|Paul G. Hyman
U.S. (BANKRUPTCY JUDGE)
Judge Paul G. Hyman is a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge in West Palm Beach Florida
Judge Hyman graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1974 with a BA in Economics and from the University of Miami School of Law in 1977. He began his law career practicing commercial litigation with the law firm of Britton Cohen Kaufman & Schantz in Miami. After two years of private practice, Judge Hyman became an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. In 1981, he returned to Britton Cohen Kaufman & Schantz where he represented debtors, creditors and trustees in all types of bankruptcy proceedings. In 1983, he left Florida and moved to Denver, Colorado where he joined the law firm of Holme Roberts & Owens. At Holme Roberts & Owens he specialized in bankruptcy, representing both creditors and debtors. He returned to South Florida in 1993 when he was appointed United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of Florida. Judge Hyman has presided over many notable cases including Southeast Banking Corp., SunCruz Casinos, LLC, and Burt Reynolds Production, Inc. Judge Hyman served as the Co-Chairperson of the Local Rules Committee for the Southern District of Florida from 2003 until 2006. Judge Hyman currently serves as Co-Chairperson of the Bankruptcy Judicial Liaison Committee of the Business Law Section of the Florida Bar, is a member of the Executive Council of the Business Law Section of the Florida Bar and is a member of the Archives and History Committee of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges.
Tips for Appearing before Judge Hyman:
• Judge Hyman expects attorneys to conduct themselves professionally in his courtroom in accordance with the Court’s Guidelines for Courtroom Decorum which is posted on the Court’s website. Attorneys should remain wholly detached from any ill feeling between the litigants or witnesses. Oral or written disparaging personal remarks or acrimony toward opposing counsel or opposing parties will not be tolerated.
• As required by the Local Rule 9073-1(D), movant’s attorney must certify that he has contacted all adverse parties in an attempt to resolve the matter before filing a motion requiring a hearing.
• Do not fail to bring a proposed order granting or denying the request for relief that is set for hearing during motion calendar. Proposed orders should be in conformity with the Court’s Guidelines for Preparing, Submitting and Serving Orders.
• Judge Hyman appreciates cogent, logical writing. Whether you appear in person or by paper, you should clearly state to the Court and opposing counsel the specific relief you are requesting.
• If you have a factual dispute, you should be ready to prove your position with full knowledge of evidentiary and other necessary rules. Exhibits should be pre-marked numerically for plaintiffs/movants and alphabetically for defendants/respondents and accompanied by the Local Form “Exhibit Register.”
• The Court will consider motions in limine prior to trial. Such motions should be filed as far in advance as possible and appropriate.
• You should provide your principal cases to the Court and opposing counsel. Concede where you need to, making sure to communicate the law accurately no matter whose side it favors.
• Unless specifically requested, do not fax or e-mail motions or other pleadings to chambers.
Local Rules, Local Forms, Form Orders & Administrative Orders
Local Rules for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida govern all procedural aspects of the case. Judge Hyman strictly enforces the Local Rules.
Administrative orders updating court procedures and the Local Rules are posted on the Court's website and should be reviewed. A copy of the Local Rules may also be obtained from the Clerk’s office.
Local forms and form orders are updated periodically and are available on the Court's website. Be sure you are using current versions of all local forms and orders.
Relief sought by pro se parties should be by motion clearly stating the specific relief requested. Pro se parties should be familiar with and will be required to follow the Local Rules.
No Ex Parte Communications
Judge Hyman does not entertain any oral or ex parte communications. Do not write letters or call Judge Hyman, his law clerks, or judicial assistant regarding cases. Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 9003 prohibits ex parte communications with the judge by any party in interest regarding any matter affecting a particular case.
Calendar: Obtaining, Continuing, or Canceling Hearing Dates
Judge Hyman strives to provide timely hearing dates for all matters. Counsel's cooperation is essential in this regard. With the exception of certain Chapter 13 matters that may be self-calendared (See Court’s Guidelines: Chapter 13 Self-Calendaring Procedure available on this website), Judge Hyman's calendar is set and maintained exclusively by the courtroom deputy. Do not call Judge Hyman's law clerks about calendar matters.
Hearing dates for filed motions are assigned by the courtroom deputy who will prepare a form notice of hearing and return it to the moving party either electronically via a Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) or by mail from the Bankruptcy Noticing Center (BNC), depending on whether movant’s counsel is a registered user who has filed an electronic notice of appearance in the case. It is the responsibility of movant’s counsel to serve the notice of hearing on parties required to be served, the Court does not serve the notice of hearing. The party required to serve the notice of hearing must file local form “Certificate of Service of Notice of Hearing and Compliance with Local Rule 9073-1(D)”.
Evidentiary hearings or motions that will take in excess of fifteen minutes must be specially setand will not be heard during a motion calendar. Counsel shall immediately after filing such a motion, inform the courtroom deputy that the motion requires a specially set hearing. All counsel shall consult with each other to determine the availability of the parties and the amount of time the hearing will require. The courtroom deputy will not act as a middleman to clear dates for parties who do not confer with each other. Failure of counsel to confer with one another before setting hearings may result in sanctions or the hearing not going forward. Judge Hyman will often enter an Order Specially Setting Hearing which sets forth the Court’s procedural requirements for specially set matters. Please read this order carefully. The order can be obtained by clicking on the above link.
Continuances for hearings on motion calendars may be requested by filing a motion for continuance. If the parties agree to the continuance, the motion should be designated as agreed and an agreed proposed order may be submitted. If the parties do not agree, the motion for continuance will be set for hearing. Continuances for pretrial conferences or specially set evidentiary matters will generally not be granted ex parte without a hearing, even if agreed.
Emergency matters are those where the requested relief requires immediate action. Administrative Order 04-11 requires the moving party to deliver a courtesy copy of the motion accompanied by a local form “Red Sheet” cover sheet to the Clerk’s office in West Palm Beach. A filed emergency motion will be reviewed by Judge Hyman to determine if it should be treated as an emergency. The courtroom deputy will call and set the hearing as directed by the judge. No scheduling will occur until the motion is filed and reviewed by the judge. Upon receipt of time and date of hearing, the moving party must immediately provide notice to opposing counsel by phone, fax, and e-mail. Failure to provide immediate notice to opposing counsel may result in the hearing not going forward.
Matters settled prior to a hearing may be removed from the calendar by calling the courtroom deputy by noon at least two business days prior to the hearing.
Judge Hyman encourages telephone appearances for routine matters. Telephone appearances however are not permitted in evidentiary matters. Permission to appear by telephone is granted on a case-by-case basis. Requests to appear at a hearing by telephone should be made exclusively by calling the courtroom deputy at least two business days prior to the hearing. If the courtroom deputy receives multiple requests for a telephone hearing in a particular matter, the first person who calls will receive precedence unless an "800" number conference call is arranged so that more than one party can participate. Motion calendar conference call hearings generally will be reset and renoticed for a time certain during the motion calendar.
Submission of Orders
Proposed orders should conform with the Court’s Guidelines for Preparing, Submitting and Serving Orders. The title of submitted orders should contain a description of the underlying motion, including the words "Ex Parte" or "Agreed" where applicable, and should reflect the Court's ruling on the motion.
Orders should be submitted as follows:
Orders presented at hearings
As required by Local Rule 5005-1(G), parties shall bring to the hearing a proposed order granting or denying the relief requested. If Judge Hyman permits an attorney to submit a proposed order after the hearing, that order must be submitted by the third business day following the hearing. A prevailing party’s failure to timely submit a proposed order may result in entry of an Order denying the motion.
Orders not presented at hearings
• Conventional Paper Orders shall be delivered or mailed to the Clerk’s office in West Palm Beach. Do not fax or e-mail proposed orders unless specifically requested to do so.
• E-Orders may be submitted electronically in “pdf” format by registered users of CM/ECF. Judge Hyman strongly prefers electronic submission of proposed orders via CM/ECF’s E-Order function.
• Competing Orders may be submitted as directed by the Court or where opposing counsel disagree on a proposed order’s language. Competing orders should be submitted via e-mail in Wordperfect format to: [email protected] The e-mail should identify why the parties found it necessary to submit competing orders. No other orders or communications should be sent to this e-mail address unless specifically instructed to do so.
Check CM/ECF-PACER to determine the status of an order. Do not call staff for status of orders unless ten days have elapsed from the date the order was submitted.
Adversary Proceedings & Pretrial Conferences
Judge Hyman believes it is important for adversary proceedings to proceed to trial without undue delay. Absent an extraordinary situation, Judge Hyman adheres to a strict one continuance rule for pretrial conferences. Although Judge Hyman will grant only one continuance, the length of that continuance may be for as long as the parties require. Generally continuances will not be granted ex parte without a hearing even if agreed. Judge Hyman will not entertain requests for additional continuances of pretrial conferences after one continuance has been granted absent extraordinary circumstances.
An Order Dismissing an Adversary Proceeding As Settled should be submitted when such matters are settled. A Stipulation of Settlement is not sufficient to close an adversary case.
Chapter 13 Tips
The Court views serial filings with multiple debtors unfavorably, and will often grant creditors prospective in rem relief.
Motions to Reinstate will not be set for hearing if they do not comply with Local Rule 9013-1(E)(3). The funds required to bring a chapter 13 plan current should be in the attorney's trust account prior to the hearing. Debtors who are not represented by counsel should: 1) attach a photocopy of a cashiers check or money order payable to the Chapter 13 Trustee in the amount required to bring the chapter 13 plan current to their motion; and 2) bring the cashiers check or money order to the hearing so that it can be tendered to the chapter 13 trustee if the case is reinstated.
When granting motions to shorten prejudice period, the Court generally will not permit the plan period to extend beyond sixty months from the original filing date, and the Court will require vesting of the payments for the benefit of the creditors upon the filing of any new case.
The Court generally will not consider exceptions to the requirement of a wage deduction order for plan confirmation.
Motions for Summary Judgment
The Court will enter an Order Setting Briefing Schedule after a Motion for Summary Judgment is filed. Responses are generally due twenty days after the motion for summary judgment and replies are generally due ten days after the response. Please contact the law clerks if you do not receive the Order Setting Briefing Schedule within ten days after filing a motion for summary judgment. Judge Hyman does not generally set Motions for Summary Judgment for hearing.
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