Law School/Year: Harvard Law School, 1976
College/Year: B.A. Cornell University, 1972
California; New York; Illinois (inactive)
International secured transactions, consumer law, payment systems, banking compliance
Among the roughly 20 reported cases I litigated, the most memorable were Northern California Power Agency v. Grace Geothermal Corp., 469 U.S. 1306 (1984), which involved a $400 million bond issue; Ticor Title Insurance Co. of California v. Florida, 937 F. 2nd 447 (9th Cir. 1991), in which I became one of the rare attorneys to win a money judgment under RICO and actually collect; and a related bankruptcy case, Florida v. Ticor Title Insurance Co. of California, 164 B.R. 636 (9th Cir. B.A.P. 1994). More recently, I served as a consultant to a large New York law firm regarding a $2 billion commercial loan secured by the stock of 12 foreign subsidiaries of the parent corporation, which had borrowed the money and then filed a bankruptcy petition. How does one perfect a security interest in the stock of corporations organized in 12 different countries? Good question! See my article, “Where to File Against Non-U.S. Debtors: Applying UCC §9-307(c) [Rev] to Foreign Filing, Recording and Registration Systems,” 39 U.C.C. L.J. 109 (2006).
I am the Assistant Dean and Director of the Walter H. and Dorothy B. Diamond Graduate Program in International Tax and Financial Services, Thomas Jefferson School of Law. I practiced law for 25 years, primarily as a litigator, before I came to Thomas Jefferson in 2002. After stints in Chicago and New York, I spent the last 18 of those years, from 1983 through 2001, in San Francisco, where I was a partner in the law firm of Bancroft, Avery & McAlister for several years, then formed my own practice and became general counsel of a commercial bank. At Thomas Jefferson, I spent seven years as a full-time professor, and was promoted to Assistant Dean in 2009. I teach bankruptcy and secured Transactions, coach our Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court team (which made the national semifinals this year!), and serve as academic director of our online graduate program in international tax and financial services, the largest online graduate law program in the United States.
Currently, I am incoming chair of the section on post-graduate legal education of the Association of American Law Schools. Additionally, I serve as a member of the executive committee of the Business Law Section of the State Bar of California; vice-chair of the international commercial transactions, franchising, and distribution committee of the ABA Section on international law; and co-chair of the Mexican Bar Liaison Committee of the San Diego County Bar Association. I also have served as chair of both the Consumer Financial Services and UCC Committees of the Business Law Section of the State Bar of California. In 1987, I received the annual Award of Merit from the Bar Association of San Francisco for chairing Community Law Week on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution.
I am immediate past president of the San Diego Repertory Theatre Co., which operates the Lyceum Theatre at Horton Plaza, and a former board member of Moxie Theatre Co. A member of Congregation Ner Tamid in Poway, where I sometimes lead religious services, I am author of “Jewish Liturgy as a Spiritual System” (Rowman & Littlefield, 1997), which is available in paperback. Once in a while, I can be heard singing doo wop music with a cappella groups in local clubs.
A native of Rochester, N.Y., I have two children: Julian, 25, a mechanical engineering student at San Jose State, and Nina, 23, an independent filmmaker and graduate of the NYU Film School. I am proud to say that my wife, Linda, is the only woman, to our knowledge, ever to have passed the California licensing examination for reinforcing steel contractor. My two step-children, Ariana and Avalon Hurley, live with us in Encinitas.