Focusing on all facets of bankruptcy law and practice.

From the Boston Bar Journal: Facilitating the “Fresh Start”: Representing Pro Bono Bankruptcy Debtors Through the Volunteer Lawyers Project

by Meg McKenzie Feist and Megan B. Felter

The Profession

Our potential client is visibly nervous as we show her to the conference room where we will hold an initial meeting to discuss her financial situation.  She looks alternately at us, the view out the window, the stack of invoices and bills she has brought with her, and her cell phone, which vibrates periodically to announce yet another creditor collection call.  Following introductions, we ask simply, “What brought you here?”  She is taken aback for a moment, obviously unused to the opportunity to offer her story without interruption.  With some encouragement, however, she reveals the events and circumstances that brought her to our offices.  Listening carefully, we realize that finances are but one aspect of the difficulties in her life, which include mental and physical disabilities and a history of having been physically abused.  Unable to work, she relies on government benefits and feels powerless beneath the weight of her debts.  By the end of the initial meeting, we have gathered the information necessary to determine whether we can represent her on a pro bono basis to consider debt relief, potentially through bankruptcy.  As we walk her to the elevators and shake her hand goodbye, it is clear that she already feels a sense of relief.  The rest is up to us.

Read the rest of the article 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

    Gina M. O'Neil

    Mirick O'Connell - Westborough Office

    (508) 860 1483

    Christopher M. Candon

    Sheehan, Phinney, Bass + Green-NH

    (603) 627-8168

  • 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

    Alex Frank Mattera

    Demeo, LLP

    (617) 263-2600

    D. Ethan Jeffery

    Murphy & King, Professional Corporation

    (617) 226-3410

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

    Contact Information

    Macken Toussaint

    Riemer & Braunstein LLP

    (617) 880-3461

    Keri Wintle

    Murtha Cullina LLP

    (617) 457-4060

  • 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

    Timothy John Carter

    Goulston & Storrs PC

    (617) 482-1776

  • 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

    Meg McKenzie Feist

    Choate Hall & Stewart LLP

    (617) 248-5000

    Jesse I. Redlener

    Dalton & Finegold, LLP

    (978) 269-6420

  • Commercial and Consumer Finance Committee
    This committee focuses on commercial and consumer lending.

    Contact Information

    Christopher Somma

    Goodwin Procter LLP

    (617) 570-3948

    Robert Cooper

    OneUnited Bank

    (617) 457-4400

  • 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

    Amy Azza

    Orlans Moran PLLC

    (781) 7907805

    Kate Nicholson

    Parker & Associates

    (781) 729-0005

  • 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.

    Contact Information

    Janet E. Bostwick

    Janet E. Bostwick, PC

    (617) 956-2670

    Douglas B. Rosner

    Goulston & Storrs PC

    (617) 482-1776

  • 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

    David Koha

    Casner & Edwards, LLP

    (617) 426-5900

    Ben Chapman

    Brown Rudnick LLP

  • 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

    Jeffrey D. Sternklar

    Duane Morris LLP

    (857) 488-4216

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