College Columns December 2021 - Page 12

Bench Notes : Comments from a Judicial Fellow Impressions of the College — Old & New

Hon . Daniel P . Collins
Editor ’ s Note : The Editors thank Judge Collins for agreeing to kick off this new Column within the Columns – a place where Judicial Fellows may share their point of view
The Cool Kids Club . That was my outsider ’ s ( very distant ) view of the American College of Bankruptcy . I did not know what the College did or how one came to be admitted to the College , but I did know several people in Arizona who were in the College . They were all at the very highest echelon of the bankruptcy practice in my home state and beyond . Jerry Smith , Lowell Rothschild , Susan Freeman , Rob Charles , Steve Berger , Tom Salerno , Jordan Kroop , Mike McGrath , Susan Boswell and Judges Brenda Whinery , Randy Haines , and Chuck Case . The best of the best . And , yes , they were / are cool .
When I was told I was to be accepted into the College I told my wife and five children that , I was not quite sure , but it seemed like this was a big deal . I told my family they should try to attend the induction ceremony , whenever that might occur . Fresh out of their own colleges , my five kids wanted to know about my upcoming tuition bills , exams , term papers and the College ’ s team mascot . I tried to explain that I was hoping ACB was not quite like that . I told them to think about ACB as the Bankruptcy Hall of Fame . They seemed to like that one but wanted to see my new ring and yellow blazer .
Of course , I later learned the College is not the Bankruptcy Hall of Fame nor is it
an assemblage of the cool ones among us . However , a quick scan through the 33 class rosters certainly includes many of the biggest names and brightest stars in the insolvency world . I now understand ACB is not a gang of the ultimate insiders . I now see the College as a group of industry leaders dedicated to elevating the national bankruptcy practice to the highest standards through educational programs , public service , and scholarship . I now see the College also as leading mentorship through programs directed towards law students and diverse and young lawyers . I now know ACB hopes its Fellows will carry the College ’ s torch to our Bars , to our local law schools , to our courtrooms and to our communities . This is what most impresses me about ACB and why I am thrilled to have that torch placed in my hand .
As instructed , I brought most of my family to Indianapolis for the induction of my Class ( XXXII ) and the Class of 2020 . My family members were duly impressed , and not just because of the open bar and endless dessert table . They were dazzled by Judge Barbara Houser ’ s talk , they marveled at the interesting and lively dinner conversation ( especially with Keith and Marla Wofford and Stephen Moeller-Sally ). They were also struck by the range of talents and backgrounds among the Fellows , from geography to ethnicity to , age range , work experience and community involvement . My continued on page 29