I recently attended the 54th Annual Seminar of the National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees (NACTT), held in Indianapolis, Indiana, where I spoke on the topic of Security Clearances and Bankruptcy. While there, I was fortunate to be able to sit down with Judge (Ret.) William Houston Brown. Judge Brown served for many years as a Bankruptcy Judge for the Western District of Tennessee. He is a preeminent expert in the field of bankruptcy law and continues to regularly write and speak on this topic throughout the country. In fact, Judge Brown had recently finished a multi-year project with the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy which researched and has recommended improvements to the consumer bankruptcy system. I found Judge Brown to be humble, kind and gracious, and my colleagues who practiced before him relate that he exemplified these same attributes while on the bench. He is clearly a master of his craft who, even while in retirement, continues to share his knowledge. The bankruptcy bar and community in our country is fortunate to have such a noble and wise person offering advice and commentary on a topic that affects so many consumers and businesses on a daily basis. I enjoyed getting to know Judge Brown on this podcast and think that you will like hearing about his life in the law.
I spent some time recently in Indianapolis, Indiana at the 54th Annual Seminar of the National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees (NACTT) where I spoke on the topic of Security Clearances and Bankruptcy. While there, I was fortunate to meet John Steinkamp, an attorney who practices bankruptcy and consumer law there in Indianapolis. We have a mutual friend and colleague, attorney Dave Philipps, who suggested that we get together. John practices law in Indy where he has a thriving practice helping consumers with consumer bankruptcy, collection harassment under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and credit reporting issues under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). I am glad that I was able to sit down with John as it is always interesting to talk to attorneys from other parts of the country who have practices similar to mine. He represents his clients well and does a thorough job helping and protecting them, not only during the bankruptcy process itself, but afterwards as well. It was good to sit down and spend some time talking to John on this podcast.
This past decade has seen a dramatic increase in the aging of our population. Additionally, with our bankruptcy and consumer practice, we have seen a tremendous increase in the number of our senior citizens struggling with debt. Against that backdrop, attorney Connie Glass has devoted the majority of her professional life helping and assisting our elder citizens. In fact, her law firm is named, appropriately enough, the Elder Law Firm of Connie Glass. Connie is an expert in her field and she is highly respected throughout the state of Alabama. She is a charter member of the Alabama State Bar Elder Law Section and she is a member of the National Elder Law Foundation and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Connie regularly speaks throughout Alabama to senior citizens and professional groups on the subject of elder law. Connie is really considered to be the “go-to” attorney for this area of law and I was happy to be able to spend a little bit of time with her on this podcast and learn about her life in the law.
Chris Hinson is considered one of the top estate planning attorneys in the state of Alabama. Originally from Texas, Chris is also a Certified Public Accountant (“C.P.A.”). She obtained her Juris Doctor (JD) degree at St. Mary’s School of Law and then made a pitstop in New York City to get a LLM degree (Master of Law) in tax from New York University. There, she met her husband (and also long time law partner!), James “Bob” Hinson. Chris and Bob have been practicing law together for many years here in Bob’s hometown of Huntsville, Alabama. Their firm, Hinson and Hinson, is highly respected throughout the state. I enjoyed catching up with Chris as I haven’t talked to her in a long time. You’ll hear us talk about youth swimming for reasons that will become apparent, in addition to her life in the law. I think you will like hearing her story.
Attorney Andy Sieja is one of those people that has never met a stranger. As we discuss in this podcast, he grew up in a military family and as the son of a Navy Pilot. His family moved multiple times during his formative years and, with constantly being required to meet new people, he was virtually forced to become an extrovert. Even after initially arriving in Huntsville, Alabama, Andy would not stay for long. After he graduated from high school, he went to college in Ohio and then moved to Texas to start working. He ultimately found his way to law school there as well. Andy practiced law for a while in Texas but then made his way back to Huntsville. Andy is a partner with the highly regarded law firm of Lanier Ford. When you listen to this podcast, you will quickly understand why Andy is so well liked and respected. He comes from a great family that I know personally from our church, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. Andy is licensed to practice law in Alabama and Texas. His law practice involves business and corporate law, probate and estate planning with an emphasis on probate and commercial litigation. I enjoyed sitting down with Andy to get to know him better and learn more about his background.
Rebekah McKinney is a talented and tenacious lawyer and is always listed in the various published lists of the top lawyers in the State of Alabama. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and the University of Alabama School of Law. Her law firm is Watson McKinney, LLP and she has been involved in many different type cases throughout the State of Alabama. She founded her firm, Watson McKinney, LLP, with her father, the legendary and preeminent Alabama lawyer, Herman “Buck” Watson. Her family has a number of lawyers in it, to include her brother, Jake Watson, who is also featured at Episode 48 of the Next Lawyer Up podcast. I found Rebekah to be humble, smart and perceptive, along with a good sense of humor – no wonder why she always has prospective clients lined up trying to retain her! I enjoyed speaking with her on this podcast and believe you will enjoy listening in.
I can’t imagine that there are many people in North Alabama who aren’t familiar with attorney Cliff Hill. Cliff was a network news anchor for several years prior to attending law school and his law school journey was not an easy one. He would leave the news station immediately after the evening newscast and then go to law school in Birmingham five days per week. This went on for several years. Talk about dedication to the law! Cliff is one of those people who studied virtually every aspect of the law and is very conversant on a broad spectrum of legal topics. Now, though, he dedicates his law practice primarily to personal injury cases and social security disability. The name of his law firm is Hill and Jordan. Cliff is very gregarious and one of those people who has never met a stranger. I hadn’t talked to him much since our oldest sons played high school football together a number of years ago. Cliff was, of course, the president of the high school football booster club. It was great to catch up with him and learn more about his background and entry into the legal profession.
In this episode of “Next Security Clearance Expert Up”*, I was fortunate to be able to discuss security clearance issues with Jeffrey W. Bennett who is very well respected in this field. In addition to having a combined 25 years of experience in the National Industrial Security Program, Jeff is a former Army officer with military intelligence experience and he also speaks three languages!
Jeff’s primary area of expertise is in the field of industrial security. He has really mastered this area and eagerly shares his knowledge. In fact, he is so prolific on this topic that he has his own publishing arm, a blog and a podcast!
Also, since turnabout is fair play, I did this podcast with Jeff after he was kind enough to have me on his podcast discussing Security Clearance Problems and How to Solve Them. I had never met Jeff in person prior to doing this podcast and it was great to get to know him. He really is an important and integral contributor to our industrial security community.
* I should note that this is the really the second episode of the “Next Security Clearance Expert Up.” See Episode 31 for my podcast featuring Stan Miller.
Nashville is now considered the “Bachelorette Capital” of the United States. In that same vein, if there is a “national” hub of bankruptcy in our country, Nashville would have to be considered one of the front runners in this field as well. It also turns out that, with respect to bankruptcy filings, Tennessee usually leads the nation, year after year, in chapter 13 cases. At the center of this bankruptcy hub stands Henry E. “Hank” Hildebrand III. Hank is the standing chapter 13 and chapter 12 trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee based in Nashville. He is really the embodiment of someone who has mastered his craft and there really is not an issue with regard to consumer bankruptcy where Hank is not considered the preeminent expert on the topic. In fact, his commentary and thoughts on various decisions that are issued throughout the country are always eagerly awaited by everyone in the field of bankruptcy law. I have talked to Hank on occasion at various CLEs over the years so I was happy to be able to spend some one on one time getting to know about his life both in and outside the practice of law. Interestingly, Hank thought early on in his legal career that he would end up practicing “beer law,” until that job offer took an unexpected turn! In any event, I was recently at a hearing in Hank’s town so it was good to spend some time with him at his office in “Smashville.” That last sentence is really meant for me since I just wanted to say the word I kept seeing while I was there in the city!
For anyone who travels on South Memorial Parkway/231 in Huntsville, you can’t miss attorney Russ Crumbley’s building. Talk about location, especially now that the Parkway construction has been completed! Russ is a highly respected and well known attorney. He and his lawyers handle cases that cover a wide range of law. Russ has a tremendous and admirable work ethic, which is evident when he talks about changing careers from working in the medical field to deciding to attend law school. I had never really gotten to know Russ prior to this podcast so I was happy to be able to sit down with him and get an opportunity to learn about him and his life in the law.