Recognition of Pro Bono Volunteers 2013

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 within 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.

Previous Honor Rolls | Printable Version 2013 Recognition of Pro Bono Volunteers

 



United States Bankruptcy Court
Central District of California

2013 Honor Roll of Pro Bono Volunteers

Public Counsel's Debtors Assistance Project
Chapter 7, Adversary Proceeding  & Reaffirmation Hearing Volunteers
Carolyn Afari
Martin Barash
Faye Barta
James Beirne
Sanaz Bereliani
Nan Blitman
Cliff Bordeaux
Mark E. Brenner
Laura Buchanon
Christopher D. Cantore
Ellen Cheney
Laura Claveran
Joseph Collier
Natalie Daghbandan
Lesley Davis
Michael DeLaney
Aaron de Leest
Suzette Douglas
Shawn Eldridge
Douglas Flahaut
Faith S. Ford
Norma Garcia
Eliza Ghanooni
Michael I. Gottfried
Daniel Greenbaum
David S. Hagen
Stella Havkin
Marisa H. Hawkins
M. Jonathan Hayes
Carmel Herr
Keith Higginbotham
Gail Higgins
Jeff Katz
Jim King
Ilyse Klavir
Jonathan Leventhal
Peter Lively
Osheen Lucasian
René Lόpez de Arenosa Jr.
Eva Malholtra
Richard E. McGuire
Susan I. Montgomery
Roksana D. Moradi
Jason Murai
Philomena Nzegge

 

Law Graduate Volunteer(s):
 

Lisa Oh
Carolyn Olson
Shai Oved
Leonard Pena
Monica Reider
Todd Roberts
R. Grace Rodriguez
Selena Rojhani
Lauren Ross
Allan Sarver
Zev Schectman
Paul Anton Schiffin
Salvatore Sciortino
Evelina Shpolyansky
Jennifer Skornik
Marla Tauscher
Meghan Triplett
Thomas Ure
Jason Wallach
Steven Wolvek
Regina Zeltser
Aleksandra Zimonjic
Roye Zur

 

Matthew Baker, J.D.



Los Angeles Bankruptcy Self Help Desk & Clinic Volunteers
Danny Agai
Michael Avanesian
Armen Avedissian
Marlon Baldomero
Edwin Barnum
Steven Baron
Elissa Barratt
Jim Beirne
Judith Benson
Nan Blitman
Raffy Boulgourjian
Sean Breaux
Thomas Bruder
Christopher D. Cantore
Laura Claveran
Dolisa Colley
Sheldon Eskin
Charles Evans
Michelle Fernandez
Clemente Franco
Roshni Gandhi
Richard Garber
Norma Garcia
Mary Elizabeth Grant
Stephen Greenstein-Katz
Curt Harrington
Travis Kasper
Jeffrey Katz
Paul Kelly
Jennifer Li
Lindsay McMenamin
John Melissinos
Shawn Mitchell
Arpi Mnatsakanyan
Sandra Nutt
Lisa Oh
Kathryn Parry
Patrick Parsa
Eumir Perez
Laurae Rossi
Natalie Ryan
Paul Schiffin
Sal Sciortino
Peter Selawsky
Eveylina Shpoylansky
Whitney Snyder
Marla Tauscher
Holly Trief
Joshua Valero
Carolyn Walter-Burch
Katherine Windler
Marcelle Wong



San Fernando Valley Division Self-Help Desk Volunteers
Anil Bhartia
Nan Blitman
Mark Brenner
Lindsey Green
M. Jonathan Hayes
Gail Higgins
Yi Sun Kim
James King
Ilyse Klavir
Jonathan Leventhal
René Lόpez de Arenosa Jr.
Gustavo Mendoza
Roksana D. Moradi
Todd Roberts
Pat Said
James Tenner



Bet Tzedek Legal Services Debtors’ Rights and Bankruptcy Program Volunteers
Attorney Volunteers:
 
 
Additional Volunteers:
Harrison Flanagan
Mark Gordon

 
Tim Christian
Karen Getelman
Merle Gould
John Joy
Elizabeth Kim
Gagan Khan

Arthur Wilner
Jonathan Zweig

Natalie Minev
Limor Mojdehiazad
Faramarz Nabavi
Christian Ochoa
Kathryn Podsiadlo
Kenneth Star



Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County Consumer Debt Clinic Volunteers
Misha Barto
Carissa Horowitz
Casey Nelson
Reed Olmstead
Monica Robles
Ann Rycroft

 

Paralegal Volunteer(s):

Natalie Spilborghs
Randall Sutter

 
 

Jean Lynn
Leo Santana



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



Public Service Law Corporation (Riverside) Volunteers
Ryan S. Carrigan
Smith & Carrigan
 
Andrea Darrow Smith
Smith & Carrigan
 
Ruben Escalante
Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, LLC
Amelie A. Kamau
Dwight M. Kealy
Mark Schnitzer

Reid & Hellyer
 
Manfred Schroer
 
 
 
Student Volunteer:
Scott Talkov
Reid &Hellyer
 
Eric Tweten
 
 
 
 
 
Sherwin Nam
UC Santa Barbara



Orange County Bar and Public Law Center Volunteers
Anerio Altman
Nora Aponte-Woodring
Laily Boutaleb
David Boyle
Richard Brunette
Brad Calvin
Paul Cambio
Jeffrey Cancilla
Steve Cardoza
Cathrine Castaldi
Dan Chambers
Christina Chan
Steven Chang
Daniel Cornelious
Jeff Crowe
Caroline Djang
Brian Dow
Alyssa Dowding
Angelo DuPlantier
Robert Farrell
Joshua Finkelstein
Erin Fitzgerald
Aimee Flanagan
Elizabeth Fleming
Ken Fox
Alan Friedman
Bernard Frimond
Rob Garretson
Selene Geoppo
J Victor Giongco
Rob Goe
Kathleen Goldberg
Ronald Gomez
Jacqueline Gottlieb
Mark Gordon
Christian Graham
Michael Green
Richard Green

Law Graduate Volunteers:

 

Law Student Volunteers:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Paralegal Volunteers:

 

John Grieffendorf
Jason Guyser
Cara Hagan
James A. Hayes, Jr.
Arnold Hernandez
Halli Heston
Richard Heston
Matthew Holbrook
Misty Perry Isaacson
Michael Jones
Mark Karpe
Les Kaufman
Bridget Kelly
Leslie Klott
Casey Koone
Kristine Kyllander
Elizabeth LaRocque
Debby Le
Adrienne Lee
Sonia Linnaus
Doug Luther
Solida Ly
Kerri Lyman
Anthony Madu
Aaron Malo
Alan Martin
Lynn Matus-Collins
Michael McMahon
Jennifer McNabb
Jessica Mercado
Angela Mestre
Harlene Miller
Anthony Modarelli
Alexandra Morgan
Amir Nader
Esther Ngounly
Joann Nguyen
Rosemary Nguyen

Joe Boniwell
Violeta Ebert
Tu Richard Nguyen

Skye Anderson
Uche Anene
Adib Assassi
Christopher Campbell
Jeremy Ficarola
Tiffany Full
Samantha Goates
Gregory Gomez
Jackie Hamilton
Leah Kaufman
James Miller
Myrna Miranda
Ranika Morales

 

 
 
Lori Gauthier
Ganna Gudkova

Ashleigh Noda
Henry Nunez
Sean O’Connor
Carolyn Olson
Angelica Ornelas
Brian Owens
James D. Perry
Fred S. Peters
Gary Polston
Tina Rad
Stephanie Ramirez
Peter Rasla
Daniel Rios
Constance Rogers
Fatima Saleh
Mohammad Saleh
Filemon Kevin Samson
Bruce Schweitzer
Sheniece Smith
Michael Spector
Mark Swirt
Steve Swytak
Raphaela Taylor
Robert Taylor
M. Silvina Tondini
Krystina Tran
Lydia Tse
Adanna Ukah
Fermin Valencia
Eric Vinje
Michael Wallin
Bruce White
Eric Wilson
Jeff Wong
Kelly Zinser
Pamela Zylstra

 
 
 

Matt Rosene
Ed Wunch

 
Sasha Nichols
Katherine Riley
David Root
Timothy Rout
Alexander Selman
Blake Slater
Wismick St. Jean
Jordan Tessier
Leslie Tos
Brian Trinidad
Vince Vuong
Thomas Worger
Ryan Wong
Sirena Wu
 
 

Suzie Gulshan
Jermone Mabry

 

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 45-50 chapter 7 cases and adversary proceedings 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, the Consumer Debt and Bankruptcy Clinic was formed and began operation in 2009 in Northern Santa Barbara County before moving to the Northern Division in 2010.  The clinic is sponsored by the Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County (LAFSBC) and is held once a week in the Northern Division Clerk’s office.  Volunteer attorneys are available during the clinic to answer questions about individual consumer debt issues.  A Bankruptcy Resource Center is also open during clinic hours to provide bankruptcy reference materials and forms.

         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 one day 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.

Previous Years: 2013 |  2012  |   2011