Court Connection - January 2018




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.


Judges' Corner

Inside the lives of our judges


Pictured above: Judge Colton being sworn in by the Honorable Charles R. Wilson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

On April 1, 2016, United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit appointed the Honorable Roberta A. Colton as a bankruptcy judge for the District of South Dakota.  She was given her oath by Circuit Judge Duane Benton on July 15, 2016.  Under an approved Bankruptcy Judge Vacancy Pilot Program, Judge Colton was designated to the Middle District of Florida and served in the Orlando Division. 

Click here to read more.

Retirement & Portrait Ceremony in Honor of Judge May

On December 4, 2017, over 200 people, including the Judges and court staff of the Bankruptcy Court, members of the Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association, District and Magistrate Judges and other dignitaries, as well as attorneys from around the state of Florida gathered to honor the Honorable K. Rodney May on the occasion of his retirement. The retirement and portrait unveiling ceremony was held in the 17th Floor Ceremonial Courtroom in the Sam M. Gibbons United States Courthouse in Tampa. Judge May’s family, many friends, and retired chambers staff were also in attendance.

Click here for the full article and to see the portrait.


Pictured above: Judge McEwen captured by pirates.

On January 23rd, the Gasparilla festivities began as pirates from Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla invaded downtown Tampa and demanded the key to the city from Mayor Bob Buckhorn.  Unfortunately, a member of our Court family (Judge McEwen) was captured during the invasion.


Local Bar Associations

News and events from your local bar association

Central Florida Bankruptcy Law Association

By: Ryan Davis, Esquire

CFBLA celebrated its 25th Anniversary this year! Thank you for the support of our members, the judiciary, and the courthouse staff over the years. It goes without saying that the CFBLA has helped create a camaraderie amongst us that has made the bankruptcy practice here in Central Florida unique and special.

In honor of its 25-Year Anniversary, CFBLA hosted a special evening at the Citrus Club in downtown Orlando on November 16, 2017. At the dinner, CFBLA honored this year’s recipients of the Jules S. Cohen Professionalism Award:  Robert Higgins, of the Lowndes, Drosdick firm, and Peter Hill of Heron Hill. They regaled us with their stories, along with some interesting metaphors. It was a night to be remembered, with remarks by other legends of our bankruptcy bar, including Jules Cohen, Sam Zussman, and Chief Judge Williamson. 

Click here to read more.

Southwest Florida Bankruptcy Professionals Association

Luis Rivera of Henderson Franklin Starnes & Holt, P.A. Selected as Emerging Leader in ABI’s “40 Under 40” Initiative

 The American Bankruptcy Institute announced that Luis Rivera has been selected as an emerging leader in ABI’s inaugural “40 Under 40” initiative. The initiative was launched this year to identify 40 of the top insolvency industry professionals under the age of 40. The recipients were recognized at ABI’s 2017 Winter Leadership Conference, which took place Nov. 30-Dec. 2 at the La Quinta Resort & Club in Palm Springs, Calif. 

Click here to read more.


Local Bar Events

Click here for a list of upcoming events around the district.


Filing Statistics

Click here for case filing statistics for the district.

2017 - A Year of Change

By: Sheryl Loesch, Clerk of Court

This is the time of year where people reflect over the events of the past year and then turn their attention to the future.  Many of us wonder where the time went as the year seemed to pass quickly.

A couple years ago and quite by chance, I stumbled upon a blog written by Anuschka Rees, a woman from Berlin who customarily writes about fashion topics. Instead of blogging about fashion, Ms. Rees wrote an interesting feature on reflections at years’ end and ways to think about the upcoming year.  Instead of suggesting the typical New Year’s resolutions frequently broken, she offers actual questions to use to “reflect and appreciate” the events of the past year, and to then “get excited” for the upcoming year.

While I will not list all the questions suggested by Ms. Rees (you can easily google her and find the list if you are so inclined), I would like to list a few I found valuable.

  1. What new things did you discover about yourself?
  2. What single achievement are you most proud of?
  3. What was the best news you received?
  4. Which of your personal qualities turned out to be the most helpful this year?
  5. Which new skills did you learn?

Some questions suggested to use when looking toward the new year include:

  1. What do you want to see, discover, explore?
  2. What skills do you want to learn, improve, or master?
  3. Which personal quality do you want to develop or strengthen?
  4. Which habits do you want to change, cultivate, or get rid of?
  5. What do you want to achieve career-wise?

Click here to read more.


U.S. Trustee Spotlight:

By Jill Kelso, Trial Attorney, Orlando Office of the U.S. Trustee

The Orlando and Tampa Offices of the United States Trustee would like to make the following announcements:


  • Region 21 – Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands: Daniel M. McDermott was appointed as the interim U.S. Trustee for Region 21 effective January 7, 2018.  Mr. McDermott also will continue as U.S. Trustee for Region 9 (Michigan and Ohio), where he has served since his appointment in July 2008.  Region 21 is headquartered in Atlanta with additional offices in Miami, Orlando, Tallahassee, and Tampa, Florida; Macon and Savannah, Georgia; and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
  • Amended Chapter 11 Quarterly Fee Schedule:  Pursuant to the Bankruptcy Judgeship Act of 2017, (Pub L. No. 115-72), the chapter 11 quarterly fee schedule established by 28 U.S.C. § 1930(a)(6) is amended effective January 1, 2018.  Please address any questions concerning this change to your local Office of the United States Trustee. 

Pro Bono Corner


Click here for Judge McEwen's Pro Bono Tampa Clinic Honor Roll


The judges and case managers THANK YOU for helping pro se's to operate more efficiently!


Court Services

FLMB’s Resource Hub—The Source

By:  Alyson Johnson & Danielle Merola, Orlando

The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida has established a goal of keeping the website current, accurate, helpful, and accessible. You may have noticed some changes to the website over the last few months, and we look forward to bringing you more positive changes in the future.

Most noticeable is the Court’s new one-stop-shop page, “The Source.” Consider this the Court’s go-to spot for resources that users need and frequently use. If what you are looking for used to be somewhere else on the website and you no longer see that item, it is most likely in The Source. More items will move to The Source soon. If you check out the Procedure Manual, you can see it is searchable and has many new and improved resources. We hope to move all our procedures to one spot to make it easier for users to find the information they need and help our website workers keep the information current.

In addition to the Procedure Manual, The Source includes our Local Rules and Administrative Orders, court calendars for each Judge, CLE information and materials, and the negative notice and accompanying orders lists. The Source can also be easily accessed through the mobile version of our website.

Click here to read more.


Case Law Update

Submitted By:

Bradley M. Saxton & C. Andrew Roy

Winderweedle, Haines, Ward & Woodman, P.A.

 Eleventh Circuit Cases

Title Max v. Northington (In re Northington)

876 F.3d 1302 (11th Cir. 2017)

Mantiply v. Horne (In re Horne)

876 F.3d 1076 (11th Cir. 2017)

Bankruptcy Court Cases

Shek v. Massachusetts Department of Revenue (In re Shek)

2017 WL 6759401, Case No. 6:15-bk-8569-KSJ (Bankr. M.D. Fla. Dec. 21, 2017) (Jennemann, J.)

In re Cheatham

2017 WL 5614910, Case No. 9:17-bk-01169-FMD (Bankr. M.D. Fla. Nov. 20, 2017) (Delano, J.)

Feshbach v. United States Department of Treasury (In re Feshbach)

576 B.R. 660 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 2017) (McEwen, J.)

Click here to read the full update.


The Court Connection is published quarterly. 
Please submit items for inclusion in the next edition by March 31, 2018 to: