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Judges' Corner Archive

Mon, 12/05/2005 - 4:00 am

As you know, the Bankruptcy Reform Act now requires the filing of additional documentation, including as set forth in 11 U.S.C. § 521(a)(1). Motions to extend time to file schedules and statements must now clearly specify the particular documents beyond schedules and statements to which the filer is seeking an extension of time. Any resulting order will only address documents beyond the schedules and statements if the motion specifically requests an extension of time and specifically lists the documents beyond schedules and statements (i.e. “copies of payment advices” etc.). A general request regarding “Other Documents” will not be sufficient.

Wed, 11/30/2005 - 4:00 am

Beth Burris has asked that the bar be advised that she is accepting applications for a law clerk position. The primary duty station will be in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and may require travel. Employment is to begin upon the finalization of her appointment as U.S. Bankruptcy Judge. Applicants without previous judicial clerking experience may qualify for a salary of between $50,541.00 - $78,745.00. A background investigation may be conducted on the person selected for the position. Applicants may forward a resume and letter of interest, including salary requirements, to Beth at

Wed, 11/30/2005 - 4:00 am

I am pleased to announce that Jeff Davis, an attorney formerly with Robinson, McFadden and Moore, will join my chambers as a law clerk on December 1, 2005. Jeff is an experienced bankruptcy practitioner and received his B.A. from Winthrop University and his J.D. from the University of South Carolina in 2002. We welcome Jeff and are pleased to have him join us.

Fri, 10/14/2005 - 5:00 am

The judges have approved a new set of Local Rules which include provisions necessary to implement the new Bankruptcy Reform Act, including the incorporation of recommended Interim Bankruptcy Rules (until the federal rules approval process can be completed). The new Local Rules have been published on the Court’s web page and, as of Monday, October 17, 2005, will replace the existing rules. The Local Rules indicate, in certain places, when a Rule or part of a Rule is applicable only to a post-Act case, therefore, the new Rules will govern both pre- and post-Act cases. The Local Rules adopt the Interim Bankruptcy Rules and, in order to reduce the number of places to look for applicable rules, we inserted a copy of the Interim Bankruptcy Rule behind the corresponding Local Rule (including even the most recent revisions made to the Interim Bankruptcy Rules last week). Although not an exclusive list, significant changes have been made to the following Rules: (Click here for more)

Wed, 10/12/2005 - 5:00 am

The Court has taken a series of steps to prepare for the implementation of the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2005.

1. Since May, the judges have sponsored or participated in over 9 bar meetings/seminars which have offered training and discussion on the new requirements of the Act.

2. An e-mail address has been established for the bar to submit comments or raise issues regarding the new Act.

3. A separate resource on the Court’s web page has been established for information regarding the new Act, including a link to recommended Interim Rules and new Official Forms.

4. CM/ECF training is being offered to demonstrate and discuss new CM/ECF events which relate to the Act

5. Revisions to the Court’s Local Rules necessary to implement the new Act and to incorporate the recommended Interim Bankruptcy Rules (until the federal rules approval process can be completed) have been made and will be published this week.

Unlike other changes in procedures, much of the Court’s final preparation for the Reform Act has had to await national efforts and developments, including those necessary to accommodate the CM/ECF system. Changes and corrections are expected to continue and therefore we will have to make adjustments as we go along. With the implementation of these new rules and requirements, there will be an ongoing opportunity to make suggestions. We look forward to working with the bar to refine procedures under the new Act.

Wed, 9/28/2005 - 5:00 am

Tammi Hellwig will begin her duties as Chief Deputy Clerk of Court on October 3, 2005, after serving with Judge Waites since July 2003.

Tammi returned to South Carolina in 2002 with her husband Brandt’s appointment as a tax professor at the USC Law School. She had previously served as law clerk to four different bankruptcy judges in North Carolina, Maryland and New York, all of whom highly recommended her as law clerk and for appointment to a management position within the Clerk’s office. She also had experience in the private practice of law with the Womble Carlyle law firm in North Carolina.

Her experience with other judges, court systems and bars has allowed her to contribute new ideas and perspective to our court. Her thorough writing and research skills and her dedication to details have assisted this Court during its busiest years. She has authored a number of the Court’s most important and complicated decisions.

Tammi has exhibited professionalism in all respects and has been heavily involved in court administrative matters, including serving as the primary scrivener of our present Local Rules and Guidelines for Filing of Documents. Her calm, industrious and organized approach to her work, her tireless attention to her duties and her positive attitude will be missed in chambers. We wish her well in her new job.

Fri, 9/23/2005 - 5:00 am

At the present time, we have 100 attendees signed up for the upcoming seminar. Unfortunately, due to the limited amount of space in the courtroom we will only be able to accept 10 more registrations. If for some reason you have registered for this seminar and have now determined that you will be unable to attend, please send us an e-mail notification so that someone else could participate. The meeting will begin promptly at 9:00 a.m. with welcome and announcements from Judge Waites. Since presenters are providing their handouts and we are foregoing refreshment breaks, there will not be a fee for the seminar. Lunch will be on your own – we invite you to access a map located on the Court’s web page with a listing of various restaurants as well as parking facilities that are in the vicinity of the Courthouse. Also, as previously mentioned, please remember to bring your calculator for use during the means test presentation. Listed below is the agenda and topics that will be discussed. (Click here for the agenda)

Tue, 9/13/2005 - 5:00 am

The Court presently expects that the position of shared law clerk formerly held by Brian Calub will continue to be funded for a period of time until a third bankruptcy judge is in place and hires a staff. It is anticipated that Brian will remain with the Court as a term law clerk. According to the Judicial Conference Codes of Conduct, Canon 3, it is permissible for a judge to hire a law clerk to serve a temporary clerkship on a leave of absence from a law firm as long as the law clerk does not work on cases handled by the law firm or receive any compensation or benefits from the law firm during the clerkship term. The Judges believe this position would be a good opportunity for someone currently in practice to not only assist the Court but also provide a valuable experience for someone who is practicing or intends to practice in the area of bankruptcy law in an interesting time of implementing the new Bankruptcy Reform Act. Annual salary may depend on experience, but is typically in the range of $50,000 to $60,000.

Expressions of interest should consist of a cover letter and resume and be submitted by telefax to 803-253-3464 as soon as possible but in any event no later than Friday, September 23, 2005. Further information may be requested.

If you would like additional information, you may contact Judge Waites’ law clerk, Tammi Hellwig, at 803-765-5030.

Fri, 9/09/2005 - 5:00 am

As previously announced, the Court will be sponsoring a seminar for paralegals and other legal assistants to be held on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 commencing at 9:15 a.m. at the United States Bankruptcy Courthouse, 1100 Laurel Street (at the corner of Laurel and Assembly) in the 3rd floor courtroom. We expect a full day of informative presentations relating to the new Act and other issues, including topics such as requirements for filing cases, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 means test training, information from the Clerk’s Office regarding CM/ECF, scheduling, and other Clerk’s Office concerns, and miscellaneous substantive matters. It is suggested that you bring a calculator with you for use during the means test presentation.

Lunch will be on your own; we expect to adjourn by 4:00 or 4:30 p.m. The approval of CLE credit is anticipated for attendance. Any cost that may be associated with attendance will be minimal in order to cover the copying of any written materials. Please register with Cheryl Hughes by Friday, September 23, 2005 by e-mail to if you plan on attending.

Thu, 9/08/2005 - 5:00 am

As previously announced, Doug Barnett of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Joe Dusenbury of the South Carolina Department of Revenue will be making a presentation in Columbia on the provisions affecting the treatment of taxes and tax obligations under the new Act and tips for working with their agencies on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 commencing at 10:30 a.m. in the main courtroom. We anticipate that this morning session will last approximately 1 hour.

As an addition to this session, at the request of several practitioners, there will be a Chapter 11 roundtable discussion addressing changes to Chapter 11 practice, including individual and small business cases. The participants will include Bill McCarthy, David Duncan, Bob Cooper, Dave Wheeler and Judge Waites. We will reconvene at 1:00 p.m. for the Chapter 11 roundtable discussion which will last 1 to 1½ hours.

The sessions are being sponsored by the Court and we anticipate the approval of CLE credit for attendance. There is no cost to attend. Please sign-up with Cheryl Hughes by Friday, September 16, 2005 to if you plan on attending either or both sessions.

As with all training sessions being held at the Court, participation is voluntary, with the purpose being to promote the sharing of ideas and to provide a helpful tool to assist you in preparing for changes in practice as a result of the new Act.