All posts in Courts

Very Nice Profile of Kathy Campbell, Clerk of the Court

This was written by Corey Weber and published by the Insolvency Law Committee of the California State Bar

August 15, 2017 

The following is a profile of Kathleen J. (Kathy) Campbell, Executive Officer/Clerk of Court for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California (the “bankruptcy court”).  Ms. Campbell met members of the Insolvency Law Committee in her Roybal Courthouse office and discussed her personal and professional background, the bankruptcy court’s operations and pending issues and observations.

Ms. Campbell was appointed to her current bankruptcy court position in 2010. The Central District of California is home to the largest bankruptcy court in the country, with divisions located in Los Angeles, Riverside, Santa Ana, San Fernando Valley and Santa Barbara. Read more…

My Letter to Judge William H. Brown (Ret.) on the ABI Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy

May 4, 2017

by email

ConsumerCommission@abiworld.org

Hon. William H. Brown (Ret.)

The ABI Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy

 

Re:

Statement for Consideration

First Public Meeting, May 6, 2017

 

Dear Judge Brown,
Please submit this Statement to the ABI Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy at the upcoming meeting on May 6, 2017.   The following are my comments to the ABI Commission “recommending improvements to the consumer bankruptcy system that can be implemented within its existing structure.”  These suggestions are mine and not those of any consumer bankruptcy organization.   I have practiced consumer bankruptcy, primarily from the debtor side, for most of my 37 years of practice of law.  My personal resume is attached hereto as Exhibit “A.”  Read more…

Scotus Blog Stat Pack for Last Term

I just love these.  Every possible statistic you can imagine about last term can be found here.

A few tidbits:

The Supreme Court issued opinions on only 62 cases the entire year.  They also issued 7 summary reversals.

They affirmed only 15 of total 71 cases or 21%.  As to the 9th Circuit, they affirmed 1 out of 8 cases.  Only the 1st Circuit (1-0) had more affirmations than reversals.    Even the Federal Circuit was reversed 6 out of 7 cases.  State courts were reversed in 14 out of 17 matters. Read more…

Prof. Dan Schechter’s Comments on Sundquist

My post on In re Sundquist is here.  As part of his summary of cases distributed by the California Insolvency Law Committee, Prof. Dan Schechter had the following observations on In re Sundquist:

AUTHOR’S COMMENT: Given the court’s careful discussion of the evidence, I predict that the liability phase of this decision will withstand review. I also predict affirmance of the award of compensatory damages. I am not so sure, however, about the award of punitive damages. The United States Supreme Court has sharply curtailed the allowable ratio of compensatory damages to punitive damages. See State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Campbell, 538 U.S. 408 (U.S. 2003): “The wealth of a defendant cannot justify an otherwise unconstitutional punitive damages award.” Read more…

New Local Rule 9011-1 – Get Your Clients to Sign the Documents!

This rule goes into effect December 1, 2017.  Short summary:

Anything that is uploaded must have a signature – the holographic signature – in the person’s handwriting – on the form or pleading that is being signed and uploaded.

Exceptions?  Of course:

  • The “filer,” i.e., the person who is uploading the documents, i.e., the person who has the password to get on to ecf can upload a /s/ signature of his or her signature.
  • An “employee” of the filer can sign by /s/ signature – this means the proof of service essentially.

Any other comments?

  • Of course:  If there is no signature at all, the “filer” is treated as if he/she signed the document.
  • You must get the wet copy of the signature after it is signed.
  • You must keep the signatures for five years.

THE ACTUAL NEW RULE IS AFTER THE JUMP.   Read more…

Bringing an Action in Federal Court versus State Court.

On another list serve an attorney asked if there was any benefit to bringing an action in federal court versus state court (assuming there is diversity).  My friend Gary Wallace’s answer is great.

There are a great many differences between the two forums.  Here are some:

1.    Filing fees differ, especially post-complaint filing.  E.g., MSJ fee now $500 in state court.  Non-refundable $150 jury fee must be posted very early in the case (or waiver may result) (CCP 631).  Typical motion fee: $60.  It can add up.

2.    Time to respond to complaint: 21 days in federal court vs. 30 days in state court.

3.    Recording of proceedings:  Under federal law, each session of court and every proceeding designated by rule or order of the court or by one of the judges shall be recorded verbatim by shorthand, stenotype, stenomask, or electronic sound recording equipment. The method of recording may be elected by the district judge.  In contrast, budgetary constraints have greatly reduced the availability of court reporters in state court proceedings and there is little or no electronic recording. Read more…

Proposed Amended Local Rules

This is the announcement re the comment period.  As they say, if you don’t speak up now, don’t start complaining later.  A redline of the amendments can be accessed here.

RE: REQUEST FOR COMMENTS ON PROPOSED LOCAL BANKRUPTCY RULES AMENDMENTS

The United States Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California, is proposing amendments to its Local Bankruptcy Rules, to become effective December 1, 2017, and is circulating the proposed amendments to the bar and public for comment.  A summary and redline of the proposed amendments is available on the Court’s website www.cacb.uscourts.gov under Rules, or by clicking here.

All comments on the proposed amendments will be carefully considered by the Court.  Please provide any comments on the proposed amendments as soon as possible but no later than July 7, 2017.

Comments concerning the proposed amendments must be submitted by email to bkcomments@cacb.uscourts.gov and include the name, email address, and phone number of the person submitting the comment.

KATHLEEN J. CAMPBELL

CLERK OF COURT

Short Bio of Judge Maureen Tighe from the Insolvency Law Committee

The link to the bio is here.  The link also has the past bios created by the ILC.

In re Sundquist – $45 million in Punis Sounds About Right to Me

I hereby nominate Judge Christopher Klein for Super Judge.  This is my brief of the 109 page Memorandum.

Sundquist v. Bank of America (In re Sundquist) 566 B.R. 563, 14-02278 CN (Bkrtcy, E. D. Cal. May, 2017) Klein, J.

Issue:   Given that Bank of America violated the automatic stay, what is the proper amount of damages under section 362(k)?

Holding:   Actual damages of $1,074,000 plus $5 million of punitive damages, further punitive damages awarded of $40 million payable to two consumer organizations and five law schools.

Judge Christopher Klein

The debtors here had attempted unsuccessfully prepetition to do loan mods with Bank of America.  They finally filed chapter 13 to stop the foreclosure sale.  Notwithstanding that it had notice, the bank conducted the foreclosure sale the next day anyway.  “Bank of America committed at least six further automatic stay violations by the end of August 2010 as it bulled forward.”  This included bringing an unlawful detainer.  About the same time, a different department of the bank recognized the error and notified the foreclosure company.  But upon receiving the three day notice, the debtors panicked and immediately moved.  “Although Bank of America knew on August 20, 2010, and beyond cavil by September 7, 2010, that the foreclosure would be rescinded, it did not withdraw the unlawful detainer action or tell the Sundquists the action would be dismissed.”  Six months later, the bank finally rescinded the foreclosure sale but did not tell the debtors nor their counsel.  The debtors learned about the rescission a month or two later and asked for the keys back.  The bank gave them the keys.  When they moved back into the property, the tress were dead, appliances gone, the place was ransacked, and the HOA had assessed a $20,000 penalty for not taking care of the place.  The bank not only refused to pay for the damages but demanded that the debtors pay the mortgage for the time when it owned the property.  Read more…

Interview with Judge Alex Kozinski

The highlight of the Insolvency Conference on Coronado Island this year was the interview of Judge Alex Kozinski on Friday afternoon.  Judge Peter Bowie (Ret.) started off by asking Judge Kozinski for a word that describes who he is and what he is all about.  The word? – handsome!  He asked Judge Kozinski about his early life in Romania and his life after that in Vienna – when he first tasted ice cream and “immediately became a capitalist.”

After clerking for 9th Circuit Judge Anthony Kennedy and US Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger, his first job was with Quittner, Stutman, Triester & Glatt.  He was sworn in as a US citizen sometime in those years by Judge Harry Pregerson, then a district court judge, now his colleague on the 9th Circuit.   Judge Kozinski gushed about what a great judge William Lazarow was and determined to be like him.  After joining the 9th Circuit himself in 1985 at 35 years old, he somehow wangled himself the the job of running Judge Lisa Fenning’s calendar while she was off on maternity leave.   He described the effort as “the hordes coming at your.”  He was not derisive in the slightest.  The bankruptcy world has a lot of people who need help and the bankruptcy judge deals with that every day.  He said that bankruptcy “brings order from chaos.”  For that reason it is important.

There is a great hour-log interview with Judge Kozinski on youtube here.  Pretty fun.