John D. Penn of Haynes and Boone, LLP Assumes Bankruptcy Institute Presidency

May 02, 2005

FORT WORTH – John D. Penn of Haynes and Boone, LLP took office May 1 as president of the almost 11,000-member American Bankruptcy Institute -- the nation’s largest multi-disciplinary organization dedicated to research and education on bankruptcy and insolvency matters.

Mr. Penn, a Partner in the Haynes and Boone Fort Worth office, assumes the leadership role at a time of historic change within bankruptcy law and practice. The recently adopted Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act brings the most far-reaching revision of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code since its enactment in 1978.

As signed by President George W. Bush, the act will dramatically alter the way bankruptcies are filed and processed for both individuals and corporations.

"It's a swing of the pendulum," says Mr. Penn. "When the bankruptcy code was put in place in 1978, it swung toward the debtors’ side. Now the pendulum is going to the creditors’ side.  All practitioners will need to know and understand the intricacies of the revisions since it will affect, in one way or another, everyone’s practice before bankruptcy courts.”

Mr. Penn began his one-year term at the conclusion of the ABI’s Annual Spring Meeting in Washington, D.C. He has served on the 60-member ABI Board of Directors since 1997, and as a member of the Executive committee since 2001, serving as Vice President – Publications before becoming President – Elect.

His legal career spans more than 20 years of representing parties in business bankruptcy cases, most recently one of the leaders of the Haynes and Boone team representing the Official Unsecured Creditors Committee in the National Benevolent Association of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) where unsecured creditors were paid in full, plus interest. The NBA was one of largest not-for-profit companies to ever seek bankruptcy protection.  He also represented Kitty Hawk, Inc. and its subsidiaries, the nation’s largest non-integrated overnight cargo carrier, which was successfully reorganized under Chapter 11.

Until December, Mr. Penn was the Chairman of the American Board of Certification.  He also served a term as the President of the Tarrant County Bankruptcy Bar Association. He received his B.B.A. from Baylor University in 1981 and J.D. from the Baylor University School of Law in 1982.

In his spare time, he serves on the Executive Board of the Longhorn Council of the Boy Scouts of America and as den leader for his sons’ two Cub Scout dens.

Haynes and Boone, LLP is an international law firm with 10 offices throughout Texas, Washington, D.C., Mexico City, Moscow and New York, providing a full spectrum of legal services to clients around the world. With more than 450 attorneys, Haynes and Boone is ranked among the largest law firms in the nation by National Law Journal.  The firm has been recognized as one of the "20 Best Law Firms to Work For" (, 2004), one of the “Best Corporate Law Firms in America” (Corporate Board Member Magazine, 2001-2004) and recipient of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s 2002 Thomas L. Sager Award for commitment to diversity.

The ABI is the largest multi-disciplinary, non-partisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency.  ABI was founded in 1982 to provide Congress and the public with unbiased analysis of bankruptcy issues. The ABI membership includes more than 10,000 attorneys, accountants, bankers, judges, professors, lenders, turnaround specialists and other bankruptcy professionals providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information.  For additional information on ABI, visit ABI World at

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