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Honorable Victoria S. Kaufman

Chapter 13 hearings -  The following procedures will be in effect immediately in the Northern and San Fernando Valley Divisions to help mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus. All parties and attorneys must appear telephonically for the Chapter 13 confirmation calendar by using the instructions on the judge’s court webpage. The trustee and her counsel will not be in the courtroom with the judge.  No in-person check-in will be required because it is expected that parties will communicate by email before the hearing. All efforts will be made to reduce the need for any appearance telephonically, but counsel and clients will need to provide the usual requirements electronically well in advance of the hearing date to make this happen. Before the hearing, the debtor must email the trustee proof of any plan payments that are due by the time of the hearing, file all mortgage declarations and provide required documents to the trustee. All these items should be sent when due but no later than 48 hours before the scheduled hearing. If the case is ready for confirmation and all objections resolved, the trustee may inform the judge that the plan is confirmed on consent. Any plans not being confirmed may be continued without appearance if the trustee consents and creditors who have filed objections inform the trustee of their consent. Any party may choose to keep a matter on calendar if there is no agreement for the trustee to represent the status of the case. The trustee may also keep any matter on calendar and seek a dismissal rather than a continuance if the debtor has not provided required payments or documents, but counsel may also argue the matter telephonically. The miscellaneous calendar will also be telephonic for all parties. It is expected that an exclusively telephonic calendar will be temporary due to extraordinary circumstances and these policies will be revisited once the need for greater social distancing has passed.

Judge Tabs

Address/Contact

United States Bankruptcy Court
Central District of California
21041 Burbank Boulevard, Suite 354 / Courtroom 301
Woodland Hills, CA 91367

Chambers
(818) 587-2823

Courtroom Deputy
(818) 587-2850

Court Recorder Contact
(818) 587-2875

Emergency Motion Contacts
(818) 587-2826
(818) 587-2823

 

Self-Calendaring
Forms
Instructions/Procedures
Chapter 13
Telephonic Instructions

NOTICE RE TELEPHONIC APPEARANCE PROCEDURES FOR
JUDGE VICTORIA S. KAUFMAN’S CASES

 

To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Judge Kaufman will permit telephonic appearances in matters before her, in the manner discussed below, unless the matter is an evidentiary hearing at which the Court has agreed to admit oral testimony from, or cross-examination of, live witnesses. 

To make a telephonic appearance for those other matters which previously required an in-person appearance (see below), parties no longer need to obtain authorization from Judge Kaufman. 

Telephone appearances may be arranged by calling Court Call at (866) 582-6878 no later than 5:00 p.m. the court day prior to the hearing date. If a party arranges for a telephonic appearance with Court Call after this deadline, the party must notify the Court by contacting Judge Kaufman’s chambers at (818) 587-2823.

This expanded ability to make a telephonic appearance before Judge Kaufman will remain in effect until further notice.

 

I.      POLICIES GOVERNING TELEPHONIC APPEARANCES.

Telephonic appearances are allowed in all matters before Judge Kaufman in Courtroom # 301 of the San Fernando Valley Division, EXCEPT the following:

  1. Trials and evidentiary hearings (Counsel for all parties must appear in person.  Witnesses must also appear in person where requested or if they are to be cross-examined).
  2. Initial Chapter 11 Status Conferences (Debtor’s counsel or debtor is self-represented, and counsel for creditors’ committee, if any, must appear in person).  Other parties in interest may appear telephonically.
  3. Adversary Proceeding Initial Status Conferences and Pretrial Conferences (all trial counsel must appear in person unless JUDGE KAUFMAN has authorized appearance by telephone for the adversary proceeding at issue).
  4. Chapter 11 and 12 contested confirmation hearings (Debtor’s counsel, and all objecting creditors must appear in person).
  5. Chapter 13 contested matters, other than motions for relief from stay and motions to dismiss filed by the chapter 13 trustee. 
  6. Any matter designated by the Court as requiring a personal appearance.

No telephonic appearance will be allowed unless it is made through Court Call, an independent conference call company, pursuant to the procedures set forth in Section II

If an individual schedules a telephonic appearance and fails to respond when the matter is called on calendar, the Court may pass the matter or may treat the failure to respond as a failure to appear.  Scheduling simultaneous telephonic appearances in multiple courts does not excuse a failure to appear when a matter placed on the calendar is called.

Individuals making use of the conference call service are cautioned that they do so at their own risk.  Hearings generally will not be rescheduled as a result of missed connections.

II.      SCHEDULING A TELEPHONIC APPEARANCE. 

A.  Contact Court Call

By Telephone:  Telephone appearances may be arranged by calling Court Call at (866) 582-6878 no later than 3:00 p.m. the court day prior to the hearing date.  Any request for a telephonic appearance made to Court Call after this deadline must be Court approved by contacting Judge Kaufman’s chambers at (818) 587-2823.

By Written Request: Written requests may only be done if the request is made at least two (2) court days in advance of the hearing date.  The facsimile telephone number at Court Call is (866) 533-2946.

III.      PROCEDURE FOR TELEPHONIC APPEARANCE.

Court Call will provide counsel with written confirmation of a telephonic appearance and give counsel a number to call to make the telephonic appearance.  It is counsel’s responsibility to dial into the call not later than 10 minutes prior to the scheduled hearing.  Court Call does not place a call to counsel.  If you do not call and connect with the Court Call operator timely, you will be billed for the call and the hearing may proceed in your absence. 

Court Call will charge the appearing party directly.  If you have questions about the amounts chargeable by Court Call as a result of scheduling or making a telephonic appearance, contact Court Call

Telephonic appearances are connected directly with the courtroom’s public address system and electronic recording equipment so that a normal record is produced.  To ensure the quality of the record, the use of car phones, cellular phones, speaker phones, public telephone booths, or phones in other public places is prohibited except in the most extreme emergencies.  Participants should be able to hear all parties without difficulty or echo.

At the time of your hearing, you may be placed in a listening mode initially and will be able to hear the case before yours just as if you were in the courtroom.  After your call is connected to the courtroom, the Judge will call the case, request appearances, and direct the manner in which the hearing proceeds.  Each time you speak, you should identify yourself for the record.  The Court’s teleconferencing system allows more than one speaker to be heard so the Judge can interrupt a speaker to ask a question or redirect the discussion.  When the Judge informs the participants that the hearing is completed, you may disconnect and the next case will be called.

Telephonic appearances by multiple participants are only possible when there is compliance with every procedural requirement.  Sanctions may be imposed upon any deviation from the required procedures or if the Court determines that a person’s conduct makes telephonic appearances inappropriate.  Sanctions may include dropping a matter from calendar, continuing the hearing, proceeding in the absence of an unavailable participant, a monetary sanction, and/or a permanent prohibition against a person appearing telephonically.

Revised: March 2020

Printable version of Judge Kaufman's Telephonic Appearance Procedures

About the Judge

Appointment(s):

Education:

  • Bryn Mawr College, B.A., 1986, magna cum laude
  • Harvard Law School, J.D., 1989

Career Record:

  • 2004-2006: Of Counsel, Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP
  • 1996-1997; 1999-2004: Of Counsel, Jeffer, Mangels, Butler & Marmaro LLP
  • 1994-1996: Counsel, McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen LLP
  • 1991-1994: Associate, Levene & Eisenberg P.C.
  • 1989-1991: Associate, Latham & Watkins LLP
  • Admitted to the California Bar, 1989

Professional Memberships:

  • State Bar of California
  • National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges
Tentative Rulings
Chambers Employment
JUDGE VICTORIA S. KAUFMAN
UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT
CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
SAN FERNANDO VALLEY DIVISION
 
EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN CHAMBERS
 
TERM LAW CLERK 
  • Next Term of Employment: Starting August 31, 2022 (two-year term)
  • Applications Now Being Accepted
EXTERNS
  • Currently accepting applications for Spring and Summer 2021

EXTERNS

Qualifications: Applicants should have an excellent academic record, demonstrate exceptional research and writing skills, and have a strong work ethic.  Priority will be given to students who have a demonstrated interest in bankruptcy practice – such as registration in, or completion of, a bankruptcy, restructuring or debtor/creditor class in law school; experience in the bankruptcy field; or in a practice area related to the bankruptcy field.
 
General Job Description: Primary responsibilities for externs include legal research and writing on a broad range of issues.  Externs will be provided with the opportunity to observe hearings and trials.  In addition to working on core bankruptcy concepts, externs may assist with matters dealing with secured transactions, real property law, family law, evidence and federal practice and procedure.  Knowledge of bankruptcy and commercial law are helpful, but there are no prerequisites.  Externships will be part-time (approximately 20 hours) during the school year and full-time, four days per week, during the summer.
 
Applications: Please send a letter of interest with résumé, law school transcript, writing sample and reference letters to: U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Attn: Teresa Mkhitarian, Law Clerk to the Honorable Victoria S. Kaufman, 21041 Burbank Boulevard, Suite 354/Courtroom 301, Woodland Hills, CA 91367.
 
TERM LAW CLERK
 
Qualifications: The applicant must be a law school graduate.  Substantial research and writing experience is required.  Applicants preferably are in the top 25% of their class if the school ranks.  Law journal experience is a plus.  Candidate’s coursework should reflect a foundation for practicing bankruptcy and corporate restructuring. 
 
General Job Description: Law clerk duties include the following: conducting legal research, preparing bench memos, drafting orders and opinions, editing and proofreading the judge’s orders and opinions, verifying citations, consulting with the Judge and members of staff on legal matters affecting the administration of bankruptcy laws, overseeing externs, administrative duties (including, but not limited to, answering phone calls made to chambers, setting up the Judge’s bench, organizing events and calendaring) and other duties as prescribed by the Judge.
 

Information for Applicants: Employees of the United States Bankruptcy Court serve on an “AT WILL” basis and are required to adhere to a Code of Conduct.

  • Preference will be given to applicants who have externed in the Bankruptcy Court of the Central District of California and those have a demonstrated interest in bankruptcy law.
  • Due to the volume of applications received, communication will only be with those individuals who will be invited to interview for the position.
  • Interviewees are subject to a full National Crime Information Center (NCIC) background check and FBI fingerprint analysis.
  • The Court reserves the right to modify the conditions of this job announcement or to withdraw the announcement without prior notice.
  • The United States Bankruptcy Court is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
  • Applicant must be either a U.S. citizen or a noncitizen eligible for employment by the federal judiciary.
Applications: Please include a cover letter, résumé, law school transcript and writing sample(s).  Candidates may apply for this position by U.S. mail or email at the following addresses:
 
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Attn: Teresa Mkhitarian, Law Clerk to the Honorable Victoria S. Kaufman
21041 Burbank Boulevard, Suite 354/Courtroom 301
Woodland Hills, CA 91367

 

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