, unfortunately, about 40 or so have not. Those dues are our only source of revenue and provide us with the financial base to sponsor deserving commercial projects. If you have not remitted payment, please does so as soon as you can. If you are not sure if you are current in the payment of your 2008-2009 dues, please be in contact with Linda.

10. Remember to mark your calendars for next year’s spring ABA Business Law Section Meeting in Vancouver, Canada. Our annual Fellows dinner will be held in conjunction with that meeting on the night of Saturday, April 18, 2009. That dinner will be held at the Five Sails Restaurant in the Pan Pacific Hotel. Our resident Fellow in that city, Daryl Clark, has agreed to chair the dinner committee and as that date draws closer, you will receive more information.