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Bankruptcy Court Calls

posted by Melissa Jacoby

In connection with some ongoing research, I have noticed that U.S. bankruptcy courts have different approaches to informing the public about matters being taken up in open court. Many provide PDFs of court calls on their websites up to several weeks in advance (recognizing that matters settle, are postponed, or can change for other reasons). But on other bankruptcy court websites, it is difficult to find out what's happening on any given day. Might the informed readership of this blog offer reasons that courts refrain from making that information available on their websites? If you'd rather not comment directly on this post, feel free to write me privately at [email protected]


Uh, they don't want anyone to know what's going on? The public has a right to know but they'd really really rather we didn't.

Do I sound cynical?

Couldn't agree more. And damn, the secret's out at last: bankruptcy judges are consciously conspiring to make sure that what goes on in bankruptcy courts is kept tightly under wraps.

After all, not just anyone can show up in the courtroom and watch. Attendance is invitation-only. (I do hope you have an "in" with the bouncer at the door.) And bankruptcy decisions are private, too. Didn't apply for that limited, lifetime subscription? Sorry, you're out luck.

Do I sound sarcastic . . . ?

Not sure. Here in the WDNY, the court posts (and updates weekly) not only the motions & 341 hearings each day, but also the future calendar configuration for future return dates & 341 hearings.


I was talked into going bankrupt more than a decade ago. And it was the dumbest thing ever...

... There are LOTS of things most people don't know about bankruptcy (e.g. what's covered and not covered).

I detailed my journey about filing for personal bankruptcy here:

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  • As a public service, the University of Illinois College of Law operates Bankr-L, an e-mail list on which bankruptcy professionals can exchange information. Bankr-L is administered by one of the Credit Slips bloggers, Professor Robert M. Lawless of the University of Illinois. Although Bankr-L is a free service, membership is limited only to persons with a professional connection to the bankruptcy field (e.g., lawyer, accountant, academic, judge). To request a subscription on Bankr-L, click here to visit the page for the list and then click on the link for "Subscribe." After completing the information there, please also send an e-mail to Professor Lawless ([email protected]) with a short description of your professional connection to bankruptcy. A link to a URL with a professional bio or other identifying information would be great.