RETURN TO IN-PERSON HEARINGS

Judge Mashburn’s Procedures Regarding Attorney Participation
In Regular Chapter 7/11 Motion Dockets and Other Hearings

(Procedures for consolidated Chapter 13 dockets
are addressed in a separate administrative order)

Important Note: The procedures below reflect a general preference for returning to in-person hearings, but Judge Mashburn continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will make modifications as appropriate. It is anticipated that some in-person hearings may be converted to Zoom video or audio within the week prior to the hearing if COVID-19 circumstances dictate a change or if it appears that a virtual hearing is preferable after a review of the issues to be determined, the number of participants affected, the amount of time likely required, and other factors. Therefore, counsel and parties should check the Court docket for any changes up to the day of any scheduled hearing.

  1. In the absence of an order to the contrary or specific approval by the Court of a request for a waiver, the following matters will be set for in-person participation beginning September 7, 2021:
    1. Trials in adversary proceedings;
    2. Hearings on motions for summary judgment; and
    3. Matters specially set by the Court and not on a regular motion docket.
  2. The Court will determine on a case-by-case basis whether pretrial conferences in adversary proceedings will be conducted in-person, by Zoom video or telephonically. The same is true for status conferences in Chapter 11 Subchapter V cases. The method will be included in the Summons and Notice of Pretrial Conference and the Order and Notice of Small Business Subchapter V Status Conference. Any party may file a motion requesting a change in the method based on the circumstances of the case, location of counsel, etc.
  3. For the regular Tuesday Chapter 7/11 motion docket, in-person participation is required, except:
    1. An announcement of a settlement or resolution of all issues set for hearing may be made with counsel participating by Zoom call-in.
    2. If all parties agree to a continuance of a matter, a discussion regarding the available dates for the continued hearing and any other related scheduling matters may be conducted with counsel participating by Zoom call-in.
    3. The Court will also consider allowing counsel (or, in limited circumstances, a witness) to appear by Zoom video or telephonically based on health, location or other factors, but any request must be made by motion at least 48 hours in advance of the hearing.
  4. In larger Chapter 11 cases, particularly those involving out-of-town counsel, the Court will often enter a separate order for that particular case setting out the procedures that will be used, the extent that video or telephonic participation will be allowed, and the use of prescheduled omnibus hearing dates.