Court Connection - July 2017




Court Connection: e-Edition


The Court is proud to share the e-edition of the Court Connection.

For readers who prefer to read the newsletter on paper, it can be printed in its entirety by downloading a full-text PDF version.

Click here for the PDF version.

Upcoming Events

Effective July 1, 2017
The Bankruptcy Judges of the Middle District of Florida have approved new and amended Local Rules.

Click HERE to access the new and amended Local Rules.


August 25
JBBA Annual Seminar
Sawgrass - Ponte Vedra, FL


October 8-11
NCBJ Annual Conference
Las Vegas, NV


October 19
Annual Alexander L. Paskay Memorial Dinner - Details TBA

October 17-20
2017 ABJA Certified Bankruptcy Assistant Seminar
Memphis, TN


Judges' Corner

Inside the lives of our judges



The Judges annual retreat was held on June 4, 2017 in St. Augustine, FL. They are all pictured above along with Clerk, Sheryl Loesch. 


Judge Delano, her chambers staff, summer interns, and former law clerk, Kathleen DiSanto, celebrated Judge Delano’s ninth anniversary on the bench with lunch at Bella’s on June 27th.


The 25th Anniversary NACBA Convention was held in Orlando, Florida on May 25, 2017. An Ethics Panel, consisting of (Left to Right) Jill Michaux (Kan.), Judge McEwen, Jim Cossitt (Mont.), and Judge Cynthia Norton (Bankr. W.D. Mo.), posed ethics puzzlers to the audience.  

Click here to see more events and photos.


Awards and Recognition

Judge McEwen Appointed to Judicial Conference of the United States


Judge Catherine Peek McEwen has been appointed by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., to serve as the bankruptcy judge observer at sessions of the Judicial Conference of the United States for a two-year period beginning October 1, 2017.

The Judicial Conference is the national policy-making body for the federal courts. The current name took effect when Congress enacted 28 U.S.C. § 331. Before that, the body was known as the Conference of Senior Circuit Judges from its creation in 1922. 

The Judicial Conference is charged with: 

  •  Comprehensively surveying business conditions in the courts of the United States;
  • Planning assignments of judges to or from courts of appeals or district courts, where necessary;
  • Submitting suggestions to the various courts that promote uniform management procedures and the expeditious conduct of court business;
  • Exercising authority provided in chapter 16 of title 28 United States Codes for the review of circuit council conduct and disability orders filed under that chapter; and
  • Continuously studying the operation and effect of the general rules of practice and procedure in the federal courts, as prescribed by the Supreme Court. 

Click here to read more.


Dear Point and Click:

Answers to technical questions

Dear Point and Click,

I have two questions regarding the filing of documents through the Court’s CM/ECF System.

Question 1: My partner is not an electronic filer. Is it permissible to allow her to use my login and password to file a document in a pinch?  

Question 2: My other partner is out of the office, unexpectedly, and has an emergency filing that needs to be done.  May I file that document for him?

Click here for the answers.


Filing Statistics

Click here for case filing statistics for the district.


Local Bar Events

Click here for a list of events around the district.


The Court Connection is published quarterly in January, April, July and October.  We are always seeking submissions.

Please submit items for the October edition by

September 30, 2017 to:

A New Chapter

By Sheryl Loesch, Clerk of Court

As the new Bankruptcy Clerk of Court, I want to acknowledge my longtime friend and colleague, Lee Ann Bennett, for the legacy she left behind. As nationally known, the Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida is one of the largest courts in the nation, yet also one of the most efficient. This reputation is because of the exceptional quality of judges on the bench and the collegiality and collaboration they enjoy in conjunction with Lee Ann’s leadership, business acumen, and talent. 

During Lee Ann’s leadership, the bankruptcy court fell upon hard times when caseloads began to fall and staffing levels were adversely affected. Tough decisions had to be made and creative ways of doing more with less (I prefer to say “doing everything with nothing”) were needed. Lee Ann was never one to shy away from a challenge and encouraged her staff to find new ways to become more efficient so the business of the court would not suffer. Under Lee Ann’s leadership, the court emerged from the “bad times” to what has become the new normal, a much smaller bankruptcy staff footprint.  

Click here to read the full article.


Trustee Spotlight:

News from the U.S. Trustee

Orlando Office of the U.S. Trustee Program Welcomes Trial Attorney, Audrey Aleskovsky

by Jill Kelso, Trial Attorney, The Office of the U.S. Trustee

Audrey May Aleskovsky joined the Orlando office of the U.S. Trustee on October 31, 2016. She was hired through the Attorney General’s Honors Program, selected as one of eight new hires slated to join the program in 2016. Before joining the USTP, she served as a law clerk to U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kay Woods in the Northern District of Ohio, Youngstown Division. She received her J.D. cum laude from Syracuse University College of Law before joining the Florida bar in 2013. While at Syracuse, Audrey was an extern for Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Margaret Cangilos-Ruiz in the Northern District of New York, Syracuse Division, and volunteered in the U.S. Trustee’s Office in Rochester, New York.

Click here to


Office of the U.S. Trustee

Updated Staff Assignments

In light of recent and upcoming changes to office staff, the Office of the U.S. Trustee provides the following updated information regarding case assignments.

Click here for a case assignment chart.


Pro Bono Corner

Helping the legal community

Pilot Program “Pep Talk” for First-Time Individual 

Pro Se Filers

The maxim “necessity is the mother of invention” proves true once more. Given federal budget limitations that preclude the hiring of a dedicated pro se law clerk for the Court, Judge McEwen is going to try the next best thing—a pilot program aimed at giving individual pro se debtors a better chance for success. She will set a status conference for first-time chapter 7 and chapter 13 pro se filers to make sure they understand their basic obligations and what’s needed to make their case a success. These hearings will be held in batches (based on chapter) at least ten days before the initial 341 meeting. The first batch is set for hearing later this month. Debtors are given the option of appearing by telephone. 

Click here for the full article.


Judge McEwen's TBBBA Honor Roll

Click here to see who made the honor roll.

If there's someone you'd like to nominate, or someone we've missed, let us know for the next issue of Court Connection.


Court Services

Orlando Hosts Brown Bag Luncheon and Trivia Challenge

Judge Jennemann and Kathy Deetz led the Brown Bag Luncheon in Orlando on June 7, 2017. They updated the bar on local rules, procedures, the External Procedure Manual, and practice pointers. The room was packed! After quizzing the participants on FLMB judge related trivia, the teams from the United States Trustee’s office and the Chapter 13 Trustee’s office tied for first place. 


Winners pictured from left to right: Sydney Jones, Lorne Durket, Ana De Villiers, Stuart Ferderer, Laurie Weatherford, Audrey Aleskovsky, and Jill Kelso.

Click here to read more.


Case Law Update

Submitted By:

Bradley M. Saxton & C. Andrew Roy

Winderweedle Ward Haines and Woodman, P.A.


Supreme Court Cases

Henson v. Santander Consumer USA, Inc.
Case No. 16-349 (June 12, 2017)

Midland Funding LLC v. Johnson
Case No. 16-348 (May 15, 2017)

Eleventh Circuit Cases

Pollitzer v. Gebhardt

Case No. 16-11506 (11th Cir. June 27, 2017)

Bankruptcy Court Cases

In re Roscoe
Case No. 8:13-bk-06517-RCT (Bankr. M.D. Fla. June 28, 2017) (Colton, J.)

In re Howard Avenue Station, LLC
Case No. 8:12-bk-08821-CPM (Bankr. M.D. Fla. April 28, 2017) (McEwen, J.)

In re Kraz
2017 WL 1401273 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. April 18, 2017) (Williamson, C.J.)

Click here to read the full update.

United States Supreme Court
Rules on Two FDCPA Related Cases
By: Corey Friedman, Intern in Orlando

Midland Funding, LLC v. Johnson, 137 S. Ct. 1407 (2017)

Henson v. Santander Consumer USA Inc., No. 16–349, slip op. (2017)

Click here for a detailed review of the two cases.


Local Bar Associations

News and events from your local bar association

Click the links below for updates, news and pictures from the local bar associations:


*Central Florida Bankruptcy Law Association

 *Jacksonville Bankruptcy Bar Association

*Orange County Bar Association Bankruptcy Law Committee

*Southwest Florida Bankruptcy Professionals Association 

*Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association

The TBBBA Annual Dinner was held on June 1st at Palma Ceia Country Club. Among the highlights of the evening were:


The passing of the gavel from Outgoing President Kelley Petry to Incoming President Scott Stichter.

Click here to read more.

*TBBBA Annual Golf Tournament Held April 28, 2017 at MacDill Air Force Base - Click here to read more!