The competition involves a California closely held corporation that owns a vineyard and operates the adjacent winery. It has many problems – legal, operational and financial – and has been forced to file a Chapter 11 case.
The company, operating as a debtor in possession, must propose and confirm a plan of reorganization to emerge successfully from Chapter 11. To that end it is attempting to negotiate with its principal secured lender, a bank, to restructure the presently defaulted secured loans; the bank in turn wants its loan paid off or its position taken over by a third party. Teams will represent the company or the bank in the first round of negotiations.
The official unsecured creditors committee is clamoring for a prompt resolution of the case and is troubled by the company’s lack of progress. The landlord of the winery is anxious to terminate the lease, contending that there has been a default.
The committee is attempting a sale of the winery and the adjacent vineyard to the landlord. Teams will represent the committee or the landlord in the second round of negotiations.
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This year’s American College of Bankruptcy LawMeet will take place at the UCLA School of Law in Los Angeles, California on Saturday, January 28, 2017. Please see the Travel Page for more details.
Judges and Evaluation Criteria
For a detailed overview of the evaluation criteria, please refer to the Instructions and Standards for Judging and Coaching the Negotiation Competition.
Each judge, a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, will observe four teams in two separate sessions in the first round and four other teams in two sessions in the second round. A total of nine judges, in panels of three, will observe the competition and no judge will see the same team twice. After the first round, each judge will be asked to rank the four teams that judge has observed in order of the teams’ effectiveness. After the second round each judge will be asked to do the same ranking of the four other teams that judge has observed. Judges will also evaluate each team’s success in achieving its client’s goals and the goals of the parties to the transaction. To determine the winning team, the judges will evaluate teams based on the following criteria:
- Negotiation planning
- Flexibility in deviating from plans
- Relationships between teams
- Negotiating ethics
The evaluation criteria are based on the premises that there is no correct approach to effective negotiation and that strategies will vary based upon the nature of the problem, the personalities involved, the goals of the client, and other intangibles. In addition to the formal evaluation and scoring, judges will provide oral feedback to each team at the conclusion of the team’s self-evaluation session, and will evaluate the term sheets.
For a detailed overview of the competition, please reference the 2017 ACB LawMeet Competition Rules and Procedures.
The primary goal of the American College of Bankruptcy LawMeet is to provide each participant a meaningful and engaging simulation in negotiating the terms of a workout and reorganization of a financially troubled company. The ACB LawMeet involves three distinct phases:
- Students work in teams and prepare term sheets on behalf of one of the parties to each of the two transactions.
- The first round of negotiation, in which one set of the competing term sheets will be used as the starting point, involves the negotiation of a plan between the debtor and its primary creditor.
- The second round of negotiation involves the negotiation of the sale of the debtor’s assets between the unsecured creditors’ committee and the lessor of the debtor’s business premises.
As noted in the Negotiation Competition Rules and Procedures, teams will have access to financial advisors if needed for their preparation. Contact information for FTI Consulting Advisors: (coming soon)
Awards will be presented at the reception at the conclusion of the competition for first, second, and third place teams in the negotiation competition; additional awards will be made for the best term sheet for each represented party (a total of four term sheet awards).
Each team must pay a $500 non-refundable fee to secure its place at the ACB LawMeet. Teams must provide their own transportation and lodging. Meals (continental breakfast, lunch, and snacks) will be provided during the competition, and hors d’oeuvres and beverages (wine, beer, and soft drinks) at the awards reception. Details regarding hotel arrangements and local transportation can be found on the Travel Page.
For further information, please reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• More than 50% of schools that participated in past LawMeets awarded credit to their teams for their participation.
• More than 90% of law schools that participated in past LawMeets covered all team expenses.