Bankruptcy Court Highlights

Pro Bono Program participants
Susan Lutton, Latricia Scott Adams and
Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis R. Dow
Pro Bono Program participants
Right:  John Cruciani, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge
Jerry W. Venters, Phil Masaoay and Millie Donohoe

Pro Bono Program

During the month of February, 70 attorneys attended training sessions in Jefferson City and in Springfield.  Both sessions were aimed at training attorneys for participation in the court’s Pro Bono Program for Bankruptcy Litigation, which has now been expanded to all divisions in the Western District.

The training, titled “Representing Debtors in Bankruptcy Adversary Procedures,” was a joint effort of the Bankruptcy Court, the Volunteer Attorney Project, Legal Aid of Western Missouri, Mid-Missouri Legal Services, Legal Services of Southern Missouri and a dedicated group of bankruptcy attorneys.

The Pro Bono Program for Bankruptcy Litigation was established to train and coordinate volunteer attorneys to represent needy debtors in adversary proceedings.  Volunteer attorneys represent needy debtors in adversary proceedings, providing an essential service to the community, while volunteer attorneys gain valuable trial experience.

The training received high marks from attendees.  The bankruptcy judges wish to thank all those who volunteered their time to provide this training, including:

  • Bryan Bacon, Van Matre Harrison Volkert & Hollis
  • Harry D. Boul, Boul & Associates
  • Daniel J. Casamatta, assistant U.S. Trustee
  • J. Kevin Checkett, Checkett & Pauly
  • John J. Cruciani,  Husch Blackwell Sanders LLP
  • Millie Donohoe, attorney, Legal Services of Southern Missouri
  • Janice A. Harder, Law Office of Janice A. Harder
  • Camron L. Hoorfar, Hoorfar Law Office
  • Susan Lutton, executive director, Mid-Missouri Legal Services
  • Phil Masaoay, pro bono coordinator, Legal Services of Southern Missouri
  • Adam E. Miller, trial attorney, Office of the United States Trustee
  • Danny R. Nelson, Lathrop & Gage
  • Thomas J. O’Neal, Polsinelli Shughart PC
  • John C. Reed, Pletz & Reed
  • Latricia Scott Adams, director, Volunteer Attorney Project
  • Scott A. Smith, Reynolds, Gold & Grosser
  • John M. Tyner, Polsinelli Shughart PC
  • Lee J. Viorel, Lowther Johnson, LLC

Pro Bono Program participants
Left: John Reed, Janice Harder,  Harry Boul, Adam Miller, Rachel Foley and Tracy Wrisinger

For details and an application form, visit .


Ten-Year CM/ECF Anniversary

On March 4, bankruptcy judges, the U.S. Trustee's Office and court staff celebrated the 10-year anniversary of electronic filing.  Bankruptcy Supervisor Susan Wexter demonstrated how mass paper documents were prepared for regular mailing prior to electronic filing; she still has mastery of the paper-folding tool and envelope shuffling. 

The benefits of electronic filing continue to evolve as enhancements are evaluated, developed and implemented nationwide.

Ten-Year Anniversary Celebration Ten-Year Anniversary Celebration
Roberta Kostrow and Jamie Hinkle with the clerk’s office talk with Jerry Phillips and Amy Carpenter from the U.S. Trustee’s Office.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judges Jerry Venters and Arthur Federman reminisce with Cecelia Parle of the clerk’s office about the changes from the days of paper filing.


2010 WDMO Bankruptcy Statistics

Each year at this time, the court compiles statistical data to assist in district review and planning. 

While filings of bankruptcy petitions climbed 14 percent nationally, filings in Western Missouri rose only 3.4 percent.  Chapter 13 filings increased 13.6 percent with Chapter 7 filings staying nearly the same. The 10-year data to the right demonstrates filing trends following the implementation of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA).

Western Missouri Bankruptcy Court Filing Statistics
Western Missouri Bankruptcy Court Filing Statistics

CM/ECF Upgrade Coming Soon



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