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Public Service Initiatives

Fri, 12/01/2006 - 4:00am

On behalf of the Judges of this Court, Chief Judge Waites would like to announce two public service initiatives to be sponsored by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and invite participation by the bar.

The South Carolina Supreme Court has appointed a Task Force on Access to Justice with the goal being to improve the delivery of Legal Services to the state’s indigent population. Since many in this population face issues relating to debtor/creditor relations and bankruptcy, Judge Waites has been asked to serve on the Task Force. In order to consider factors which may improve the availability of legal services in the bankruptcy area, the Judges will invite bankruptcy practitioners to participate in two meetings to discuss issues related to the availability of legal services. Topics include information provided by the Court to pro se parties, educational programs on the Reform Act and bankruptcy, the unbundling of legal services in certain situations, locations of court hearings and consideration of the structure of court divisions, courtroom assistance for pro se parties, and mediation procedures involving pro se parties, among others.

The Credit Abuse Resistance Education (CARE) Program is a national initiative in which many bankruptcy courts coordinate the availability of judges, trustees and experienced attorneys or staff to speak to high school and college students regarding the use of consumer credit and the consequences of credit abuse. There is no required format or agenda for such presentations which are coordinated by the Court, but a training program and materials will be made available. Judge Waites has previously received requests from schools in various parts of the state, so assistance from the bar statewide would be appreciated. The CARE program is already available in many other districts and has been proven to be a well received and beneficial public service.

Trustees, Counsel or experienced bankruptcy staff willing to participate on these initiatives should advise Judge Waites on or before December 12, 2006 at