Update on the CACB Local Rules CLE

I recently updated the event page for my upcoming CACB Local Rules CLE and wanted to share it with you.

Bankruptcy law is complex enough. Add in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, the Local Bankruptcy Rules of the Central District, and practitioners have a maddening maze to navigate with their clients.

The Central District of California’s rules are particularly complex in their length and scope, but also how they interweave the Court Manual and local forms as well. 

This is the first of a series of free continuing legal education (CLE) sessions to help practitioners in Central District refresh and discover new aspects of the rules they possibly hadn’t previously considered.

AGENDA:

  • Overview of the Local Bankruptcy Rules in the context of the other rules
  • Deep dive on certain rules, including their relationship to the FRBPs, important cases, and other obscure topics like the Court Manual

WHO SHOULD ATTEND:

  • Attorneys new to bankruptcy practice in the CACB
  • Experienced attorneys who would like a refresh on the Local Bankruptcy Rules
  • Staff and paralegals 

CLE CREDIT: 1.0 hours of credit (application pending)

COST: Complimentary for practitioners and their staff

Coming Soon: Free CLE on CACB’s Local Bankruptcy Rules

Hi Folks, as I mentioned previously, I’m trying to find the time to do some writing and thought leadership on the Central District of California’s (CACB’s) Local Bankruptcy Rules (LBRs).

They’re surprisingly (or, maybe not surprisingly) complex in that they intermix a lot of different sources such as the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure (FRBP), the bankruptcy Court Manual, and of course the local forms.

So there’s a lot to write and think about.

However, rather than wait to publish some formal book or even a series of blog posts, either of which can take a long time, I’m planning to host a free CLE for the local bankruptcy bar in December or January.

Additionally, if you have any specific hot topics you’d like me to cover please let me know!

LBR 1001-1 contains some great tools for local practitioners

Today’s post starts a new series focusing on the nuances of the Local Bankruptcy Rules of the Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California.

Local Bankruptcy Rule (“LBR”) 1001-1 contains useful considerations to keep in mind while participating in matters in the CACB.  For example, if a matter implicates ambiguous or conflicting interactions with other rules, then Subsection (b) says that the Local Rules should be construed to be consistent with the FRBP rules or the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to “promote the just, speedy, and economic determination” within each proceeding or within an overall case.  

LBR 1001-1 subsection (b) also says that, if the district court withdraws the reference to the bankruptcy court or a matter gets heard in district court for any reason, then the Local Rules continue to apply even though the parties are no longer within the bankruptcy court and would, otherwise, fall within the Central District’s Local Civil Rules.

In the Central District, we have a large number of pro se filers. LBR 1001-1 can be helpful if you encounter one for any reason. Subsection (c) requires pro se filers or litigants to follow local rules and goes so far as to explain that any reference to an “attorney” or “counsel” in the local rules applies with full force to pro se parties.  However, subsection (d) could, upon a judge’s discretion, limit the force of the rule to pro se litigants, which, in my anecdotal experience, does seem to occur with some regularity.  

LBR 1001-1 is also helpful if you made a mistake. Subsection (d) is an important rule to keep in mind in matters where non-compliance of the local rules may have occurred either for good reason or inadvertently, which is a reasonable possibility given the complexity of many layers of procedural rules—to say nothing of the substantive law’s complexity.  Subsection (d) preserves a judge’s leeway to make a ruling or order “in the interest of justice.” 

Under Subsection (e), if no Local Bankruptcy Rule is applicable to a situation, then the parties and the court should draw analogies to rules in the FRBPs, FRCPs, or the Central District’s Local Civil Rules.  If no analogy can be drawn, then one is free to proceed in “any lawful manner” (assuming it does not conflict with the Local rules, of course).  

While Subsection (d) could give some hope to an advocate or party who runs afoul of the local rules, Subsection (f) is a cautionary reminder that violations of the local rules can also be grounds for sanctions. 

As I mentioned, this is the first in a series that I’m planning to write up. When I really spent some time focusing on LBR 1001-1 I found there are some useful tools in there that I don’t see a lot of people leveraging.