Good afternoon everyone. As we transition to a single judge district following Judge Mahoney's retirement, we have established several new initiatives in the bankruptcy court with the goal of making the procedures we use more efficient while improving the practice for all. Please take note of the following:
1. We will be holding a brown bag luncheon in Omaha on Friday, March 28 and in Lincoln on May 7, 2014. The Omaha Brown Bag will be at 12 noon in the US Court's Conference Room on the concourse level of the Roman Hruska US Courthouse. We hope to see any of you from Omaha who can make it next Friday. Dress casual--it is a Friday after all. Feel free to bring your lunch (there is a Subway and a Manhattans right around the corner). A later reminder will be sent out for the Lincoln Brown Bag Luncheon.
2. We have established a new Bankruptcy Practice Committee in our district. The mission of the committee is to address local rule changes and to provide input and suggestions to improve the administration of bankruptcy cases and proceedings in this district. The committee for 2014 consists of three members from the court (Judge, Chief Deputy Eva Roeber and Courtroom Deputy Donna Soukup), three trustees (Jerry Jensen, Kathy Laughlin and Rick Lange), and four attorneys (Erin McCartney, Matt Eck, Patrick Turner and Tom McGuire. The Chair of the bankruptcy section of the Nebraska Bar will appoint the attorney members for future years, so if you are interested in being on the committee, be sure you are a member of the bankruptcy section and let the chair know of your interest. The minutes of the committee meetings will be posted on the website periodically.
3. See https://www.neb.uscourts.gov/court-info/local-rules-and-orders/general-o... - General Order 14-1, which materially changes chapter 13 plan confirmation procedures. PLEASE READ IT CAREFULLY. In particular, you will see that the process for handling objections to confirmation is all new. The court will NOT set chapter 13 cases for confirmation until counsel files a certification in the form of new Appendix R. Again, please read the attachments to General Order 14-1 carefully as the new procedure applies to ALL pending cases.
4. We are working on our periodic update of our local court rules this spring. If you have any suggested changes to our local rules, please submit your comments by Tuesday, April 15, 2014 to the Bankruptcy Practice Committee Members and Nebml_LocalRulesComments@neb.uscourts.gov for consideration.
Finally, I wish to express my personal thanks to all of you for helping make this transition as smooth as possible.