Nice Bio of Judge Thomas Donovan

Image result for judge thomas donovan    Below is a great bio of Judge Thomas Donovan written by Corey Weber, Uzzi O. Raanan, Leib Lerner, and Asa S. Hami.  From the State Bar of California, Business Law Section, Insolvency E Bulletin
October 12, 2016 

The following is a profile of the Honorable Thomas B. Donovan – the sixth in a series of profiles of Ninth Circuit bankruptcy judges.  Judge Donovan and members of the Insolvency Law Committee met in his chambers and discussed his personal and professional background, observations from the bench, and issues of interest.

Judge Donovan was appointed to the bench in March 1994, and reappointed in 2008.  Although his current term expires in 2022, he plans to retire as of March 24, 2017.  Read more…

9th Circuit Review at the State Bar Meeting

Adler Novack State BarI had a pretty fun time doing the 9th Circuit Review with San Diego Judge Louise Adler and Oakland Judge Charles Novack last weekend.  It’s the 5th time doing the program with Judge Novack.  And I definitely learned a few things.  I believe you can get the program, at least in audio form, from the state bar.

San Diego Chapter 7 RARA – I like it

I will probably get pitched out of the consumer bar for saying this but I like the San Diego Chapter 7 RARA.  You can access the form here.  The form would make a nice retainer agreement.  Most of the body of the form is below. Read more…

Former Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Joins Munger Tolles & Olson to Open DC Office

Image result for donald b. verrilli jr  This is some pretty big news.  Munger Tolles & Olson (where my son Hunter is an associate) is going to open an office in Washington DC.  Heading up the office will be former Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli, Jr.  Mr. Verrilli clerked for Justice William J. Brennan Jr.  and ultimately succeeded Elana Kagen as the Solicitor general.  Joining him will be veteran litigator Michael B. DeSanctis and former Deputy Associate Attorney General Chad Golder.  The announcement is here.  A NY Times article about Verrilli is here.

SFVBA Program on Recent Tentative Opinions from the Woodland Hills Judges – September 30, 2016

Email from Steve Fox:

Dear All:

 This Friday, our panel will answer one of your most pressing questions: How is the judge going to rule on my matter and why?  Okay, they won’t answer exactly that question but they will answer something close to that. Read more…

Preview of Upcoming Supreme Court Term

This is a preview of the upcoming term from the Georgetown Supreme Court Institute.  There is only one bankruptcy case on the docket so far, Czyzewski v. Jevic Holding Corporation (15-649)

According to the preview:

Question Presented: Whether a bankruptcy court may authorize the distribution of settlement proceeds in a manner that violates the statutory priority scheme.

Summary: The Bankruptcy Code prioritizes the order in which a debtor in bankruptcy under Chapter (Ch.) 11 or Ch. 7 must pay the claims of its creditors. Section 507 identifies unsecured claims entitled to priority, and specifies the order of payment.  Higher-priority claims must be paid in full before lower-priority claims are paid anything.  The question in this case is whether a bankruptcy court may order a structured dismissal of a Ch. 11 case that settles claims against the estate and pays settlement proceeds to creditors in violation of the Code’s priority scheme. Read more…

Bankruptcy Dog

Image result for scott bovitz   Shout out to Scott Bovitz who maintains the Bankruptcy Dog website.  Scott makes a yeoman’s attempt to keep us apprised of all of the bankruptcy practitioner programs in the area.  It is especially useful to program planners who can check and make sure their program does not conflict with another.  You can access the Bankruptcy Dog here.

Judge Alan Haber RIP

Image result for Judge Alan HaberHon. Alan Haber was a Judge in the Los Angeles Superior Court for more than 20 years.  I appeared in front of him a few times.  He was refreshing to me because he had a good knowledge of bankruptcy law.  Judge Haber passed away on September 10, 2016.  You can access the LA Times Obituary here.

Annual Report 2015 for the Central District of California

This report is really nice.  You can get it here.  Congratulations to Kathy Campbell and her gang.

Judge Scott Clarkson Refers Matter to Office of the Inspector General and Executive Office of the US Trustee

Judge Scott Clarkson has entered an Order entitled (in part)  ORDER (1) REFERRING MATTER TO (a) THE OFFICE OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND (b) THE EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRUSTEE in the matter of In re Cherrett, Case No. 6:13-bk-24792-SC.  The Order states (in part) as follows:

“In the end, the process of administration of this estate, and the delay of consideration of closing of this estate by the Court, may have been improperly inhibited.  It was not the role of the U.S. Trustee, which is not a party to the appeal, to provide a de facto stay pending appeal.  By its affirmative actions, the U.S. Trustee may have intentionally favored one party to the possible detriment of another party, which if true, this Court finds unjustified and offensive.

Based upon the record as a whole and for the reasons set forth on the record,


1. The Court hereby refers this matter to the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Justice (“OIG”) for the purpose of investigating any and all matters discussed at length during the September 13, 2016 hearing and as set forth in the Court’s Order. This referral includes a request that the OIG investigate and determine whether the U.S. Trustee behaved improperly or engaged in any impropriety with respect to the U.S. Trustee’s influence with the Chapter 7 Trustee resulting in the withdrawal of the Trustee’s Final Report. The Court refers this matter to the OIG for any appropriate actions, as deemed appropriate by the OIG after a full review. The Court further refers this matter to the Executive Office of the United States Trustee for whatever internal actions it may desire to take.
2. The bankruptcy court shall request and pay for a hearing transcript of the September 13, 2016 hearing, which is to be prepared on a non-expedited basis.

Download Clarkson’s Cherrett Order