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Panelists│Roadways to the Federal Bench: Who Me? A Bankruptcy Judge?

Learn more about the judges participating in the national panel discussion during the “Roadways to the Federal Bench: Who Me? A Bankruptcy Judge” symposium on October 24, 2019.


Retired Judge Andre M. Davis

Judge Andre M. Davis

The Honorable Andre M. Davis

City Solicitor, Baltimore City Department of Law

Andre M. Davis served for thirty years as a judge on four courts: the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, from 2009 through 2017; the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, from 1995 through 2009; the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, from 1990 through 1995; and the state District Court from 1987 through 1990. Upon graduating from law school, Davis served as law clerk to Judge Frank A. Kaufman of the federal district court and then to Judge Francis D. Murnaghan, Jr., of the Fourth Circuit. Before his appointment as a judge, he served as an appellate attorney for the Civil Rights Division for the U.S. Department of Justice, as an Assistant United States Attorney in Baltimore, and as an Assistant Law Professor.

Davis received a BA in American history from the University of Pennsylvania in 1971, and graduated cum laude from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1978. He has received numerous commendations and awards for his leadership of community-based non-profits and attorney organizations.  In September 2017, Davis retired from the bench and was appointed by the Mayor Pugh as Baltimore City Solicitor.  In that role, he heads the City Law Department, comprised of more than one hundred lawyers and support personnel, and serves as one of five members of the City’s Board of Estimates, the municipal spending authority.

Panel Members

Judge Frank J. Bailey

Judge Frank J. Bailey

The Honorable Frank J. Bailey

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, District of Massachusetts

Frank J. Bailey was appointed on January 30, 2009 and he served as Chief Judge from 2010 until 2014.  His chambers are in Boston and he is assigned to the Eastern Division.  He was born in Kingston, New York, received his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service (BSFS) in 1977 and his JD from Suffolk University School of Law (Boston) in 1980.  He also serves on the First Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel.  Judge Bailey taught legal writing and research at Boston University School of Law from 1981 to 1993.  He currently teaches Business Reorganizations at Suffolk University School of Law.  He has also taught courses on a variety of legal subjects in Astrakhan, Russia, Sofia, Bulgaria and Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Judge Bailey served as judicial law clerk to the Honorable Herbert P. Wilkins of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in 1980-81.  He was an associate at the Boston office of Sullivan & Worcester LLP, where he practiced in the litigation and corporate restructuring departments, until 1987.  He spent the next twenty-two years as a partner at the firm of Sherin and Lodgen LLP where he was the Chairman of the Litigation Department and a member of the firm’s management committee.  His practice focused on complex business litigation and business bankruptcy.  He often represented clients in the real estate, medical device, pharmaceutical and high technology businesses.

Judge Bailey was appointed by the First Circuit to oversee the financial restructuring of the City of Central Falls, Rhode Island, a rare Chapter 9 case.  The City of Central Falls filed a contested plan of readjustment that was confirmed in a little more than a year.

Judge Bailey has served on the Board of Governors of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges and was its Education Committee Chair in 2017.  Beginning in October 2019 he will serve as president–elect of the NCBJ.  He is past chair of the National Conference of Federal Trial Judges of the American Bar Association and currently serves as the Judicial Member at Large on the ABA Board of Governors.  Judge Bailey is passionate about diversity on the bench and has worked to ensure that the federal bench reflects the populations that it serves.

Judge Bernice B. Donald

Judge Bernice B. Donald

The Honorable Bernice B. Donald

U.S. Circuit Judge, 6th Circuit Court of Appeals

Bernice B. Donald received her law degree from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, a Masters in Judicial Studies from Duke University, and an honorary Doctors in Law from Suffolk University. Prior to being appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals by President Barack Obama in 2011, she served on the U.S. District Court for more than fifteen years.

Judge Donald is currently a member of the prestigious American Law Institute, serves as Chair of the American Bar Association (“ABA”) Center for Human Rights and recently chaired a committee which published an implicit bias resource book for judges and practitioners titled, Enhancing Justice: Reducing Bias. Prior to this, she served as Chair of the ABA Criminal Justice Section, focusing on issues concerning implicit bias, children of incarcerated parents, mass incarceration, and the collateral consequences of incarceration. Having previously served as Secretary of the American Bar Association (ABA), Judge Donald served in the ABA House of Delegates until August 2018. She has been faculty at the National Judicial College, the Federal Judicial Center, and the Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center & School. Judge Donald also served as faculty for the Federal Magistrate Judges Conference held in Portland, Oregon, where she was part of the panel titled, Thinking, Blinking, and Judging: Addressing Implicit Biases. She served as Jurist in Residence at American University, Washington University, University of Cincinnati School of Law, and the University of Georgia School of Law. In addition, she has served as faculty for international programs in more than twenty countries.

Judge Donald’s writings include the following: A Glimpse Inside the Brain’s Black Box: Understanding the Role of Neuroscience in Criminal Sentencing, 85 Fordham L. Rev. 481 (2016); Not Your Father’s Legal Profession: Technology, Globalization, Diversity, and the Future of Law Practice in the United States, 44 U. Mem. L. Rev. 645 (2014); Bringing Back Reasonable Inferences: A Short, Simple Suggestion for Addressing Some Problems at the Intersection of Employment Discrimination and Summary Judgment, 57 N.Y.L. Sch. L. Rev. 749 (2012-2013); The Not-So-New Normal of the Legal Profession: Facing and Confounding the Odds, 23 Am. U. J. Gender Soc. Pol’y & L. 1 (2014); Immigrants and Other Cultural Minorities as Non-Traditional Plaintiffs: Culture as a Factor in Determining Tort Damages, 92 Judicature 220 (2009); Fifty Years Later and Miranda Still Leaves Us With Questions, 50 Tex. Tech. L. Rev. 1 (2017); The Dischargeability of Property Settlement and Hold Harmless Agreements in Bankruptcy: An Overview of § 523(a)(15), 31 Family L. Quarterly 409 (1997); and To This Tribunal the Freedman Has Turned: The Freedman’s Bureau’s Judicial Powers and the Origins of the Fourteenth Amendment, 79 La. L. Rev. 1 (2018). Judge Donald has received over 100 awards for professional, civic, and community activities, including the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Memphis, the Martin Luther King Community Service Award, the Benjamin Hooks Award from the Memphis Bar Foundation, the prestigious Margaret Brent Award, the Spirit of Excellence Award, the John Pickering Award of Achievement, and the Inaugural Liberty Award from the Tort, Trial and Insurance Section of the ABA.

Judge Robert A. Gordon

Judge Robert A. Gordon

The Honorable Robert A. Gordon

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, District of Maryland (Baltimore)

Hon. Robert A. Gordon has been a Bankruptcy Judge for the District of Maryland since 2006. Before coming to the bench, he was a partner at Tydings & Rosenberg LLP in Baltimore. He frequently participates in educational programs as a panelist and is active in community service organizations throughout Maryland. Presently, he is a Treasurer of the Maryland State Bar Association’s Bates/Vincent Foundation, an entity dedicated to aiding lawyers with substance abuse and mental health problems. Judge Gordon has three children that he adores and is a lifelong New York Yankees fan, music lover, amateur musician and aspiring novelist.