2016-2017 OFFICERS  




Maria Ellena Chavez-Ruark
500 East Pratt St.
Suite 900
Baltimore, MD 21202-3133
(410) 332-8797


President Elect
Jennifer Kneeland

1765 Greensboro Station  Place, Suite 1000

McLean, VA  22102

(703) 749-1026    


Richard Costella
100 Light Street, 5th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 385-3440


Asst. Secretary

Patricia Jefferson
100 Light Street, 5th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 385-3406


Asst. Treasurer
Craig Palik

6411 Ivy Lane, Suite 200
Greenbelt, MD 20770
(301) 441-2420

mmediate Past President
Stephen Metz

Frederick Carter

David Dean

Steven Goldberg
Christina Hamilton-Eisler







Site Last Updated

June 5, 2017


September 5, 2009
Bankruptcy Bar Assn

News / Announcements
pushpin CLICK HERE TO GET CLE APPROVALS FOR SPRING BREAK 2017.  If you have any questions regarding CLE credit approvals please contact Steve Metz at smetz@offitkurman.com.


MVLS Needs Your Help - MVLS has been unable to keep current with the volume of low income individuals that need bankruptcy attorney representation. MVLS currently has a number of bankruptcy clients that are in need of volunteer attorneys. Interested attorneys should contact Michelle Swift, MVLS Pro Bono Program Manager at (443) 451-4068.


Sept. 21, 2015 Ethics Opinion Re: Pro Bono Representation of Debtors in No-Asset Chapter 7 Cases
Several months ago Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service (MVLS), with the assistance of Larry Coppel, asked the Ethics Committee to opine on the issue of whether it would be a conflict of interest under MRPC 1.7 (a) for a pro bono attorney to represent a Chapter 7 debtor in a no-asset bankruptcy case even though the attorney, or the attorney’s firm, represents one or more of the debtor’s unsecured creditors in unrelated matters and no waiver of the conflict is obtained. Several other jurisdictions’ ethics committees have all opined within the last few years that it would not be a conflict of interest under these circumstances since Chapter 7 bankruptcy is an in rem proceeding where the debtor and creditors are not directly adverse in the absence of an adversary proceeding. Where there is an adversary proceeding or contested matter, then a conflict waiver would be necessary for the representation.

Click here to view the MSBA Ethics Committee opinion. The Committee aligned itself with the other jurisdictions’ ethics opinions and has opined that a pro bono attorney may represent a Chapter 7 debtor in a no-asset case without a conflict waiver even though the attorney or the attorney’s firm represents creditors of the debtor in unrelated matters. Two members of the thirty member committee dissented.

 Educational Materials

BBA Case Reports:  the Bankruptcy Bar Association recently asked some of its members to serve as case reporters to make the membership aware of new Bankruptcy Court decisions from our district.  The case reporters are Bradley Swallow, Kristen Siracusa, Marissa Lilja, and Justin Fasano.

Click here to see recently added case summaries.


Newest Article


 ABI’s Mentoring Program Seeking Mentors and Mentees, by Patricia A. Redmond, Edward T. Gavin, Maria Ellena Chavez-Ruark and Timothy R. Bow, American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, Volume XXXIV, No. 2, February 2015. (Reprinted with permission from the American Bankruptcy Institute).



Here is a link to this month's educational materials.

pushpin The BBA wants to publish original articles written by members about aspects of bankruptcy law, practice and procedure. Interested? Contact Maria Ruark at (410) 332-8797 or mruark@saul.com

Here is a link to our guidelines for submission and publication agreement.


  The contents of this Web site are for informational purposes only and are not intended to provide legal or professional advice regarding any matter.
Upcoming Events
Date/Time Description of Event


 20 Apr.


12:30 PM


Please RSVP by Tue. 18 Apr.


Anyone who is unable to attend in person but would like to attend telephonically may call Brad Swallow at (410) 659-8320

Bankruptcy Bar of Maryland, Baltimore Division,

Luncheon Meeting


Speaker:  Jessica Dillon


Topic:  In re Village at Lakeridge, 814 F.3d 993 (9th Cir. 2016),  cert. granted (Mar. 27, 2017): Standard of Review and  Insider  Claims



Venable LLP 750 East Pratt Street, Ste. 900

Baltimore, Maryland


25 Apr. 2017

6 PM


Please RSVP by Fri. 21 Apr.


Anyone who would like to attend telephonically may contact Seth Diamond at email



Bankruptcy Bar of Maryland, Greenbelt Division,

Cocktail Meeting 


Topic: “Ask the Trustees” —Please join us for a fun, informative panel discussion with the Greenbelt trustees. 



Shulman Rogers

12505 Park Potomac Ave., Sixth Floor

Potomac, MD 20854


Chapter Chairs

For information on any of the above-listed events, please contact the appropriate Chapter Chair.

Baltimore Chapter Chair
Bradley Swallow


Greenbelt Chapter Chair

Seth Diamond


Baltimore Asst. Chapter Chair

Joe Selba


Greenbelt Asst. Chapter Chair
Lisa Stevens


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