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Three New Bankruptcy Judges for California Announced

Three California federal bankruptcy judges set to retire are being replaced by an attorney from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, a partner from Friedman Dumas & Springwater LLP, and a solo practitioner. The announcement was made by the chief judge of the Ninth Circuit on Tuesday.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Ellen Carroll will be replaced by Pillsbury Winthrop counsel Mark D. Houle, who will be sworn into the position on February 17 at the office of the Central District of California.

“Mr. Houle is an experienced practitioner who comes to the bench with a thorough understanding of bankruptcy court operations,” Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski said in a statement Tuesday.

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Mary E.Hammond, a partner from Friedman Dumas, will be taking over the position of U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Edward D. Jellen on February 2. The position is for the Northern District of California.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Whitney Rimel will be replaced by Frederick E. Clement in the Eastern District of California when sworn in on the 16 of March.

Houle has been employed by Pillsbury Winthrop since 2000, working in the firm’s insolvency and restructuring group. He represented secured and unsecured creditors, asset purchasers, and others in various bankruptcy-related cases at the firm.

Houle worked as an associate at Winthrop Couchot PC before he joined Pillsbury Winthrop. At the firm of Winthrop Couchot PC, Houle represented Chapter 11 creditors’ committees, debtors, and Chapter 7 trustees. Prior to that decision, Houle worked as a clerk for bankruptcy judges in the Central District of California.

Houle earned a bachelor’s degree from Salem State College in Salem, Massachusetts. Houle earned his law degree from Boston College Law School. Houle is also a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and Massachusetts Air National Guard.

Hammond was hired by Friedman Dumas in 2003 and was made a partner of the firm in 2008. Hammond’s practice includes commercial and bankruptcy law. She particularly focuses on business debtors, trustees, and secured and unsecured creditors. Hammond typically represents Chapter 9 and Chapter 11 debtors. Hammond was an associate at Murphy Sheneman Julian & Rogers, which is now Winston & Strawn LLP, before she joined Friedman Dumas. She was a clerk for Judge Jellen from 1998 to 2000 and served as a legal assistant from 1996 to 1998 for the North Carolina General Assembly. As a legal assistant, she worked for the Senate president pro tempore and Appropriations Committee co-chair.

Hammond earned a law degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law and earned a bachelor’s degree from Duke University.

Clement has been practicing law since 1993 in Redding, California. Clement earned a bachelor’s degree from Westmont College and a law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

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