JUDICIAL COUNCIL OF THE TENTH CIRCUIT

Resolutions of the Council Approving Establishment of the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel

WHEREAS, after a trial period beginning July 1, 1996, the Judicial Council of the Tenth Circuit believes it to be in the best interests of the Circuit to continue the existence of the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel,

IT IS RESOLVED by a majority vote of the Judicial Council of the Tenth Circuit that pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §158(b)(1), as amended by the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1994, Pub.L. 103-394, October 22, 1994, 108 Stat. 4106, the establishment of a Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Tenth Circuit is approved.

1. Establishment of the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel

(a) The Tenth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel may hear and determine appeals originating from final judgments, decrees, and orders (and certain interlocutory orders where appellate review is permitted by statute) of bankruptcy courts in districts that have authorized the use of bankruptcy appellate panels pursuant to28 U.S.C. §158(b)(6).
 
(b) As provided by 28 U.S.C. §158(b)(2), the Judicial Council or individual participating districts may reconsider the use of bankruptcy appellate panels at any time. If the Judicial Council or a district court reconsiders the use of bankruptcy appellate panels, bankruptcy appeals currently pending before the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel at the time of reconsideration will proceed in the normal course until termination on the merits.
 
(c) All appeals originating from participating districts will be referred to the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel unless a party elects to have the appeal heard by the district court pursuant to applicable statutes and rules.

2. Membership of the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel

(a) The Bankruptcy Appellate Panel will be composed of nine active bankruptcy judges appointed by the Chief Judge of the Tenth Circuit ("Chief Circuit Judge"). When making appointments, the Chief Circuit Judge will solicit the input of the chief district court judges and the Chief Judge of the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel. All bankruptcy judges within the Circuit on regular active service will be eligible.
 
(b) Each judge will serve a term of five years, which may be renewed. If a judge is unable to serve a complete term, due to death, removal, or resignation, the Chief Circuit Judge will fill the vacancy by appointing a bankruptcy judge to a renewable five-year term.
 
(c) When the Chief Circuit Judge appoints bankruptcy judges to the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel, due consideration should be given to the following criteria: i) the judge's willingness to serve; ii) the judge's current caseload and ability to maintain a regular caseload if appointed; iii) the accuracy, clarity, and consistency of the judge's written opinions; iv) the judge's tenure on the bankruptcy bench; and v) the judge's reputation for collegiality among peers. The Chief Circuit Judge will also weigh proportionate representation of all districts of the Circuit on the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel.

3. Chief Judge of Bankruptcy Appellate Panel

The Chief Circuit Judge will appoint a Chief Judge of the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel to serve a three-year renewable term. The Chief Judge of the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel will serve as the chief judicial officer of the panel and will also attend meetings of the Tenth Circuit Judicial Council as an observer judge.

4. Pro Tem Appointment

The Chief Judge of the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel, with the advice and the consent of the Chief Circuit Judge, may from time to time designate any active or recalled bankruptcy judge, not otherwise appointed to the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel, to serve on a pro tem basis.

5. Rules of Procedure

(a) The Chief Judge of the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel may appoint a Local Rules of Practice Committee, consisting of the Chief Judge of the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel, two judges of the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel, two bankruptcy practitioners, and the Clerk of the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel. The Chief Judge of the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel will serve as the chairperson of the Committee. Both the Chief Judge of the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel and the Clerk of the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel will continuously serve on the Local Rules of Practice Committee for the duration of their tenures as Chief Judge and Clerk. The remainder of the Committee will serve two-year renewable terms. The Committee may promulgate draft Tenth Circuit Local Bankruptcy Appellate Panel Rules for adoption by the Judicial Council.
 
(b) The Tenth Circuit Local Bankruptcy Appellate Panel Draft Rules are subject to review and approval by the Judicial Council, and must undergo publication and a "notice and comment" period for input from practitioners and interested parties prior to implementation. The Committee will review all such written comments, and the Chairperson of the Committee will forward any recommendations for revision adopted by the Committee to the Judicial Council prior to the effective date of the Local Bankruptcy Appellate Panel Rules.

6. Clerk and Other Employees

The Bankruptcy Appellate Panel, or such person or persons as the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel may designate, shall select and hire the Clerk of the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel, staff attorneys, and other necessary assistants. The Bankruptcy Appellate Panel with the consent of the Chief Circuit Judge shall determine the location of the principal office of the Clerk.

The Bankruptcy Appellate Panel may conduct hearings at such times and places as it determines appropriate.

Dated this 8th day of March 1999.
FOR THE JUDICIAL COUNCIL
Stephanie K. Seymour, Chief Circuit Judge

By: /S/
Robert L. Hoecker, Circuit Executive and Secretary to the Judicial Council