Archives of Maryland
Historical List
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
District of Maryland, 1789-

The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland is part of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. With separate clerks' offices and court dockets, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court administers debtors' estates and hears petitions of debtors seeking relief from bankruptcy.

Although Congress enacted emergency bankruptcy laws in 1800, 1841, and 1867, the National Bankruptcy Act of 1898 was the first comprehensive statute and governed bankruptcy cases for almost 80 years. Under the act, the U.S. District Court appointed "referees in bankruptcy" to handle these cases. In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling that these referees be given the title of judge. The federal Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978 established independent bankruptcy courts and judges, a move declared unconstitutional in 1982 by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Bankruptcy Amendments and Federal Judgeship Act of 1984 (P. L. 98-353) remedied the jurisdictional problems of the 1978 act by designating bankruptcy courts as units of the federal district courts.

For Maryland, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit now appoints seven bankruptcy judges to fourteen-year terms. The federal Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 increased the number of judges from four to seven. The judges of the U.S. District Court, District of Maryland, name the Chief Judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The bankruptcy judges appoint the bankruptcy clerk.

Name Dates Served
Glenn J. Goldburn 1972-19811
Harvey M. Lebowitz 1979-1982
Paul Mannes 1981-present
James F. Schneider 1982-present
E. Stephen Derby 1987-present2
Duncan W. Keir 1993-present
Nancy V. Alquist 2004-present
Robert A. Gordon 2006-present
Thomas J. Catliota 2006-present
Wendelin I. Lipp 2006-present
David E. Rice 2011-present

1. Served as a judge under the referee system from 1973-1979, the only such judge who became a judge under the reorganized bankruptcy in 1979.
2. Retired in 2004, continues to hear cases as a senior judge.


Federal Judicial History, Federal Judicial Center.

Schneider, James F., ed. Worthy of Remembrance: Personalities, Cases and Tales From the First 25 Years of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland 1979-2004. 2004.

Maryland Manual Online.

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