Arthur N Votolato Judge

Inducted: 2017
Judge Arthur Votolato was appointed U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the District of Rhode Island in 1968. His exceptional work on that tribunal led to his appointment as Chief Judge of the United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the First Circuit at its inception in June 1996. He served as its chief until April 2003. The judge is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island and Boston University School of Law. A lifelong resident of Rhode Island, and raised in Burrillville, Rhode Island, he currently resides in Providence. Judge Votolato has not only presided over Rhode Island’s sin- gle judge Bankruptcy Court, he has also heard cases by designa- tion in Districts in California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Puerto Rico, and Texas. He also served as Chief Judge of the Massachusetts Bankruptcy Appellate Panel and as a judge of the Maine and New Hampshire Bankruptcy Appellate Panels. Judge Votolato has written a number of law review and other law-related articles during his career, and has authored more than 600 opinions, with over 60 published prior to 1975. He is a member of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges. Votolato served for eight years as the digest editor of the American Bankr’uptcy Law Journal and was a member of its editorial advisory board. Judge Votolato spent his judicial career overseeing the rights of individuals and busi- nesses during several troubling and sometime overwhelming economic times, exhibiting both a calmness and compassion toward those who appeared before him. He humbly eschewed the formal trappings of his office, appearing on the bench in suit and tie. There he grasped the main issues in com- plex cases, not only with learning but with common sense and intuition. Whether one was a typical Rhode Islander or one of the largest employers in the state, Judge Votolato treated all appearing before him with the class and dignity they each deserved. Outside the courtroom, the judge was known for his passion for flying ” for getting away in his airplane and enjoying his excursions. An aviation enthusi- ast, Judge Votolato often shared stories regarding his love for the skies with young attorneys dur- ing informal appearances before him. An accomplished speaker, Judge Votolato was often invited to lecture on bankruptcy topics during his career ” both on state and regional stages. His speaking style, like his demeanor, cool and reserved, entertained and enlightened listeners not only at Rhode Island Bar Association events but with his peers and before national audi- ences. Judge Votolato retired in 2012 after forty-four productive years on the bench as the lon- gest-tenured bankruptcy jurist. He has received numerous awards ” local, regional, and national ” as a testament to his ability. The courtroom at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Providence was named in his honor in July, 2012. His body of work is beyond reproach and those of us who know him are better off because of that association. Most important and signifi- cant to Arthur Votolato is his ^ tireless devotion to his two daughters, Dacia and Hera, who give him strength to persevere and thrive. A great man, father, and jurist, Arthur N. Votolato, is a worthy addition to the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame.
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