July 13, 2020

Leadership Message

Anna-Katrina Christakis

“[Law] becomes greater and nobler in calamity.” – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Of course Marquez was speaking of love, but his words are just as powerful when applied to the legal profession. The last six months have brought many changes in the world, including the consumer financial services industry. Federal, state, and local governments have passed measures to reduce the stress of increasing morbidity, restricted mobility, and high unemployment. There is tremendous uncertainty, but also many opportunities to step up our game and engage as a community in new and different ways.

The Business Law Section has adapted quickly, bringing relevant, timely content direct to your desktop in the form of webinars, articles, and events. It replaced the three-day in-person annual meeting with a week-long virtual conference and made registration free for all members. Every CLE meeting will be available on-demand for months afterwards so you can have maximum flexibility to attend the sessions you like regardless of scheduling. There will be three CLEs per day plus unique ways to engage and socialize with colleagues. And the virtual format enables us to hear from people around the globe—attracting voices we might not otherwise have had the benefit of hearing due to restrictions on travel and budgets.

I am especially proud of our committee. People have adjusted to working from home, juggling child-care responsibilities (some even welcoming new babies), home-schooling, client meetings, audits, depositions and court appearances, all while processing new legislation, executive orders, and other professional obligations. Our subcommittee leaders have done an extraordinary job of converting their spring programs into webinars and putting together an incredible line-up for the annual meeting in the fall. Topics we’ll explore include:

  • COVID-19 is Not Color-Blind: Equity Considerations and the Impact of the Pandemic on Diverse Communities
  • Fair Lending and Fair Housing: The History and Impact of Discrimination, and What We Can Do to Make Things Better 
  • Safely Assessing Ability to Pay in a Pandemic – Extending a Lifeline without Sinking the Ship
  • Defining Accurate Credit Reporting under the CARES Act
  • Off the Rails – Payment Systems in Light of COVID-19
  • Everything You Wanted to Know about Mortgage Forbearance
  • How Regulatory Agencies and Companies are Leveraging Technology to Improve Supervision and Regulatory Compliance During and After the Pandemic
  • Driving to One-Click: The New Point of Sale
  • A Look at the Increased Scrutiny Being Applied by the Courts and the FTC with Regard to Class Action Settlements
  • The Battle Between the Turnover and Automatic Stay Provisions of the Bankruptcy Code: Supreme Court to Resolve Split in Circuits
  • Arbitrations During a Pandemic

In addition, the Webinars subcommittee has been devoting extra effort to organizing more frequent programs so you don’t have to wait until September to enhance your learning. The Treatise editors, together with numerous members of our committee and a slew of YLLs, have been exceptionally busy as we near publication. So, too, have the Survey editors and authors. A special thanks goes out to the editors of our newsletter along with its many contributors, without whom this publication wouldn’t be possible

And there’s a lot of work still to be done, and a lot of room for ideas and innovation. So if you’d like to get more involved, we’d love to hear from you.

Since I started with a passage from “Love in the Time of Cholera,” it seems fitting that I should end with one. Although it has nothing to do with law, it’s a reflection on the equanimity in relationships: “Very well, I will marry you if you promise not to make me eat eggplant.”


Anna-Katrina Christakis

Pilgrim Christakis LLP

Katrina is the Chair of the Committee, and a partner at Pilgrim Christakis LLP, a financial services litigation firm based in Chicago.