Court Connection - April 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.


Local Bar Associations

News and events from your local bar association

Kevin E. Mangum Memorial Volunteer Service Award

By Camila Bersani, Danielle Merola, and Garry Louima

KEM award

Pictured above: Michael Nardella, Alec Solomita,and Michael Paasch after presentation of the award.

On January 25, 2018, the Central Florida Bankruptcy Law Association (“CFBLA”) conferred the first Kevin E. Mangum Memorial Volunteer Service Award at the CFBLA Monthly Luncheon to Alec Solomita.  The award was established in memory of Kevin E. Mangum, who passed away in October of 2016.  Mangum is survived by his loving wife Jamie Yasko-Mangum and his two sons Stone Mangum and Spencer Mangum.

Mangum was born in Jacksonville, Florida, on April 23, 1966. He earned his Bachelor’s degree and J.D. from Florida State University.  After clerking for Judge Killian in the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Florida, Mangum went to practice for Giles & Robinson; Meininger, Fisher & Mangum; Mangum & Associates; and Mateer & Harbert. 

Click here to read more.

Central Florida Bankruptcy Law Association

By:  Michael Anthony Nardella, Esquire

Thursday, April 12, 2018 - IOA Corporate 5K

On Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 6:45 pm, Lake Eola was known as “Orlando’s largest office party!” where teams run or walk 5 kilometers (3.1 miles).  CFBLA had a tent with refreshments and chairs.  The IOA Corporate 5K benefits the Track Shack Foundation, Second Harvest and Christian Service Center.

Click here for pictures from the race!

Thursday, May 17, 2018 - CFBLA Annual Seminar and State of the District

The 2018 CFBLA Seminar will be held at the Citrus Club in downtown Orlando on Thursday, May 17, 2018 and will feature Chief Judge Michael Williamson presenting the Annual State of the District as the keynote lunch presentation – included at no extra charge with your Seminar registration!  In addition, the Seminar will include insightful and broadly applicable CLE presentations such as (1) a panel discussion of hot topics in bankruptcy law with Florida bankruptcy judges participating; (2) a panel discussion of key bankruptcy case law in the 11th Circuit and Florida courts affecting Central Florida bankruptcy practitioners; (3) a rapid-fire debates session on disputed bankruptcy issues; and (4) a discussion of what you need to know in the E-Discovery arena – among others.


Local Bar Events

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

Click here for a list of Law Day Events around the District!


Judges' Corner

Inside the lives of our judges


Rays Superfan Judge McEwen was surprised to learn, through many text messages from observant friends, that she had made a Rays baseball TV spot.  She appears at the end of the team's 20th anniversary video.  Here's a freeze frame (courtesy of eagle-eyed CSO Willie Harrison).


Dear Point & Click: Answers to Technical Questions

Dear Point and Click, I have some questions about signature requirements for the Court’s electronic filing (CM/ECF) System.

Question 1:  Am I required to include a scanned image of my signature when filing a document electronically? 

Answer 1:  You are not.  Local Rule 1001-2 addresses filing requirements for the court’s Case Management and Electronic Case Filing System (CM/ECF).  Paragraph (e)(1) of the Local Rule addresses signature requirements.  The rule specifies that the CM/ECF user’s login and password serve as the attorney’s signature.  However, the name of the filing attorney whose login is being used must appear on the signature line, preceded by “/s/.”

Question 2: I received a call that my signature does not match the login. What does this mean?

Answer 2: The electronic signature requirements for the filing attorney in Local Rule 1001-2 include two elements, both of which must be present to have an appropriately signed, electronically filed paper.  First, the login and password act as a signature, and second, the name of the filing attorney must appear on the signature line, preceded by “/s/.”

Click here for more info.

Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

By: Chief Judge Michael G. Williamson

In the October 2017 edition of the Court Connection, I expressed the Court’s appreciation for our staff members who serve on one or more of the committees that Judge Jennemann created when establishing uniform procedures throughout the District (i.e., thinking “District Wide”).

In this issue I would like to recognize five of our judges who contribute to the practice of bankruptcy law, either in our court or on a national scale, by volunteering for critical projects. Already burdened by substantial caseloads here in the Middle District, these five judges truly are going “above and beyond the call of duty.”

    Click here to read about the judges.

    Court Hosts Franklin Boys Prep Academy

    By: Judge Catherine P. McEwen

    In coordination with the George Edgecomb Bar Association's Role Model Committee, Judge McEwen's chambers arranged a courthouse visit early this month for 15 young men from Franklin Boys Prep Academy, a public single-gender, college preparatory middle school.  The group was comprised of 6th through 8th graders. 

    The kids started their courthouse tour with a sentencing hearing before District Court Judge Charlene Honeywell.  The defendant had been convicted of cocaine possession.  The students watched intently as they learned that the defendant had at least three prior convictions for various crimes in another state.  Because the attorneys were not prepared to tell the judge how the other state categorized the crimes for purposes of sentencing enhancement, she brought the attorneys up to sidebar to gently "fuss" at them (a good lesson for the students about being prepared) and continued the sentencing hearing to another day.  After the hearing, Judge Honeywell stepped into the well of the courtroom to talk to the students about the dangers of drugs and other issues that could lead to failure.  She also emphasized behaviors that could lead to success, such as staying in school and studying, and she spoke on what it takes to be a lawyer.

    Click here to read more.

    FLMB’s Mortgage Modification Mediation Program Featured in Bloomberg

    By: Honorable Karen S. Jennemann and Danielle L. Merola

    Bloomberg BNA Bankruptcy Law Reporter recently published an article praising this Court’s Mortgage Modification Mediation Program (MMM). Author Daniel Gill mentioned the program is working well with a much higher success rate compared to the Florida state court foreclosure mediation programs. Some folks specifically deserve our thanks for the program’s well-deserved nationwide praise, particularly the Orlando Chapter 13 Trustee’s office, Tammy Branson, Bob Branson, and Liz McCausland. We spoke with each of these folks to get their take on the why our MMM program succeeded where others flounder.

    Steve Wood from the Chapter 13 Trustee’s office reports that since the start of the program in 2010, close to 4,000 loans have been successfully modified in Orlando. As of March 2018, about 67% of completed mediations have succeeded.

    Click here for the full article.

    Pro Bono Corner 

    Submitted by Judge McEwen


    One morning Lynn Sherman was minding her own business up in the 9th floor attorney lounge at the Tampa courthouse, preparing for a hearing, when a woman walked in and sat down.  Lynn transformed from minding her own business to becoming mindful.  Upon observing that the woman appeared to be waiting for someone or maybe just plain lost, Lynn inquired whether she could help her.  Armed with a Rx sheet from Judge McEwen (prescribing issues requiring attention), the woman stated she was there for the Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association's free courthouse clinic.  Problem was, it was the wrong day (Tuesday) and the wrong time (the clinic is open Monday and Wednesday afternoons).  Lynn, always attuned to pro se’s in need (you should she her antenna rise while watching unrepresented consumers in the courtroom), shrugged off the formalities of the clinic hours and stepped up to handle the woman's multiple issues that morning.  

    Click here for the TBBBA Honor Roll for January,

    February, and March!

    Procedures Committee Update:  FLMB’s Resource Hub—The Source

    The quarterly update to The Source will occur in April and will primarily focus on the Procedure Manual. The content of this update will include adding seven new procedures, updating existing procedures, and revising the sample motions included in some procedures.

    The new procedures are about closing an adversary proceeding, dismissing an adversary proceeding, becoming an electronic filer, Chapter 13 form plans, motions for adequate protection, health care cases, and fees in Chapter 13 cases.

    Click here to read more.


    Case Law Update

    Submitted By:

    Bradley M. Saxton & C. Andrew Roy

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

    Supreme Court Cases


    U.S Bank v. Village at Lakeridge, LLC

    138 S. Ct. 960 (2018)

    Merit Mgmt. v. FTI Consulting, Inc.

    138 S. Ct. 883 (2018)

    Eleventh Circuit Cases

    Beem v. Ferguson 

    713 F. App'x 974 (11th Cir. 2018)

    Bankruptcy Court Cases

    In re Rome

    2018 WL 1631251 (April 2, 2018) (Jennemann, J.)

    In re Doganis

    Case No. 3:17-bk-03086 (March 14, 2018) (Glenn, J.)

    In re McHale

    Case No. 6:10-bk-02527, Doc. No. 80 (March 9, 2018) (Jennemann, J.)

    In re Suguinot

    Case No. 6:10-05336, Doc. No. 34 (March 9, 2018) (Jennemann, J.)

    In re Holland

    Case No. 6:13-bk-14751, Doc. No. 119 (March 8, 2018) (Jennemann, J.) 

    In re Advanced Telecommunication Network, Inc.

    Case No. 6:05-ap-00006, Doc. No. 304 (January 31, 2018) (Jennemann, J.)

    In re Murphy

    Case No. 9:17-07843-FMD(Bankr. M.D. Fla. January 18, 2018) (Delano, J.)

    Click here to read the full update.


    The Court Connection is published quarterly. 
    Please submit items for inclusion in the next edition by June 30, 2018 to: