Recognition of Pro Bono Volunteers 2012

seal of the chief judge

         Peter H. Carroll 
   Chief Bankruptcy Judge

United States Bankruptcy Court
Central District of California
Roybal Federal Building & Courthouse
255 East Temple Street, Suite 1460
Los Angeles, California 90012

 

 

 

       Ph:   213-894-6343
       Fax:  213-894-1312

RECOGNITION OF PRO BONO VOLUNTEERS
IN THE UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT, CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

In honor of National Pro Bono Celebration week, the United States Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California, recognizes the extraordinary efforts of the attorneys serving self-represented filers. The Central District of California has the largest population of self-represented parties of any bankruptcy court in the nation. Attorneys that volunteer are helping those facing substantial economic hardship (and often language barriers) to navigate through the bankruptcy process. These attorneys serve an area of extreme need, providing vital services, advice, and in some cases legal representation for qualifying individuals. The service provided by these attorney volunteers greatly benefits the Court and all of its litigants, regardless of income level.

The volunteer efforts recognized include pro bono service in one or more of the following areas: self-help desks, Reaffirmation Agreement clinics, chapter 7 clinics, consumer debt clinics, bankruptcy seminars concerning filing requirements and the different chapters of bankruptcy, and legal representation for qualifying cases. A brief description of the varied programs forming this network of assistance for self-represented parties with the Central District of California follows the honor roll listing.

The Court thanks each of the following Honor Roll of Pro Bono Volunteers for their current and continued support in serving the self-represented parties in our district.1

Peter H. Carroll, Chief Bankruptcy Judge           

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1 The attached Honor Roll lists the names of the volunteers from the previous 12 months provided by each organization. The list will be updated quarterly to add any new volunteers emailed to HonorRoll@cacb.uscourts.gov.  The volunteer organizations are to review the list each September and email the Honor Roll address with any names that are to be removed for the annual update.

Revised 4/24/2013

Previous Honor Rolls | Printable Version 2012 Recognition of Pro Bono Volunteers

 



United States Bankruptcy Court
Central District of California

2012 Honor Roll of Pro Bono Volunteers

Debtors Assistance Project Pro Bono Volunteers
Chapter 7 & Reaffirmation Hearings
Faye Barta
Ethel Bennett
Nan Blitman
Cliff Bordeaux
Mark E. Brenner
Laura Buchanon
Amber Burroff
Chris Cantore
Corey Carter
Ellen Cheney
Michael D’Alba
Lesley Davis
Shawn Eldridge
Douglas Flahaut
Faith S. Ford
Clemente Franco
Roshni Gandhi
Norma Garcia
Michael I. Gottfried
Mary Grant
Hillary Grossberg
Patrick T. Green
Daniel Greenbaum
David S. Hagen
David Hao
Stella Havkin
Marisa H. Hawkins
M. Jonathan Hayes
Carmel Herr
Keith Higginbotham
Gail Higgins
David Jacobs
Travis Kasper
Jeff Katz
Kari Keidser
Mary Kenney
Jim King
Ilyse Klavir
Nancy Korompis
Michael D. Kwasigroch
Jonathan Leventhal
Jennifer Li
Peter Lively
Osheen Lucasian
Rene Lopez de Arenosa Jr.
Eva Malholtra
Susan I. Montgomery
Roksana D. Moradi
Jason Murai
Sandra Nutt
Philomena Nzegge
Yvette Ochoa
Carolyn Olson
Shai Oved
Leonard Pena
Monica Reider
Todd Roberts
R. Grace Rodriguez
Lauren Ross
Natella Royzman
Mark Ruszecki
Natalie Ryan
Allan Sarver
Darren Schlecter
Salvatore Sciortino
Jennifer Skornik
Tyson Takeuch
Marla Tauscher
Susana Tolchard
Meghan Triplett
Jason Wallach
Steven Werth
Katherine Windler
Steven Wolvek
Marcelle Wong
Aleksandra Zimonjic
Roye Zur

 



Los Angeles Bankruptcy Self Help Desk & Clinic Volunteers
Francisco Acosta
Danny Agai
Ismael Aliyev
Lenny Alzate
Michael Avanesian
Armen Avidissian
Steven Baron
James Beirne
Nan Blitman
Raffy Boulgourjian
Henry Broome
Thomas Bruder
Chris Cantore

Imelda Cerillo
Laura Claveran
Jason Derman
Chike Emenike
Sheldon Eskin
Charles Evans
Michelle Fernandez
Clemente Franco
Roshni Gandhi
Norma Garcia
Mary Elizabeth Grant
Terry Huttayananont
Tamala Johnson
Steven Greenstein-Katz
Curt Harrington
Travis Kasper
Jeffrey Katz
Bert Kawahara
Paul Kelly
Sujin Kim
Anna Korte
Annie Krikorian
Mary Lenahan
Jennifer Li
Caelo Marroquin
Mando Macayaon
Lindsay McMenamin
Kim McReynolds Bell
Neeta Menon
Shawn Mitchell
Brian Murray
Jack Nguyen
Sandra Nutt
Lynda Padilla
Eumir Perez
Greg Proniloff
Robert Reganyan
Natalie Ryan
Sal Sciortino
Elizabeth Sutlian
Marla Tauscher
Emmanuel Vargas
Carolyn Walter-Burch
Larry Webb
Justin Wilson
Katherine Windler
James Witmondt
Marcelle Wong
Delmas Woods
Hedy Zhang



San Fernando Valley Division Self-Help Desk Volunteers
Anil Bhartia
Nan Bitman
Mark Brenner
Daniel Greenbaum
David Handel
M. Jonathan Hayes
Marlene Hemmings
Gail Higgins
James King
Ilyse Klavir
Jonathan Leventhal
Roksana D. Moradi
Jennifer Phan
Natalie Ryan
Pat Said
Larry Webb
Joel Wilde



Bet Tzedek Legal Services Debtors’ Rights and Bankruptcy Program Volunteers
Student and Graduate Volunteers:

 

 
 

Paralegal Volunteers:
Attorney Volunteers:

Robert Babajouni
Mark Bolin
Merle Gould
John Joy

 

Tim Christian
Arthur Wilner

Gagan Khan
Limor Mojdehiazad
Joshua Wodka
Jonathan Zweig (Graduate)



Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County Consumer Debt Clinic Volunteers
Carissa Horowitz
Jean Lynn
Casey Nelson
Reed Olmstead
Monica Robles
Randy Sutter



Santa Barbara County Bar Association Reaffirmation Hearing Volunteers
William Beall
Eric Burkhardt
David Commons
Karen Grant
Jonathan Gura
Carissa Horowitz
Robert Hurlbett
Janet Lawson
Reed Olmstead
Susan Salehi
Peter Susi



Public Service Law Corporation (Riverside) Volunteers
Kimari Brody
Ryan Carrigan
Solomon A. Cheifer
Raul Garcia
Misty Isaacson
Marjorie Johnson
J. Ray Kelley
David Kerr
Justin Kirk
Chris Langley
Dennis E. McGoldrick
Rogelio Morales
Yvette Z. Morris
Shirley Ogata
William Radcliffe
Ian Rodriguez
Tonya Rodriquez
Mark Schnitzer
Ricky Shah
Manfred Schroer
Scott Talkov
Eli Underwood
Martha Warriner
Jamie Wrage



Orange County Bar and Public Law Center Volunteers
Alisa Admiral
Anerio Altman
Alexandra Armstrong
Jayson Aquino
Sara Babadi
Dan Bane
Shilpa Bhalan
Will Bollard
Laily Boutaleb
Brad Calvin
Lawrence Carter
Anthony Castillo
Andrew Cho
Tal Castro
Sergio Chaidez
Steven Chang
Joan Chyun
Jennifer Connor
Jeff Diamond
Shawn Dickerson
Robert Driessen
Doug Ecks
Shawn Eldridge
Michael Feeney
Bruce Fink
Parisa Fishback
Ian Flatley
Ken Fox
Alan Friedman
Bernard Frimond
Selene Geoppo
Rob Goe
Kathleen Goldberg
Richard Green
John Grieffendorf
Jason Guyser
Kate Heidbrink
Nida Henderson
Halli Heston
Richard Heston
Matthew Holbrook

 

 

Student Volunteers:

Jeffrey Hsu
Xipeng Huang
Alaa Ibrahim
Misty Perry Isaacson
Nina Javan
Jessica Johnson
Cory Jones
Michael Jones
Mark Karpe
Les Kaufman
Bridget Kelly
Shirley Kenninger
Jai Kim
Jihee Kim
Soon Kim
Andrew Klimkowski
Leslie Klott
Uliana Kozeychuk
Adrienne Lee
Doug Luther
Kristen Lu
Kerri Lyman
Aaron Malo
Ed Malpass
Keith Maneet
Ginger Marcos
Stan Markov
Alan Martin
Jame Mascaro
Michael McGee
Craig McLaughlin
Harlene Miller
Neda Mobassery
Erin Moriarty
Tullo Mumtaz
Anthony Patrick Munoz
Rami Nabi
Raihana Niazi
Barbara Su-Yin Ngo
Hieu-Tony Ngo
Michael Obradovitch

 

 

Elizabeth Alocer
Wanli Chen
Abby Hess

Sean O’Connor
Stephen Olear
Nancy Pham
Roger Plasse
Jared Powell
Michael Porras
Michelle Prescott
Mohammed Qazi
Tina Rad
Peter Rasla
Daniel Ratajczak
Peter Recchia
Karel Rocha
Derik Roy
Bobbie Ross
Paula Schaefer
Mary Schewatz
Bethany Schramm
Elizabeth Scott
Fate Shenasan
Josephine Sioson
Roshele Snyder
Arthur Stockton
Michael Stoltzman
Mark Swirt
Firasat Tar
Raphaela Taylor
Bella Thompson
Ava Tien
Krystina Tran
Fermin Valencia
Anurita Varma
Hieu Vu
Peter Vu
William John Wall
Michael Wallin
Andy Warshaw
Andy Yun
Kerry Zeiler
Kelly Zinser
Pamela Zylstra

 

 

Jeremy Ficarola
Timothy Rout
Chris Taylor

 

Programs for Self-Represented Parties at the
Central District of California Bankruptcy Court

Los Angeles Division:
The Debtor Assistance Project (DAP) began as the Court’s first effort to make pro bono programs available to the public within its geographic area. In the Los Angeles Division alone, the DAP places between 75-100 chapter 7 cases and adversary proceeding with pro bono counsel each year. It has become the umbrella committee and resource for projects throughout the district for all self-represented parties. The DAP is sponsored by the Los Angeles County Bar Association Commercial Law and Bankruptcy Section and the Public Counsel Law Center. It works closely with a number of other legal clinics throughout the district to provide free legal services to qualifying debtors and self-help support to all parties in the bankruptcy court. The DAP holds bi-monthly meetings at the Court, bringing together representatives from public interest law firms, volunteer attorneys, chapter 7 and 13 trustee representatives, bankruptcy judges, Clerk’s Office, and members of the office of the U.S. trustee. The DAP raises funds and awareness for its programs, provides training for pro bono attorneys, and exchanges information on trends and issues related to providing pro bono and self-help assistance as well as best practices.

          Non-Dischargeability Representation
Public Counsel locates pro bono attorneys for self-represented debtors in non-dischargeability adversary proceedings. A notice is sent by the court advising the debtor to contact Public Counsel if they need assistance. Income screening is then done by Public Counsel before a volunteer attorney is assigned. The attorneys then represent pro se debtors in non-dischargeability proceedings.

          Reaffirmation Agreement Clinic
This program provides pro bono assistance at Reaffirmation Agreement hearings. Reaffirmation Agreement hearings for participating judges at a particular division are bundled together, usually twice each month. This enables pro bono attorneys, coordinated by Public Counsel, to offer debtors information about their rights in a consultation that takes place outside the courtroom before the hearing. Public Counsel has also made arrangements with students from the California State University Los Angeles Interpreter Program to provide Spanish translation services for the Reaffirmation Agreement clinic, both during the attorney consultation and in court.

           Self Help Desk
The Los Angeles Division launched an onsite self-help desk in 2009 that serves the public two days each week. The self-help desk provides self-represented debtors and creditors with chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy information, forms, access to reference material, and provides referrals for additional legal assistance. Income eligible individuals can also attend a chapter 7 self-help clinic. The Los Angeles Division self-help desk is sponsored by Public Counsel, the Central District Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys Association (CDCBAA), and the Los Angeles County Bar Association - Commercial Law & Bankruptcy Subcommittee’s Debtor Assistance Project.

          Chapter 7 Representation
Income qualified debtors may receive pro bono representation from Public Counsel where volunteer attorneys can be found.  As the demand for representation is greater than the availability of volunteers, the self help programs are designed to assist those debtors with simple cases and the ability to represent themselves more effectively.  Public Counsel locates attorney volunteers through the CDCBAA, the Los Angeles and San Fernando County Bar Associations, and the Los Angeles Bankruptcy Forum.  Bet Tzedek Legal Services also provides a Debtors' Rights Clinic every six to eight weeks, with priority given to those who are disabled or 55 years of age or older, followed by individual representation where needed.  The Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles also holds regular clinics and assists debtors in preparing their cases for filing on their own.

Riverside Division:

The Public Service Law Corporation of the Riverside County Bar Association offers limited free legal services and bankruptcy seminars for pro se debtors located in the area served by the Riverside Division. The Court made space available at the Riverside Division for the Public Service Law Corporation to provide pro bono and self-help services. In a joint effort, the District Court and the Bankruptcy Court plan to open a self-help desk in November of 2011.

          Non-Dischargeabilty Defense
The Inland Empire Bankruptcy Forum has provided non-dischargeability defense on a limited ad hoc basis when it can locate volunteer attorneys.

Santa Ana Division:

         Legal Clinic
The Santa Ana Division has a weekly onsite legal clinic operated by Public Law Center that provides free legal advice for self-represented parties in chapter 7 bankruptcy cases. Public Law Center also provides pro bono representation in chapter 7 cases with attorneys from the local bar, when available. The legal clinic is co-sponsored by the Orange County Bar Association, Orange County Bar Association – Commercial Law and Bankruptcy Section, and the Orange County Bankruptcy Forum. Orange County Legal Aid also holds a weekly chapter 7 clinic and assists debtors in filing on their own if it is a no asset case.

         Reaffirmation Agreement Clinic
The Santa Ana Division has a Reaffirmation Agreement clinic similar to the one in Los Angeles. The clinic is operated by the Public Law Center with volunteers from the local bar.

         Non-Dischargeabilty Defense
The Public Law Center has provided non-dischargeability defense on an ad hoc basis when it can locate volunteer attorneys.

Northern Division:

         Consumer Debt Clinic

Serving Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura counties, a consumer debt clinic was formed and began operation in 2009 in Lompoc before moving to the Northern Division in 2010. The clinic is operated by the Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County (LAFSBC). Volunteer staff attorneys are available twice each month to answer questions about individual consumer debt issues. Volunteer staff attorneys also answer questions by parties who attend the self-help clinic.

         Reaffirmation Agreement Clinic
The Santa Barbara County Bar Association arranges for volunteer attorneys to meet with self-represented debtors before each Reaffirmation Agreement hearing.

San Fernando Valley Division:

         Self Help Desk
The San Fernando Valley Division opened the Court’s first onsite self-help desk in 2007. The self-help desk is operated by Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles, the Central District Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys Association, and the San Fernando Valley Bar Association. Self-represented debtors and creditors are assisted two days a week. Pro bono attorneys from the two bar associations hold weekly seminars and provide free legal information on bankruptcy. Topics commonly covered include bankruptcy filing requirements, the difference between chapter 7 and chapter 13, and where to find a bankruptcy attorney. The self-help desk also provides computers for debtors to view “Bankruptcy Basics” videos in addition to other videos regarding key principles of bankruptcy.

         Reaffirmation Agreement Clinic
The San Fernando Valley Division judges also participate in the Reaffirmation Agreement program operated by Public Counsel (see Los Angeles Division for more details). More recently, the San Fernando Valley Division has partnered with California State University Los Angeles and California State University Northridge to make Spanish translation services available at Reaffirmation Agreement hearings at no cost.

         Non-Dischargeability Representation
Public Counsel locates pro bono attorneys for self-represented debtors in non-dischargeability adversary proceedings in the same manner as that done in Los Angeles.

         Chapter 7 Representation
Income qualified debtors may receive pro bono representation from Public Counsel where volunteer attorneys can be found as part of the same program serving the Los Angeles Division. Bet Tzedek Legal Services also provides representation to individuals with a priority to those who are disabled or 55 years of age or older.

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