History of the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers
to April 2016

The College would like to thank the many people who have contributed to the preparation of the History of the  American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers, an effort that spanned more than four years and countless hours of locating, retrieving, culling and reviewing archival materials, relating and recording anecdotal recollections, and then drafting, re-drafting, editing and re-editing the work itself, including (and with apologies to those inadvertently omitted) and in no intended order,  Christopher Rockers, Lynn Soukup, Howard Darmstadter, Daniel Webster, Maury Poscover, David Willenzik, Edward Dobbs, Ed Smith, Bruce Schimberg, Carolan Berkley, Bob Zadek, Leonard Gilbert, Thomas Welsh Kenneth Greene, Earl Leitess, Stephen Sepinuck, Peter Carson, Steve Leitess, Leianne Crittenden, Sylvia Chin, Lee Powar and Steve Weise.     

In the early 1990s, Maury B. Poscover (President 1995-96), David S. Willenzik (President 1993- 94) and Ernest Bland Williams III (President 1991-93) founded the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers to honor commercial finance lawyers who are both excellent practitioners and have contributed to the profession. The College commissioned this history to memorialize its development, its activities and achievements, and the contributions of its Fellows to the practice of commercial finance law. We hope you enjoy this historical tour and that it triggers happy memories for those who have been active in the College’s formation and growth. We also hope that it will provide a background to guide the future activities and growth of the College.1  

Organization: 1990-1992

“…to create an entity that gave recognition, not only to those who were good lawyers in the field of commercial finance, 
but who contributed to the profession and to their communities”

The American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers was preceded by the formation in 1982 of the Commercial Financial Services (now Commercial Finance) Committee of the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Business Law (BLS). As Maury B. Poscover recalls, “A group of us were sitting around over drinks. Someone said, ‘Boy it sure would be nice for there to be some place for us to get together and share our ideas, what we’re doing, how to get better at what we do.’” One of the lawyers at that gathering, William M. Burke, who chaired the BLS Uniform Commercial Code Committee, agreed. Burke made a presentation to the BLS governing council, which led to the founding of the Commercial Finance Committee. Poscover remembers that it was among members of that Committee that “this idea of the College percolated.”

To read more or download/save a pdf of the History of the College click here.

1Because the College’s records are incomplete, there may be gaps in this history, and we regret any omissions or errors. We invite Fellows to contact the current Secretary of the College c/o the College at [email protected] with additional information or to provide copies of any records they may have for the College archives.