Great Inn of the Court Program Last Night

Last night, team something discussed Motions for Summary Judgment at the Taix Restaurant.  Judge Barry Russell was an active speaker, as was Judge Neil Bason and Judge Robert Kwan.  The amount of effort Kathleen McCarthy put into setting it up was evident.  Judge Kwan commented that the Separate Statement of Undisputed Facts is hugely important to him.  I have wondered about that.  It is hugely important to the proponent to make sure the key facts needed to win are established with “undisputed facts,” but it’s nice to hear a judge say it is important to him as well.  Judge Russell commented that he sometimes reads the declarations first to see whether there is really sufficient “evidence” to establish anything.  He commented also that he personally reads the motions when they come in to determine if there is really some chance of success of the motion.  If not, he will not set it for hearing.

A few other helpful comments from the participants:  Number the objections, making it easier to make a clear record for the ruling.  THINK before making an objection, judges are not impressed by the boilerplate objections of everything in the motion.  Be sure to point to the specific page of a deposition transcript if you want the judge to read it.  A request for judicial notice simply authenticates the document, nothing else.  Granting MSJs are the most common reversals by the courts of appeals.

As to summary adjudication of facts, the judges seemed to have some doubts about the utility of that, mostly because if you are going to have a trial anyway, it might not be worth the effort.

The Inn is a good time.  Out of maybe 30-40 people in attendance, there were probably 4-5 trustees, three judges, and lots of experienced bankruptcy attorneys.  This is an especially great time for young lawyers to brush shoulders with us old folks.

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