Posted: April 3, 2023


For Immediate Release
April 3, 2023

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Appoints New Bankruptcy Judge for District of Nevada

SAN FRANCISCO — Judges of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit have appointed Hilary L. Barnes as the next bankruptcy judge on the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nevada. Her 14-year term began March 31, 2023, when Chief Bankruptcy Judge August B. Landis administered her oath of office. She succeeds Bankruptcy Judge Bruce Beesley, who retired in 2021. Judge Barnes maintains chambers in Reno.

Judge Landis said, "The appointment of a full-time bankruptcy judge with chambers in Reno is a very positive development for the bankruptcy court in the District of Nevada. We appreciate the hard work of the Merit Screening Committee convened after the retirement of our friend and colleague, Bruce Beesley. We are also grateful for the efforts of the Court Council Committee on Bankruptcy Appointments and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in finalizing Ms. Barnes' appointment. The bankruptcy judges in the District of Nevada are truly pleased to welcome Ms. Barnes to the bench, and have every confidence that she will excel in her new role."

Prior to joining the bench, Judge Barnes was a member of Allen Barnes & Jones, PLC, a boutique bankruptcy firm, where her practice focused on bankruptcy and she represented various parties in Chapter 7, 11 and 13 bankruptcy cases. From 2009 to 2014, she was a partner at The Cavanagh Law Firm, P.A., where her practice focused on representing creditors in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings and bankruptcy-related litigation. From 2005 to 2009, Judge Barnes was an associate and then partner at Quarles & Brady LLP, where she was involved in the representation of institutional lenders, large commercial debtors, the FDIC, buyers of distressed assets, trustees and other constituents in Chapter 11 proceedings, receiverships, foreclosures and guaranty litigation. While at Quarles & Brady, she also devoted a significant amount of time to The Arizona Justice Project as a pro bono lawyer. Judge Barnes was also an associate at Stoel Rives LLP and Squire Sanders & Dempsey, LLP (now Squire Patton Boggs).

Born in Pueblo, Colorado, Judge Barnes earned her Bachelor of Arts in art history, with honors, from the University of Chicago in 1986 and her Juris Doctor from the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, where she served as executive editor of the Jurimetrics, the Journal of Law, Science & Technology, in 1999.

Judge Barnes was a master of the bench in the Arizona Bankruptcy American Inn of Court and served as its president, 2018-2019; as vice president, 2017-2018; and as treasurer, 2016-2017. She was chair of the State Bar of Arizona Bankruptcy Section, from 2014 to 2015, and served as a Ninth Circuit Lawyer Representative from 2015 to 2018. In that role, Judge Barnes had the honor of serving as the co-chair for the District of Arizona from 2016 to 2017, and on the Lawyer Representatives Coordinating Committee for the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference from 2017 to 2018. Judge Barnes is also a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute and the Federal Bar Association.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nevada had 5,559 bankruptcy filings in fiscal year 2022 ending September 30. The court is authorized three permanent and one temporary judgeships.

Judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit have statutory responsibility for selecting and appointing bankruptcy judges in the nine western states that comprise the Ninth Circuit. The court uses a comprehensive merit selection process for the initial appointment and for reappointments. Bankruptcy judges serve a 14-year renewable term and handle all bankruptcy-related matters under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

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