Monday, June 15, 2015

Introduction to Chapter 12 Agricultural Bankruptcy

It seems that Spring semester 2015 was particularly busy and went by too quickly. Doesn't it always? I am grateful for the wonderful attorneys we attract to the LL.M. Program, and it is bittersweet to send them on their way.  This year's class was a joy to teach, and I wish them all the successful careers that they surely deserve.
In the flurry of the semester, graduation, and writing projects, I neglected to blog about one particularly satisfying opportunity that arose in March and April. Better late than never . . . 
In mid-March, I was contacted by California attorney, George Hollister, a board member of the Sacramento Valley Bankruptcy Forum, a nonprofit organization in Sacramento, California.  Given the financial pressures facing California farmers, they wanted to include an introduction to Chapter 12 bankruptcy in their upcoming Continuing Legal Education seminar.  Mr. Hollister told me that he had assembled a small panel of speakers, but that they were searching for a suitable outline that summarized Chapter 12 effectively.  He had come across an old article of mine and wished to reprint it. I recalled the article, and I knew it was out of date.  But, what a perfect opportunity to update it.  I offered to do so.

I have always believed that too few attorneys knew the power within Chapter 12 bankruptcy for farmers - as a negotiation tool as well as a reorganization strategy.  With high crop prices and a strong national farm economy, Chapter 12 is sometimes forgotten as an important farm financial tool. But, farm finances are cyclical, and the pressures of climate change and drought are likely to raise bankruptcy's profile once again.  It's important for attorneys to be prepared. So, I viewed this request as an opportunity to update an article that could, once again, be important to a farmer and his or her attorney when confronting farm financial distress.

On April 24, the program was held in Judge Robert Bardwil’s courtroom in the Sacramento Federal Courthouse.  Mr. Hollister reported back to me that it was very well attended and presented, and all expressed appreciation for the materials provided.

I distributed the new article to my Agricultural Business Issues class when I presented on Agricultural Bankruptcy. And, the article has now been published in Arkansas Law Notes, our faculty online publication in service to the bar.

For anyone who is interested in this topic, here is a link to the Arkansas Law Notes publication - Please feel free to pass the word.

No comments: