Bankruptcy & Commercial Law Section

The Bankruptcy and Commercial Law Section has long served its diverse membership by hosting timely and innovative CLE programs and luncheons, which promote education and debate about the latest bankruptcy and commercial issues, legislation and case-law. Our William J. O'Neill Great Lakes Regional Bankruptcy Institute is one of the most respected bankruptcy programs in the Midwest, attracting premier national speakers, judges and our best local practitioners.

We also host an annual Bankruptcy Practice and Procedure seminar, dedicated to consumer Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy issues, and in past years have planned successful CLE programs on Chapter 11 practice and procedure and alternatives to bankruptcy. Other valuable services include regular contributing articles to the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal; pro bono and public service opportunities; and popular social and networking events. Please contact any one of our Section leaders if you are interested in joining us.

The Section also maintains the fund for The Marvin and Sue Sicherman Excellence in Bankruptcy Award, which provides scholarships to local law students with a special interest in Bankruptcy & Commercial Law. To make a contribution, please contact the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation at 216-696-3525.  







 Beth Ann Schenz 


Jeremy M. Campana  


Suzana K. Koch  


Huntington National Bank Legal Dept. 


 Vice Chair 

Thompson Hine LLP 



United States Attorney's Office 



The Bankruptcy and Commercial Law Section has historically been a collegial effort for an active and involved practice area. We are proud that a large percentage of all local bankruptcy practitioners, in both the commercial and consumer practice, are members. Our diverse membership includes some of the nation's leading bankruptcy lawyers, and individual attorneys who daily assist the unfortunate to obtain a fresh start. We honor, equally, the excellence and value each of our members provides to the community.

Our Section has focused its efforts on providing a complete array of educational programs, publications and public service initiatives to our members. Our executive committee works with an expanded group of volunteers who provide invaluable support for our programs. We annually host three seminars, focusing on basic practice skills for newer practitioners, alternatives to bankruptcy, and the nationally regarded William J. O'Neill Great Lakes Regional Bankruptcy Institute.

Several years ago, the Section dedicated itself to expanding the O’Neill Institute into a regional program with larger attendance and national respect. The result was a dramatic increase in attendance, and a great success. Attendees hailed from eight states, and included some of the nation's leading bankruptcy experts. The Institute honors the memory of the late Judge O’Neill, Chief Bankruptcy Judge of the Northern District of Ohio and a consensus candidate for one of the Nation's leading Jurists. The Section is dedicated to continuing this effort.

Past Chairs:

1977-79     Frank C. Whalen
1979-84     Harry W. Greenfield
1985-87     Jerry Patchan
1987-88     Marilyn Shea-Stonum
1988-89     Steven S. Davis
1989-90     Mary Ann Rabin
1990-91     Lawrence E. Oscar
1991-92     Saul Eisen
1992-93     Mary K. Whitmer
1993-94     Richard C. Kenney, Jr.
1994-95     H. Jeffrey Schwartz
1995-96     Bruce J.L. Lowe
1996-97     M. Colette Gibbons
1997-98     G. Christopher Meyer
1998-99     David O. Simon
1999-00     Jeffrey A. Baddeley
2000-01     Julie E. Rabin
2001-02     Drew T. Parobek
2002-03     Michael S. Tucker
2003-04     James M. Lawniczak
2004-05     Jeffrey M. Levinson
2005-06     Robert D. Barr
2006-07     Matthew R. Goldman
2007-08     Lauren A. Helbling
2008-09     Jean R. Robertson
2009-10    Jessica E. Price
2010-11    Alan R. Lepene
2011-12    Stuart Larsen
2011-12    Phyllis A. Ulrich
2012-13    Scott Opincar
2013-14    Michael A. VanNiel
2014-15    Nancy A. Valentine

The Section has launched their new and interactive CMBA Bankruptcy & Commercial Law Section Newsletter, reviving it from our prior Northcoast Pipeline newsletter. You can click on the links to register for events, find information about our contributors and read more.

Spring 2015 

Fall 2014 


Brian A. Bash
1900 E. 9th Street, Suite 3200
Cleveland, OH 44114
Phone: (216)621-0200
Fax: (216) 696-0740

Richard A. Baumgart
Ohio Savings Plaza
1801 E. 9th Street, Suite 1100
Cleveland, OH 44114-3169
Phone: (216)696-6000
Fax: (216) 696-3338

Virgil E. Brown, Jr.
2136 Noble Road
Cleveland, OH 44112
Phone: (216)851-3304
Fax: (216) 851-2900

Steven S. Davis
Standard Building, Suite 450
1370 Ontario St.
Cleveland, OH 44113-1744
Phone: (216)781-7272
Fax: (216) 781-3312

Lauren A. Helbling
450 Standard Building
1370 Ontario Street
Cleveland, OH 44113-1744
Phone: (216)781-1164
Fax: (216) 575-1405

Mary A. Rabin
The Illuminating Building, Suite 1510
55 Public Square
Cleveland, OH 44113-1901
Phone: (216)771-8084
Fax: (216) 771-4615

Marvin A. Sicherman
Ohio Savings Plaza, Suite 1100
1801 E. 9th. Street
Cleveland, OH 44114-3169
Phone: (216)696-6000
Fax: (216) 696-3338

David O. Simon
450 Standard Building
1370 Ontario Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44113
Phone: (216)621-6201
Fax: (216) 575-1405

Sheldon Stein
400 Terminal Tower
50 Public Square
Cleveland, OH 44113
Phone: (216)696-7449
Fax: (216) 696-5329

Alan J. Treinish
700 Standard Building
1370 Ontario Street
Cleveland, OH 44113
Phone: (216)566-7022
Fax: (216) 861-2622

Waldemar J. Wojcik
The Leader Building, Suite 1030
526 Superior Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44114
Phone: (216)241-2628
Fax: (216) 621-0408

Local Court Information and News The official site of the Daily Legal News, Cleveland’s official court journal since 1885. The website of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Ohio has pages dedicated to BAPCPA, including general orders, filing fees and docket events. United States Bankruptcy Court's Bankruptcy Basics - United States Bankruptcy Trustee Programs' Website 


Bankruptcy Information - Sponsored by the American Bankruptcy Institute, this site is a good source for up-to-date bankruptcy information, including recent decisions, legislation and articles. - Hosted by the Bankruptcy Creditors’ Services, Inc. and Beard Group, Inc., this site appears to have collected all of the local bankruptcy rules of the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts. A joint venture of the American Bankruptcy Institute and the National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees, this site provides a means for posting assets for sale by trustees or debtors in possession - A site which contains bankruptcy estate assets for sale, although it is not exclusively oriented to bankruptcy. The site conducts auctions of assets. - This site publishes the Daily Bankruptcy News, a collection of links to stories (mostly gathered from other sources) about large pending bankruptcy cases and troubled companies. A site sponsored by the American Bankruptcy Institute and Insol International which offers daily international insolvency and economic news. 

Organizations - Continuing Legal Education from the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association The Lawyer Referral Service of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association International Women’s Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation, Northeast Ohio Network - Turnaround Management Association, Ohio Chapter 


Research Tools Fastcase, a legal research service offered by the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association. Contains useful information under the “For Legal Professionals” section, including references and guides for bankruptcy and commercial law - The Cornell Law School site contains a searchable database of U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals recent decisions on bankruptcy issues - Information on pending Ohio legislation - Daily summaries and opinions in cases decided by the Ohio Supreme Court. A service of the Library of Congress, gives the status of all pending U.S. legislation 

The 2015 O'Neill will be held on May 19 and 20 at the CMBA Offices in One Cleveland Center.  

More information will be posted as details are available.

Click here to view the CMBA's event calendar.