Due to the request of many of you to move up the date for the staff/paralegal seminar presently scheduled for November 8, 2005, Judge Waites has decided to change the date to sometime in October, to be announced in the near future.
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Judges' Corner Archive
It was suggested yesterday during the discussion on consumer practice under the new Act that it would assist the bar to be able to provide comments or raise issues that would be helpful to the Court to have identified. The address has been designated as: email@example.com. The Court will not be prepared to respond to your e-mail in writing, but your comments will be taken into consideration and in some instances may be posted to the bar for comment.
38 attorneys have already responded to the invitation to a discussion regarding consumer practice under the Bankruptcy Reform Act on August 17, 2005 at 10:00 a.m. in Columbia.
The purpose of the informal discussion will be to focus on changes to practice from the perspective of several consumer creditor attorneys, debtor attorneys and a chapter 13 trustee. It will also assist the Court in identifying the bar’s concerns so that they may be addressed at the Bankla Conference or a later meeting prior to October 17 th.
Due to the large number of attorneys attending, we are unable to host paralegals and staff. They will be invited to attend a more instructive day long seminar sponsored by Bankla and the Court presently scheduled for November 8, 2005 at 9:30 in Columbia.
Finally, the Court and Bankla are jointly sponsoring a meeting on the treatment of taxes under the Bankruptcy Reform Act to be held on September 21, 2005 at 10:00 a.m. in Columbia.Further notice and sign-up opportunities will be sent later.
Judge Waites will host a discussion of consumer practice issues arising under the new Bankruptcy Reform Act in Columbia on Wednesday, August 17, 2005 at 10:00 a.m. He has invited several debtor and creditor attorneys to comment on how the new law will change their practice. If you would like to attend please e-mail Cheryl at Cheryl_Hughes@scb.uscourts.gov before Friday at noon.
The Judges would like the bar to be aware of the latest resource available in preparing for implementation of the new Bankruptcy Act. Proposed interim rules and forms have been posted by the Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules at www.uscourts.gov/rules. The proposed forms include an amended petition, amended schedules, means test calculations, and various other notices, declarations, certifications, and statements. Helpful committee notes are also provided. It is the Court’s understanding that the forms are likely to become official, or final, in the near future. Further action may be needed before the approved interim rules are presented to the Courts for consideration of adoption. Many members of the bar have expressed concern over the uncertainty involved in how the Act will actually be implemented, and we hope this information will assist you in your preparation.
Among the significant changes to be implemented with the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2005 are provisions affecting the treatment of taxes and tax obligations. To assist the bar in recognizing these changes, Doug Barnett of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Joe Dusenbury of the South Carolina Department of Revenue have agreed to make a presentation in Columbia to be sponsored by BANKLA. The presentation is tentatively planned for sometime in August or September, and the date and time shall be announced in the near future. We hope you and your staff will be able to attend.
The Court has been provided with a presentation for chambers staff from the Federal Judicial Center on the new Bankruptcy Reform Act. Judge Waites has viewed the ninety-minute program and believes it would be a useful tool to introduce the bar and staff to the important changes in the new law. Fifty minutes focuses on consumer issues, with discussion topics such as means testing, debtor education, and credit counseling. The remaining portion addresses business issues such as small business provisions and individual chapter 11 filings. We have been informed that dissemination of the taped copy of the program is authorized, therefore, Judge Waites is providing the tape to BANKLA for distribution. If you are interested in viewing the tape, please contact Aimee Hiers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 252-5646 (e-mail is preferred). If you need further information, you may contact Judge Waites’ law clerk, Tammi Hellwig, at 253-3751.
At a recent bar meeting in Columbia, the focus of the discussions generally turned to the new Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005. While the Court has not yet reached specific conclusions or established formal procedures in regards to the new Act, it seemed helpful to all participants to discuss the upcoming changes and share information. As a result, Judge Waites has agreed to host similar meetings in Charleston and Spartanburg to facilitate bar discussion of the new Act and its implications for practice.
Members of the bar are invited to a meeting in the Charleston Courtroom at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 8, 2005. Please RSVP to Cheryl Hughes at 803-253-3751 by Monday, June 6, 2005, by 12:00 noon if you plan to attend.
A meeting in Spartanburg will take place in the Spartanburg Courtroom on Tuesday, June 21, 2005, at the conclusion of the Court’s docket at around 10:30 a.m. for those interested. Please RSVP to Cheryl Hughes at 803-253-3751 by Friday, June 17, 2005, by 12:00 noon if you plan to attend.
In a continuing effort to improve the usefulness of the Opinions Page, in conjunction with Chambers, Chris Matras and Frank Baker of the Systems Staff are working on a new search capability for the Opinions Page that would allow you to search the body of orders by term (much like Westlaw). Searching within the entire text of the order should enlarge search capabilities that are presently limited to the headnote summary posted on the Web Page. Once implemented it will replace the present headnote system to some degree, which will also eliminate some extra work for chambers.
My present Opinions Page includes over 400 opinions, many of which are originally drafted by chambers. I have been proud of this effort over the years to establish a body of precedent, some of which applies to volume, “routine” matters such as Chapter 13 practice, dischargeability actions and even 362 motions. All of my law clerks, past and present, have spent many extra hours to ensure well written and researched opinions which often reference the orders of the other judges in this district to the extent possible.
I have found in the last few years that many practitioners are better prepared and often cite the most recent, if not all, prior opinions in the district on the subject at issue. This assists me and ensures a more consistent and legally sound determination.
I hope you will continue to find the Opinions Page helpful to your practice.
Due to a CM/ECF notification error, the message regarding the meeting with Judge Waites originally scheduled for Tuesday, May 24, 2005 should have been issued on Thursday, May 19, 2005. Due to the delayed issuance of the notice, the meeting has been rescheduled to Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 12:00 noon. We are extending the deadline to respond until 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 24, 2005. Please RSVP to Cheryl at 253-3751. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.