C. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Weston has joined Judge Duncan's chambers as a law clerk. Lizzie is a 2017 graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law and comes to chambers from Haynsworth, Sinker, Boyd.
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In June 2021, Judge Duncan will begin holding in person hearings in contested matters, including contested chapter 13 confirmation hearings, motions for relief from stay, and matters in chapter 7, 11, and 12 cases. These hearings will ordinarily be scheduled in person; however, if extenuating circumstances exist and all parties agree, the hearing may be held virtually. Parties should advise the Court as soon as possible if they wish for a hearing to be held remotely. Masks will still be required for all parties attending in person hearings, and social distancing guidelines will still be observed.
In order to facilitate the Court's scheduling, parties should be diligent about settling matters and reporting any settlements to the Court. Additionally, parties may not attend in person hearings if displaying any symptoms of Covid-19 or if quarantining due to possible exposure to Covid-19. Chief United States District Judge R. Bryan Harwell's standing order restricting entry to federal courthouses by certain persons remains in effect. If any party is unable to attend a hearing due to illness or exposure, the Court must be notified as soon as possible so that arrangements can be made to continue the matter to a later date.
For chapter 13 matters, Judge Duncan will continue his current practice of reviewing and disposing of all matters scheduled for 10 a.m. in advance of the hearing date. If any party believes that a matter scheduled for 10 a.m. should be heard on the hearing date, chambers should be contacted as soon as possible. To reduce the number of people in the courtroom, Judge Duncan will also continue his current practice of rescheduling matters scheduled for 10:30 a.m. for different times throughout the morning. Chambers will provide parties with the time of their hearing by email.
Judge Duncan is accepting applications for a term law clerk. The vacancy announcement can be reviewed here.
Due to the Local Rule changes effective December 1, 2020, Judge Duncan has made minor revisions to his Chambers Guidelines. The changes are as follows:
1. The section regarding chapter 13 attorney fee procedures has been simplified due to recent changes to the procedure for requesting supplemental fees and the Court's creation of new events.
2. A section has been added entitled, "Supplement to Exhibits A and B to SC LBR 9013-4." This section provides information regarding scheduling of applications for allowance of administrative claims or interests under section 503 and sets the response deadline for motions to reopen under section 350. This section also clarifies that the procedure and deadline for objecting to a chapter 13 plan and embedded motions remains the same in Judge Duncan cases.
3. Some exhibits have been reorganized due to the removal of the form previously used to request supplemental fees for loss mitigation work in a chapter 13 case.
Operating Order 20-12, available here, has been issued and is effective September 17, 2020 in all Judge Duncan cases. Pursuant to the Operating Order, Judge Duncan's procedures for conduit cases remain the same.
Judge Duncan is pleased to welcome his new law clerk, Lucas Fautua. Lucas joined Judge Duncan's chambers on April 13. A native of Norfolk, Virginia, Lucas is a 2016 graduate of North Carolina State University and a 2019 graduate of University of South Carolina School of Law. Prior to joining Judge Duncan's chambers, Lucas worked at a small firm in Norfolk, Virginia representing debtors in chapter 7, 11, and 13 cases.
Judge Duncan has revised his Chambers Guidelines. In addition to making other minor, non-substantive changes, he has revised the chapter 13 attorney fees section to reflect the increase in the expedited fee amount and the elimination of the limitation for supplemental fees for general chapter 13 matters. The Chambers Guidelines are available here.
Judge Duncan would like to thank his current law clerk, Charles Buist, for his distinguished service. Charles has served as Judge Duncan's law clerk since August 2018. He has accepted an offer to serve in a general counsel role in Jacksonville, Florida. His last day in Judge Duncan's chambers will be Friday, January 3. Judge Duncan extends Charles best wishes as he embarks on this next step in his career.
Judge Duncan has made minor revisions to his Chambers Guidelines consistent with the chapter 13 trustee's intention to begin filing formal objections to confirmation and to make other minor updates. The changes are as follows:
1. The section regarding the trustee's notes concerning confirmation has been revised to remove references to the trustee's intent to request dismissal at the confirmation hearing but to retain the requirement that previously requested documents be filed with the Court or submitted to the trustee overnight.
2. The section regarding joint statements of dispute has been revised to clarify that parties are not required to file joint statements of dispute in the event of a chapter 13 trustee objection.
3. The section regarding electronic exhibits has been revised to state that counsel should meet with the courtroom deputy at least two business days in advance of trial to ensure compatibility of electronic devices to be used at hearing or trial.
4. Exhibit A has been revised to reflect recent changes to Judge Duncan's form scheduling order for adversary proceedings.
Due to the inclement weather and anticipated travel difficulties, Judge Duncan’s court for Monday, September 17 is rescheduled to Tuesday, September 18. All hearings will be held at the same time and same location as originally scheduled. If you have any questions about the rescheduling of hearings, please contact Judge Duncan’s chambers at (803) 765-5657.