All posts in Courts

Judge Zurzolo Brown Bag on May 14, 2018

Judge Vincent Zurzolo will host a Brown Bag discussion on Monday May 14th at 12:15 p.m. in his courtroom at the Los Angeles Division.

The specific topic is his new procedure to advance the hearing date on confirmation of a chapter 13 plan for chapter 13 cases over which he presides.

In addition, attendees can ask questions about chapter 13 procedures or other general court matters. Please see the flyer and 4 exhibits that will be discussed by clicking the link below.

To view this announcement and the exhibits please click here.

Incredible! 1874 Supreme Court Tongue Lashing

Another memorable class with Prof. MJH when my jaw dropped upon reading Justice Miller’s opinion in a famous 1874 Supreme Court case about the balance between the purpose of the bankruptcy process versus what really goes on…….

Justice Miller writes….

“It is obviously one of the purposes of the Bankrupt law, that there should be a speedy disposition of the bankrupt’s assets.  This is only second in importance to securing equality of distribution……it is a wise policy, and if those who administer the law could be induced to act upon [the Codes] spirit, would do much to make the statute more acceptable than it is……….But instead of this, the inferior courts are filled with suits by or against [trustees], each of whom as soon as appointed retains an attorney, if property enough comes to his hands to pay one, and then instead of speedy sales, reasonable compromises, and efforts to adjust differences, the estate is wasted in profitless litigation, and the fee of the officers who execute the law.”  

I wish I could sarcastically ask Justice Miller — but how do you really feel?   This was in 1874…I gaze into the sky and wonder what he would think if he were to see the “suits” filed today (i.e. 547/548).  Smirk

RIP Hon. Stephen Reinhardt, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Image result for stephen reinhardtThe “liberal lion” has passed.  He will be missed.  The LA Times article is here.

Favorite Quote By Late Justice Scalia’s Dewsnup Dissent

In a quick parenthetical Justice Scalia says “bankruptcy law has little to do with natural justice.”  I then reconcile this with Prof. MJH’s golden rule # 1 “bankruptcy really doesn’t do anything.”

Philosophical Friday thoughts.

Debtor’s Inherited IRA Not protected

Your client tells you “yes, I also have an IRA retirement account.”   Don’t stop there — ask them “is this your IRA that you created or you inherited from another person (i.e. spouse or parent)?”   If the latter — then be careful!  Inherited IRA’s can be taken by the trustee.  Why?  Because Justice Sotomayor, on behalf of the entire bench, said so in Clark v. Rameker (2014). Read more…

Supreme Court to Hear Consumer Bankruptcy Issue on Dischargeability 523(a)(2) – What is a “Statement of Financial Condition”?

On Jan. 12 the Supreme Court granted certiorari and will review Lamar, Archer & Cofrin LLP v. Appling, 16-1215 (Sup. Ct.), to resolve a split of circuits and decide whether a false oral statement about one asset is a statement of “financial condition” that must be in writing to result in denial of discharge of a debt under Section 523(a)(2).  The briefs are here.    It has not been set for oral argument.

The 11th Circuit has a nice summary of the issue in the first paragraph.

This appeal presents a question that has divided the federal courts: Can a statement about a single asset be a “statement respecting the debtor’s . . . financial condition”? 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2).  Ordinarily, a debtor cannot discharge any debt incurred by fraud, id. § 523(a)(2)(A), but a debtor can discharge a debt incurred by a false statement respecting his financial condition unless that statement is in writing, id. § 523(a)(2)(B).

Below is my brief on the issue resolved by the 9th Cir BAP.  Read more…

San Fernando Valley Bar Assn to Honor Judge Geraldine Mund

Email from Steve Fox,

Dear All:

The bankruptcy section is not conducting a meeting in February.  We will be back soon with some really good programs.

At the SFVBA’s annual judge’s night event on Thursday February 22, 2018 , Judge Mund is being honored.  The program will have a number of bankruptcy judges in attendance (along with state court judges) and it would be great to have a lot of bankruptcy attorneys in attendance for Judge Mund. Read more…

Notifying the State Court of the Automatic Stay

More stuff I didn’t know.  A person on the California Bankruptcy Specialists listserve complained that the Superior Court in Orange wanted him to pay a first appearance fee in order to file a Notice of Automatic Stay.  A tip of the hat to Frank X. Ruggier for his response, ”If you haven’t appeared, it is the other parties responsibility to file Notice of Stay.”

ATTORNEY’S RESPONSIBILITIES FOR GIVING OF REQUIRED NOTICE TO COURT
Rule 3.650(a) of the California Rules of Court requires the party who requested or caused a stay of the proceedings to notify the court of its existence, unless that party has not appeared or is not subject to the jurisdiction of the court, in which case the plaintiff in the pending action must immediately notify the court of the stay.  Therefore, if you or your assignee commenced a civil action to recover attorney’s fees and/or costs from the client, and the clients has not appeared in the action, it is the responsibility of you or your assignee to notify the court of the automatic stay.  Judicial Council Form CM-180 has been adopted for mandatory use in giving notice of a stay of proceedings, and a copy is attached for your use.

Supreme Court Rejects Petition in Sunnyslope

This morning buried in the 45 page listing of Supreme Court Orders is the Order denying cert in the 9th Circuit en banc Sunnyslope case.  The Order List is here.  I thought they might take it.  It is not terribly complicated and the case discusses trying to reconcile the Supreme Court decision in Associates Commercial Corp. v. Rash with the facts in Sunnyslope.  My posting on Sunnyslope is here.   Prof. Dan Schechter says the 9th Circuit was “shockingly wrong.”  

Judge Meredith Jury’s Comments at the cdcbaa Ashland Awards Dinner

Judge Jury received the cdcbaa award as Judge of the Year at our annual Ashland Awards dinner last month.   Her comments were epic and the award so well deserved.  Luckily I was able to track down someone who taped her statement on an IPhone (or something).  I had the comments transcribed with Judge Jury’s permission and posted on the cdcbaa website.  You can read her statement here.   It is one of my greatest honors to count her as a friend.