Bankruptcy Bar Association
for the District of Maryland
  2016-2017 OFFICERS  




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

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

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

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

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

Asst. Treasurer
Craig Palik

McNamee Hosea
6411 Ivy Lane, Suite 200
Greenbelt, MD 20770
(301) 441-2420

mmediate Past President
Stephen Metz

Frederick Carter

David Dean

Steven Goldberg
Christina Hamilton-Eisler







Site Last Updated:

July 15, 2016


September 5, 2009
Bankruptcy Bar Assn

News / Announcements

pushpin ABI’s 12th Annual Mid-Atlantic Bankruptcy Workshop, August 4-6, a three-day conference to be held at The Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay.

The advisory board for this program includes many top experts in the region, who helped shape the program so it would appeal to legal, business and consumer practitioners. The panelists have key roles in recent and current cases and will share an inside view of developments. Come listen and mingle with 12 U.S. Bankruptcy Judges representing Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina and New York. Judicial Co-Chairs are Chief Judge Nancy Alquist (D.Md.) and Judge Christopher Sontchi (D.Del.)

A few conference highlights:
· Restructuring the oil & gas industry
· Jaunty Judicial Debates
·Too many chiefs make for a CROwded reorganization - Ethics
· Reorganizing middle market retailers
· Trends in consumer fraud
· Obamacare and healthcare distress

For more information, the latest conference program information can be found at



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

6 PM


7 PM




Please RSVP by

Bankruptcy Bar of Maryland, Greenbelt Division, Cocktail Meeting





12:30 PM


Please RSVP by



Bankruptcy Bar of Maryland, Baltimore Division, Luncheon Meeting





Chapter Chairs

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

Baltimore Chapter Chair
Bradley Swallow


Greenbelt Chapter Chair

Seth Diamond


Baltimore Asst. Chapter Chair

Joe Selba


Greenbelt Asst. Chapter Chair
Lisa Stevens


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