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Delaware Bankruptcy Court’s Local Rules For 2017 Now Effective

The Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware’s Local Rules for 2017 went effective today, February 1, 2017.  A copy of the 2017 Local Rules can be found here and a redline of the 2017 Local Rules against the 2016 Local Rules can be found here.

This year, the Court is clearly emphasizing cross-border bankruptcy cases.  Not only have the Local Rules been revised where appropriate to incorporate references to “chapter 15 cases” and “foreign representative(s)”, the Court has also fashioned a new rule—Local Rule 9029-2, setting forth the “Guidelines for Communication and Cooperation Between Courts in Cross-Border Insolvency Matters” (the “Guidelines”).  The Guidelines encompass new Part X of the Local Rules and represent the Court’s “best practices” for chapter 15 cases.  The parties are encouraged, but not required, to submit a protocol to the Court consistent with the Guidelines for its review and consideration at the outset of the cross-border case.  The Guidelines describe, among other things, procedural communications for the Court and the foreign court, efficiency in administration of the cross-border case, substantive communications between the courts, Court-orders for appearance in foreign proceedings, and procedures for joint hearings (set forth in “Annex A”).  If you are considering a cross-border representation (or involved in a chapter 15 case), it is advised to give Part X and “Annex A” a thorough review.

Some of the other notable amendments to the Local Rules are as follows: (i) it is no longer necessary to file a motion to shorten along with a motion to seal for an objection, reply, or sur-reply if there are less than 21 days until the hearing, see DEL. BANKR. L.R. 9018-1(d); (ii) the retention of exhibits admitted into evidence is the responsibility of the moving party until the main bankruptcy case closes or a nonappealable final order has been entered, and it is also the moving party’s responsibility to retrieve exhibits from the Court at the expiration of the appeal period or thirty days after the record on appeal has been transmitted, or they may be discarded by the Clerk after thirty days’ notice, see DEL. BANKR. L.R. 9018-1(c); (iii) a blackline against the most recently filed version must be included with the filing of any amended disclosure statement or plan document, see DEL. BANKR. L.R. 3016-1; and (iv) the maximum allowable expense reimbursement requests for fax transmission charges and copying charges has been amended, see DEL. BANKR. L.R. 2016-2(e).