Consumer Bankruptcy Journal Winter 2018 - Page 34

The Hon. Calvin K. Ashland and his Big Book of Bankruptcy Funnies by J. Scott Bovitz & Paul R. Shankman Paul R. Shankman Hinds & Shankman, LLP Torrance, CA Prof. Bovitz Goes Back to School T he National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys is constantly polling its members on important issues. Your input counts. According to a recent survey, 44% of NACBA members checked the survey box for, “The Consumer Bankruptcy Journal isn’t always that funny, but the articles are usually easier to read than those heavily footnoted scholarly bankruptcy articles in other publications.” This might be a funny article (you be the judge, so to speak), but I wasn’t always funny. As a child, I was more serious. My parents were forced to send me to Camp Ha Ha in Ojai, California in between third and fourth grades. We learned to paddle canoes, weave plastic lanyards, and perform standup comedy routines. (“Is this microphone working? You’re killing me up here.”) 34 CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY JOURNAL J. Scott Bovitz Bovitz & Spitzer Los Angeles, California Of course, this was a long time ago. I might be confusing my this with Camp Ramah, http://www.campramah.org, where my law partner went. But I’m sure I remember the lanyards. I just found another one in an old box in the garage. All this led directly to theatre arts in high school, two best acting awards, and an acting scholarship for college. But I didn’t need my economics degree to realize that actors are always out of work. So, like most of you, I went to law school. I was lucky. I took my bankruptcy law class in 1979. The law was brand new. No one understood how the Bankruptcy Code worked. I was the top bankruptcy student, so the professor hired me as a clerk and then an associate. (Thank you!) Two years later, my first employer gave up his teaching duties. By then, I was Winter 2018 working with a new law firm. I received a call from a friend (who was working for the law school). “Do you want to teach the bankruptcy class starting next month?” I laughed. “Well,” I said, “I have read every single case decided to date.” (This task wasn’t too hard back then.) “You’re hired. As the new guy, you get the 8:00 a.m. class slot.” So, I began my five-year gig as an Adjunct Professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. How does a new professor get law students to class at 8:00 a.m.? I wanted to provide an incentive for the timely kids. I thought about donuts or coffee. Starbucks’ gift cards were not yet available. After some thought, I came up with “Bankruptcy Joke for a Buck.” Keep in mind, a dollar in 1982 has the buying power of $2.57 in 2017. You can check my math at the Inflation Calculator at HERE. The rules for Bankruptcy Joke for a National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys