2023 CBA Board of Directors Candidates

New Board Member Candidates

Alexander J. Berry-Santoro, Maxwell Dunn, PLC

I humbly request the board’s consideration for the open seat on the CBA board, as I believe that I can serve the consumer bar community well. I have represented debtors (both consumer and business), trustees (Timothy J. Miller and Kenneth A. Nathan), and creditors of all kinds (mortgagees, vendors of land contracts, and other companies). Additionally, I frequently litigate in state court, not just federal court – giving me broad experience. This experience gives me practical insight into the equities of our bankruptcy system from multiple vantage points. E.g., I have navigated the equity claim process post property tax foreclosure (under the old law); I have performed post-relief from stay evictions. I think that the CBA will benefit from my service due to my innate, philanthropic background. In law school (and after), I have volunteered much of my time to organizing and participating in legal events. For instance, I judge for the National High School Mock Trial Association (recently, judging the national championships); I coached a mock trial team at Dexter High School for two years, coordinating educational events with the Michigan Supreme Court Learning Center (2015/2016); in law school, I won the leadership achievement award for the role I played coordinating moot court and mock trial events (as president of moot court, and vicepresident of mock trial), and in the leadership of our Student Bar Association and my law fraternity (Delta Theta Phi – President). As an incumbent member, I have plunged my hands into all sorts of projects and very much want to continue my service so that I can follow through on them. The projects include overhauling our membership roster and attempting to spearhead further Rhodes Seminars to give Ms. Lassner a well-deserved break. I hope to continue to attempt to make an impact on our organization and our profession.

Michael T. Brown, Acclaim Legal Services, PLLC.

I have primarily practiced bankruptcy law since 2011, representing both debtors and creditors in all aspects of consumer cases. This includes arguing various contested maters before bankruptcy courts in both the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan, resulting in numerous published opinions. As creditors’ counsel, I primarily represented vehicle lenders, county treasurers, and a municipality utility department in bankruptcy matters state-wide. Currently, I primarily represent debtors in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases and with debt settlements outside of the bankruptcy arena.

Coming from a family of teachers, I am a firm believer in continuing legal education. I have presented at several bankruptcy seminars and keep up to date on various “hot topics” and related cases.

I look forward to helping continue and improve the CBA by helping to organize seminars and other educational opportunities while adding a perspective from working as both debtor and creditor counsel.

Please consider voting for me on the CBA election ballot. Thank you.

Thomas DeCarlo, Office of Osipov Bigelman, PC

Thomas DeCarlo graduated from the University of Michigan in 1981, and from the Stetson University College of Law in 1984. His primary areas of practice are Commercial Litigation and Bankruptcy. He is a regular speaker at educational conferences including the Steven W. Rhodes Veteran’s Day Conference in the Eastern District of Michigan; and the Western District of Michigan Federal Bar Association Conference.

He is also a frequent contributor to the NACTT Academy weekly newsletter (considerchapter13.org) as well as the Facebook Page, Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys of Detroit Members.

Dean Nelson, Taunt Law Firm

I have practiced bankruptcy and insolvency law my entire career, along with general litigation matters and representing small businesses from formation to general counsel issues. My bankruptcy practice primarily consists of representing Chapter 7 trustees (mostly in consumer cases), consumer debtors in chapter 7, the occasional creditor, and bankruptcy litigants in contested matters, adversary proceedings, and bankruptcy appeals. I have worked at the Taunt Law Firm since being admitted to practice in 2007. In law school, I participated in judicial internships with the Hon. George C. Steeh, U.S. District Court, E.D. Mich. (2005) and the Hon. Phillip J. Shefferly, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, E.D. Mich. (2006). I am a member of the Federal Bar Association (E.D. Mich. Chapter), Detroit Consumer Bankruptcy Association, and American Bankruptcy Institute. I am a frequent seminar panelist, having presented at events sponsored by the CBA, ABI, and ICLE on a wide variety of bankruptcy topics over the years. I have been recognized by Super Lawyers (2023; Rising Star 2017-2020). I was on the Advisory Board for ABI’s 2023 Central States Workshop. Finally, I recently became Board Certified in Consumer Bankruptcy Law by the American Board of Certification (2023)

My interaction with the CBA has been on many fronts. I regularly attend and have presented at the CBA’s veteran’s day conference. I have participated in the CBA’s annual golf outing in recent years (despite having no golf skills), and I have attended (and been a panelist on) other workshops and seminars sponsored by the CBA. I believe what I have to offer the CBA is my commitment to continuing education in the legal profession. Between the seminars I have attended, those I have spoken at, and those I have helped plan, I have a wide variety of experience that can be put to good use as a CBA Board Member. Further, I believe strongly that the bankruptcy bar is strengthened by social engagements outside of court and even seminars. For this reason, I am eager to lend my hand as a Board Member, if elected, to assist in planning existing (and potentially new) CBA events that bring the consumer bar together in social settings.

Charles Schneider

Mr. Schneider maintains his law practice at the Law Office of Charles J. Schneider, P.C. in Livonia, Michigan, where he has worked exclusively in the field of consumer bankruptcy since 1984. He manages an exclusive practice averaging 12 chapter 7 and chapter 13 consumer bankruptcy cases per month. He has filed, represented clients, and/or participated in excess of 14,000 bankruptcy cases. Mr. Schneider has been certified and re-certified in consumer bankruptcy by the American Board of Certification, sponsored by the American Bankruptcy Institute since 1995. Mr. Schneider received his B.A. and his J.D. degrees from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Courts in the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Schneider is a member of the State Bar of Michigan; National Association of Chapter Thirteen Trustees (NACTT); the Detroit, Livonia, and Oakland County Bar Associations; Consumer Bankruptcy Association; National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys; and the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI). He has participated as a contributor, speaker, and panelist on ABI, NACTT, ICLE, CBA, and One Path Practice Management Advisors panels regarding the representation of debtors. Mr. Schneider is the author to Michigan ICLE’s “Handling Consumer and Small Business Bankruptcies.” He has a peer review rating of AV “preeminent” in bankruptcy by Martindale-Hubbell. He has a peer review rating of 10.0, “superb” by AVVO.com. He has also been recognized as a Michigan Super Lawyer 2011-2023 by Thomson Reuters.

He has been a member of the CBA Executive Board since 2011. He has been solely responsible for implementing the “Bust Some Clays” sporting clays social event. Several times, he has served on the organizing committee for the annual Steven W. Rhodes Bankruptcy Conference. He has served on the committee to amend the local rules, in particular, heading the section regarding amending chapter 13 rules. He has opposed and was successful in stopping the creation of a mandated attorney-client employment contract to be used exclusively in chapter 7 cases.