UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT
Flagler Waterview Building
1515 North Flagler Drive, 8th Floor
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Judge Hyman expects attorneys to conduct themselves professionally in his courtroom in accordance with the Court’s Guidelines for Courtroom Decorum which is posted on the Court’s website. Attorneys should remain wholly detached from any ill feeling between the litigants or witnesses. Oral or written disparaging personal remarks or acrimony toward opposing counsel or opposing parties will not be tolerated.
Judge Hyman appreciates cogent, logical writing. Whether you appear in person or by paper, you should clearly state to the Court and opposing counsel the specific relief you are requesting.
If you have a factual dispute, you should be ready to prove your position with full knowledge of evidentiary rules, local rules, and other necessary rules.
Settlement conferences are conducted upon court order and by agreement of the parties. While Judge Hyman is acting in his official capacity as a Bankruptcy Judge while assisting the parties, he has no involvement whatsoever in deciding any issue in the underlying case. Judge Hyman’s role is to facilitate the settlement discussions among the parties in an attempt to assist the parties in reaching a global settlement of their disputes and, if this is not possible, to assist in narrowing the issues for hearing before the presiding judge. In most cases, after a general meeting with all parties and counsel, Judge Hyman will use multiple conference rooms at the courthouse to enable separate meetings with the parties and their counsel. The settlement conference will be conducted in confidence, and no transcript, audio or video recording, or formal record will be made. Only Judge Hyman as settlement facilitator, Judge Hyman’s staff, the parties, and the parties’ representatives and advisors will be permitted to be present during the settlement conference. While Judge Hyman typically conducts a settlement conference in the same manner as a mediation, the settlement conference differs from a traditional mediation in that Judge Hyman, as facilitator, may provide his personal views on the claims and positions of the parties. Any settlement agreement reached as a result of the settlement conference is a consensual agreement entered into by the parties voluntarily. The parties are responsible for the final, negotiated settlement agreement, if any.
Parties who wish to request a settlement conference with Judge Hyman are directed to contact Maria Romaguera at (561) 514-4109.
Local Rules for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida govern all procedural aspects any case within the Southern District of Florida for which settlement conference has been requested. Judge Hyman expects familiarity and compliance with all applicable Local Rules.
Administrative orders updating court procedures and the Local Rules are posted on the Court’s website and should be reviewed. A copy of the Local Rules may also be obtained from the Clerk’s office.
Local forms and form orders are updated periodically and are available on the Court’s website. Be sure in settlement conferences that you are referencing current versions of all local forms and orders.
Judge Hyman does not entertain any oral or ex parte communications relating to settlement conferences. Do not write letters or call Judge Hyman unless all parties are privy to the communicaiton.
Settlement conferences may be scheduled by contacting Maria Romaguera at (561) 514-4109.
Judge Hyman graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1974 with a BA in Economics and from the University of Miami School of Law in 1977. He practiced commercial litigation from 1977 to 1979 at Britton Cohen Kaufman & Schantz in Miami. After 1979, he became an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. In 1981, he returned to Britton Cohen Kaufman & Schantz, where he represented debtors, creditors and trustees in all types of bankruptcy proceedings. In 1983, he moved to Denver, Colorado to join the firms firm of Holme Roberts & Owens where he continued his bankruptcy practice. In 1993, he returned to South Florida to assume his present position as United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of Florida. Judge Hyman has presided over many notable cases including Southeast Banking Corp., SunCruz Casinos, LLC, and Burt Reynolds Production, Inc.
Judge Hyman retired from active judicial status effective January 3, 2018, but continues to serve the Southern District of Florida on a three-year recall term. During this term, Judge Hyman will be conducting settlement conferences on an as-needed basis. During his tenure with the Court, Judge Hyman served as the Chief Judge for approximately ten years. In addition, Judge Hyman served as Co-Chairperson of the Bankruptcy Judicial Liaison Committee and as a Member of the Executive Council of the Business Law Section of the Florida Bar, as Co-Chairperson of the Local Rules Committee for the Southern District of Florida, and as a Member of the Archives and History Committee of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges.