Procedures for Judge H. Christopher Mott
An electronic filer MUST UPLOAD a proposed order by electronic means using the Court’s Order Upload feature in the electronic filing system, at the time that any motion, application, objection to claim, and other request for relief is filed in any main bankruptcy case or any adversary proceeding. This requirement also applies to pleadings filed over the counter or by mail. Failure to timely and properly upload or submit a proposed order will result in the respective pleading being dismissed for non-compliance. See Order Adopting New Administrative Procedures for Electronic Filing entered on November 30, 2004(Section IV, E, ¶1, p. 16) entered by the Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas; Local Bankruptcy Rule 9013(a).
Per Local Rule 9014(f):
- a motion to continue a hearing must be filed at least THREE business days prior to the hearing date, or state the nature of the emergency making it impossible to have filed it by that date;
- the motion must state good cause for the continuance;
- the motion must contain a certificate of conference reflecting efforts to confer with affected parties regarding the relief requested or the reasons why conferring was not possible or practical;
- the motion should state with as much detail as possible the length of the continuance requested or the date or range of dates requested for the continued hearing;
- the motion must be served on interested parties including those parties known or expected to participate in the hearing, who must be served electronically, by facsimile or by some other method reasonably calculated to provide immediate notice and the certificate of service demonstrating notice shall be filed with the motion;
- an agreement of the parties by itself is not good cause for a continuance. Unless the Court grants the motion for continuance prior to the hearing, all parties are required to appear at the scheduled hearing.
In addition, to obtain a continuance of a hearing before Judge Mott:
- a proposed form of order granting the continuance must be uploaded (in the Expedite category via E-Orders) when the motion is filed;
- the movant must email the Courtroom Deputy when the motion is filed to notify her of the filing;
- when notified by the Courtroom Deputy that the motion is granted, the movant must immediately provide notice of the continuance to all interested parties, and per Local Rule 9014(f), within seven days, must file a certificate of service reflecting that notice.
Per Local Rule 9014(e), unless otherwise provided by order:
- a motion to expedite a hearing or consideration of a matter must state good cause for expediting
- the motion must be filed as a separate pleading from the matter which is requested to be expedited
- the motion must contain a certificate of conference reflecting efforts to confer with affected parties regarding the relief requested or the reasons why conferring was not possible or practical. Failure to include a certificate of conference may result in dismissal of the motion due to non-compliance with Local Rule 9014(e).
In addition, to obtain an expedited hearing from, or expedited consideration by, Judge Mott:
- the underlying motion that is requested to be expedited should NOT contain the negative notice permitted under Local Rule 9014(a)
- a proposed form of order granting the motion to expedite, in substantially the form provided below (see Form Order Granting Expedited Hearing), must be uploaded when the motion to expedite is filed
- the movant must email the Courtroom Deputy when the motion to expedite is filed, to notify her of the filing
- when notified by the Courtroom Deputy that the motion is granted, the movant must provide notice of the continuance to all interested parties and per Local Rule 9014(e), within seven days, must file a certificate of service reflecting that notice
Appearances at hearings may be made by telephone when deemed appropriate by the Court. In approving an appearance at a hearing by telephone, consideration will be given to the nature and scope of the matter before the Court, purpose of the appearance, number of parties seeking to appear by phone, associated time and cost of travel, and equity to all parties.
For telephonic appearances at Judge Mott’s hearings, parties should no longer email the Courtroom Deputy and do not need to file a motion with a proposed order. Instead, the following procedure should be followed.
Effective November 1, 2013, to request a telephonic appearance, counsel must electronically file a Request for Telephonic Appearance at least 48 hours before the hearing. The Request for Telephonic Appearance event has been created in CM/ECF as a text only entry, there will be no PDF attachment. It will prompt the filer to include the reason for the request, a direct (not cell) phone number, date and time of hearing, and linkage to the matter being heard.
If Judge Mott approves the request for telephonic appearance, a Judge's Notice of Party Permitted to Appear Telephonically will be entered on the docket. If Judge Mott does not approve the request, a Judge's Notice of Party Not Permitted to Appear Telephonically will be entered on the docket.
If you are not a registered filer with the Texas Western Bankruptcy Court CM/ECF system, email the Courtroom Deputy, with your request to appear by telephone.
To appear by telephone, a party will dial telephone number 1-712-432-3066. You will be responsible for your own long-distance charges. You will then be asked to key in the conference code number. The conference code number is 816944. Once this code number is entered, you will be connected live to the courtroom. Once you are connected, you will be able to hear persons speaking in the courtroom and other persons on the call addressing the Court. You should not address the Court until the Court addresses you or you request to speak and the Court grants the request. Please note that hearings in other cases may be in progress when you dial-in; please be respectful and mute your line until your case is called by the Court. This dial-in and conference code number should be used regardless of the courtroom location of the hearing.
In Complex Chapter 11 cases, the Court may establish separate procedures for telephonic appearances on a case by case basis.
Please be advised of the following polices regarding telephonic appearances:
- Unless specifically authorized otherwise by the Court, the Court does not permit the use of pay phones or cellular phones when participating in any court proceeding telephonically. Speakerphones should not be used when addressing the Court, and speakerphones should be muted when not addressing the Court. Since we do not recommend the use of a speakerphone, you should schedule a separate appearance for your client if necessary so that he/she can attend the hearing. An attorney needs to make a separate request for a client to appear by telephone through the Request for Telephonic Appearance event in CM/ECF as set forth above, so as not to have parties on a speaker phone.
- Telephonic appearances are only for limited participation in the matter being heard. Direct or cross-examination of witnesses and presentation of evidence and exhibits are not permitted when appearing by telephone. Lengthy legal argument will not be permitted by telephone.
- This telephonic appearance policy should not be used in lieu of making a personal appearance by in-town counsel or obtaining local counsel.
- Parties must be available 10 minutes prior to the scheduled time of the hearing. The same rules regarding punctuality and conduct apply and a telephone appearance is treated the same way as any other Court appearance.
- Typically, the Court will take the cases in whatever order it would normally, whether there are telephonic appearances or not. There is no required preferential treatment for people making telephonic appearances.
- Each time a participant speaks, he or she should identify himself or herself for the record.
- Witness testimony is not permitted by telephone.
- If a technological problem arises, the hearing will continue without the participation of telephonic participants. The Court will not delay hearings for signal problems or interference. Accordingly, persons choosing to attend a hearing by telephone do so at their own risk of a technological failure.
The proposed order must include the claim number in the title of the order and claimant’s name and address (see Form Order Granting Objection to Claim).
Rule 1007(c) allows for an extension of time in which to file schedules and statement of financial affairs for cause shown. The procedure for requesting an extension of time is as follows:
- Provide a specific date deadline for the extension of time in both the motion and the proposed order. The deadline request should be no less than seven (7) calendar days prior to the 341 meeting date.
- Do not use negative notice (i.e. 21 days) in motions to extend time to file schedules (the suspense time will run after the extension deadline, which does not give the trustee and creditors sufficient time to prepare and/or respond).
Judge Mott expects that all parties will timely file a Joint Pre-Trial Order in all adversary proceedings as set forth in the Scheduling Order and Local Rule 7016(c).
Exhibit and Witness Lists should be timely designated and exchanged by the parties for all contested matters within 5 days before the hearing and all adversary proceedings as provided by Local Rule 7016(g). At the time such Exhibit and Witness Lists are exchanged, counsel for the designating party shall file the Exhibit and Witness Lists (without copies of the exhibits) with the Court. Judge Mott expects parties to discuss and, to the extent possible, stipulate on admission of exhibits prior to the hearing or trial.
Courtroom #2 (Judge Mott’s Austin Courtroom) is equipped with VGA cables to allow attorneys to display electronic exhibits and demonstrative presentations on the Court’s TV monitors. Electronic exhibits also will be displayed on screens on the witness stand and on the bench.
Parties wishing to use electronic exhibits simply need to bring their computer or electronic device to the courtroom and connect it to one of the Court’s VGA cables, one of which is available at each counsel table and the podium. Most PCs support VGA connectivity. Apple Computers, iPads, and other tablets are also compatible with this system, but they require additional components to connect that are not supplied by the Court.
Any party wishing to use electronic exhibits should test their computer on the Court’s system at least one day prior to the first time they plan to present. Parties who attend court regularly only need to conduct this test once. To coordinate a time to come to the courtroom and test the system, please email the Courtroom Deputy.
What do you need to bring to court for electronic presentation:
- Your laptop, notebook and/or tablet
- Two CDs and one hard copy (bound and tabbed) for Judge Mott and extra copies for opposing counsel (for their electronic presentation or viewing).
- Adapters needed to connect to the VGA cables ( i.e. iPad, HDMI, Apple)
What I need to prepare prior to court:
- Let affected parties know that electronic exhibits will be used for hearing.
- Save your exhibit folder to your desktop for quick access or be able to readily access your exhibit folder from a thumb drive or both.
- Prepare CDs - Save all pleadings to CD in PDF and OCR format. Optical Character Recognition, or OCR, is a technology that enables you to convert different types of documents, such as scanned paper documents, PDF files or images captured by a digital camera into editable and searchable data. (The court requires PDF; you may use other format that allows you to make your presentation in the desired manner from your laptop/ipad/notebook.)
- Label each pdf at top and/or bottom of page (i.e. Exhibit 1; pg. 1 of 4)
- Include a witness and exhibit list
- Save PDF (label files with description as listed on witness and exhibit list)
- Include any presentation (i.e. power point) file, if used.
- Add labeled exhibits to CD
- Label the CD and CD cover
- Indicate whose exhibits (i.e. Plaintiff’s Exhibits 1-10)
- Caption of the case
- Matter being heard
- Date of hearing
- Number of exhibits on CD and if more than one CD (i.e. Exhibits #1 -10, Vol. 1 of 2).
- DO NOT COMBINE multiple cases on one CD
On the day of the hearing:
ARRIVE AT LEAST 30 MINUTES PRIOR TO COURT TO TEST YOUR EQUIPMENT (Courtroom Deputy needs to do a quick virus scan of the CDs being provided for the court’s use)
- Connect to a VGA cable at either one of the counsel cables and/or at the podium
- Toggle your screen to “duplicate” (some devices might automatically toggle and display on video monitors)
- Have a clean monitor screen (no personal file folders visible)
- Turn off email/messaging notification
- Turn off sound on laptop/ipad/notebook (for notifications, i.e. airplane mode)
- Perform a test run of the exhibits with the Courtroom Deputy
While giving your presentation:
When ready to display your exhibits, parties will need to request access to display their exhibits. Parties in the courtroom view exhibits on the video monitors.
- Narrate while displaying exhibits to make the record clear
- Indicate which exhibit is being displayed on the monitor
- Indicate which page number of the exhibit (i.e. Exhibit 1 page 4 of 10) is being shown
- Technical Recess
- You may request a standing recess for trouble shooting issues
REMINDER: COURT STAFF CANNOT PROVIDE TECHNICAL SUPPORT FOR NON-COURT EQUIPMENT