Honorable Paul W. Bonapfel has been a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of Georgia since 2002. Prior to his appointment, he practiced law in Atlanta, Georgia, with the law firm of Lamberth, Bonapfel, Cifelli & Stokes, P.A., now known as Lamberth, Cifelli, Stokes, Ellis & Nason, P.A. As an attorney, Judge Bonapfel represented all types of parties in both business and consumer bankruptcy cases, including consumer and business debtors in liquidation cases, business debtors in reorganization cases, chapter 7 and 11 bankruptcy trustees, creditors' committees, and creditors in both consumer and business cases.
Judge Bonapfel received his B.A. cum laude in government from Florida State University in 1972 and his J.D. magna cum laude from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1975, where he was Notes Editor of the Georgia Law Review. He was a judicial law clerk for United States District Judge Wilbur D. Owens, Jr., in Macon, Georgia. A fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, Judge Bonapfel has served as chairperson of the Bankruptcy Sections of the State Bar of Georgia and the Atlanta Bar Association. He was also a director, and is a former president, of the Southeastern Bankruptcy Law Institute, a non-profit organization, which presents an annual seminar on bankruptcy law and procedure. Judge Bonapfel has lectured at numerous continuing legal education seminars. He is a co- author, with Judge W. Homer Drake, Jr., and Adam Goodman, of Chapter 13 Practice and Procedure (Thomson/West).