- Hale Andrew Antico
Hello, and thanks for reading our 2nd cdcbaa newsletter of 2020, in this very unusual, historic, and extraordinary year. In our first cdcbaa Newsletter in January, I wrote that 2020 is sure to be an exciting year, and it certainly has been so far, for reasons that no one anticipated.
In March, a virus threat emerged in the U.S. In response to the emerging COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, state and local authorities issued “shelter-in-place” orders. This effectively quarantined California’s residents, and most businesses closed. However, the CDCA bankruptcy system quickly adapted and continued to function as all of our lives were thrown into upheaval.
I’m particularly grateful for the tremendous problem solving and communication from Chief Judge Tighe and the Central District of California judges, Peter Anderson and the Office of the United States Trustee, Kathy Campbell and the Clerk’s Office, and the many individual Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 trustees and their hard-working staffs in creating new General Orders, procedures, and accommodations during a frantic time to keep operations
running. Despite the uncertainty around us, all involved exhibited tremendous teamwork with the cdcbaa and the debtors’ bar in general.
The result was a justice system for consumer debtors that kept functioning – while most other Federal and State courts were closed. Suddenly, 341(a) meetings were being held telephonically. Court hearings were being held
by phone and Zoom, and many attorneys used CourtCall for the first time. Cases kept being filed, and through it all, everything just kept working. It was like a surprise drill to refuel an airplane in midair. Today the plane continues flying at cruising altitude.
During this time, cdcbaa also kept hosting its MCLE programs, but due to the virus pandemic, we quickly switched over and adapted to an online-only webinar format. Our April CARES Act and SBRA Subchapter V program got high marks for its subject-matter and timeliness. We continue putting on fantastic content, due in large part to the phenomenal efforts and intense dedication of our Program Chair, Roksana Moradi-Brovia.
I’m grateful for the cdcbaa board of directors in a challenging year. Our membership totals reached 176 attorneys so far in a year where we haven’t met in the same room since February. This may be a harbinger of the future, as many expect that bankruptcy filings will dramatically increase in the months ahead due to the millions left jobless by COVID-19. No one truly knows if what’s coming is a tsunami or a ripple. But whatever lies ahead, it’s reassuring to know that the bankruptcy stakeholders in the Central District of California are creative, hard-working problem solvers. Whatever happens is sure to be interesting, as our vibrant organization adapts to a changing landscape to help those who most need it with expertise, truth, and compassion.
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