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TCL > January 2001 Issue > Court Business

January 2001       Vol. 30, No. 1       Page  89
From the Courts
Court Business

Court Business

Court Business

United States Bankruptcy Court
For the District of Colorado

In the Matter of Procedures for Fee Applications in Chapter 13 Cases
General Order 2001-1
Effective January 1, 2001

Upon the report of the Chapter 13 Fee Procedures Committee, issued August 7, 2000, and its own investigation, the Court determines that it is appropriate to institute a revised system for awarding attorneys fees and costs in Chapter 13 cases while insuring timely and competent representation of debtors, and continue the process of evaluating local procedures for administration of Chapter 13 cases, and particularly for allowance of fees and expenses to attorneys representing Chapter 13 debtors.

To establish and monitor a new system of case representation and fee awards, it is appropriate for the issuance of this General Order. To establish a system for monitoring and reviewing the efficacy of this system, there should be generation of reliable data with regard to the time spent and the fees charged in representation of debtors in Chapter 13 cases and study of such data by the Court, United States Trustee, Chapter 13 Trustee and representatives of the Bar prior to formulation of appropriate amendments to the Local Bankruptcy Rules.

To foster consistency among the divisions of this Court in Chapter 13 matters and to generate sufficient, reliable data for review and evaluation,

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:

  1. The following fee allowance procedures shall be applicable in all Chapter 13 cases filed between January 1 and December 31, 2001. This Order shall supercede L.B.R. 216 to the extent such provisions are inconsistent.

  2. For allowance of attorneys fees in Chapter 13 cases, attorneys shall provide the Basic Services specified in Exhibit A, as necessary, in a timely and competent manner.

  3. All Applications for allowance of fees and reimbursement of expenses pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 330 shall be made using Exhibit B. All Applications shall be filed within 15 days after the date of entry of the Order confirming the Chapter 13 plan and shall be served upon the Chapter 13 Trustee and the debtor(s) with a notice conforming to L.B.R. 202 and Fed. R. Bankr. P. 2002(a). The Chapter 13 Trustee and debtor(s) shall have 20 days from the date of service to file a response.

    1. If the total fees charged for representation through confirmation of a plan do not exceed $1,500.00, Applicant need not supplement Exhibit B, except upon express order by the Court. Absent objection or Order to supplement the Application or otherwise justify the fee, the requested fee and expenses will be allowed without a hearing.

    2. If the Applicant requests allowance of a fee in excess of $1,500.00, the Application shall be made by using Exhibit B, which shall be supplemented by a detailed description of all services rendered, the time spent for each service, the charge for each service, and such other and further information as the Applicant believes is necessary to justify allowance of the fee pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 330(a)(1), (3) and (4). The Chapter 13 Trustee shall file an objection or statement that there is no objection to each Application requesting a fee in excess of $1,500.00. If there is no objection, the Court may allow the fee as requested, order further supplementation or set the Application for hearing. Any Order setting a hearing on an unopposed Application shall specify all inadequacies or deficiencies in the Application which may result in disallowance of the requested fees or expenses.

    3. If an objection is filed, the Application and objection promptly will be set for hearing.

  4. On or about October 30, 2001, the Clerk of the Court will submit an analysis of the data generated with regard to fee applications filed in Chapter 13 cases between January 1, 2001, and September 30, 2001, for consideration by the Court and Bankruptcy Liaison Committee of the Federal Faculty of Advocates.

This General Order shall become effective January 1, 2001.

By the Court:

Marcia S. Krieger, Chief Judge
Sidney B. Brooks, Judge
Donald E. Cordova, Judge

Exhibit A

Basic Services Anticipated in Chapter 13 Cases

The following services are denominated Basic Services common to most Chapter 13 cases. Some cases will not require all of these services, but such services are considered essential to competent and effective representation of most debtors in Chapter 13.

  1. Meet with the debtor(s) to review and analyze the debtor(s)’ financial situation.

  2. Counsel the debtor(s) on whether to file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case and advise the debtor(s) as to their statutory obligations.

  3. Evaluate the timing of the filing.

  4. Evaluate conflict of interest issues.

  5. Explain to the debtor(s) the nature and amount of fees and expenses to be charged to these basic services and any others that are required.

  6. Prepare and file the schedules and statement of affairs. This includes obtaining and evaluating information supplied by the debtor(s), advising the debtor(s) on how to value assets, advising the debtor(s) as to exemptions, transfer issues and dischargeability of debts.

  7. Assist the debtor(s) in formulating a budget and Chapter 13 plan.

  8. Respond to creditor calls and correspondence and conduct negotiations with same.

  9. Supply requested information to the Chapter 13 Trustee.

  10. Advise the debtor(s) with regard to the automatic stay and prepare notices of automatic stay as are necessary.

  11. Appear at and represent the debtor(s) at the § 341 meeting of creditors.

  12. Represent the debtor(s) in negotiations with the Chapter 13 Trustee.

  13. Prepare and file any necessary amendments to schedules, statements and proposed plans.

  14. Prepare and file motions for avoidance of liens.

  15. Represent the debtor(s) at any Rule 2004 examination.

  16. File proofs of claim, as necessary, to protect the debtor(s)’ interest.

  17. If appropriate, prepare and file responses to and appear at any hearings on motions for relief from automatic stay.

  18. Advise the debtor(s) with regard to motions to dismiss/ convert, and, if appropriate, file a response thereto and appear at any hearings on such motions.

  19. Prepare and prosecute or timely withdraw motions to confirm proposed plans.

  20. Prepare all proposed orders and give all notices as required by the Bankruptcy Rules and Local Bankruptcy Rules.

Exhibit B

Certificate of Mailing

In re: )
) Case No.
EIN/SSN ) Chapter 13
Debtor(s). )

CHAPTER 13. FEE APPLICATION

Applicant, ________________, attorney for the Debtor(s) in this case, requests allowance of the following fees and reimbursement of the following out-of-pocket expenses pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 330.

SUMMARY

1. Total fees (pre- and post-petition) incurred in case: $__________
2. Total expenses incurred in case (excluding filing fee): __________
3. Total sums paid to Applicant to date: __________
4. Total fees and expenses to be paid through the confirmed Chapter 13 plan: __________
5. Amount of fees and expenses provided for in the confirmed plan: __________

DETAILED REQUEST

Fee:

  1. Fee and expenses disclosed in Applicant’s Rule 2016(b) statement: $__________

    This fee was:

    1. _____ a flat charge for all services in the case.

    2. _____ based upon hourly charges for time spent. The hourly rate to be charged is $______/hour for attorney services and $______/hour for paralegal services.

    3. _____ based upon _________________________________.

  2. The fee agreement between Applicant and Debtor(s) has changed since the filing of the Rule 2016(b) disclosure. The changes are as follows:

  3. The Applicant has provided the Basic Services listed in Exhibit A to General Order 2001-1 (Basic Services). If the services provided in this case vary from the Basic Services (either exceeding or not including all Basic Services), describe the additional services provided and any Basic Services not provided.

    1. A flat fee was charged and no contemporaneous time records were kept. However, Applicant estimates ______ hours of attorney time and ______ hours of paralegal time were involved in representation of the Debtor(s) in this case, OR

    2. The fee was computed on an hourly basis. Applicant has spent ______ hours of attorney time at $______/hour and ______ hours of paralegal time at $_____/hour in representation of the Debtor(s) in this case, OR

    3. The fee was computed on the following basis:

      Applicant has spent ______ hours of attorney time at $______/hour and ______ hours of paralegal time at $______/hour in representation of the Debtor(s) in this case.

  4. The Applicant certifies that a) the contents of this Application are true and accurate; and b) Applicant has provided the legal services described above in a timely and competent manner.

Expenses:

The following expenses were incurred:

______ copies (at ______/copy) = __________
Postage __________
Other (specify): __________
Total: __________
______________________
Date
_____________________________________
Signature of Applicant

Colorado Supreme Court Rules Committee

Letter from Attorney Regulation Advisory Committee
Regarding Modifications to C.R.C.P. 227(A)(1)(c) and 251.34(b)(9)

To Members of the Colorado Bar:

Under the revisions to the Colorado Rules of Procedure governing attorney discipline and disability matters that were adopted by the Supreme Court on June 30, 1998, the Court’s Attorney Regulation Advisory Committee ("Committee") is charged with selecting one or more peer assistance programs. C.R.C.P. 251.34(b)(9). It initially engaged the Colorado Lawyers Health Program ("CLHP") to provide such a program for Colorado attorneys. CLHP has operated a voluntary referral support program for many years and has been effective in providing support group participation for attorneys who have contacted CLHP outside of the attorney discipline system.

Experience during the last two-and-one-half years with the revised disciplinary system has shown that a more comprehensive program to assist lawyers who become involved in the disciplinary system is necessary. Such a program would provide professional medical assessment and evaluation, referral to qualified treatment providers, and effective long-term monitoring, with ongoing assessments for attorneys in the discipline system who have substance abuse, domestic violence, mental illness, and similar problems.

After considerable inquiry and research, the Committee has concluded that the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel, because of its ongoing responsibility for attorneys with disciplinary problems, is in the best position to provide the more comprehensive assistance program described above.

There remains a need for assistance and support to attorneys who voluntarily seek such assistance outside the disciplinary system. We expect that CLHP, or another entity or entities with similar objectives, will fulfill that function.

Accordingly, the Committee recommended, and the Supreme Court approved, the modifications to C.R.C.P. 227(A)(1)(c) and 251.34(b)(9) set forth below.

Sincerely,

William C. McClearn
Chair, Attorney Regulation Advisory Committee


Rule Change #2000(22)
Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure
Chapter 18. Rules Governing Admission to the Bar

C.R.C.P. 227. REGISTRATION FEE

A. Registration Fee of Attorneys and Attorney Judges

(1) General Provisions.

(a) Fees. (No Change)

(b) Collection of Fee. (No Change)

(c) Application of Fees. The fee shall be divided. Ten dollars shall be used to pay the costs of establishing and administering the mandatory continuing legal education requirement. A portion of the fee, to be determined and adjusted periodically by the Supreme Court, shall be transferred to the Administering Entity chosen by the Advisory Committee as provided in C.R.C.P. 251.34(b)(8), which amount shall be used to support designated providers that have been selected by the Advisory Committee to provide assistance to attorneys needing help in dealing with physical, emotional, or psychological problems that may be detrimental to their ability to practice law. The remaining portion of the fee, and the entire fee of those on inactive status, shall be used only to establish and maintain an attorneys’ fund for client protection, and to defray the costs of disciplinary administration and enforcement, the costs incurred with respect to unauthorized practice matters, and the expenses incurred in the administration of this rule.

Amended and Adopted by the Court, En Banc, November 22, 2000, effective January 1, 2001.


Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure
Chapter 20. Colorado Rules of Procedure Regarding
Attorney Discipline and Disability Proceedings,
Colorado Attorneys’ Fund for Client Protection, and
Mandatory Continuing Legal Education and Judicial Education

C.R.C.P. 251.34. ADVISORY COMMITTEE

(a) Advisory Committee. (No Change)

(1) through (4) (No Change)

(b) Powers and Duties of the Advisory Committee.

(1) through (8) (No Change)

(9) (No Changes to First, Second, and Fourth Paragraphs)

(Third Paragraph:)

To be eligible for designation by the Advisory Committee, an attorney’s peer health assistance program shall provide for the education of attorneys with respect to the recognition and prevention of physical, emotional, and psychological problems; offer assistance to an attorney in identifying physical, emotional, or psychological problems; refer the attorney for appropriate treatment; provide counseling and support for the attorney and for the family of any attorney referred for treatment; and agree to make their services available to all licensed Colorado attorneys.

Amended and Adopted by the Court, En Banc, November 22, 2000, effective January 1, 2001.

By the Court:

Rebecca Love Kourlis, Justice, Colorado Supreme Court
Michael L. Bender, Justice, Colorado Supreme Court

© 2001 The Colorado Lawyer and Colorado Bar Association. All Rights Reserved. Material from The Colorado Lawyer provided via this World Wide Web server is protected by the copyright laws of the United States and may not be reproduced in any way or medium without permission. This material also is subject to the disclaimers at http://www.cobar.org/tcl/disclaimer.cfm?year=2001.


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