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Chambers' Bulletins

Wed, 1/28/2004 - 4:00 am

In light of the upcoming deadline for the filing of all documents in an electronic format and to encourage the bars participation in establishing deadlines and procedures under CM/ECF, Judge Waites invites lawyers to be members of on a Users Committee to advise him on such issues. If you are interested please advise Judge Waites’ Judicial Assistant, Cheryl Hughes, or the Judge’s Law Clerk, Tammi Hellwig as soon as possible.

Mon, 1/12/2004 - 4:00 am

Due to the large number of daily calls from the public requesting case information, Judge Waites’ Chambers has had to change its telephone number and not publish it. You may reach chambers by calling 765-5436 and identify yourself as an attorney and you will be transferred to chambers.

When dealing with counsel in case matters, we will provide a direct number to counsel, and also provide it to the South Carolina Bankla Association in the near future for publishing to its members. However, counsel should not have paralegals or other assistants call chambers to inquire when an order will be signed or requesting an explanation on court procedures. Such calls should be directed to the clerk’s office. Our telefax number remains the same.

Thank you for your assistance.

Wed, 12/31/2003 - 4:00 am

The year 2003 was a year of significant challenges for the Court. Case filings continued to increase to 16,159, a 3% rise over the preceding year. The implementation of the Electronic Case Filing System continued, with approximately 32% of documents being filed electronically last year. Substantial changes to case administration procedures resulted from the Electronic Case Filing system, including the system for order entry and preparation by the Court for hearings. A new Chief Deputy and Administrative Manager were appointed upon Janell Hedgepath’s retirement after 28 years. My Chambers staff changed entirely with Tammi, Cheryl and Brian joining the Court. Judge Bishop also welcomed Lydia and Brian to his staff. A few large Chapter 11 cases, HomeGold, Carolina Investors, Georgetown Steel and Ducane Gas Grills were filed which required many expedited hearings under our complex case procedures. The Local Rules Committee was reestablished and has suggested changes to our form Chapter 13 plan. Two major training seminars, one for new attorneys and one for paralegals/legal assistants, were sponsored by the Court and more than 150 persons attended. New office space and a courtroom were opened in Spartanburg . Regrettably, Congress failed to restore a third judgeship to this District and also severely reduced the budgets for the U.S. Courts for next year.

These factors were among many which made it difficult for the Court to maintain its high standards for speedy and thorough resolution of cases. Nevertheless, our Court met its goals and continues to rank high in the nation in criteria indicating successful operations. I personally have felt, and probably have shown at times, the strain. However, with a new year there is new hope and renewed determination. We hope that you will join us in an effort and dedication to make 2004 one of the best years ever.

Wed, 11/12/2003 - 4:00 am

A Workshop for Paralegals and other Legal Assistants was held on November 6, 2003 with approximately 100 paralegals attending. Many thanks go to the speakers at the seminar including Assistant United States Trustee David Duncan, Chapter 13 Trustee Keenan Stephenson, Attorneys Janet Haigler, John Kelchner, and members of their staff and the staff of the Clerk’s Office. The seminar was jointly sponsored by the Court and South Carolina Bankruptcy Law Association. Thanks also goes to Beth Burris for Banklaw’s help.

Fri, 10/24/2003 - 5:00 am

The Workshop for New Attorneys and others interested in learning more about Bankruptcy Court procedures in this District was successfully held yesterday. Fifty two (52) attorneys from around the District attended, including 15 attorneys who have practiced before the Court for less than 1 year. Great thanks goes to the speakers at the Workshop, Regina Brown and Peppa Caskey of the Clerks Office, Assistant United States Trustee Joe Buzhardt, Janet Haigler for Chapter 7 Trustees, Gretchen Holland for Chapter 13 Trustees, law clerks Lydia Eloff and Tammi Hellwig, and Tim Stack of the United States Trustees Office, and to Beth Burris and The South Carolina Bankruptcy Law Association for sponsoring the seminar and obtaining 3 CLE hours credit for the participants.

A Workshop for Paralegals and other legal assistants will be held on November 6, 2003.

Wed, 10/08/2003 - 5:00 am

Judge Waites is pleased to announce that Cheryl A. Hughes has accepted appointment as his Judicial Assistant and starts October 8, 2003. Cheryl previously served for 16 years as an Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to the managing partners of both the Columbia and Greenville, South Carolina offices of Deloitte and Touche. In that position, she managed over 70 staff members. Join us in welcoming Cheryl to chambers staff and the Bankruptcy Court.

Mon, 9/29/2003 - 5:00 am

October 23, 2003
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Columbia, South Carolina

The Honorable John E. Waites in cooperation with the South Carolina Bankruptcy Law Association is sponsoring a workshop for new attorneys which is designated for attorneys who have practiced before the Bankruptcy Court for five years or less or other attorneys who would like to be more familiar with Bankruptcy Court procedures in South Carolina.

Topics will include advice on Advocacy and Preparation for Hearings, Tips for Dealing with Chambers and Courtroom Staff, How to Work with the United States Trustee, Chapter 13 Trustees and Chapter 7 Trustees, How the Clerk’s Office Works and Other Secrets to Improve Your Practice. The Workshop will be followed by a box lunch. CLE credit is being requested and the only charge will be the cost of lunch (approximately $8-$10 per person depending on your order). To register, call Judge Waites’ judicial assistant at 803-253-3462 or telefax 803-253-3464.


Wed, 9/17/2003 - 5:00 am

Due to Julia Robb's transfer to the Clerk's office, the e-mail address for all proposed orders due from court hearings before Judge Waites has changed, effective immediately. The new e-mail address is:

Please make note of this change.

Sat, 9/13/2003 - 5:00 am

Julia Robb, Judges Waites’ Judicial Assistant, has been promoted to the position of Administrative Manager in the Clerk’s Office. Julia will begin her new duties on September 22, 2003.

After serving for three years as Secretary to the Clerk of Court and as an Administrative Officer for the U.S. Trustee Program in Region 4 for seven years, Julia was recruited back to the Court upon Judge Waites’ appointment. Julia has done an outstanding job managing chambers. During her service, she has superbly performed a growing list of substantive duties including the management of the Judge’s adversary proceedings and emergency hearing calendar as well as ensuring the timely entry of orders. Equally important, Julia has performed her duties with professionalism and courtesy to all. Her calm, organized and cheerful approach will be missed in chambers. We wish her well in her new job.

Tue, 9/02/2003 - 5:00 am

Judge Waites has hired a temporary part-time law clerk through the month of September, 2003, Brian Calub. Brian received his B.S. in Finance from the University of South Carolina and his J.D./M.B.A. from the University of Richmond. Brian has had some prior exposure to bankruptcy law by assisting with the representation of consumer debtors at 341 hearings in the Eastern District of Virginia. Brian is admitted to the Virginia State Bar and recently sat for the South Carolina bar exam. We welcome Brian and are pleased to have him with us.


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