February 2007

Debtor/Creditor NewsMag
A publication of the Debtor/Creditor Rights Committee of the Business Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan
Judges' Corner
Announcements from the Bench
of the Eastern and Western Districts

Western District Announces Judicial Liaison Program

Commencing January 1, 2007, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Michigan will institute a Judicial Liaison Program.    The purpose of this program is to solicit and convey information obtained from court users to assist the Bankruptcy Judges and Clerk's Office, and to better serve the public.  Opinions will be sought from attorneys who practice before the Court, professionals involved in bankruptcy cases and the general public regarding the entire Bankruptcy Court experience.

You are encouraged to visit their website for further information regarding this program:


Eastern District Seeks Comment on Revisions to the Bankruptcy Court Rules

The Eastern District of Michigan Bankruptcy Court has asked the Advisory Committee for Local Rules to propose revised local rules to incorporate the changes by BAPCPA, ECF procedures and other matters. Michael Baum is Chair, Wallace Handler, Vice-chair and Judy Calton, reporter of the Local Rules Committee. The Local Rules Committee in turn has solicited and obtained extensive help from the Bar with David Ruskin as Chair, Charles Schneider as reporter of the Chapter 13 Subcommittee, Basil Simon and Stuart Gold as Co-Chairs, Robert Bassell as reporter for the Chapter 7 Subcommittee, and Debra Pevos and Jason Banks as Co-Chairs of the ECF Committee. Each committee and subcommittee has broad and active membership.

The Committee plans to submit the proposed revised rules to the court by April 2007. The proposed revised rules would be made available for public comment on or about June 2007 and hopefully be in place and effective by the end of September 2007.

If you have any comments or suggestions for revising the local rules, please send them to the reporter, Judy B. Calton, jcalton@honigman.com

Notice Regarding Judge Marci B. McIvor’s Recusal
on Fee Applications Submitted by Clark Hill, PLC

On January 1, 2007, Daniel J. Bretz joined the law firm of Clark Hill, PLC, as a partner specializing in labor and employment matters. Daniel J. Bretz is Judge McIvor’s husband. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 455(b)(4) and Fed. R. Bankr. P. 5004, Judge McIvor will recuse herself with regard to all fee applications submitted by Clark Hill, PLC. With regard to any other matter in which parties are represented by attorneys employed by Clark Hill, PLC, the Court will determine whether recusal is necessary according to applicable law. Any party may bring a Motion to Recuse at any time.

It is the obligation of Clark Hill, PLC, to serve this notice on all parties on the matrix whenever any attorney employed by Clark Hill, PLC, represents a party in a case assigned to Judge McIvor.

Eastern District Amends Fee App Rules for Chapter 13

On January 11, 2007, the Eastern District Bankruptcy Court issued the following Administrative Order:

To facilitate the Court’s review of fee applications in chapter 13 cases, it is hereby ordered that LBR 2016-2 is amended to add subsection (d) as follows:

(d) A fee application requesting approval of fees and expenses totaling more than $3,500.00 shall specifically identify the circumstances of the case that make the amount requested reasonable.

Eastern District Revises Bankruptcy Cover Sheet and Order Confirming Plan


The purpose of this notice is to notify practitioners of the revision of two local Bankruptcy forms. The modified Bankruptcy Petition Cover Sheet can be found on the courtís web site in Word, WordPerfect and PDF format. The revised Order Confirming Plan can be found on the courtís web site in Word and WordPerfect format.