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Michael Becker recognized for excellence in bankruptcy practice

Michael Becker

Michael A. Becker, of St. Louis, has been presented with the 2023 Michael R. Roser Excellence in Bankruptcy Award. A selection subcommittee, consisting of past recipients and lawyers representing different state geographical areas in a variety of practice sizes, chose to honor Becker with this year’s award.    

Since 1994, the former Missouri Bar Commercial Law Committee (now the Financial Services & Insolvency Law Committee) presents the Roser award to a lawyer who manifests the highest standard of excellence in bankruptcy practice, who contributes distinctively to the development and appreciation of bankruptcy law, and who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of bankruptcy practice or administration. The award is named in honor of the late Michael R. Roser, a prominent Kansas City bankruptcy lawyer. 

Becker earned his law degree from Saint Louis University School of Law. He said his first foray into bankruptcy law was on Christmas Eve in 1987 when he was commissioned to deliver 52 boxes containing the Apex Oil bankruptcy filing to the Clerk of the U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. Since then, Becker has represented various individuals and entities, including bankruptcy trustees, in every aspect of Chapter 7, 11, and 13, and served as receiver in numerous state court proceedings. In nominating Becker for the award, one person said Becker has represented a wide variety of parties from institutional clients in complex Chapter 11 cases seeking to save a company, to individuals in Chapter 13 cases seeking to save a family home.”   

Becker’s service to the bankruptcy system goes beyond representation of individual parties in bankruptcy proceedings. Becker has also made substantial, award-winning commitments to pro bono legal services, as well as to the mentorship of law students studying bankruptcy law. He was a member of a committee that created a pilot program for pro bono bankruptcy services in the Eastern District of Missouri. Becker represented numerous individuals pro bono before the bankruptcy court. He has also devoted substantial time to preparing the coming generation of bankruptcy lawyers by spearheading a bankruptcy law clinic at Saint Louis University School of Law. In the clinic, Becker oversees 2Ls and 3Ls as student attorneys representing indigent clients before the bankruptcy court. Another person who nominated Becker for the award said the initiative “provided much-needed legal representation to those who could not afford it” and also provided the law students “with invaluable practical experience.”   

The award will be formally presented to Becker on Oct. 20 at the Midwestern Bankruptcy Institute in Kansas City.