Sun Mar 29 2015   
Affilitiated Faculty

Student News

Arizona Law Team Wins Inaugural Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Negotiation Competition

Arizona Law’s team has won the Inaugural Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Negotiation Competition, sponsored by the American College of Bankruptcy, in Los Angeles. The three team members are Jeffrey Coe, David Obrand, and Bradley Terry, all third-year students.

The competition was held at the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law late last month. Twelve teams competed in this first competition, and the Arizona law students edged out contenders from UCLA, USC, UC-Berkeley, UC-Davis, UNLV, and BYU, among others.

The team’s coach is Robert M. Charles, Jr., who teaches Bankruptcy Reorganization at the law college and is a partner at Lewis and Roca, based in its Tucson office. A 1982 graduate with distinction from the law college, Mr. Charles heads the firm’s Finance and Bankruptcy Group and practices throughout Arizona and Nevada.

“I was really proud of our team. They did an excellent job understanding a complicated financial problem, applying their understanding of bankruptcy law, preparing a term sheet, and competing in both rounds of negotiation,” said Professor Charles. “They worked well together, and the judges gave them great feedback after their rounds. It was a terrific experience.”

All three competitors took Professor Charles’s Bankruptcy Reorganization course in the fall. The three students also had taken many other relevant courses in debtor-creditor law, such as Bankruptcy and Related Issues, Secured Transactions, and the Mortgage Clinic.

The competition involved the preparation and exchange of written term sheets over the semester break, followed by two rounds of in-person negotiations on January 26. The negotiations concerned an out-of-court restructuring between a financially distressed California winery and an unofficial committee of its unsecured creditors. Materials describing the fact pattern and the rules for the competition were distributed to the competing teams in early November, with preparation taking from then through the negotiation rounds in late January.