UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT
United States Courthouse
299 E. Broward Blvd.Courtroom: 308 / Chambers: Room 306
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Judge Grossman does not engage in any kind of communication with parties before the Court except on the record in the courtroom and through documents filed with the Clerk and orders entered by the court. Bankruptcy Rule 9003 prohibits such ex parte communication with the Judge by any party in interest regarding any matter affecting a case. Failure to comply with this rule may result in sanctions. DO NOT write letters to, e-mail, or call Judge Grossman or his law clerks regarding cases. Except in unusual circumstances, each letter or e-mail addressed to Judge Grossman or his law clerks or otherwise sent to the Court and identifying a particular case or proceeding, will be placed on the relevant docket and made part of the public record. Any such letter or e-mail may be set for hearing.
Local Rule 5005-1(F) Emergency Submittals. Any party filing an emergency submittal under Local Rule 5005-1(F) must promptly notify the Courtroom Deputy that a Local Rule 5005-1(F) emergency submittal has been filed.
Judge Grossman believes in promptly addressing discovery disputes, and in strictly enforcing Rule 37(a)(5). With certain exceptions, Rule 37(a)(5) requires the Court to award attorneys’ fees and costs if a discovery motion is granted, or if a disclosure or requested discovery was provided after a motion was filed.
If a discovery dispute occurs, the parties must first, as required by Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(a)(1) (incorporated by Fed. R. Bankr. P. 7037), confer in a good faith attempt to resolve the issues. If the parties are unable to resolve the dispute, any party may file a short (not to exceed five pages) motion briefly summarizing the discovery dispute and requesting an expedited hearing. Immediately after filing the motion, the filing party must promptly contact the Courtroom Deputy to schedule an expedited hearing on the motion.
GENERAL PROCEDURES FOR REMOTE ATTENDANCE AT HEARINGS
Unless ordered otherwise, the following procedures apply to all hearings scheduled for both in-person and remote appearances (“Hybrid Hearings”):
1. REMOTE APPEARANCES FOR HYBRID HEARINGS. Although the Court will conduct the hearing in person, any interested party may choose to attend the hearing remotely using the services of Zoom Video Communications, Inc. ("Zoom"), which permits remote participation by video or by telephone. Zoom will provide a password-protected link for the appropriate Zoom conference to those who register to participate in accordance with paragraph 2 below and who have been approved by the Court. All participants must conduct a pre-hearing test of Zoom using the same equipment that they intend to use during the hearing.
2. REGISTRATION FOR REMOTE APPEARANCE. To participate in the hearing remotely via Zoom (whether by video or by telephone), you must register in advance no later than 3:00 p.m., one business day before the date of the hearing, except for hearings set on an emergency basis, in which case participants must register at least one hour before the hearing. Participants can register for the hearing by clicking on or manually entering the web address provided in the notice of hearing generated by the Court or provided in the Court order scheduling the hearing, or by using this link:
If more than one matter is set for hearing at the same date and time, participants appearing remotely via Zoom need register only once for that date, but must provide all relevant case numbers, case names and clients in the registration process. If you register more than once for the same hearing date, your last registration must include data for all relevant cases and clients, even if previously entered. Any data previously entered for that hearing date will be replaced.
3. RECORDING PROHIBITED; OFFICIAL RECORD. No person may record the proceedings from any location by any means. The audio recording created and maintained by the Court will be the sole basis for creation of a transcript that constitutes the official record of the hearing.
4. REMOTE WITNESS TESTIMONY. In accordance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 43(a) (made applicable by Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 9017), for good cause and in compelling circumstances, a witness may be permitted to testify by contemporaneous transmission from a location other than the courtroom. If the Court finds good cause and compelling circumstances to permit remote witness testimony in an evidentiary hearing, the Court will administer the oath to each remote witness and the witness testimony will have the same effect and be binding upon each remote witness in the same manner as if such remote witness was sworn in by the Court in person in open court. As additional safeguards, the Court will require that: (a) if requested, each remote witness must disclose the city, state and country, and the type of place (such as home or office), where she or he is located while testifying; (b) no other person is permitted to be in the same room with any remote witness unless specifically authorized by the Court; (c) each remote witness may only have with her or him those documents also provided to the Court for consideration in connection with the matter(s) set for hearing and no other documents or data unless specifically authorized by the Court; and (d) no person may communicate with a witness during his or her testimony, except by direct examination or cross-examination on the record, unless specifically authorized by the Court.
The party sponsoring each remote witness is responsible for ensuring that the remote witness has registered with Zoom and obtained the password-protected link to the Zoom conference, the remote witness has obtained all exhibits before the hearing, and the remote witness has the technological capability to participate in the hearing via Zoom.
5. CONDUCT DURING HEARING. To avoid distractions during the hearing, all participants must mute electronic devices and disable all audible alerts. Although conducted using remote conferencing technology, the hearing is a court proceeding and the formalities of the courtroom must be observed. Counsel and witnesses must dress appropriately, exercise civility, and otherwise conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the dignity of the Court. For hearings with multiple matters set at the same time, participants attending by video conference should keep their cameras off until their matter is called, at which time they should turn on their cameras for their particular hearing, and then turn them off again after their matter has concluded.
Persons participating in a hearing remotely also must: (a) state their name each time they speak; (b) speak audibly, clearly, and slowly; and (c) mute their microphone when they are not talking. Failure to do so may result in an incomplete or inaccurate record of the proceedings.
When appearing remotely, you are connected directly with the sound system in the courtroom and will be able to hear all activity before the Court just as if you were in the courtroom. As with appearances in person, you must wait for the Judge to call the case, at which point he will request appearances and direct the manner in which the hearing proceeds. At the conclusion of your matter, you may disconnect from the Zoom meeting without requesting to be excused.
Whether or not noticed as evidentiary hearings, all hearings on motions for (a) authority to use or to prohibit use of cash collateral, (b) approval of post-petition financing, (c) payment of pre-petition wages, or (d) payment of pre-petition claims, are considered evidentiary hearings. In each case, the movant must be prepared to make an offer of proof consistent with the requirements of the Bankruptcy Code, the Bankruptcy Rules, the Local Rules, and relevant law.
Matters settled before a hearing may be removed from the calendar by contacting the Courtroom Deputy not later than noon at least one business day before the hearing.