WHEELING — Federal Judge Patrick M. Flatley’s decorated career has earned a unanimous seal of approval from the American College of Bankruptcy.

The Wheeling, W.Va. bankruptcy court judge is one of 29 honorees set to be inducted as a Fellow of the College on March 16 in Washington, D.C. during a ceremony at the Smithsonian Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture.

“I’m surprised, but honored by the support,” Flatley told the West Virginia Record. “Either way, I would have set out to do my job in the same respectful way I always have.”

Some might say its Flatley’s unflappable nature that at least partly makes him stand out so much among all his peers.

“I’ve always had a strong interest in bankruptcy work and thought I was suitable for it given my background,” Flatley said. “The area of law has great variety, and I’ve always liked to say it offers the interdisciplinary body of law you don’t find in other areas. It’s a little bit of everything and you have everyone from the dining room to board room of America in your courtroom.”

Flatley said he started his law career in the area of private practice, and at one point, he left the profession to join the Marines, where he became a judge advocate. He later worked in the U.S. Attorney’s Office as a top assistant for nearly two decades.

Flately has now served on the Bankruptcy Court for 12 years and deems it everything he thought it would be.

“I’ve been fortunate to be able to interact with many great people and have taken great pride in the work I’ve been able to do,” he said. “Everything else has just been icing on the cake.”

All the nominees are recognized for having "distinguished themselves in their practice and in their contribution to the insolvency field," according the American College of Bankruptcy's website. Judge Flatley is the fellow to be inducted from West Virginia, with this year’s class also including honorees from 19 states and two foreign countries.

This year’s ceremony will be presided over by G. Christopher Meyer, chair of the American College of Bankruptcy, which is an honorary professional and educational association of bankruptcy and insolvency professionals.

The College now has 880 Fellows who were selected by a Board of Regents based on the recommendations of the Circuit Admissions Council and Committees for Judicial and International Fellows.

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