Bankruptcy Bar Association
for the District of Maryland




Stephen Metz
12505 Park Potomac Ave.
6th Floor
Potomac, MD 20854
(301) 230-6564

President Elect
Maria Ellena Chavez-Ruark
500 East Pratt St.
Suite 900
Baltimore, MD 21202-3133
(410) 332-8797

Jennifer Kneeland
7200 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 800
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 961-5205

Asst. Secretary
Richard Costella
100 Light Street, 5th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 385-3440

Gabrielle Duvall
7200 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 800
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 961-5264

Asst. Treasurer
Patricia Jefferson
100 Light Street, 5th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 385-3406

mmediate Past President
Lisa Tancredi

David Dean
Catherine Hopkin
Christina Hamilton-Eisler
Craig Palik











Page Last Updated:

November 24, 2015


September 5, 2009
Bankruptcy Bar Assn

News / Announcements
NOTICE OF VACANCY for the position of 
(CLICK this LINK to see announcement.)
  • November 20, 2015 Seminar re: 
Changes to Official Bankruptcy Forms 
(which will take effect on December 1, 2015).


MVLS Needs Your Help - MVLS has been unable to keep current with the volume of low income individuals that need bankruptcy attorney representation. MVLS currently has a number of bankruptcy clients that are in need of volunteer attorneys. Interested attorneys should contact Michelle Swift, MVLS Pro Bono Program Manager at (443) 451-4068.


Sept. 21, 2015 Ethics Opinion Re: Pro Bono Representation of Debtors in No-Asset Chapter 7 Cases

Several months ago Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service (MVLS), with the assistance of Larry Coppel, asked the Ethics Committee to opine on the issue of whether it would be a conflict of interest under MRPC 1.7 (a) for a pro bono attorney to represent a Chapter 7 debtor in a no-asset bankruptcy case even though the attorney, or the attorney’s firm, represents one or more of the debtor’s unsecured creditors in unrelated matters and no waiver of the conflict is obtained. Several other jurisdictions’ ethics committees have all opined within the last few years that it would not be a conflict of interest under these circumstances since Chapter 7 bankruptcy is an in rem proceeding where the debtor and creditors are not directly adverse in the absence of an adversary proceeding. Where there is an adversary proceeding or contested matter, then a conflict waiver would be necessary for the representation.

Click here to view the MSBA Ethics Committee opinion. The Committee aligned itself with the other jurisdictions’ ethics opinions and has opined that a pro bono attorney may represent a Chapter 7 debtor in a no-asset case without a conflict waiver even though the attorney or the attorney’s firm represents creditors of the debtor in unrelated matters. Two members of the thirty member committee dissented.

 Educational Materials

BBA Case Reports:  the Bankruptcy Bar Association recently asked some of its members to serve as case reporters to make the membership aware of new Bankruptcy Court decisions from our district.  The case reporters are Bradley Swallow, Kristen Siracusa, Marissa Lilja, and Justin Fasano.

Click here to see recently added case summaries.


Newest Article


 ABI’s Mentoring Program Seeking Mentors and Mentees, by Patricia A. Redmond, Edward T. Gavin, Maria Ellena Chavez-Ruark and Timothy R. Bow, American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, Volume XXXIV, No. 2, February 2015. (Reprinted with permission from the American Bankruptcy Institute).



Here is a link to this month's educational materials.

pushpin The BBA wants to publish original articles written by members about aspects of bankruptcy law, practice and procedure. Interested? Contact Lori Simpson, Articles Editor, at 410-468-0054.

Here is a link to our guidelines for submission and publication agreement.


  The contents of this Web site are for informational purposes only and are not intended to provide legal or professional advice regarding any matter.
Upcoming Events
Date/Time Description of Event


Jan. 20, 2016

12:30 PM



Please RSVP by

Mon. Jan. 18

Bankruptcy Bar of Maryland, Baltimore Division, Luncheon Meeting



  David Sommer
  Anatoly Smolkin


“Actual fraud” under Section 523(a)(2)(A)

Husky International Electronics, Inc. v. Ritz, No. 15-145 (petition granted November 6, 2015), pending in the U.S. Supreme Court


Gallagher Evelius & Jones LLP
218 N. Charles Street,

               Suite 400
Baltimore, Maryland 21201


6 PM


7 PM




Please RSVP by

Bankruptcy Bar of Maryland, Greenbelt Division, Cocktail Meeting





Chapter Chairs

For information on any of the above-listed events, please contact the appropriate Chapter Chair.

Baltimore Chapter Chair
David Sommer


Greenbelt Chapter Chair
Brian Tucci


Baltimore Asst. Chapter Chair

 Bradley Swallow


Greenbelt Asst. Chapter Chair
Seth Diamond



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