Ms. Jenny A Abshier
Jenny graduated from the Loyola University College of Law, and earned her undergraduate degree from Our Lady of Holy Cross College. Jenny began her bankruptcy practice in 2011 as the Law Office of Jenny Abshier. Jenny's office took great pride in providing options to reduce the upfront costs required for filing bankruptcy, as well as providing access to pro bono services when available. As Jenny's reputation grew, so did her practice. She now owns Big Easy Law Group and operates offices in Metairie, Laplace and Mandeville.

Past clients have described Jenny's assistance in filing for bankruptcy as life-changing. She's been praised for her compassion and understanding, as well as her non-judgmental attitude. Jenny is honored to be the recipient of a 2012 Distinguished Service Award from the Pro Bono Project of New Orleans, as well as a 2013 Pro Bono Publico Award from the Louisiana State Bar Association. Both of these awards hang proudly in her office in recognition of her dedication to pro bono services. Jenny has also been recognized by Super Lawyers as a Rising Star from 2017 to 2020.

Jenny is admitted to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, and all Louisiana state courts. She is an active member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA), the American Bankruptcy Institute, the and American Business Women's Association Crescent City Connections (ABWA). Like all lawyers, she is a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association. Jenny is also a graduate of the Leadership Jefferson Class of 2012.

Ms. Brooke W. Altazan
Brooke W. Altazan earned her B.A. degree at Samford University in 2005. She received her Juris Doctor from Mississippi College School of Law in 2009, where she served as an executive board member of the Moot Court Board and extern to United States Bankruptcy Judge Neil P. Olack of the Southern District of Mississippi. Ms. Altazan is licensed to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and all federal and state courts in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. She is also a member of the Federal Bar Association, Louisiana State Bar Association, Baton Rouge Bar Association, the International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation, American Bankruptcy Institute, and immediate past-president of the Baton Rouge Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. Ms. Altazan is an equity member of Stewart Robbins Brown & Altazan, LLC where her practice consists of general litigation and bankruptcy matters, including the representation of corporate and individual debtors, creditors, and trustees.

Ms. Erin K Arnold
Erin K. Arnold is a senior associate in Kelly Hart & Pitre's Bankruptcy & Business Reorganization section. She focuses her practice on bankruptcy and business reorganization, including the representation of both individual and business clients in various debtor/creditor matters. In addition to her practice at Kelly Hart, Ms. Arnold is a the co-director of the Pretrial Civil Litigation Intersession Program at Tulane Law School.

Prior to joining Kelly Hart, Ms. Arnold served for almost 15 years as the career law clerk to the Honorable Jerry A. Brown, United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Laura F. Ashley
Laura Ashley is a partner in the Litigation Practice Group. She represents national and international companies in commercial bankruptcy litigation, out-of-court workouts, foreclosure litigation, and other complex litigation.

Laura represents secured and unsecured creditors, banks, hedge funds, committees, trustees, debtors, fiduciaries, and other parties in insolvency and adversary proceedings involving a broad range of industries, including restaurants, retail stores, financial services, maritime, oil and gas, construction, and real estate development. Her experience includes Chapter 11 reorganizations, Chapter 15 filings, and other cross-border insolvency matters, as well as prosecution and defense of preferences, fraudulent conveyances, dischargeability issues, lessor/lessee rights, asset sales, and the automatic stay.

Laura has extensive experience advising creditors and borrowers in out-of-court restructurings, workouts, loan restructurings and liquidations, and various other matters involving distressed financings, properties, and businesses. She regularly negotiates and drafts workout documentation and various motions in related enforcement litigation and bankruptcy cases.

Ms. Greta M Brouphy
Greta M. Brouphy works primarily in the bankruptcy practice group of the firm and is an appointed chapter 11 subchapter v trustee by the United States, Region 5 Districts of Louisiana and Mississippi. Specifically, Ms. Brouphy specializes in negotiating unsecured creditors, secured creditors and debtors through chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. Ms. Brouphy has experience in representing a broad range of debtors including large, complex companies and small companies in bankruptcy. Her experience includes representation of debtors, liquidating trustees, bondholders, unsecured creditors’ committees and plan agents in commercial bankruptcy and workout business cases in chapter 11 and chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings, as well as representing secured lenders in chapter 13 and chapter 7 proceedings. Ms. Brouphy also represents individual debtors in chapter 11 proceedings. Clients have included vessels builders, oil and gas companies, grocery stores, apartment complexes, property developers, hotels, and distributors. In addition to representing clients in corporate bankruptcy proceedings, Ms. Brouphy also assisted in the representation of an unsecured creditors committee in a chapter 9 (distressed municipality) bankruptcy proceeding through approval of a debt adjustment plan, and representation of the chapter 9 plan’s trustee.
She has experience in representing both debtors and creditors in preference actions, fraudulent conveyance actions and claim objections. Ms. Brouphy has drafted and assisted clients in the preparation and provisions included in disclosure statements and plans of reorganizations. Such assistance has included investigating possible litigation, including causes of actions against directors and officers, recovery of assets, and collection of accounts. Ms. Brouphy also has experience in representing liquidating agents and litigation agents post-confirmation in chapter 7, chapter 9, and chapter 11 proceedings.
Ms. Brouphy has represented clients in various jurisdictions in bankruptcy matters including, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, Nevada and Illinois.
Furthermore, Ms. Brouphy also has experience in the area of Louisiana succession law. For clients, Ms. Brouphy drafts testamentary wills, living wills, and general and medical powers of attorney. Ms. Brouphy completes succession proceedings through to judgments of possession as well as ancillary succession proceedings.
Additionally, Ms. Brouphy also has experience in drafting real estate leases.

Mr. Leo D. Congeni
Leo graduated cum laude from Case Western Reserve University School of Law and received the Bankruptcy Medal of Excellence. He received a B.A. degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Upon graduating from law school, Leo clerked for The Honorable Margaret A. Mahoney, Chief Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of Alabama. He then worked for several years in the Commercial Litigation department at a large New Orleans law firm before beginning his solo law practice. Leo is certified as a Business Bankruptcy Specialist by the American Board of Certification and by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization. Leo completed the 40 hour bankruptcy mediation program conducted by the St. John’s Center for Bankruptcy Studies, and St. John’s Hugh L. Carey Center for Dispute Resolution. He has been qualified to serve as a Civil Mediator by the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section of the Louisiana State Bar Association.

Judge Michael A Crawford
Michael A. Crawford was sworn in as Chief Bankruptcy Judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Louisiana on October 3, 2022. Judge Crawford was previously a member of Taylor Porter law firm in Baton Rouge for over 22 years serving as the chair of its banking, real estate and bankruptcy practice group for several years. He has lectured extensively on bankruptcy-related topics and completed the St. John’s University/American Bankruptcy Institute bankruptcy mediation course in 2014. Judge Crawford received his undergraduate degree in business/finance in 1984 from Louisiana State University. Later, while working full time in the family business in Ruston, he earned his MBA from Louisiana Tech University in 1988. He attended the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at LSU and earned his Juris Doctorate in 1993. Following graduation, he served a one year judicial clerkship with the Honorable Gerald H. Schiff (Ret.), United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Louisiana. Judge Crawford grew up in Winnfield, Louisiana. He currently resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He and his wife have two children.

Ms. Jennifer D. Cruz
Jennifer graduated Magna Cum Laude from Southern University Law Center in 2017. While attending law school, Jennifer was a law clerk for 2 years at Derren Johnson & Associates and she also served as an editor for the Southern University Law Review. Currently, she is staff attorney to the Chapter 13 Trustee in the Western District of Louisiana, Alexandria Division. Prior to this position, Jennifer was staff attorney to Chapter 7 Trustee Dwayne Murray in addition to the consumer bankruptcy attorney for the Murray & Murray Law Firm. Jennifer was recently selected by the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges as a Blackshear Presidential Fellow.

Ms. Robin Ronquillo De Leo
Robin Ronquillo De Leo is a managing member of The De Leo Law Firm, LLC located in Mandeville, Louisiana. Ms. De Leo received her B.A. from Michigan State University in 1987 and received her J.D. cum laude from Tulane University School of Law in 1990. Ms. De Leo has been practicing bankruptcy since 1990 when she started as an associate at the law firm of Friend, Wilson and Draper in New Orleans. Tired of the commute, in 1998, Ms. De Leo started her own law firm on the northshore.
Ms. De Leo also had the pleasure of briefly practicing law with her father, Allan Ronquillo, who passed away in 2020. Her practice focuses on representing both debtors and creditors in Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 11 Subchapter V and Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings. Ms. De Leo became certified as a specialist in consumer bankruptcy law in 2005 by the American Board of Certification, the American Bankruptcy Institute, and the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization. Ms. De Leo served on the Bankruptcy Law Advisory Committee for the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization and received the Pro Bono Publico and the Pro Bono Century Award from the Louisiana Bar Association, as well as the Distinguished Service Award from Southeast Legal Services. Ms. De Leo has conducted a seminar on consumer bankruptcy law sponsored by the National Business Institute and has been a featured speaker on bankruptcy issues at seminars hosted by the Conference on Consumer Finance, the National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees, the Credit Card Organization, the 22nd Judicial District Court Bar Association, and Southeast Louisiana Legal Services. Ms. De Leo has also conducted numerous in-house seminars on the management of bankruptcy caseloads and has drafted in-house procedures to be used in streamlining the handling of consumer bankruptcy cases. Ms. De Leo also served on the bankruptcy local rules committee for consumer cases for the bankruptcy court in the Eastern District of Louisiana. She is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, the National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees, the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, the Louisiana Bar Association, the New Orleans Bar Association, and the 22nd Judicial District Court Bar Association. Ms. De Leo resides in Mandeville with her husband John as “empty nesters.” The De Leo’s have a daughter residing in Atlanta and a daughter residing in Dubai.

Mr. Albert J. Derbes, IV IV
Albert J. Derbes, IV is a founding member and co-managing member of the ten attorney Derbes Law Firm, LLC. He has practiced law for more than 30 years, with a heavy emphasis in commercial bankruptcy - - representing creditors, trustees, debtors and committees. Some of his more well-known cases include Schwegmann Giant Super Market (as Trustee’s counsel), Ormond Country Club (as Debtor’s counsel), and New Orleans Paddlewheel [i.e., the Creole Queen] (as Creditor Committee’s counsel). His other areas of practice include commercial litigation, commercial transactions, successions, succession & trust litigation, and entity law (esp. concerning the division of and liquidation of closely held businesses). Mr. Derbes is a frequent speaker on bankruptcy and other business-related topics. Mr. Derbes’ extensive litigation experience includes litigating in multiple Louisiana District Courts, Federal District Courts, Tax Court, as well as Bankruptcy Courts in Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi. He recently became certified as a Louisiana Mediator. He obtained his B.A. from Rice University and his J.D. from Tulane School of Law.

Judge Douglas D. Dodd
DOUGLAS D. DODD is the United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Middle District of Louisiana. He graduated from Stanford Law School in 1982, after receiving his
undergraduate degree magna cum laude with interdisciplinary honors in 1977 from Tulane University, where he was elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa. Judge Dodd practiced law in New Orleans for nearly 20 years before his appointment to the bench in May 2002. He has taught advanced bankruptcy law at Tulane Law School and currently serves as an adjunct professor of law at the LSU Law Center, teaching a seminar in bankruptcy reorganization.

Douglas S. Draper
Douglas S. Draper practices primarily in the creditor and debtor rights area. His practice involves an equal mix of litigation and business negotiation. The creditor and debtor rights work involves representation of bondholders, creditors’ committees and debtors in large commercial and business cases. He has represented clients in successful reorganizations of hotels, grocery chains, apartment complexes, office buildings, oil companies, shipyards, clothing stores, an oil refinery, and fast food franchises. He has developed an expertise in the bankruptcy aspects of environmental issues and plugging and abandonment of oil and gas wells. Chambers USA described Douglas Draper as combining “a very engaging personality” with “the ability to give you the bottom line and the only logical solution in even the most complex of bankruptcies.”

Mr. Bradley L. Drell
BRADLEY L. DRELL is a director and shareholder of the law firm of Gold, Weems, Bruser, Sues & Rundell, A PLC, in Alexandria, LA, and serves as chair of the firm's Bankruptcy and Creditors' Rights section. His practice focuses on representing Debtors in Possession and other parties in interest in Chapter 11 and Chapter 12 cases, commercial litigation, construction law, and in handling non-routine legal matters in state and federal courts. In addition to his Louisiana federal and state bar admissions, he is also admitted to practice in the U.S. District Courts of the Southern, Eastern, and Northern Districts of Texas, and the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas, the United States Court of Federal Claims, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second, Fourth, Fifth, Tenth, Eleventh, and Federal Circuits, and the Supreme Court of the United States. For ten years he was an adjunct lecturer of business law at Louisiana College, Pineville, LA, and has previously been a speaker on bankruptcy, ethics, and professionalism for continuing legal education presentations. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of the South, Sewanee, TN, and graduated from LSU Law Center in 1996. He clerked for the Honorable Henley A. Hunter, Judge, United States Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Louisiana, from 1996 to 1997. He is past President of the Crossroads American Inn of Court and the Alexandria Bar Association, and is currently serving as President for the Central Louisiana Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. He is board certified in Business Bankruptcy Law by the American Board of Certification and the Louisiana State Bar Association, and is past chair of the Bankruptcy Law Advisory Commission of the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization. He is listed in Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers, and has received national awards for his work in Chapter 11 from the Turnaround Management Association, the Global M&A Network, and M&A Advisor. Brad is a Certified Bourbon Steward of the Stave & Thief Society of Kentucky and writes about whiskey at

Mr. Jerry Edwards
Jerry Edwards is an Assistant United States Attorney in the Western District of Louisiana. He currently serves as Chief of the Civil Division and has held this position since September 2020. In his role as Civil Chief he oversees all civil actions involving the United States brought in federal or state courts within the territorial limits of the Western District of Louisiana. These actions include torts, employment litigation, federal program litigation, judicial review of agency decisions, bankruptcy and collection proceedings, and lawsuits filed by the United States to recover money lost due to fraud or to impose civil penalties for violations of the nation's health, safety and economic welfare laws

Judge Meredith S. Grabill
The Honorable Meredith S. Grabill currently serves in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Prior to taking the bench in September 2019, she practiced primarily in the areas of bankruptcy, commercial, and oil-and-gas litigation in New York and Louisiana. In her practice, she served on bankruptcy teams representing publicly traded, closely held, and individual chapter 11 debtors; official unsecured creditors’ committees; and corporate creditors. Outside of bankruptcy court, she has represented large and multinational corporations in antitrust proceedings, labor and contract disputes, and insurance and reinsurance disputes.
Judge Grabill served as a judicial clerk to The Honorable Edith Brown Clement in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, The Honorable Martin L.C. Feldman in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, and The Honorable Martin Glenn in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. She earned her J.D. from Tulane Law School, where she served as Editor in Chief of the Tulane Law Review, and received a B.A. from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.

Ms. Monica Griffith-Braud
Monica Braud
Assistant U.S. Attorney
Middle District of Louisiana

Monica is the Financial Litigation Coordinator for the United States Attorney’s Office in the Middle District of Louisiana. The Financial Litigation Program is primarily responsible for collection of all Civil and Criminal money judgments awarded in the Middle District of Louisiana. Monica graduated magna cum laude from Southern University Law Center in May 2010, after receiving her undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University. Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, she was the staff attorney for the Chapter 13 Trustee, Annette C. Crawford. Monica was an associate of the law firm of Derren S. Johnson & Associates from 2010-2018, where she handled consumer bankruptcies and collections for a local credit union.

Mr. Karl M. Helo
Karl M. Helo is a partner of Simon, Fitzgerald LLC and is currently in charge of the Lafayette and Lake Charles branches of the firm. Mr. Helo graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Pre-Law in 2008 and received his Juris Doctor and Diploma in Civil Law degree from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University Law School in 2011. Mr. Helo's practice is almost exclusively in the area of Consumer Bankruptcy. Mr. Helo was admitted to practice in Louisiana in 2011 and is a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association as well as the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys.

Judge John S. Hodge
John S. Hodge serves as a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Western District of Louisiana. Prior to his appointment in 2018, he served as a Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee and was a member of a Shreveport law firm where his practice focused on bankruptcy, commercial litigation and commercial real estate. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Louisiana State University, and a J. D. from Louisiana State University Law Center.

Mr. Todd S Johns Chapter 13 Trustee
Todd Johns is currently the Chapter 13 Trustee for the Shreveport Division of the Western District of Louisiana and Chapter 12 Trustee for the State of Louisiana. He began his appointment as the Shreveport Chapter 13 Trustee on October 1, 2016. Prior to this appointment, Todd was the staff attorney and office manager for the Chapter 13 and Chapter 12 offices of Harold J. Barkley, Jr. from October 2005 to August 2016. He was the staff attorney for Harold J. Barkley, Jr and Locke D. Barkley from June 1999 to October 2005. Prior to his bankruptcy practice, Todd began his practice as an assistant state attorney for the 3rd Judicial District of Florida, and worked as an insurance defense attorney in Jackson, Mississippi. He is licensed to practice in all Courts in Mississippi and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. He is also an inactive member of the Florida Bar.

Todd is a native of Live Oak, Florida, and attended Jacksonville University (FL) and the Mississippi College School of Law. He is a member of the Booth-Politz Inn of Court, the American Bankruptcy Institute, and the Western District of Louisiana Rules Committee. He has previously been a speaker at the Mississippi Bankruptcy Conference, the LSU Bankruptcy Conference, the Region 5 Standing Trustee Training and the NACTT annual seminar.

Mr. Benjamin W. Kadden
Benjamin focuses on several practice areas including bankruptcy, restructuring, and creditors’ rights; corporate and commercial law, mergers and acquisitions; litigation; and asset-based finance. After graduating from Louisiana State University in 2002, Benjamin earned his law degree from Tulane University Law School in 2005. During law school, he served as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Magistrate Judge Alma Chasez, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana (2004-2005), and as a volunteer clerk for the Honorable Judge Sarah Vance, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana (2003).

Benjamin has also actively participated in a number of merger and acquisition transactions pertaining to numerous businesses based in the Gulf Coast, with a focus upon representation of non-public buyers and sellers in equity and asset sales. Because of his experience in complex Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases, Benjamin has direct experience and knowledge regarding the purchase or sale of assets by distressed companies, including navigating the process while a buyer or seller is in bankruptcy.

In addition to his private practice, Benjamin is the Chair of the Louisiana State Bar Association's Bankruptcy Section and regularly provides pro bono services for the Propeller Network, which efforts were recognized by the Louisiana State Bar Association in 2015 by his receipt of the Pro Bono Publico Award. He has also been a member of the Intersession Faculty for Tulane Law School’s annual Civil Litigation Boot Camp since the program’s inception in 2012.

Benjamin is recognized in Best Lawyers (2019-2021), listed in the Chambers and Partners USA Guide (2017-2021) in Bankruptcy/Restructuring, recognized by Super Lawyers (2021) and Super Lawyers' Rising Star (2014-2019), and a Top Lawyer by New Orleans Magazine in Insolvency and Reorganization Law (2014-2020). Benjamin also enjoys an AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbel.