May 2017

In Celebration of Judge Barry S. Schermer

*Article contributed by Dana McWay, Clerk of Court, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri

Knowledgeable. Hardworking. Precise. Influential. These adjectives were common themes presented at an event on April 7, 2017 celebrating thirty years on the bench of Judge Barry S. Schermer of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. Held at Judge Schermerís alma mater, Washington University School of Law, and co-sponsored by the American College of Bankruptcy, the event also recognized Judge Schermerís over twenty-five years of service to the Law School as an Adjunct Professor.
Welcoming remarks were offered by Law School Dean Nancy Staudt, followed by panels consisting of both judges and practitioners. Five current judges of the Eighth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (BAP) - the Hon. Arthur Federman, the Hon. Robert Kressel, the Hon. Charles Nail, Jr., the Hon. Thomas Saladino, and the Hon. Anita Shodeen - focused their remarks on Judge Schermerís contributions to the BAP, including his becoming one of the first judges appointed to the Panel, his collegial approach to decision making, and the clarity of his written opinions. A panel composed of current and former law clerks and student interns conveyed the sincerity and levity that Judge Schermer has imparted to his staff and the role that he has played as a mentor in their lives. Another panel consisted of commercial litigators who addressed his influence as a jurist in commercial cases, particularly with regard to mega cases. Consumer practitioners offered their perspective on his fairness to individual debtors in financial crisis and his adeptness at handling a large caseload. Another panel addressed his accomplishments as a mediator in difficult and demanding legal cases, both in the Eastern District of Missouri and in the Southern District of Florida (where Judge Schermer has sat by designation).
Professor Daniel Keating of the Law School identified how remarkable it is to have so many students elect to take Judge Schermerís Fundamentals of Bankruptcy Law course, even though it begins at 7:30 a.m., because it often has a waiting list. Professor Keating, who has co-taught with Judge Schermer for many years, highlighted how Judge Schermerís courses have influenced the career paths of many of his students, leading them to choose the practice of bankruptcy law.