Focusing on all facets of bankruptcy law and practice

From Beyond the Billable: The BBF Lends A Helping Hand

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

As we move into some of the coldest months here in New England, we have been reflecting on some of the bright spots over the past year. For example, last summer, ten Boston Public high school students had paying jobs at non-profit legal services organizations, government agencies and in the courts. One student told us about her experience -“I have been exposed to brilliant people who shared their experiences with me, and helped me form an idea of the career path I might want to take.”

With the help of hundreds of volunteers, the US Bankruptcy Court and the Boston Public Schools, we have impressed the importance of prudent financial management upon young minds through the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program. This program not only helps teens see how they might be able to save for a car, but hopefully can help them avoid bankruptcy later in life.

And in the Housing Court, BBA volunteers assisted more than 1,000 individuals struggling to navigate a complex, overburdened court system. This program gives hope and relief to pro se landlords and tenants at a time in their lives when one of their basic needs is at stake.

What do these programs have in common? They are all run with funding provided by the Boston Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the BBA.

The BBF is perhaps most well-known for its role in granting funds to legal services organizations in our community. These Boston-based programs operate in all areas of need – from giving children access to equal education and life opportunities, providing counseling and advice to homeless and at risk veterans, and helping thousands of families facing foreclosure learn their legal rights and fight displacement. But what many people don’t know is that the BBF is also providing a helping hand on the community service front, and working with the BBA to improve lives and strengthen neighborhoods.

As the holiday season approaches, the BBF will be launching its Annual Campaign to help support this work. The tax-deductible donations made to the Annual Campaign help provide a solid base of support as the BBF renews its commitment to increasing access to justice for those who need it most, providing opportunities for young people and engaging lawyers in the kind of projects that improve the lives of those in our community.

To learn more, click here.

Bankruptcy Law Committees

  • Bankruptcy Communications Committee
    This committee publishes information relevant to the bankruptcy bar. If you are interested in an editorial position or writing for the newsletter or blog, contact the

    Contact Information

    Christopher M. Candon

    Sheehan, Phinney, Bass & Green-NH

    (603) 627-8168

    Kristin M. McDonough

    Riemer & Braunstein LLP

    (617) 880-3436

  • Bankruptcy Education Committee
    Help develop relevant and innovative educational sessions led by a diverse group of talented speakers who cover both business and consumer bankruptcy issues. This committee promotes and oversees the educational programs for the Bankruptcy Section, including the monthly Brown Bag Lunch speaker series and several in-depth seminar programs.

    Contact Information

    Jeffrey D. Sternklar

    Duane Morris LLP

    (857) 488-4216

    Alex Frank Mattera

    Demeo, LLP

    (617) 263-2600

  • Bankruptcy Membership Committee
    This committee aims to increase participation in the Section through outreach activities.

    Contact Information

    Natalie Sawyer

    Macken Toussaint

    Riemer & Braunstein LLP

    (617) 880-3461

  • Bankruptcy Public Policy Committee
    The BBA is very active on the legislative front. Often times, bankruptcy attorneys are asked to lend their expertise.

    Contact Information

    Richard L. Levine

    Nelson Kinder + Mosseau, PC

    (617) 778-7575

    Michael J. Pappone

    Goodwin Procter LLP

    (617) 570-1940

  • Bankruptcy Public Service Committee
    This committee organizes the annual Chapter 7 Pro Bono trainings and the Reaffirmation Clinic. The committee works closely with practitioners and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to respond to needs identified in the community.

    Contact Information

    Adam J. Ruttenberg

    Looney & Grossman LLP

    (617) 951-2800

    Meg McKenzie Feist

    Choate Hall & Stewart LLP

    (617) 248-5000

  • Commercial Finance Committee
    This committee focuses on lending capital in commercial transactions.

    Contact Information

    William Scott McMahon

    Downes McMahon LLP

    (617) 600-8694

    John F. Ventola

    Choate Hall & Stewart LLP

    (617) 248-5085

  • Consumer Bankruptcy Committee
    This committee updates practitioners regarding changes and developments in Ch. 7 and Ch. 13 cases. In addition, it helps coordinate pro bono bankruptcy services in consumer matters.

    Contact Information

    Ann Brennan

    Ann Brennan Law Offices

    (781) 878-6900

    Kate Nicholson

    Parker & Associates

    (781) 729-0005

  • Consumer Finance Committee
    This a joint committee between the Financial Services and Bankruptcy Sections. This committee represents a collaborative effort to study, educate and review consumer finance products.
  • Financial Literacy Committee
    By volunteering for the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program, you will help high school students across Massachusetts learn to make informed and effective decisions regarding their finances through educational and experiential opportunities. You can become involved by working on the committee to develop and grow the program or teaching at a school.
  • New Bankruptcy Lawyers Committee
    A part of the Bankruptcy Law Section, the New Bankruptcy Lawyers Committee addresses issues faced by new or relatively new practitioners of bankruptcy law.

    Contact Information

    Timothy John Carter

    Goulston & Storrs, PC

    (617) 482-1776

    David Koha

    Casner & Edwards, LLP

    (617) 426-5900

  • Practice and Procedure Committee
    This committee serves as a liaison with the office of the Clerk of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts and considers local practice issues.

    Contact Information

    Guy B. Moss

    Riemer & Braunstein LLP

    (617) 880-3466

  • Steering Committee
    The leadership committee of the Section organizes programs and discusses policy. To inquire about opportunities, please contact the Section Co-Chairs.