Congress writes bankruptcy laws. We all know that.
So we here at Bankruptcy Law Network are pleased as punch that Jill Michaux, one of the founders of Bankruptcy Law Network, has just been appointed to the Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules by Chief Justice John Roberts.
She is one of four lawyers in private practice on the committee; the balance of the 17 members are law professors, bankruptcy judges, federal district judges, and judges sitting on circuit courts of appeal, and a lawyer for the U.S. Department of Justice. So, it’s heady company.
Work of the Rules Committee
Appointed on November 30th, Jill has already participated in meetings focusing on revising the forms used to initiate bankruptcy cases.
The committee is also reviewing the new rules and associated forms adopted last December with respect to changes and charges on mortgage loans during bankruptcy.
Reached on her way to argue a bankruptcy case before the 10th circuit BAP in Denver, Jill drew my attention to the transparency of the rule making process. When a rule change or new form is under consideration, any one can log on to the committee’s site and leave comments about the issue under consideration. One can also see every comment made by others on the rule.
She stressed how seriously those public comments are taken by the committee.
Once a rule is proposed for adoption, it is considered by the Judicial Conference, and then adopted by the Supreme Court, subject to veto by the Congress.
Jill has been a leader in our profession for years and was instrumental in the founding of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. She’s a certified specialist in consumer bankruptcy and served on the board of the American Board of Certification, as well as the chair of the Kansas bar association bankruptcy section.
One of the achievements she pointed out was her service on the Bench Bar committee in the federal district court in Kansas, where she pushed a rule change to permit the use of computers and smart phones in the courtroom and the creation of attorney workrooms with Internet access in the three court houses.
Law is a family affair
I’m sure we’ll hear more from Jill about the rule making process and the interface between the laws as Congress writes them and the application of that law in the day to day practice of bankruptcy law.