A Review of the Bankruptcy Judge Appointment Process
With a “Notice of Vacancy for the Position of United States Bankruptcy Judge” currently posted in the Eastern District of North Carolina, the Sasser Law Firm found a recent report issued by the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS) and the University of Denver on the selection, appointment and reappointment of bankruptcy judges very interesting. The report entitled, “A Credit to the Courts: The Selection, Appointment and Reappointment Process for Bankruptcy Judges,” sought to give insight on the process of selecting judges to fill the 351 authorized bankruptcy judgeships currently in the United States bankruptcy courts. This was accomplished by interviewing 25 current bankruptcy judges and 11 individuals who have participated in the bankruptcy judge selection process. The report began with an overview of the appointment process which finds it’s guidelines in the Bankruptcy Amendments and Federal Judgeship Act (BAFJA) of 1984 and the United States Judicial Conference regulations. It was noted throughout the report that the interviewees felt the appointment process brought forth highly qualified judges, but through studying the official steps taken in appointing bankruptcy judges, the IAALS suggested several areas of consideration that might benefit from further study. Some areas suggested for further study and review were the lengthy selection process, lack of communication with applicants and diversity among applicants. Click to read the report.