As posts on this blog reflect, there are in my view enormous issues out there regarding the interplay between asbestos trusts (mainly chapter 11 trusts) and the state court tort system. Happily, asbestos litigation seminars are paying an increasing amount of attention to the issues arising from the two parallel compensation systems. Two upcoming seminars offer great opportunities to learn more about the asbestos bankruptcy issues and much more.

Here are some specifics for the first of the two seminars:

1) HB Asbestos Litigation Conference Sept. 23-25 in San Francisco

The HB group took over from Mealey’s and is running an upcoming 3 day asbestos litigation seminar. The program in general is excellent and is of special interest to me because of its focus on asbestos bankruptcy issues and because one of the chairs is fomer Chicagoan, Joe O’Hara, a lawyer who has tried asbestos cases for years for Owens-Illinois. Joe is now the Asssociate General Counsel for Owens-Illinois and a great lawyer I’ve known for more years than I want to admit. Joe and OI are very tuned in to the asbestos bankruptcy issues, and so the seminar program includes two Sept. 23 sessions focused on asbestos trusts and asbestos bankruptcy issues. In addition, numerous state court judges will be there and will end up hearing and/or saying a lot about these issues. Despite lots of other competing life events at that time, the sessions look so good to me that I’m flying out for just that day.

The specifics for the two asbestos trust and bankruptcy sessions are as follows; the speakers are quite knowledgeable:

2:30 Asbestos Claims Processing

•What bankruptcy trusts are operating and what are they paying?
• Timing of claims filing
• Best Practices – efficient methods for claim submissions
• Avoiding mistakes – areas of concern for claimant processing & payment
• W-9 forms, tax issues, 1099’s to clients
• TDP’s and processes within that may benefi t defendants
• Accounting for the money still in trust, the value of average mesothelioma claims & future projections on claims vs. assets and funds availability in trust

Francis McGovern, Esq., Professor of Law, Duke University School of Law
Larry Haden, President, Claims Resolution
Nicholas Vari, Esq., K&L Gates

3:45 The Surge in Bankruptcy Trust Payouts: Can You Make Everyone Happy? Maximizing Recoveries and Creating Fair Credit Allocation

• What adjustments should be made in the tort system to account for the bankruptcy payouts?
• What disclosure obligation should exist regarding pending trust claims, actual payouts, and expected future trust fi lings?
• Should the tort system encourage or leverage plaintiffs to file claims with the Trusts before the claims leave the system?
• Third party practice and the Defendants’ interaction with the Trusts

Moderator: Joseph O’Hara, Jr., Esq., V.P. & Associate G.C., Owens-Illinois
Hon. Richard Aulisi, Supreme Court Justice, 4th Judicial District of New York
Hon. Ken Kawaichi, (Ret.), JAMS
Hon. James McBride, Superior Court of California
Joseph Belluck, Esq., Belluck & Fox LLP

To register, the HB home page is here. The entire asbestos agenda is here. In this tough yuear for budgets, note that inside counsel from corporations and insurers are invited to attend free of charge.