Press Release

Ballard Spahr's Ethan Birnberg Wins Cordova Award for Service to the Indigent

February 5, 2018

Ethan J. Birnberg, a litigator who focuses on bankruptcy and restructuring cases, has received the Donald E. Cordova Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his commitment to providing pro bono legal services to indigent debtors.

Mr. Birnberg, who is based in Ballard Spahr's Denver office, received the Cordova Award on January 26 during the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) Annual Rocky Mountain Bankruptcy Conference. The honor is awarded annually by the Faculty of Federal Advocates, a nonprofit organization of attorneys dedicated to improving the quality of legal practice in Colorado federal courts. Named in memory of the Honorable Donald E. Cordova, former Chief Bankruptcy Judge of the District of Colorado, the award honors an attorney with the passion and dedication to pro bono service for which Judge Cordova was well known. The Honorable Michael E. Romero, the current Chief Bankruptcy Judge of the District of Colorado, presented the award to Mr. Birnberg during a ceremony at the ABI conference.

"This award is a tremendous acknowledgement of Ethan's compassion and contributions made over many years," said Steven W. Suflas, Ballard Spahr's Office Managing Partner in its Denver and Boulder locations. "Ethan is an outstanding attorney who uses his skills to help the less fortunate, and in doing so brings credit to himself, our firm, and the profession as a whole. We are proud of his accomplishments and his commitment."

Mr. Birnberg joined Ballard Spahr's Denver office last month through the firm's merger with Lindquist & Vennum, a Minneapolis-based firm with a Denver location. Ballard Spahr's expansion in Denver further deepens the firm's capabilities to serve clients in the region, including in bankruptcy and reorganization matters. As a member of Ballard Spahr's Bankruptcy, Reorganization and Capital Recovery Group, Mr. Birnberg represents debtors, trustees, creditors, and receivers. His work spans industries—including energy, hospitality, and technology—and a variety of matters, from corporate restructuring, workouts, and asset sales to advising on fiduciary duties and handling adversarial proceedings.

Last month's merger also expands Ballard Spahr's nationally renowned pro bono program, a longtime hallmark of the firm. In addition to the Faculty of Federal Advocates' Bankruptcy Pro Bono Program, attorneys and staff in Denver support a variety of local and national bar, civic, and charitable causes, including the Colorado Lawyers Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, Wills for Heroes, the Sam Cary Bar Association, the Airport Minority Advisory Council, and the Downtown Denver Partnership.

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