Judge Joan N. Feeney (Ret.)

2019 Bankruptcy Alliance Distinguished Service Award

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA– Joan N. Feeney has been selected to receive the prestigious 2019 American Inns of Court Bankruptcy Inn Alliance Distinguished Service Award. John Waites, president of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges (NCBJ), will present the award on November 1 at NCBJ’s annual conference in Washington, D.C.

Until she retired in May, Feeney was the chief judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the First Circuit in Boston. She was a U.S. bankruptcy judge for the district of Massachusetts since 1992, serving as chief judge from 2002 to 2006.
She is vice president of the American College of Bankruptcy and a past president of NCBJ. “She cares about her colleagues, the lawyers who appear before her, her staff, and, most of all, the litigants who come before her,” says Robert J. Keach, Esquire, of Bernstein, Shur, Sawyer & Nelson PA in Portland, Maine. “She wants the honest debtors who come before her to get the relief they deserve and to have better futures.” Feeney was also a co-chair of the Massachusetts Bankruptcy Court’s pro bono committee.

Educating both specialists and consumers about bankruptcy is one of Feeney’s passions. She is co-author of the two-volume Bankruptcy Law Manual and served as business manager and associate editor of the American Bankruptcy Law Journal, the nation’s most frequently cited specialty law review. She also co-authored a book for consumers called The Road Out of Debt.

Feeney is also founder and co-chair of the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Project, a joint initiative of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the District of Massachusetts and the Boston Bar Association. Designed to help prevent future bankruptcy filings by individuals, the initiative educates high school students about financial responsibility and money management. The final session takes place at the bankruptcy court.

Before becoming a judge, Feeney was a partner in the Boston firm Hanify & King PC and a partner in the Boston firm Feeney & Freeley. She was a career law clerk to James N. Gabriel, a U.S. bankruptcy judge for the District of Massachusetts.

Feeney received her undergraduate degree from Connecticut College and her law degree from Suffolk University Law School. In 2018, she received the Charles P. Normandin Lifetime Achievement Award from the Boston Bar Association.