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Recognition of Pro Bono Volunteers 2015

seal of the chief judge

Sheri Bluebond 
Chief Bankruptcy Judge

United States Bankruptcy Court
Central District of California
Edward R. Roybal Federal Building and Courthouse
255 East Temple Street, Suite 1534
Los Angeles, California 90012

Ph:   (213) 894-8980
Fax: (213) 894-1336

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

The Bankruptcy Judges of the Central District of California once again urge you to consider volunteering for one of the bankruptcy pro bono opportunities available in your area.  Over the past several years, notwithstanding the cyclical increases and decreases in our filing numbers, one thing has remained constant:  there are large numbers of low-income individuals in our court in need of representation.  Organizations currently assisting low-income people in our district see hundreds of families on the brink of foreclosure or in other economic distress each year.

Volunteer opportunities available range from commitments that require only a few hours every other month at a clinic to full representation in a chapter 7 case or adversary proceeding.  With a self-help desk in every division, you can easily volunteer close to home for only the number of hours that fit into your schedule.  Consumer bankruptcy training may be available for you. While most requests are for debtor assistance, low-income creditor assistance is needed as well.  The programs are structured so that attorneys who generally represent creditors may volunteer without concern about conflicts of interest or being designated a debt relief agency.  The vast majority of the people who come to these programs cannot afford counsel, but attorney referrals are also made through these organizations where appropriate.

Even a brief consultation with an attorney can make a big difference to an unrepresented party.  Attorney assistance also greatly helps the court and other litigants.  You can find contact information for an organization in your area, along with the types of opportunities available on the Court’s website (www.cacb.uscourts.gov), in the “Programs and Services” section, by clicking on “Pro Bono Opportunities.”  We encourage you to contact one of these agencies1to explore whether there might be a way for you to contribute your time and expertise to someone in need.  To those of you who already volunteer or provide badly needed pro bono help in other ways, we say thank you. Your efforts help the court be more responsive to all litigants, regardless of income level and are truly appreciated.

                                                                                                                                                                       Sheri Bluebond
                                                                                                                                                                       Chief Bankruptcy Judge

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 2015 Recognition of Pro Bono Volunteers

 



United States Bankruptcy Court
Central District of California

2015 Honor Roll of Pro Bono Volunteers

Public Counsel's Debtors Assistance Project
Chapter 7, Adversary Proceeding  & Reaffirmation Hearing Volunteers
Andrew Altholz
Martin Barash
James Beirne
Nan Blitman
Cliff Bordeaux
Ted Boxer
Mark E. Brenner
Zakeya L. Brookins
Christopher D. Cantore
Corey Carter
Atryia S. Clark
Laura Claveran
Joseph Collier
Ken Cooper
Stephanie Cooper
Jill David
Seth Davidson
Aaron de Leest
Dana Douglas
Suzette Douglas
Uchechi Egeonuigwe
Shawn Eldridge
Douglas Flahaut
Faith S. Ford
Ruben Fuentes
Norma Garcia
Henry Glowa
Andy Goodman
Michael I. Gottfried
David S. Hagen
Michelle Hahn
Stella Havkin
Marisa H. Hawkins
M. Jonathan Hayes
Carmel Herr
Keith Higginbotham
Gail Higgins
Steve Hoffman
Jim King
Madhu Kalra
Ilyse Klavir
Terenik Koujakian
Michael Kwasigroch
Jonathan Leventhal
Peter Lively
Osheen Lucasian
René López de Arenosa Jr.
Eva Malholtra
Dennis McGoldrick
John Mellisinos
Juanita Miller
Susan I. Montgomery
Roksana D. Moradi
Jason Murai
Goergeann Nicol
Sandra Nutt
Philomena Nzegge
Shai Oved
Louis Park
Rita Patel
Leonard Pena
Monica Reider
Eric Ridley
Todd Roberts
R. Grace Rodriguez
Selena Rojhani
Siovash Rokni
Lauren Ross
Michelle Ross
Allan Sarver
Zev Schectman
Salvatore Sciortino
Stanley Shar
Claire Shin
Darren Schlecter
Jennifer Skornik
Res Stemach
Ali Talai
Tamar Terzian
Meghan Triplett
Christine Upton
Thomas Ure
Jason Wallach
Steven Wolvek
Sloan Youkstetter
Aleksandra Zimonjic
Roye Zur
Interpreters:
 
Gloria Aguirre
Anna Alchetti
Abelardo Anaya
Anna Andrete
Nancy Arevalo
Susan Castillo
Hector Chavez
Patricia Cruz-Peffer
Nadine Erickson
Jenny Faure
Mario Flores
Belem Gonzalez
Cesar Hernandez
Ana Landaverde
Sonia Castro-Lowe
Rosa Maldonado
Reggie Moore
Patricia Peffer
Carmen Rodriguez
Leticia Salisbury
Laura Skorich
Stacey Tennyson
Melissa Topete



Los Angeles Bankruptcy Self Help Desk & Pro Se Clinic Volunteers
Matthew Abbasi
Danny Agai
Wilfred Aka
Lorraine Anderson
Jennifer Anisman
Michael Avanesian
Nathan Behnam
Pravin Bhambri
Shirlee Bliss
Janina Botchkis
James Boyd
Robert Brogan
Zakeya L. Brookins
Brian Brumfield
Elisa Carino
Steven Chang
Heidi Cheng
Michelle Choi
Tim Christian
Bryony Coiner
Francisco Cordero
Jill David
Seth Davidson
Ian Deady
Eva Dixon
Sheldon Eskin
A'Lisha Fall
Juliana Ferraz
Marissa Florio
Ruben Fuentes
Joel Garcia
Henry Glowa
Catalina Gracia
Mary Grant
John Greenwall
Tony Guillory
Nedda Haer
Sinda Hamon
Renee Hampton
Nancy Hanna
Dave Hiller
Tien Ho
Vahe Hovhannisyan
Jennifer Jones
Ivan Kallick
Bert Kawahara
Chris Keilson
Angie Kim
Jennifer Kim
Ricardo Kim
Sujin Kim
Bianca Ko
Kevin Liu
Nate Loakes
James Lowry
Solida Ly
Cynthia Lynn
Lucy Mayvan
Kahlil McAlpin
Matthew McCallan
Lindsay McMenamin
Alyce Minsky
Adriana Montia
Linda Muchamel
Claudia Munoz
Brian Murray
Gracie Olivarez
Calvin Park
Jeongyeol Park
Kathryn Phillips
Jill Piano
Susan Pintar
Louretta Randell
Robert Reganyan
Stephanie Reimer
Selena Rohjani
Michelle Ross
David Rowe
Sal Sciortino
Matthew Sidebottom
Rooh Singh
Michael Simon
Rosemary Stevens
Angela Swan
Newton Tak
Dianna Ter-Verdanyan
Cindy Tong
Diana Torres-Brito
Tiffany Truong
Kevin Van Hout
Herbert Wiggins
Tracy Wong
Liana Yoon
Sloan Youkstetter
Ramsey Zeitouneh
Ana Zuniga
Rachel Zwernemann



San Fernando Valley Division Self-Help Desk Volunteers
Anil Bhartia
James Bierne
Nan Blitman
Mark Brenner
M. Jonathan Hayes
Gail Higgins
Yi Sun Kim
James King
Ilyse Klavir
 Jonathan Leventhal
 
 
René López de Arenosa Jr 
Roksana D. Moradi
Todd Roberts
Pat Said
 
Law Student:
George K. Dulgeryan


 


Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County Consumer Debt Clinic Volunteers
David Barby
Uchechi Egeonuigwe
Chris Gautschi
Sanford Horowitz
Reed Olmstead
Casey Nelson
Monica Robles 
John Rounds
Dennis Shea
Jennifer Smith
 
 
Natalie Spilborghs
Randall Sutter
Cameron Van Tassell
Felicita Torres
 
Paralegal Volunteer(s):
Jean Linn



Public Service Law Corporation (Riverside Legal Aid) Riverside & Coachella Valley Volunteers
Christian Anyiam
Anyiam Law Firm
 
K. Steven Blake
 
Ryan S. Carrigan
Smith & Carrigan Law Group
 
David Egli
 
 
 
 
Ruben Escalante
Sheppard Mullin Richter &
Hampton, LLC
 
Benjamin Heston
 
Jennifer Lemm-Spere
 
 
 
 
 
 
Donald McKay
 
Summer Shaw
Hanover & Shaw
 
Manfred Schroer
Law Offices of Manfred Schroer
 
Paralegal:
Gabriela Figueroa
 
Paralegal Student intern:
Antonio Alcantar



Orange County Bar and Public Law Center Volunteers
Federico Acosta
Anerio Altman
Gary Angotti
John Au-Yeng
Dan Bane
Andrew Bisom
Bruce Boice
David Boyle
Kristal Bradford
Richard Brunette
Brad Calvin
Paul Cambio
Steve Cardoza
Lawrence Carter
Anthony Castillo
Steven Chang
Heath Chim
Andrew Cho
Doug Clark
Daniel Cornelious
Jeff Crowe
Ann Doan
Scot Douglas
Brian Dow
Alyssa Dowding
Elyza Eshaghi
Jolee Farinacci
Brian Farrell
Ken Fox
Alan Friedman
Bernard Frimond
Jacqueline Gottlieb
Jason Guyser
Tonya Hebert
Joseph Henein
Arnold Hernandez
Benjamin Heston
Halli Heston
Richard Heston
Tien Ho
Shiao-Wen Huang
Thi Huyen
Linda Igarashi
Misty Perry Isaacson
Julio Jaramillo
Jessica Johnson
Michael Jones
Vivian Kalu
Bridget Kelly
Mark Karpe
Les Kaufman
David Kim
Samantha Kim
Seung Hyun Kim
Miki Kwon
Adrienne Lee
Hannah Lee
Brad Leimkuhler
Aaron Lloyd
Minh Luong
Kerri Lyman
Aaron Malo
David McCarty
Kathleen McCarthy
Michael McMahon
Angela Mestre
Phil Metzinger
Abby Meyer
Harlene Miller
Stephen Nichols
Paul Nguyen
Sean O’Connor
Gazal Pour-Moezzi
Tina Rad 
Dominic Rainone
Brett Ramsaur
Peter Rasla
Matthew Rosene
Solange Rousset
Filemon Kevin Samson
Bruce Schweitzer
Sheniece Smith
Lee Sun
Christine Taheran
Chris Taylor
Raphaela Taylor
Ashley Teesdale
Stephanie Tran
Lydia Tse
Fermin Valencia
Michael Vaughn
Darren Veracruz
Joshua Weiss
Jennifer Wong
Kelly Zinser
Pamela Zylstra
Law Student Volunteers:
 
Ian Deady
Oscar Figueroa
Greg Kaplan
Leah Kaufman
Rachel Khalili
Bryanne Lewis
Jack Meaney
Ryan Ueda
Malena Wilson

 

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.

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