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About the Speakers  

The 2005 Bankruptcy Amendments: Where Are We Now?
Date of Symposium: February 4, 2010

Business Bankruptcy Panel

Trenk

Richard D. Trenk (Partner, Trenk, DiPasquale, Webster, Della Fera & Sodono, P.C.)
Business Bankruptcy Panel

Richard D. Trenk is a partner at the law firm Trenk, DiPasquale, Webster, Della Fera & Sodono, P.C., located in West Orange, New Jersey.  Mr. Trenk concentrates his practice in the areas of bankruptcy, debtor/creditor, commercial litigation, and municipal law.

From 1996-1997 Mr. Trenk served as President of the Essex County Bar Association, a 2,800-member professional association headquartered in Newark, New Jersey.  As President, Mr. Trenk was instrumental in beginning numerous Bar programs which focused on community issues, including the Essex County Legal Community AIDS Initiative and The Bar Goes Local Program as well as publication of the ECBA’s first book, “Traps for the Unwary.”  Prior to serving as president, Mr. Trenk served on the Board of Trustees for over ten years.  Mr. Trenk has also lectured for the New Jersey League of Municipalities, Bankruptcy Inn of Court (which he founded and served as Executive Director), New Jersey State Bar Association, American Bar Association, various appraisal organizations and other bar associations.

Mr. Trenk is admitted before the New Jersey Supreme Court, United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and United States Supreme Court.

Sharfman

Keith Sharfman (Visiting Professor of Law, St. John's University School of Law)
Business Bankruptcy Panel

Keith Sharfman is a visiting professor of law at St. John's University School of Law, where he teaches and writes in the bankruptcy area among other subjects. Previously he has taught at Marquette University Law School and Rutgers School of Law as a tenured professor and as a visiting professor at Cornell Law School and Florida State University College of Law.

Professor Sharfman received his undergraduate degree in economics and international relations from Johns Hopkins University and his law degree from the University of Chicago.  Prior to entering academia, he clerked for Judge Frank Easterbrook of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and then was an associate at Latham & Watkins.

In recognition of his bankruptcy scholarship, the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges designated Professor Sharfman an American Bankruptcy Law Journal Fellow in 2006, and the following year he became a member of the journal's editorial advisory board.

Middlebrooks

Melinda D. Middlebrooks (Managing Partner, Middlebrooks, Shapiro, & Nachbar, P.C.)
Business Bankruptcy Panel

Melinda D. Middlebrooks is a managing partner at the law firm of Middlebrooks, Shapiro, & Nachbar, P.C., located in Union, New Jersey. Ms. Middlebrooks concentrates her practice in the areas of bankruptcy, commercial litigation, debtor/creditor rights and litigation, corporate, collections, matrimonial and state court litigation. Ms. Middlebrooks is a 1984 graduate of Seton Hall University School of Law.

Ms. Middlebrooks participates in a variety of bar associations, including the Essex County Bar Association, the Morris County Bar Association, the New Jersey State Bar Association and the American Bar Association. Ms. Middlebrooks serves as a mediator in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of New Jersey, master in the Bankruptcy Inns of Court of New Jersey, and as a fee arbitration secretary in the Supreme Court of New Jersey, District X. Additionally, Ms. Middlebrooks has authored a variety of articles in the area of Bankruptcy and has lectured for the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education.

Ms. Middlebrooks is admitted before the Bar of New Jersey, the Bar of Tennessee, the United States District Court for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, the United States Claims Court and the United States Supreme Court.

Louis T. DeLucia (Partner, Schiff Hardin)

Business Bankruptcy Panel

Louis T. DeLucia has 24 years experience in Restructuring and Bankruptcy and Creditors' Rights.  He received his law degree from the University of Tulsa College of Law and his undergraduate degree from George Washington University.  He is licensed to practice in the District of Columbia, New Jersey, New York, the U.S. Court of Appeals of the Third Circuit, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, as well as the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts for the District of New Jersey and the Eastern, Southern and Western Districts of New York.

Mr. DeLucia has been recognized as a leading lawyer in Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business, and has wide ranging experience in insolvency law, corporate debt restructuring and bankruptcy litigation that includes representation of: leading financial institutions, agents for bank syndicates, DIP lenders, indenture trustees, official and ad hoc unsecured creditors' committees, equity committees, asset purchasers, lenders to franchisors and franchisees, hedge funds, private equity funds, bondholders, governmental entities, corporations and shareholders, trustees, receivers and assignees, debtors and creditors.  His practice is national in scope and has included major bankruptcy cases in New York, New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Texas, Illinois, Florida, Connecticut, Kentucky, Vermont and California.  Mr. DeLucia also has substantial experience in securities fraud enforcement actions, receiverships and state insolvency proceedings, which has lead to his court appointment as receiver in one of the largest securities fraud cases brought by the Bureau of Securities of the State of New Jersey.  He also represents securities fraud receivers in similar cases commenced by state regulators.

Previously, Mr. DeLucia served as Deputy Attorney General of the State of New Jersey, representing various state agencies in bankruptcy related matters including preference litigation, non-dischargeability proceedings, claims litigation and related matters.

 

Consumer Bankruptcy Panel

McDonnell

John Michael McDonnell (Partner, Trenk, DiPasquale, Webster, Della Fera & Sodono, P.C.)
Consumer Bankruptcy Panel

John Michael McDonnell is a partner at the law firm Trenk, DiPasquale, Webster, Della Fera & Sodono, P.C., located in West Orange, New Jersey, where he concentrates his practice in the areas of bankruptcy, debtor/creditor rights, and business litigation.  Mr. McDonnell is a 1990 graduate of Seton Hall University School of Law and earned his L.L.M. in Bankruptcy from St. Johns Law School, Queens, New York, where he earned an excellence award in Bankruptcy Theory.

Mr. McDonnell is an active member of various bar affiliations including the National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees, United States Bankruptcy Court Pro Bono Program, the Bankruptcy Inn of Court, and the Bankruptcy Law Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association.  Since October 2000, Mr. McDonnell has served as a Chapter 7 Panel Trustee for the District of New Jersey, Vicinage of Trenton.  He was also appointed as a Chapter 11 Trustee in 2001.

Mr. McDonnell is admitted before the Bar of New Jersey, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, the Bar of New York, and the United States Supreme Court.

Balboa

Isabel C. Balboa (Region 3 Chapter 13 Standing Trustee, Camden Vicinage)
Consumer Bankruptcy Panel

Isabel C. Balboa has served as the Region 3 Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for the State of New Jersey, Camden Vicinage since 1997. Prior to that, she worked at the law firm Brown & Connery, located in Westmount, New Jersey from 1990-1997. Ms. Balboa also clerked for the Honorable Myron H. Gottlieb, Civil Superior Court Judge in Burlington County, New Jersey from 1989-1990. Born in Havana, Cuba, Ms. Balboa earned her B.A., cum laude and M.B.A. from Barry University and her J.D. from Rutgers University.

Ms. Balboa participates in a variety of professional associations, including the New Jersey State Bar Association, the National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees as a Board Member, the New Jersey Bankruptcy Trustee Association, and the Bankruptcy Inn of Court as a Master. She was formerly a Director for the National Data Center and also has served as a panelist for NACTT and ICLE Seminars as well as the Third Circuit Conference on Consumer Bankruptcy Topics.

Ms. Balboa is admitted before the Bar of Pennsylvania, the Bar of New Jersey, the United States Supreme Court, the United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey and for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Virginia Fortunato 

Virginia Fortunato (Partner, Mark Goldman, P.C.)
Consumer Bankruptcy Panel

Virginia Fortunato is a partner at the law firm of Mark Goldman, P.C. Ms. Fortunato only represents individuals in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases and enjoys helping her clients obtain their “fresh start.”

Ms. Fortunato is a member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) and a graduate of Max Gardner's Bankruptcy Boot Camp. Ms. Fortunato is also a barrister in the Bankruptcy Inns of Court of New Jersey and is a frequent lecturer for the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education. 

Ms. Fortunato is admitted before the Bar of New Jersey and the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.