SAN FRANCISCO — Whitman L. Holt has been appointed as the next judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Washington. He begins his 14-year term today, November 1, 2019, and will maintain chambers in Yakima. His appointment was made by the judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Judge Holt had been a partner with the Los Angeles law firm of Klee, Tuchin, Bogdanoff & Stern LLP since 2010. Previously, he was an associate attorney with the law firm of Stutman, Treister & Glatt P.C., also in Los Angeles. Judge Holt has served as a Ninth Circuit lawyer representative for the Central District of California since 2017. He has participated as a speaker, lecturer or panelist at more than 50 legal education programs throughout the country, is a co-author of an academic book and series of commentaries about bankruptcy and the U.S. Supreme Court, and regularly counseled and represented consumer bankruptcy organizations on a pro bono basis. In 2015, Judge Holt was elected as a Conferee of the National Bankruptcy Conference, an invitation-only organization. Dedicated to advising Congress on the operation of bankruptcy and related laws, the Conference is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious professional organizations in the bankruptcy field. Among engagements outside of his work in California, Judge Holt served as a lead attorney representing Jefferson County, Alabama, in its chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy case—the second largest in U.S. history.
Born and raised in rural Montana, Judge Holt received his bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, in 2002. He received his juris doctor, cum laude, in 2005 from Harvard Law School, where he served as an editor of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Washington received 3,644 bankruptcy filings in calendar year 2018. The court is authorized two bankruptcy 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.