College Columns December 2017 - Page 4

The Twenty-Ninth

Class of Fellows

Richard E. Mikels, Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP

Chair, Board of Regents

considering the wealth of talent in our field throughout the world. The task is not simply finding qualified members of the bankruptcy community; it is determining who is “the best of the best” for inclusion into the College. Each new Fellow had to have a resume of excellence as a practitioner while also demonstrating what we call “part B”. Part B means that in addition to practicing at the highest level in the profession, a new Fellow must have a history of contributing to the profession or their communities. This standard may be satisfied through writing, speaking, teaching, or engaging in leadership roles in charitable or community activities. In fact, the College’s Mission Statement provides:

“The American College of Bankruptcy is an honorary public service association of bankruptcy and insolvency professionals who are invited to join as Fellows based on a proven record of the highest standards of professionalism plus service to the profession and their communities…”

Further, a review of our bylaws shows that the criteria for admission is reflective of the Mission Statement:

“…The College honors those professionals whose sustained performances in the practice of their profession exemplify the highest standards of professionalism among bankruptcy specialists by granting them membership as Fellows. Membership shall be restricted by invitation to honor those individuals who have proven to their peers, and to the bar, bench and public, through long, continuous performance in their bankruptcy specialty that they possess (i) the highest professional qualifications and ethical standards; (ii) that high level of character, integrity, professional expertise and leadership which demonstrates the likelihood that they will continue to contribute to the enhancement of bankruptcy scholarship, continuing education, and the bankruptcy process; (iii) a commitment to fostering and furthering the objectives of the College; (iv) sustained exceptionally high quality professional services to clients, bar, bench, and public; and (v) significant evidence of scholarship, teaching, lecturing, and/or distinguished published writings on bankruptcy practice, procedure, philosophy, improvements and reforms which demonstrates a consistent contribution to the enhancement of bankruptcy literature, education, practice and process…”

Needless to say, these criteria are difficult for any candidate to satisfy, and candidates who do meet the criteria are difficult to find. That is the job of the Board of Regents.

We believe that the process this year included efforts by more Fellows than ever before. Last Spring the process began with a letter to all Fellows asking for nominations. We are pleased that so many Fellows responded by making suggestions to their circuit’s Regent. Armed with those suggestions, the Circuit Regents and the Circuit Councils undertook the task of considering and distinguishing among the candidates in order to present the circuit’s list of nominees to the Board of Regents. Each Circuit Regent then circulated the list of nominees to the Fellows in their circuit and provided them with the opportunity to comment on the selections. As If all that was not enough vetting, each Circuit Regent was tasked with doing a further vetting on candidates from another circuit that was assigned to her. While this process was occurring, the Judicial and

I am pleased to report that the Board of Regents has successfully completed its task of choosing new Fellows for induction at

the American College

of Bankruptcy Annual Meeting on March 16, 2018 in Washington D.C. The process was quite grueling