Posts Categorized: Bankruptcy

BBA Webinar: Mediation Training for Consumer Bankruptcy Cases (9/16 12-1pm)

The BBA presents live webinars via Zoom. Access to this program is free, included as part of your member benefit. Please register through your BBA account at least two hours before the start of the program to receive the Zoom webinar link. The link will be emailed to registrants on a rolling basis beginning 72 hours before the start of the program. If you have not received a link within one-hour of the program start, please email the BBA contact listed below.

COVID-19 has injected an insolvency component into numerous situations and disputes. This Bankruptcy Section kickoff program is designed to provide attendees with basic information about the use of mediation to help solve intractable issues arising in consumer matters.   As a cost-effective and voluntary process, mediation provides parties and counsel with an opportunity to resolve matters outside of the traditional adversarial nature of the legal system.  In certain situations, mediation may lead to outcomes that are not typically obtainable within an adjudicated proceeding such as improved personal and business relationships.  The focus of this session will be on understanding the fundamental components of mediation including when, where and how to use it to achieve client objectives with a particular focus on its use in insolvency settings.

This program is free for members and non-members alike. If you have any questions, please email Doug Newton at dnewton@bostonbar.org.

Speakers:

Register here.

Update from the Standing Committee on COVID-19

The Committee continues to meet every Friday and has two sub-committees that are focusing on solutions to challenges that we think our practice area will likely experience as the variety of foreclosure, eviction and collection moratoriums begin to expire, demand for legal services expands rapidly, and the calendar rolls to the fall and winter months.

One sub-committee, led by Jacob Simon and Frank Morrissey, is focusing on ways in which we might be able to provide assistance to attorneys who become incapacitated by COVID-19. This group has a webinar planned for later this month addressing disaster planning and succession planning and the panel will include Jeffrey Woolf from the BBA and a consumer bankruptcy lawyer who assisted with the case load of a fellow member of the bar who had COVID-19 and was unable to attend to the practice of law for a period of time.

The second subcommittee, led by Amy Lipman-White, Kate Cruickshank and Kate Nicholson, is preparing training programs for lawyers who are interested in representing consumer debtors that meet applicable legal service agency income guidelines on pro bono basis in chapter 7 cases. MetroWest Legal Services is presenting a two part bankruptcy basics training program on June 22 and June 23 from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day. Please spread the work about these training programs as they present great opportunities for new lawyers not only to gain exposure to bankruptcy practice but also to assist consumers who would otherwise be unable to obtain legal assistance to obtain a fresh start.

We are also assembling a list of mentors that those taking the training course can call on for assistance with their first consumer case. Please be in touch with Donald Lassman (Don@LassmanLaw.com) if you would like to add your name to the growing list of volunteers or are otherwise interested in participating in any of the Committee’s ongoing efforts.

METROWEST LEGAL SERVICES – Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Basics Training

MetroWest Legal Services is offering a FREE* two-part training program that will provide you with the building blocks required to assist  those in need with a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Not only will this training allow you to deepen your skills as an attorney for your private practice BUT you will also become part of the solution to the COVID 19 pandemic. 

WHEN: Monday, June 22 & Tuesday, June 23 – 3:00- 5:30 pm

WHERE: Video-conferencing (link sent after registration)

To sign up for this training, please email Cheryl Palmieri, Pro Bono Coordinator & Staff Attorney, MWLS at  Cpalmieri@mwlegal.org

Please include your name, mailing address, telephone number, email address and BBO number with your registration.

UPDATE FROM THE STANDING COMMITTEE ON COVID-19

In April, the Bankruptcy Section of the Boston Bar Association formed a Covid-19 Response Standing Committee (see May 13, 2020 posting). The Committee meets weekly and has representatives from all parts of the Commonwealth. The work of the Committee is focused on three main areas:

First, reviewing the Bankruptcy Section’s current pro bono protocols and adapting them to Covid-19 situations, and assembling a panel of experts  discussing ethical issues arising from the Covid 19 crisis and best practices for drafting a law office disaster plans.  This effort is being led by Frank Morrissey and Jacob Simon.

Second, preparing educational programs to update attorneys on recent changes to the bankruptcy code and rules, including recent changes to the Bankruptcy Code, as well as relevant state laws and regulations in response to Covid-19.  This effort is being led by Kate Cruickshank, Kate Nicholson, and Amy Lipman-White.

Third, providing training modules for attorneys entering the field who are interested in volunteering to take pro-bono consumer bankruptcy cases, and establishing a mentor list so that the lawyers new to the bankruptcy practice can be paired with an experienced practitioner to provide support and guidance.  In addition to training sessions on law and practice, we expect to include a training session on the increasingly important role of technology and how to set up and manage the systems necessary for an effective “virtual” bankruptcy practice.  This effort is being led by Kate Cruickshank, Kate Nicholson, and Amy Lipman-White.

If you are interested in learning more about the work of the Committee and participating in its work please contact any of the members identified below.

  • Donald R. Lassman, Committee Chair, don@lassmanlaw.com
  • Amy Lipman-White, alipman@lipmanwhite.com
  • Kate Nicholson, knicholson@nicholsonpc.com
  • Jacob Simon, jacob@simonlawma.com
  • Christine Devine, cdevine@mirickoconnell.com
  • Dmitry Lev, dlev@levlaw.net
  • Macken Toussaint, mtoussaint@riemerlaw.com
  • Frank Morrissey, fcm@mwzllp.com
  • Kate Cruickshank, kcruickshank@murphyking.com
  • Gary Weiner, gweiner@weinerlegal.com
  • Jennifer Breen, jenny.breen.esq@gmail.com
  • Lou Robin, louis.robin.bankruptcy@gmail.com

REMINDER: 2020 Bankruptcy Bench Meets Bar Webinar, Wednesday, May 20, at 3 p.m.

Where: Online via Zoom

When: Wednesday, May 20, 2020, 3:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.

This webinar is an opportunity for bankruptcy professionals to hear from Massachusetts Bankruptcy Judges about the Bankruptcy Court’s operations since the COVID-19 pandemic and how practitioners are adapting.  The program will include the following topics:

     -State of the District update from Chief Judge Christopher J. Panos;

     -New standing orders and other procedural changes;

     -Current practice for status conferences, non-evidentiary hearings, and evidentiary hearings, and tips for telephonic hearings;

     -How the Court is preparing to handle the back log of evidentiary hearings and trials; and

     -What practitioners should expect when the Court reopens for live hearings (and factors being considered with respect to timing).

Other agenda items include answering questions and/or brief discussion of comments submitted by practitioners in advance about challenges with the new remote-only operation of the Bankruptcy Court.  All questions and comments can be emailed to Macken Toussaint, Bankruptcy Section Co-Chair, at mtoussaint@riemerlaw.com

Speakers:

     -Hon. Christopher J. Panos, U.S. Bankruptcy Court

     -Hon. Frank J. Bailey, U.S. Bankruptcy Court

     -Hon. Janet E. Bostwick, U.S. Bankruptcy Court

This program is being presented live via Zoom.  Please register for this program through your BBA account to receive the Zoom webinar link.  In order to receive the Zoom webinar link, you must register at least two hours before the start time of the program.

Further information for the program may be found HERE

BBA Bankruptcy Section Announces COVID-19 Response Committee

The Bankruptcy Section of the Boston Bar Association has formed a COVID-19 standing committee (the “Committee”) to assess the impact of COVID-19 on bankruptcy practice, to proactively monitor the anticipated rapid rise in consumer bankruptcy cases in response to the COVID-19 crisis, and to assist with the expected increase in demand for such pro-bono legal services for consumer debtors.

The Committee is currently focused on (1) reviewing the Bankruptcy Section’s current pro bono protocols and adapting them to COVID-19 situations, (2) preparing educational programs to update attorneys on recent changes to the bankruptcy code and rules, including changes to bankruptcy and relevant state laws in response to COVID-19, and (3) providing training for attorneys entering the field who are interested in volunteering to take pro-bono consumer bankruptcy cases, which are expected to rise sharply.

If you are interested in learning more about the Bankruptcy Section pro bono response, please contact Ariana Gebauer at agebauer@bostonbar.org.

The members of the Committee are Donald Lassman (Chair), Christine Devine, Macken Toussaint, Amy Lipman-White, Dmitry Lev, Jacob Simon, Frank Morrissey, Kathleen Cruickshank, and Kate Nicholson.  Other questions about the Committee can be directed to Donald Lassman at Don@Lassmanlaw.com.

Lunch Bunch with Judge Bailey: Thursday, January 23, 2020 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM

Description: Please join us for our first brown bag lunch of the new year with Judge Frank J. Bailey in the former law library on the 12th floor of the Bankruptcy Court. This is a great opportunity to participate, learn, and discuss hot topics in bankruptcy law in a relaxed open forum environment. We encourage practitioners to come and discuss current trends, concerns, and issues, so feel free to bring questions! If you have questions or items you’d like to discuss, you may submit them in advance by email to mlipton@parkerlipton.com. This event is open to everyone. Non-BBA members are also welcome to attend. Lunch will be provided courtesy of the BBA.

To register for this event, click HERE.

Young Bar Meets Bench: Monday, February 10, 2020 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Description: Are you a young lawyer who is tired of never having your day in Court? Today is your lucky day!

For the first time in 13 years, the Young Bar Meets Bench is joining forces with the Junior Lawyers Training Program to host a joint oral advocacy workshop at the Boston U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Participating attendees will have the great opportunity to argue a “mock” motion before a panel of esteemed judges and litigators (and a room of their peers) in you guessed it, a Courtroom! Non-participating attendees will have the great opportunity to observe their peers, learn tips and strategies about oral advocacy, ask questions during the Q&A segment, and network at the Program’s reception.

If you would like to argue a motion, please email Jenna Kim at jkim@bostonbar.org .

Register to attend this event HERE.

THIS TUESDAY, November 12th from 12 – 1 PM, Join Us at the BBA for a Homestead Overview in Bankruptcy and Trusts and Estates

This program will focus on the Massachusetts Homestead Act and how it protects or does not protect property in the event of a bankruptcy. The speakers will also review how T&E attorneys make certain transfers with respect to a primary residence and how it may be impacted by a future bankruptcy. To register click HERE.

When: Tuesday, November 12, 2019, from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.

Where: Boston Bar Association, 16 Beacon Street, Boston, MA

Speakers:

-Adam J. Ruttenberg, Arent Fox LLP

-Elizabeth A. Caruso, Baker, Braverman & Barbadoro, P.C.

Registration Categories:

-BBA Member – Free. Included as part of your membership.

-Non-Member – $100.00

Sponsoring Section/Committee(s):

-Trusts & Estates Section

-Estate Planning Committee

-Bankruptcy Law Section

Contact: Jenna Kim, jkim@bostonbar.org

NOTICE OF VACANCY: TERM LAW CLERK TO THE HON. JANET E. BOSTWICK

Position Title: Law Clerk to U.S. Bankruptcy Judge

Position Type: Full-Time Term Limited, Excepted Service

Application Opening Date: October 21, 2019

Application Closing Date: Preference for those received by November 12, 2019

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Term of Employment: Immediately to August 31, 2020 (with potential to extend)

Starting Annual Salary Range: JSP 11/1 – 13/1, ($69,016 – $127,874 depending upon qualifications, experience and bar membership status)

General Job Description: Duties include conducting legal research and analysis, preparing memoranda and draft orders and opinions, working collaboratively with members of Chambers and the Clerk’s Office on matters affecting case administration, and performing other duties as may be assigned. A portion of the law clerk’s time will be spent observing courtroom proceedings and performing certain administrative functions.

Minimum Qualifications: At the time of appointment, the applicant must be a U.S. Citizen or be authorized to work in the United States. Applicant must be a law school graduate with academic standing in the upper third of the class or have other demonstrated proof of superior research and writing skills and legal acumen. Additionally, the applicant must be proficient in computer-assisted research and Microsoft Word. It is preferred that applicants have taken bankruptcy law in law school or have experience in the bankruptcy field or comparable practice areas. Familiarity with case management/electronic case filing (CM/ECF) is also preferred. Applicants must be able to quickly process and resolve complex issues and have excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal skills. Maturity, judgment, and discretion are required. Employees are hired provisionally pending the results of a completed background investigation.

How to Apply: Applications must include a cover letter, current resume and at least one writing sample. Candidates may apply for this position through the Online System for Clerkship Application and Review (OSCAR) by clicking HERE , or alternatively, may submit applications by mail to: The Chambers of the Hon. Janet E. Bostwick, Attn: Leslie Su, Law Clerk, United States Bankruptcy Court, John W. McCormack Post Office and Court House, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 1150 Boston, MA 02109-3945.

The Court reserves the right to modify the conditions of this job announcement, to withdraw the job announcement, or to fill the position sooner than the closing date, if a closing date is shown, any of which actions may occur without any prior written notice.

Further Information for Applicants:

· Employees of the United States Bankruptcy Court serve on an “at will” basis and are required to adhere to a Code of Conduct, a copy of which is available upon request.

· Applicants who proceed further through the application process may be requested to provide additional information including references.

· The United States Bankruptcy Court is an Equal Opportunity Employer.