By Daniel Etlinger, Jennis Morse Etlinger
Recently the Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association’s (TBBBA) Board has endeavored to digitize every historic issue of The Cramdown, all the way back to its roots as The Cram-Down! The Cramdown’s contributions – from local news to national trends to thought-provoking position pieces –should be celebrated. Moving forward, the Historian will help contribute substantive updates and reviews from previous editions. But for now, this article will simply highlight some notable moments through The Cramdown’s history as 2021 comes to a close.
In the Summer 1999 issue, Michael Markham wrote that the Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association’s First Annual Golf Tournament was a “Swinging Success” and he congratulated the field of 54 participants and the First Place finishers, Larry Foyle, Dan Rock, John Brooke and Clay Brooke. The fact that the tournament has now eclipsed 20 years is a testament to our camaraderie.
The Fall 2002 issue included a “Trustee’s Report” introducing the new United States Trustee Trial Attorney, Denise Barnett. Recently the Circuit Executive for the Sixth Circuit announced that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has selected Denise Barnett as Bankruptcy Judge for the Western District of Tennessee with her appointment effective November 8, 2021. We wish Judge Barnett the best of luck in her newest endeavor and note proudly that her appointment is a reflection of the caliber of practice here in the greater Tampa Bay area.
Fast forward to the Fall 2004 issue containing an article announcing the creation of the Historian Committee. The article posits the TBBBA “celebrates its 17th year and has many reasons to take pride in its achievements, not the least of which is its members and their contributions to the Association. As time passes, we run the risk that our collective memory will dim and we will forget about the events and people that have formed the backbone of this Association as it has grown to the present levels . . . In recognition of this, the [TBBBA] has created a committee to compile and collate the records and recollections of the Association’s former officers.” This is coupled with a piece in the Fall 2006 Cramdown titled “What TBBBA Does For You” authored by David Tong (which in some respects was an admitted reboot of John Lamoureux’s Spring 2004 article). Among other points, the column highlights CLEs, membership directory, annual dinner, golf tournament (there it is again), holiday party, Cramdown, community service, newsblasts and overall community relationships. Here we are some 15 years later still adhering to these laudable efforts.
Finally, I’ll end this introspection with an article by Bill Maloney in the Winter 2016 edition called “The Human Side of Bankruptcy”. In writing the article, he notes the “typical bankruptcy comes with a lot of pain.” The pain is felt not only by the debtors and their immediate family, friends and corporate structure, but by the professionals, attorneys and even judiciary as well. The past year has been particularly trying for many individuals and the Board remains a resource, if nothing more than a friendly ear, for the TBBBA as we have throughout our history.