From my friend, Wayne Silver, bankruptcy attorney extraordinaire in San Jose.
OPEN LETTER TO DEBTORS AND THEIR COUNSEL I have noticed a disturbing trend among debtors and their counsel to treat the schedules and statement of affairs as “working papers” which can be freely amended as circumstances warrant and need not contain the exact, whole truth. Notwithstanding execution under penalty of perjury, debtors and their counsel seem to think that they are free to argue facts and values not contained in the schedules or even directly contrary to the schedules. Some debtors have felt justified signing a statement that they have only a few, or even a single creditor , in order to file an emergency petition, knowing full well that the statement is false. Whatever your attitude is toward the schedules, you should know that as far as I am concerned they are the sacred text of any bankruptcy filing. There is no excuse for them not being 100% accurate and complete. Disclosure must be made to a fault. The filing of false schedules is a federal felony, and I do not hesitate to recommend prosecution of anyone who knowingly files a false schedule. I have no idea where anyone got the idea that amendments can cure false schedules. The debtor has an obligation to correct schedules he or she knows are false, but amendment in no way cures a false filing. Any court may properly disregard subsequent sworn statement at odds with previous sworn statements. I give no weight at all to amendments filed after an issue has been raised. As a practical matter, where false statements or omissions have come to light due to investigation by a creditor or trustee , it is virtually impossible for the debtor to demonstrate good faith in a Chapter 13 case or entitlement to a discharge in a Chapter 7 case. I strongly recommend that any of you harboring a cavalier attitude toward the schedules replace it with a good healthy dose of paranoia.
Dated: September 10, 1997
Alan Jaroslovsky U.S. Bankruptcy Judge
I am sorry to report that after a long two year journey, we were not able to summon the courage among the California Assembly members to pass SB 308. The bill failed in today’s final vote and is now officially dead.
M. Erik Clark
SB 308 would have increased the homestead exemption substantially and done after with the requirement that the proceeds of sale be reinvested within six months.
Congratulations to Judge Bufford.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Hon. Samuel L. Bufford, Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Penn State Law, has been awarded a Fulbright grant to spend the fall 2016 semester at the University of Bucharest in Romania.
The announcement is here.
The California State Bar assn has sixty-eight proposed new and amended rules. It is looking for comments from the “public,” presumably us. The proposed Rules including the changes and amendments can be found here. Its worth looking this over.
It’s worth remembering that there are also lots of rules in the California Business & Professions Code. The relevant sections are below. Read more…
I wanted to share with you that just yesterday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel and held that a debt owed by a parent to the Orange County Probation Department as the result of the involuntary incarceration of the parent’s minor child is not in the nature of support, and therefore is a dischargeable debt.
The BAP had previously held that the debt was “in the nature of support” and therefore was a Domestic Support Obligation that was nondischargeable under 101(14A) and 523(a)(5). The Ninth Circuit reversed, saying, amont other things, that BAPCPA changed who could be creditors, not what type of debts were covered by 523(a)(5), and this debt does not fit within the state’s family support infrastructure. This is an incredible win for our client, but also a win for other debtors in Orange County who were being pursued by Probation for similar debts.
Nice article about Judge Alex Kozinski. 9th Circuit Appellate opening briefs are limited to 14,000 words. I can’t imagine preparing a brief that is longer than that, and filing it the day it’s due along with a motion for permission to exceed the limits. Apparently it happens a lot. This is a nice little article in the LA Times today. Kozinski says he won’t read the additional 14 pages.
Note from David Lally:
Effective August 22, 2016, Chief Judge Sheri Bluebond will move from her current chambers and courtroom on the 14th floor to courtroom 1539 and chambers 1534 on the 15th floor of the Roybal Building. Therefore, effective August 22, all of her matters which have been scheduled or noticed for hearing in courtroom 1475 will be heard in courtroom 1539.
Please note that Chief Judge Bluebond’s reaffirmation agreement hearings, scheduled on August 18, will continue to be held in courtroom 1475. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Judge Maureen Tighe announced in court today that she is going to start sanctioning attorneys and chapter 11 debtors when the debtor does not appear personally at the Status Conference – per her status conference order.
I am told that bankruptcy appeals have been going 56% to the district court and 46% to the BAP. Judge Jury thinks that one reason for that might be that the BAP is perceived to be more casual about granting extensions of time to file briefs than the district court. I doubt that myself. She also commented to me that district court rulings are appealed to the 9th Circuit more than BAP rulings.
My own guess re why the district court is higher is that non-bankruptcy lawyers think that the BAP will “hometown” them or “rubber-stamp” the ruling of their buddy. But I have also heard people say that district court judges rubber-stamp the bankruptcy court since they don’t know anything about bankruptcy anyway. Both of those views are silly. I suppose that there is the lazy judge here or there that rubber-stamps stuff but my perception is that judges try to get it right.
Judge Laura Taylor made a great comment at a program I attended – that if the party is pretty sure that the case is going to go to the 9th Circuit no matter what, the appeal should go to the BAP. She said, rightly so, that the BAP will understand the issue a little better and will “set it up” for the 9th Circuit. ”We will see where this is going and try to explain that to the 9th Circuit for the parties.” Good point.