City Bar Justice Center’s Pro Bono Consumer Bankruptcy Project Recognizes Schuyler Carroll of Perkins Coie LLP for over 1000 Hours of Pro Bono Service

Monday, December 16, 2013

  • City Bar Justice Center

The Bankruptcy Pro Bono Panel was established as a collaborative effort between the Bankruptcy Courts of the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, and the City Bar Justice Center’s Pro Bono Consumer Bankruptcy Project. Through the Panel, volunteer attorneys assist indigent pro se debtors by representing them in discrete contested matters referred by the courts.

In recent years, the Bankruptcy Courts have seen an increase in the number of debtors filing pro se cases, many of whom are faced with unexpected litigation, jeopardizing their chances of successfully obtaining access to justice and an economic fresh start. Schuyler Carroll, Partner at Perkins Coie LLP and member of the Bankruptcy Pro Bono Panel has stepped up to the plate as a formidable proponent of access to justice in the Bankruptcy Court. In the past two years, Schuyler has led a team of volunteer lawyers from the Business Practice at Perkins Coie LLP to take on 6 pro bono cases referred by the Consumer Bankruptcy Project putting in a total of over 1000 pro bono hours to date. Schuyler’s many years of litigating in Bankruptcy Court have come in handy when helping these clients navigate through the complex federal court system.

One of the most notable cases that Schuyler has worked on is that of Ms. E, an elderly woman who filed bankruptcy to protect her home from being foreclosed upon because she fell behind on her mortgage payments after her husband passed away. Ms. E sought to modify her home loan but the creditor bank refused. Ms. E did not understand the bankruptcy process and filed a number of defective bankruptcies in both the Eastern District and Southern District of New York. The mortgage bank filed a motion seeking a dismissal of her bankruptcy claiming that she was filing frivolous cases to avoid foreclosure. The Bankruptcy Court referred her to the Bankruptcy Panel for pro bono representation. Despite the complexity of the case, Schuyler did not hesitate to represent Ms. E. With Schuyler’s help, Ms. E was able to amend her bankruptcy papers and eventually received a discharge of her underlying debts. In addition, Schuyler entered into an agreement with the mortgagor to mediate the foreclosure proceeding outside of bankruptcy and helped the client save her home.

Regarding his service, Schulyer has stated, “pro bono work is important to me because I can make a difference and provide aid to individuals who are not in a financial position to defend themselves. It allows me to use my legal skills to assist the most deserving people in a significantly positive manner. The cases I worked on in conjunction with the City Bar Justice Center’s, Consumer Bankruptcy Project have been particularly satisfying because our clients have been in circumstances beyond their control where our assistance can truly change their lives. One of my most memorable experiences came after saving a client from foreclosure, when she gave me a huge hug with tears in her eyes. That is the type of “thank you” we don’t necessarily get every day in our corporate practice!” The City Bar Justice Center’s Consumer Bankruptcy Project is proud to recognize the volunteer efforts of Schuyler Carroll and Perkins Coie LLP.