United States Bankruptcy Court
Unless otherwise ordered, matters before Judge Bernstein shall be conducted in accordance with any Case Management Order entered in the case and, to the extent not inconsistent, the following practices:
Pursuant to Local Rule 5070-1, a moving party or applicant must contact Chambers to obtain a hearing date prior to filing and serving a motion, cross-motion, application or any other request for relief requiring a hearing. All scheduling requests should be directed to Chantel Greene, Courtroom Deputy.
Requests for relief requiring a hearing that are filed without first obtaining a hearing date will not be scheduled for hearing on the Court’s calendar.
Parties may not grant extensions of time on briefing without prior consent from Chambers.
Adjournments, other than those requested at the hearing, will be granted only if agreed to by all parties seeking or opposing the relief in question or, after consent is sought and denied, as granted by the Court after a request to chambers, copied to the other side, and stating the basis for the request. The moving party must contact the Courtroom Deputy to obtain the adjournment.Notwithstanding the foregoing, adjournments of pre-trial conferences and status/case conferences cannot be adjourned on consent, and must be approved by Judge Bernstein.
Requests for adjournment should be made no later than 12 noon on the business day before the scheduled hearing; requests made after that time will be granted only where good cause exists for the untimely request.
All adjournments must be noticed with the filing and service of a “Notice of Adjournment” prior to the original hearing date. A hearing will not be officially adjourned until the Notice of Adjournment is filed on the Electronic Case Filing (ECF) System.
Parties must contact Chambers prior to filing an order to show cause. (See Local Rule 9077-1(a)). Counsel should be prepared to submit the following documents for the Court’s review: a copy of the underlying motion, proposed order to show cause (in Word or WordPerfect format only) and a supporting affidavit.
If the request for an order to show cause is granted, the papers must be filed on the Electronic Case Filing (ECF) system. The Court will contact the movant regarding the disposition of the requested order to show cause.
Parties wishing to move by notice of presentment should consult Local Bankruptcy Rules 9074-1 and 2002-2 to determine what matters may be handled on presentment. These rules also describe the notice and filing requirements when presenting a motion or application by presentment.
Motions for relief from stay will not be considered on presentment.
Parties do not need to contact Chambers to schedule a date and time for presentment but do need to contact the Courtroom Deputy for a hearing date in the event there is an objection.
After the applicable objection period has passed, the underlying motion and an electronic version of the proposed order in Word or WordPerfect format should be submitted to Chambers prior to the scheduled date and time for presentment. The cover must contain a representation that (i) the movant sought relief by notice of presentment and (ii) the objection period has passed and no objections were filed.
Proposed orders must be submitted with the moving papers in Word or WordPerfect format.
Following the conclusion of the hearing, proposed orders may be submitted by mail, hand delivery to chambers or by email.
Orders submitted by hand delivery to chambers or mail must contain a hard copy of the order, accompanied by a CD Rom or flash drive containing an electronic copy of the order in Word or WordPerfect format.
Orders submitted by email should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org in Word or WordPerfect format only.
Proposed orders should not be emailed to individual members of Chambers or the Clerk’s Office, unless you are instructed to do so. In addition to the requirement above, any proposed orders submitted by email after the court has ruled must be accompanied by a cover note that contains the following information:
The name, telephone number and email address of the person submitting the order.
The case name and the ECF document numbers of the relevant motion papers.
If the relief was granted by the Court, the cover must contain a representation that the relief was granted and the date on which it was granted.
Requests for conferences should ordinarily be made by letter emailed email@example.com, together with a follow-up call to the Courtroom Deputy. The letter requesting the conference should ordinarily be filed on the Electronic Case Filing (ECF) System. The letter should include the reason for the conference request and must be no longer than two pages in length.
If a telephonic conference is granted, parties should call one of the Judge’s law clerks after all the parties are on the line. The law clerk will then transfer the call to the Judge.
Unless ordered otherwise, briefs and motions with embedded argument and citations shall be submitted in text searchable format and include a table of contents, headings, and a table of authorities.
Except as permitted by the Court, moving and responsive briefs shall be no more than 40 pages in length. Reply briefs shall be no more than 20 pages exclusive of the table of contents and table of authorities.
Parties wishing to schedule first day hearings in Chapter 11 cases should contact Chambers on the date of filing to discuss scheduling of the hearing. Two copies of first day motions should be provided to chambers in advance of the hearing.
It is expected that Debtor’s counsel will have consulted with the United States Trustee in advance regarding all relief to be requested at the First Day Hearing.
Parties are required to submit to the Court a joint pretrial order at least seven days before the trial date unless the Court orders otherwise. Judge Bernstein's form of pretrial order may be found here: Joint Pretrial Conference Order Template.
Motions in limine must be filed at least fourteen days before trial, with responses due seven days before trial.
Unless otherwise provided by the Court, the parties shall exchange pre-marked exhibits no less than fourteen days before trial.
Each side must provide the Court with two sets of pre-marked exhibits at least 48 hours before the trial date. The exhibits should be bound in a loose-leaf and include a table of contents. Exhibits must be separated by exhibit tabs that identify the exhibit by number or letter. In addition, if the exhibits are voluminous, the parties should arrange to display the exhibits electronically on the monitors located in the courtroom.
Written direct examinations or proffers may not be used for evidentiary hearings and trials unless the Court orders otherwise.
Pursuant to Local Rule 7007-1(b), discovery motions may not be filed until the parties have (a) conferred among themselves to resolve the dispute and (b) participated in a conference with the Court. Parties should contact Chambers in writing to schedule a conference. The request should state the nature of the dispute, and if the dispute relates to specific interrogatories, document demands, etc., the request should include copies of the discovery request and any response or objection.
Prior to any request for a conference on a discovery issue, the party requesting the conference is required to make a good faith effort to resolve the dispute with opposing counsel consistent with Local Rule 7007-1(a).
Unless the Court provides otherwise, parties wishing to participate in a hearing telephonically must register with CourtCall. Attorneys seeking to participate must be admitted to the Court or admitted pro hac vice. (See Local Rule 2090-1).
Information on how to register with CourtCall can be found here.
Parties that wish to “listen in” on a hearing are not required to receive consent from Chambers prior to registering with CourtCall, nor to be admitted to the court or to be admitted pro hac vice.
Parties that wish to make a “live” telephonic appearance in order to speak or make argument are required to receive permission from Chambers prior to registering with CourtCall. Such “live” telephonic appearances are normally discouraged where counsel intends to make substantive argument. Parties seeking permission to participate telephonically must call Chambers at least two business days prior to the hearing, and should be prepared to provide the following information: Name of party that the attorney is representing, the motion on which the attorney intends to argue, and the reason that a telephonic appearance is necessary.
Counsel and pro se parties are not permitted to participate telephonically for any hearings of an evidentiary nature, including the examination of witnesses or the submission of evidence.
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