The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts announced David R. Chenelle as the recipient of the District of Massachusetts 2021 Pro Bono Award. at its Eighth Annual Pro Bono Awards Ceremony this week. At the ceremony, the Court also recognized and thanked attorneys who certified that they had represented a party before the court or volunteered in another capacity such as a mentor, teacher, or counselor. Those attorneys are listed on the 2021 Pro Bono Honor Roll which can be found here.
The District of Massachusetts Pro Bono Award recognizes an individual who has made a substantial commitment to pro bono service worthy of public recognition throughout the District. During his legal career of more than 25 years, David R. Chenelle devoted a significant amount of his time, effort, and skills to assist those in need, providing pro bono legal services. When a lawyer with a substantial bankruptcy practice left clients and files in disarray, David was appointed commissioner to return files to the former clients. David assisted the clients with the return of files, and also assisted them in obtaining volunteer representation and filing claims before the Clients’ Security Board of the Supreme Judicial Court. A few years later, in a similar situation, David helped identify lawyers to represent clients of a suspended bankruptcy attorney on a pro bono or significantly reduced fee basis. He again assisted those clients in obtaining reimbursement from the Clients’ Security Board. David regularly has volunteered to take cases on a pro bono basis from Northeast Legal Aid, Veterans Legal Services, and other legal service providers. In 2018, David was appointed to Clients’ Security Board and became its chair in 2020. David has also served on the Court’s Committee on Local Rules for several years. In addition to these efforts, David has always found time to mentor attorneys sharing his time and expertise to assist them in learning bankruptcy practice. For his exceptional contributions to pro bono work and public service, the Court recognizes and thanks David R. Chenelle.