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Everything You Need to Know About Attorneys’ Fees and Sanctions in Bankruptcy

Level: Intermediate
Runtime: 91 minutes
Recorded Date: January 16, 2020
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  • Who's in the money?
  • Fee applications
  • How do courts measure fees?
  • Do unsecured or under-secured creditors get fees?
  • How and when do secured creditors get fees?
  • Sanctions
  • Practice pointers and takeaways
Runtime: 1 hour, 31 minutes
Recorded: January 16, 2020


This panel will discuss attorneys’ fee and sanction topics, including involuntary-proceeding issues.

This program was recorded as part of American Bankruptcy Institute's Alexander L. Paskay Memorial Bankruptcy Seminar held on January 16th, 2020.

Provided By

American Bankruptcy Institute
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Hon. Karen K. Specie

Chief Judge
U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Florida

Hon. Karen K. Specie is the Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of Florida in Tallahassee, also presiding over cases in Gainesville, Panama City and Pensacola. She was initially appointed on July 25, 2012.

Judge Specie began her legal career with a Manhattan law firm, representing creditors in commercial litigation and bankruptcy. She then practiced with Fowler, White, Boggs, et al. in Tampa and has practiced solo and as a shareholder with firms in Gainesville; just prior to taking the bench, Judge Specie was Of Counsel to Akerman LLP as part of its Bankruptcy and Reorganization practice group in Jacksonville, Fla. While in private practice, she focused on commercial litigation and commercial and consumer bankruptcy cases throughout Florida and the Southeast.

Judge Specie has taught bankruptcy and secured transactions as an adjunct professor of law at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where she still teaches advanced bankruptcy. She has served as a chapter 7 panel trustee for the Northern District of Florida, is a founder of the Federal Bar Association for North Central Florida, and has been a member of the Bankruptcy/UCC Committee of the Business Law Section of The Florida Bar since the early 1990s.

Judge Specie currently serves on the Executive Council of the Florida Bar Business Law Section, is a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, and is a member of ABI, INSOL, IWIRC and NCBJ. In 2018, she chaired the committee that organized and presented the Bankruptcy Roundtable at the Eleventh Circuit Judicial Conference.

In addition to traveling throughout the Northern District to perform her judicial duties, Judge Specie routinely speaks at CLE programs for various organizations such as The Florida Bar, the Alabama Bar Association, the Jacksonville Bankruptcy Bar Association and the Northern District of Florida Bankruptcy Bar Association.

Judge Specie received her B.A. from the University of South Florida and her J.D. from Florida State University College of Law.

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Robert Scott Shuker

Partner, Bankruptcy
Shuker & Dorris, PA

Robert Scott Shuker is a bankruptcy partner with Shuker & Dorris, PA in Orlando, Fla., and practices primarily in the areas of bankruptcy and creditors’ rights. He has represented corporate debtors, secured and unsecured creditors, asset-purchasers and trustees in bankruptcy cases of corporate and individual debtors. Mr. Shuker has also represented several chapter 11 trustees in Ponzi scheme cases and has experience in fraudulent-transfer litigation.

Prior to entering law school, Mr. Shuker was a corporate banking officer for Southeast Bank, N.A. He is Board Certified in Business Bankruptcy Law by the American Board of Certification, was named the 2010 Bankruptcy Lawyer of the Year (Orlando) by The Best Lawyers in America and ranked as a top bankruptcy attorney by Chambers USA for over 10 years. His notable representations include as debtor’s attorney in the chapter 11 reorganization cases of Planet Hollywood International, Inc., Transit Group, Celebrity Resorts, Appliance Direct and Hudson’s Furniture.

A Fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America, Mr. Shuker received his B.S. in finance in 1986 with high distinction from Pennsylvania State University and his J.D. with high honors in 1993 from the University of Florida College of Law, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif.

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David S. Jennis

Founding Attorney
Jennis Law Firm

David S. Jennis is the founding attorney and a shareholder of Jennis Law Firm in Tampa, Fla., where he focuses his practice in the areas of complex corporate bankruptcy, workouts, restructuring and reorganizations, and commercial litigation. His clients include debtors, trustees and creditor committees, as well as clients requiring successful outcomes in commercial litigation.

Mr. Jennis is Board Certified in Business Bankruptcy Law by the American Board of Certification. He is or has been a member of the American Bar Association, the Business Law Section of the Florida Bar, ABI and other professional organizations.

Mr. Jennis has authored numerous ABI Journal articles and routinely presents on various bankruptcy issues relating to his practice throughout the state of Florida. He is rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell and is a guest lecturer for the University of Florida and Stetson University College of Law’s advanced bankruptcy courses. In addition, he has testified as an expert fee witness in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida on many occasions.

Mr. Jennis received his B.S. in business administration in 1985 and his J.D. with honors in 1988 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a member of the Holderness Moot Court Bench and the National Moot Court Team.

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Vincent F. Alexander, CFE

Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, LLP

Vincent F. Alexander, CFE is a partner in the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., office of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP and a member of its Bankruptcy & Insolvency and Complex Business & Commercial Litigation practices.

Vincent has extensive experience in bankruptcy reorganizations and liquidations, out-of-court restructurings, asset sales, and bankruptcy- and insolvency-related litigation.

Mr. Alexander regularly represents debtors, equity-holders, chapter 7 and liquidating trustees, and unsecured creditors’ committees, as well as other creditors, in bankruptcy proceedings and related litigation. He also has experience successfully representing clients in complex litigation matters, including fraud, trade secret and restrictive covenants, breach of contract, unfair and deceptive trade practices, fiduciary issues, and sports and entertainment.

Before becoming a lawyer, Mr. Alexander was a linebacker in the NFL with the New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals, and was a mortgage banker for a large national lender.

Mr. Alexander received his B.A. in economics and commerce in 2003 from the University of Pennsylvania and his J.D. cum laude in 2009 from the University of Miami School of Law.

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Douglas A. Bates

Clark Parkington Hart Larry Bond & Stackhouse, P.A.

Douglas (“Doug”) Alan Bates, is proud to practice in the same town where he was born and raised. Living and working in Pensacola allows Doug to interact with lifelong friends on a daily basis, and allows him to serve as a trusted advisor to regional and Fortune 500 businesses that share his values of hard work, dedication, and personal service. Doug remains mindful that the opportunity to serve clients in his hometown is a great privilege, one that he never takes for granted. Doug’s practice is focused on commercial and real estate litigation, as well as bankruptcy and creditors’ rights matters.

Doug has handled insolvency matters, distressed business situations and special asset cases across the state of Florida and the United States. As a Chambers USA-recognized attorney, Doug’s peers recommend him as an “exceedingly well-regarded, very talented litigator and bankruptcy lawyer” who is “efficient, creative and business-oriented.”

Doug is an active member of the Business Law Section of The Florida Bar, serving on the Section’s Executive Council. Doug is also a member of The Florida Bar Standing Committee on Student Education and Bar Admissions, as well as numerous other local, statewide, and national organizations.

Doug supports and is actively involved with Pensacola State College, Pensacola Sports, the Pensacola Chamber of Commerce, First United Methodist Church, and is the President of the Pensacola State College Foundation Board of Governors. He also enjoys playing golf, coaching youth sports, and spending time with his family.

Doug is licensed to practice in all Florida State Courts, as well as the United States District Court for the Northern, Middle, and Southern Districts of Florida. In addition, Doug is authorized to practice in all United States Bankruptcy Courts in Florida.

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