Welcome to the latest edition of Heard in the Halls. Please provide your snippets of news, questions or comments about receivership issues or the professional community by telephone, mail, fax, or email to: Ryan C. Baker at Douglas Wilson Companies, 19200 Von Karman Ave, Suite 400, Irvine, California 92612; Phone (213) 550-2242; Fax: 800- 757-3668 (800-pls-don’t), Email: email@example.com.
Here is what we have Heard in the Halls …
• Loyola X – Riding the Economic Wave: On January 18-19, 2024 the California Receiver’s Forum will be hosting the biennial receivership Conference Loyola X. This year’s theme, Riding the Economic Wave, aptly fits where the economic tides appear to be rolling as well as with this year’s location: The Hyatt Regency in Long Beach. Mark your calendars to be sure to attend this event, get up to date with all of the latest in receivership education, and enjoy seeing friends and colleagues from around the receivership industry. The conference will feature many evocative and interesting panels. It will also include a dual track approach in the afternoon presenting a Receivership 101 track for newer members as well as a secondary track with more advanced panels on all our favorite topics.
• Sponsorship Opportunities: The Sponsorship Committee invites you to become a Sponsor of Loyola X! There are many options to choose from to best get your message in front of members. The distress industry is picking up in activity and the conference will be the perfect spot to spread your firm’s name to the distressed community. Visit https://receivers.org/ loyola-x-symposium/ and click the “Sponsor/Exhibit” link at the top to review the many options available.
• Passing of the Torch in Downtown LA’s Writs and Receivers Department – Hon. Mary Strobel, one of three dedicated Writs and Receivers Department judges in the Stanley Mosk Courthouse, has officially retired. After a long and distinguished career, presiding over a number of landmark cases, Judge Strobel’s official retirement date was June 12, 2023. Judge Strobel has passed the Department 82 baton over to Judge Curtis A. Kin. Judge Kin has big shoes to fill, but appears ready for the task with an impressive resumé including obtaining his J.D. with distinction from Stanford Law School, then joining Cravath, Swaine & Moore as an associate, becoming a law clerk to a future Supreme Court Justice the Honorable Sonia Sotomayor, thereafter joining the US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California as an assistant U.S. attorney—becoming Chief of the Criminal Appeals Section in 2012, before ultimately being appointed to the bench in 2013 by Governor Jerry Brown. We give many thanks to Judge Strobel’s service to downtown LA’s Writs and Receiver’s Department, and look forward to being before Judge
Curtis A. Kin in future receivership matters. Blake Alsbrook, of Ervin Cohen and Jessup LLP, was on the inside track and the first to report this scoop—many thanks to Mr. Alsbrook!
• Up In Smoke – Cannabis receiverships in California have been in the news a lot of late, with two in particular catching the eyes of yours truly just in terms of sheer size. The first, HERBL, is a major marijuana distribution company licensed in California. It is now in receivership under our own Kevin Singer after defaulting on a key loan. The company handled $700 million worth of product sales in 2022, and represents just the most recent prominent collapse in the cannabis industry which is experiencing extreme levels of distress. The second, WeedGenics, had a receiver appointed over it in May 2023 after the Securities and Exchange Commission obtained an emergency order to halt the alleged ongoing offering fraud and Ponzi-like scheme. More than $60 million is alleged to have been raised to invest in cannabis operations—promising returns up to 36%! What could possibly go wrong? They must not have been passing the dutchie on the left hand side. Moving on!
• Success in the Desert – The California Receiver’s Forum (CRF) bet big and won at the California Bankruptcy Forum’s (CBF) thirty-fifth annual insolvency conference! By all accounts the CBF’s conference at the La Quinta Resort and Club was a resounding success. CRF, for its part, hosted a set of three panels within the conference: 1) Ante Up: The Rise of Receiverships in 2023, 2) Roll the Dice: Cannabis Restructuring and Receivership, and 3) Bankruptcy Card Counting: When to Stay and File vs When to Split and Double Down on the Alternatives. It was a wonderful partnership and many thanks to our CBF friends!
• Spread the Word: Know someone thinking about getting started in the receivership industry? Steer them to www.receivers.org to order a past Loyola program 4-disc DVD set for $75 teaching receivership Basics and including sample pleadings.
Ryan Baker has been a Receiver for nearly 15-years and is with Douglas Wilson Companies. Mr. Baker has overseen receiverships of nearly every flavor including operating companies, rents and profits, construction, environmental contamination, regulatory, post judgment, and many, many others.