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Judges' Corner Archive

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.

Fri, 8/22/2003 - 5:00 am

In February, 2003, the Court added a term search feature to its judicial opinions page. Through August 16, 2003, there have been over 1,025 individual searches requested by users of that page. Thanks should go to Frank Baker and Tony Lacey of the Clerk's system staff for their work on the Web Page.

Thu, 7/31/2003 - 5:00 am

The goal of the new procedure is to settle the docket in advance, reduce requests for continuances at the hearing and eliminate the need for counsel to attend a hearing merely to request continuances.

Effective immediately, the following guidelines are implemented on a trial basis in general cases and not adversary proceedings.

Absent extraordinary circumstances such as illness or family emergency, continuances may be allowed if requested as follows:

1. Submission of a consent order in compliance with Local Rule 9014-3(b)(2) is the best method to continue a matter not generally noticed to parties, or

2. No later than 12:00 p.m. the day prior to the hearing, you may telefax a letter to chambers (803-253-3464) or telephone and speak to the law clerk or judicial assistant to make the request. You must have the consent of the opposing party and the trustee if it is a generally noticed matter, indicate the reason for the continuance and time needed before a rescheduled hearing, (usually two to four weeks before the continued hearing on another general docket day). If approved, a matter in which a continuance has been agreed to by all noticed parties will be removed from the calendar. If the matter has been generally noticed (such as a confirmation hearing, sale, petition to dismiss, etc.) the matter shall remain on the calendar and will be announced at the hearing as continued by the Court or trustee.

The following information will be required in order to obtain a continuance: the nature of the dispute, the reason for the continuance, whether consents to the continuance have already been obtained and from whom, the time needed before the next hearing and specifics regarding the dispute if it’s a §362 motion regarding a postpetition payment dispute in a Chapter 13 case.

Counsel participating in the approved continuance must timely advise their clients so that they do not appear. Likewise, counsel agreeing to the continuance bear the risk of other parties appearing at a generally noticed hearing and must be available if telephoned by the Court at the time of the hearing to address the issue raised by an appearing party.

Obtaining approval: Leaving a telephone message or the statement that “No one returned my call” will not suffice. You must receive actual approval before the matter will be continued. If you do not receive a response, then you should appear at the hearing.

Upon approval, the continued date and time will be provided to the party initiating the request. That party bears the responsibility of relaying the new date and time to all other parties. (Generally noticed matters will also be announced at the hearing). Once a matter is continued, all counsel or clients will be presumed to agree to the continued date and no conflicts will be accepted to the rescheduled date.

Repeated continuances of the same matter will not be allowed.

This procedure does not apply to other types of matters at this time.

If you have questions regarding this procedure, contact chambers.
Tue, 5/27/2003 - 5:00 am

This is Doug Wedge's last week at the Bankruptcy Court as Judge Waites' law clerk. He will begin his private practice with the Moore & Van Allen law firm in Charleston on or about July 1, 2003. Doug has done an outstanding job, and we will miss him. We wish him well.

Judge Waites' new law clerk is Tammi Hellwig. Tammi returned to South Carolina in 2002 and has previously served as law clerk for bankruptcy judges in the Middle District of North Carolina, the Southern District of New York, and the District of Maryland. Tammi was also an associate with the Womble Carlyle law firm in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She is married to Brant Hellwig, an Assistant Professor at USC School of Law. We welcome Tammi and know she will do a great job.

Thu, 5/22/2003 - 5:00 am

The Court continues to face a record volume of cases and, in recent months, Judge Waites has issued a number of orders that provide direction regarding case administration procedures. The following cases are, or will be, listed in more detail on the opinions page of the Court's Web Page:

In re Donaldson: Discusses duties of debtor's counsel when debtor seeks to reaffirm a debt pro se.

In re Ray: Discusses the filing of a Chapter 7 case within a prejudice period and later seeking to convert the case to Chapter 13.

In re Henry: Denies voluntary amendment to bankruptcy petition to add a joint debtor retroactive to date of petition.

In re Mathis: Discusses attorneys' regular failure to appear at scheduled hearings or to timely submit settlement orders or withdrawals.

In re Moore: Discusses the filing of a case while another is pending to circumvent Section 109(g) and the Court's Operating Order 02-01 addressing serial filings.

In re Gailey: Discusses motions or orders to reinstate the stay in contravention of Local Rule 4001-1(L).

In re Knox: Finding no statutory requirement of default on loan before granting relief from stay in a no asset Chapter 7 case.

In re Johnson: Discusses duty of representation of counsel who files case for debtor under Local Rule 9010-1(d).

In re Griffin: Discusses repeated failures to comply with Local Official Form 4003-1(a) to avoid judicial liens.