Dedicated to improving the quality of legal practice in the United States District Court and the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado.
Bankruptcy Pro Bono Committee Chad Caby, Chair
The Faculty of Federal Advocates Bankruptcy Pro Bono Program provides pro bono legal services to qualified, indigent debtor/defendants in adversary proceedings involving discharge or dischargeability claims.
The bankruptcy judges and bankruptcy bar have identified a need to provide representation to pro se defendants in adversary proceedings involving claims under 11 U.S.C. §§ 523 and 727 of the Bankruptcy Code. These claims are not usually included as part of the original legal representation for the filing of the bankruptcy petition. However, the failure of the debtor/defendant to adequately and timely respond in the adversary proceeding may effectively undermine the entire purpose of the bankruptcy filing by determining certain debts to be nondischargeable or by an outright denial of a debtor's discharge.
The FFA has implemented the Bankruptcy Pro Bono Program to help address this situation. The Program's services are limited to situations where a Debtor is sued in an adversary proceeding under Sections 523 and/or 727 and the Debtor meets certain income and asset tests.
The Program provides an experienced attorney who will assume full responsibility for representing the debtor/defendant. Sometimes a less experienced attorney who is interested in learning about civil litigation is also involved in representing the debtor/defendant. Mentoring is a central part of the experience and adds to the quality of the legal services provided as well as to the educational and training experience of both attorneys. Where helpful, paralegals may join the attorney team.
Out-of-pocket costs are borne either by the debtor/defendant, a volunteer provider, or the Faculty of Federal Advocates. The Program maintains malpractice liability insurance for the protection of its volunteer attorneys and professionals.