All posts in Current Events

Message from University of West Los Angeles School of Law (UWLA) President Robert Brown (total good news).

Dear UWLA executive management team, faculty and staff. While it is fresh in my mind, I want to circle back and commend our entire institutional team on the recent great achievements. After tremendous efforts and team work by  all, we have achieved amazing institutional victories and goals. I want to ask everyone to reflect on what we recently achieved and then re-direct your energies and efforts to the formidable challenges facing us this year.

  1. In February of this year, we hosted a WASC accreditation visit and were extremely successful in evidencing to the team, why we deserve to be re-accredited. Just as a reminder, this visit occurred because we received our initial accreditation two years ago, and WASC requires a backup visit within two years of the initial accreditation. Yes, it has been two years already since we received initial accreditation! Our entire team from the board of managers to our faculty and every staff person contributed to the successful re-accreditation visit. Dean Frykberg and Dean Brown, led our tremendous faculty and  staff in preparing an accreditation self-study that had over 7,000 pages of evidence. Our accreditation report from the visiting team had a number of outstanding commendations and in particular cited our faculty, Deans and the Board of managers and our CFO. We will attend the WASC conference in June to meet with the full WASC committee and we expect to receive full renewal of accreditation  based upon the WASC team report and their overall recommendation.  Great job team! Thanks Faculty and staff.
  2. As most of you know, our state bar accreditation visit came on the heels of our WASC visit in February. It was intentionally scheduled that way to allow us to piggy back our efforts in preparing for WASC to prepare similarly for the State Bar. Recall that WASC focused on the performance of the entire university. The State bar was more programmatic, but entailed the university as a whole in addition. Again our self-study report was voluminous and contained over 7,000 pages of backup evidence. Most of you participated in the actual state bar team interviews. Needless to say, the state bar team members were so very impressed and complimentary of our various departments and in particular gave glowing commendations to our registrar, Patty White and our admission and recruitment team of Troy Brown, Verdell Baskin, Shadi Jafari and Grace Williams, and of course our outstanding faculty. Troy Brown and his admission and recruitment team were particularly recognized for being the lifeblood of our tuition driven institution and doing it with such care, skill and dedication. What a wonderful team win and the efforts of everyone are to be highly commended and recognized. At the exit interview, the state bar team chair, who has had extensive and long-term connections with UWLA indicated just how impressed she was in the progress and transformation of UWLA. Needless to say, we expect to receive a glowing report from the team and a recommendation from them of renewal of accreditation for an additional five years. Ironically if we are fortunate this may be the last state bar accreditation review for UWLA. This results because there is a bill in front of the bar and the Supreme Court, which will exempt UWLA from state bar review if we  have regional accreditation from WASC. We will get our final status sometime in June. Needless to say, I am very positive and optimistic about the outcome.
  3. I am ecstatic about the success of our Traynor Moot court team in winning the recent virtual moot court competition. Our team under the leadership of Professor David Glassman, again swept most of the awards and trophies.  An important element to remember is that there were many ABA teams, i.e., UCLA, Cal Berkeley, etc.   in the competition. The appellate court judges judging the teams were not informed of the affiliation of the various contestants until after the competition was determined! So they had no idea what school the competitors were from until after the awards were presented. That clearly demonstrates that our university  can produce lawyers comparable to any other university, ABA accredited or otherwise. It takes nothing from the other schools but shows what our professors and students can achieve If given the right opportunity and support. That is at the heart of our mission: Opportunity and proper support and direction. One of the students on the winning team, based upon her initial qualifying scores would probably have not had a chance to attend law at any other law school other than ours where that chance is extended.  Professor Glassman again pushed our students to excel and compete at the highest levels and brought outstanding recognition and honor to our entire university.

Read more…

My interview with Judge Maureen Tighe

Some good articles in the Central District Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys Association (cdcbaa) latest newsletter.  You can get it here.

How to pay the new District Court $25 fee

Email from Keith Higgenbotham

Dear Colleagues!

The District Court is currently finalizing its renewal application and plans to post it on its website with a link to a portal so that we can pay online using a credit card.  It plans to send out a Notice to its practitioners and to our Bankruptcy Court Clerk.  Once the Notice is received, our Clerk of the Court will send out its own Notice to all the bankruptcy CM/ECF users with a link to the District Court’s website and portal.  The District Court’s goal is to have the renewal application posted and the portal setup by the end of next week.

So some advice:

  1.   You do not need to send in a check to District Court with the hope that it will be applied correctly.

  2.  PLEASE do not send a check to the Bankruptcy Court since it has nothing to do with this fee.

cdcbaa member

Keith Higginbotham

Cathy Moran Oral History (and Happy Birthday Cathy)

It will always be one of the highlights of my business life that when I asked Cathy Moran if she would let me do her oral history, she said yes.  We met for two hours, two days in a row, at her office near San Jose, discussing her life and of course her views of the bankruptcy world and consumer bankruptcy practices.  She has a lot to say and every consumer bankruptcy attorney should listen to her.  We talked about her early days growing up on a farm in central California, helping her farm animal veterinarian father in his business, even helping him with surgeries here and there.  She went to Stanford undergrad and later Hastings Law school.  But it’s her comments on the practice of bankruptcy, 40 years worth, especially chapter 13, that people should listen to.  The audio of the oral history can be accessed here from the website of the Biddle Law Library of the University of Pennsylvania Law School.  Scroll down to find hers.  Listen to it on one of your walks.  The Biddle Law Library has had it transcribed but has not uploaded that yet.   Let me know what you think.

Her blogs, if you haven’t checked them out, are here and here.

By the way, Happy Birthday Cathy.  Keep yourself well.

Letter from BMW in SBRA case

This is kind of galling if you ask me.  I just got this letter from a “a bankruptcy servicing company” relating to new Small Business case I just filed.  What is the point, I wonder, of instantaneously and unilaterally discontinuing “online access, monthly statements, notification emails,” and the “easy pay program”?

Dear M J HAYES:

We are AIS Portfolio Services, LP a bankruptcy servicing company for BMWF Financial Services. BMW Financial Services received a notice of bankruptcy filing on the above referenced account. As a result, online access, monthly Account Statement mailings, statement notification emails and, if applicable, the Easy Pay Program, have been discontinued.

Please be aware this letter is not an attempt to collect a debt nor is it a demand for payment. The information below, including payment options, is being provided for informational purposes only.

If you wish to make voluntary payments, you may do so anytime using BMW Financial Services automated phone system, paying by check, bank bill pay, or Western Union.  For all payments made, please include your account number and remit to:

BMW Financial Services NA, LLC
PO Box 78066
Phoenix, AZ 85062
Toll free – 800 – 398 – 3939

If you have any questions, please contact a Bankruptcy Specialist at (888) 455-6662, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5: 00 p.m.ET

Loyola Law Students Practicum Reception

Email from Keith Higginbotham:

To all my cdcbaa colleagues that answered the call and attended Judge Klein’s Reception for the six Loyola law students’ Practicum Reception, I wholehearted thank you.  Judge Klein was VERY pleased at cdcbaa’s response to her request for participation.  The food was excellent and there were four judges present to mingle with — including the Chief Judge herself.  A good time was had by all.

This is one of the many reasons why the Court is often turning to cdcbaa for participation and input in its various endeavors.  We are recognized as the BK Bar Association that “gets things done.”

Again, I am very proud of this organization and I thank the many cdcbaa members that attended this event yesterday.

Keith Higginbotham

Join the 2019-2020 James T. King Southern California Bankruptcy Inn of Court

Email from Tamar Terzian

Your 2019-2020 Executive Board:

Tamar Terzian, President
Hon. Scott Clarkson, Program Moderator
Lucy Mavyan, President Elect
Nancy Zamora, Vice President
Stella Havkin, Secretary
Jeff Hagen, Treasurer

A message from our President: Read more…

Happy Birthday Jim King

Jim KingThe picture is Jim King at a cdcbaa program.  Gone four and a half years now.  We still miss him.  Happy Birthday Jim.  You can read his oral history here.  My favorite part is when he was telling about being in a group that got sworn in at the Supreme Court and meeting briefly with Justice Alito afterwards.

“I told [Alito] the story about having read all of his decisions and having had – my friend having seen his comment during the Marrama argument and then finally seeing his dissent.  And I told him, ‘I gotta tell you, from a consumer bankruptcy attorney standpoint, you got it, you really understood it.  You got the issue, you understood it, and I think you got it right.  And I want to thank you.’”

“And he said to me, this little shit from Glendale, California, ‘Oh my gosh, counsel, you made my day.’  Well, I’ll tell you, that ran a chill up and down my spine, brought tears to my eyes.  For a Supreme Court justice to say that to me, pretty good.”

Public Counsel Annual Report for 2018

You can find the annual report for this great organization here.  You can’t help but notice my picture on page 5.

Henry Sommer Comments at the Calvin Ashland Award Dinner

Henry’s comments at the cdcbaa Calvin Ashland dinner were stirring and meaningful.  I recorded his comments which he looked at and approved.

Comments by Henry Sommer

 upon receiving CDCBAA Attorney of the Year Award

 Recorded by M. Jonathan Hayes

November 15, 2018

Ken Klee:  [00:00:31]  And for the record, let me read the plaque.  “CDCBAA, Central District Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys Association, Henry J. Sommer, Attorney of the Year 2018, Calvin K. Ashland Award, an annual award presented to those individuals who exemplify in the course of their profession, compassion, understanding, and concern for the individual consumer.” Each recipient has upheld these values that were found in the heart and in the courtroom of the Honorable Calvin K. Ashland.  This award alternates between judges, trustees, and attorneys, each of equal importance in our bankruptcy system of justice.

Henry Sommer:  [00:01:13]  Thank you.  (applause)  Thank you, Ken, for that very generous introduction.  And thank you to the CDCBAA for honoring me with this award.  I can see from the distinguished past recipients, of which Ken was the first, what an honor it is. Read more…