About Me
Craig D. Robins, Esq. New York Bankruptcy Attorney, Longisland bankruptcy attorney

“ Craig D. Robins, Esq., has been a practicing Long Island bankruptcy attorney for over twenty-four years ”

Craig D. Robins, Esq.

Central Islip Bankruptcy Court & Judges

Profiles of All Long Island Bankruptcy Trustees, Judges and Key Players in the Long Island Bankruptcy Court (Eastern District of New York)

Posted on Friday (December 11, 2009) at 4:30 pm to Bankruptcy Trustee Profiles
Central Islip Bankruptcy Court & Judges
Info on Bankruptcy and the Court
Lawyer to Lawyer

Information about each Chapter 7 bankrutpcy trustee and bankruptcy judge in the Long Island Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of New York (Central Islip)Written by Craig D. Robins, Esq.
 
Everyone these days is Googling everyone else.  Many of my Long Island bankruptcy clients have commented to me that they have searched the internet for information about their bankruptcy judge and trustee.
 
People want to know about the judges and trustees they have to appear before.  Often a debtor wants to know more about their trustee after having interacted with him or her for the first time at the meeting of creditors.  Sometimes colleagues who do not regularly practice in the Central Islip Bankruptcy Court contact me to inquire about what I know of a certain judge or trustee.
 
And even those who regularly practice in our court are curious about the backgrounds of those they regularly appear before.  Some of my readers have suggested that I provide something along the line of biographies of those affiliated with the bankruptcy court.
 
I have therefore decided to post profiles of all of the key players in Central Islip Bankruptcy Matters — the trustees, the judges, and eventually, perhaps, some others. 
 
The Central Islip Bankruptcy Court, which is one of the two bankruptcy courts in the Eastern District of New York, currently has a panel of nine chapter 7 trustees, two standing Chapter 13 trustees, and three bankruptcy judges.
 
I previously posted an article about Long Island Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustees  which contained a list of all of the Chapter 7 trustees that are currently on the Chapter 7 panel for the Eastern District of New York and assigned to the Central Islip Bankruptcy Court, as well as those who are no longer on the Chapter 7 panel.
 
Most of the information I’ll be providing is public information and readily accessible to anyone willing to spend the time to do so.  Obviously I don’t want to provide any sensitive personal information.  However, I will try to offer some of my own opinions about each trustee I profile.
 
In addition, with each trustee, I will also post contact info such as their office address and phone number.
 
The first post will be about our senior-most Chapter 7 trustee, Ken Kirschenbaum, who has a particularly colorful background.  All trustee profiles will be accessable on the page, Long Island Bankruptcy Trustee Profiles , which you can get to by clicking the link.
 
One final thing:  lots of people Google me, too.  So here’s the link to my bio — information about Craig D. Robins, Esq., Long Island Bankruptcy Attorney.
 
 
 
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How Much Do Long Island Bankruptcy Judges Earn?

Posted on Wednesday (October 28, 2009) at 5:00 pm to Central Islip Bankruptcy Court & Judges

Long Island Bankruptcy Court judges currently earn $160,080Written by Craig D. Robins, Esq.
 
The Chief Judge of New York, Jonathon Lippman, announced today that he will be providing all New York State judges with an allowance of $10,000 in addition to their regular salary.  This is a welcome addition considering that this is the 11th straight year that New York judges have not gotten a pay raise.  However, this does not apply to Bankruptcy judges.
 
Bankruptcy judges, who are federal employees, have not gotten significant pay raises for quite some time as well.  The current salary for a bankruptcy judge is $160,080, and this amount is set by Congress.  The salary is actually based on 92% of the salary of a United States District Court judge, which is currently $174,000.
 
Incidentally, New York State Court judges in the Supreme Court currently have a salary of $136,700, and County District Court judges earn slightly less than that.
 
Many of the Long Island bankruptcy attorneys appearing before Judges Robert E. Grossman, Alan S. Trust, and Dorothy T. Eisenberg in the Central Islip Bankruptcy Court therefore earn more than the judge.
 
Although a judge’s salary, when compared to the typical salary of a Long Island resident, may seem pretty good, it is relatively less than what the judge can earn in private practice.  This is the main reason why former Chief Bankruptcy Judge Melanie S. Cyganowski retired from the bench two years ago.  (See the my interview of her:  Chief Bankruptcy Judge Melanie Cyganowski Stepping Down )
 
For more information about the Central Islip Bankruptcy Court judges, please see my post:  How Are Long Island Bankruptcy Judges Appointed?.
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Long Island Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Case Filing Information Now Available For Cases Filed in Central Islip

Posted on Friday (September 11, 2009) at 5:00 am to Central Islip Bankruptcy Court & Judges
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
Chapter 11 Filings on Long Island
Current Events
Long Island Economy

Long Island Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Case Filing Information Written by Craig D. Robins, mind Esq.
 
When I started my bankruptcy blog, I thought it would be a great idea to provide a summary of each new Chapter 11 bankruptcy case filed in Central Islip Bankruptcy Court, which is part of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York.  I am proud to announce that I have begun to do this.
 
You will now be able to find information about all Chapter 11 cases filed in the Central Islip Bankruptcy Court after August 1, 2009 by reading posts in the Long Island Bankruptcy Blog.  Most information is obtained from public documents filed in the bankruptcy case.
 
All Chapter 11 case information posts are in the category Chapter 11 Filings on Long Island .
 
Several weeks after the close of each month, I will also provide a monthly index of those Chapter 11 cases filed on Long Island the previous month.
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Bankruptcy Judges Are Barred by Law From Attending the Meeting of Creditors

Posted on Wednesday (August 19, 2009) at 10:45 am to Central Islip Bankruptcy Court & Judges
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

The bankruptcy Code prohibits judges from attending the meeting of creditors (section 341 hearing)Written by Craig D. Robins, Esq.
 
The meeting of creditors is open to the public and anyone can attend — except one very important person — the bankruptcy judge assigned to the case.
 
You’d think that the bankruptcy judge might want to know what’s going on in the meeting of creditors, which is the informal hearing conducted by the trustee to examine the debtor.  However, bankruptcy judges are barred by law from doing so.
 
This prohibition didn’t always exist.  Our current bankruptcy code went into effect in 1979.  Prior to that time, judges were able to attend the meeting of creditors.  However, Congress thought it was necessary to prohibit judges from attending the meeting to avoid any bias.
 
Accordingly, Bankruptcy Code section 341(c) provides that “the court may not preside at, and may not attend, any meeting under this section.” 
 
Although the meeting of creditors is held in the courthouse, it is not a court hearing and the trustee presiding over the meeting is not a judicial officer.  Incidentally, in most Chapter 7 consumer cases, the debtor will never even appear before the judge assigned to the case and will never meet their judge.
 
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Interpreters in Bankruptcy Court

Posted on Thursday (August 6, 2009) at 3:45 am to Bankruptcy Practice
Bankruptcy Tips Consumers Should Know
Central Islip Bankruptcy Court & Judges
Info on Bankruptcy and the Court
Lawyer to Lawyer

Interpreters are now available in Central Islip Bankruptcy Court and Brooklyn Bankruptcy CourtWritten by Craig D. Robins, prostate Esq.

What happens if you are a debtor in a bankruptcy case and you can barely speak English?
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Free English translation services now available in our Long Island Bankruptcy Court
 
The U.S. Trustee Program recently began offering free translation services.  The service is limited to assisting non-English speaking debtors at the meeting of creditors, vcialis 40mg which is also known as the section 341 hearing.
 
The first time I saw this in action I was amazed at how smoothly the process worked.  I was at a meeting of creditors a few months ago with some Spanish-speaking clients.  The trustee was Andrew Thaler who had never utilized the service before.  Using a telephone in the meeting room, sildenafil the trustee called a central translation service switchboard, provided some info, and within minutes was connected to a Spanish-speaking interpreter.
The interpreter methodically translated through the speaker phone, and there were no problems at all. 
 
In the past, a debtor with limited English proficiency would have to bring their own interpreter with them, who was often a family member.  Although this had worked smoothly with most trustees, some trustees were not too willing to let family members serve as interpreters because of potential bias.
 
The new system, which is in accordance with an Executive Order from the President requiring federal agencies to have a Language Assistance Plan, provides interpretation services in as many as 196 languages.  Currently the service is only available in some areas and we are fortunate enough to have it in the Central Islip and Brooklyn Bankruptcy Courts.
 
To minimize delays at the meeting of creditors, debtors wishing to take advantage of this free service are encouraged to have their bankruptcy attorney contact the trustee in advance of the meeting. 
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Don’t Call the Bankruptcy Trustee, “Your Honor”

Posted on Wednesday (August 5, 2009) at 2:15 am to Bankruptcy Tips Consumers Should Know
Central Islip Bankruptcy Court & Judges
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Info on Bankruptcy and the Court

Don't Call the Bankruptcy Trustee, Written by Craig D. Robins, Esq.
 
After hearing so many debtors at the meeting of creditors address their trustee as, “Your Honor,” we need to set the record straight.  The trustee is not a judge, nor is the trustee a judicial hearing officer.  Do not call the trustee, “Your Honor.”
 
I usually tell my clients about this in advance of their hearing, but I see so many clients of other attorneys address the trustee with more respect than the trustee deserves.
 
Only judges should be referred to as, “Your Honor”; not trustees.
 
Interestingly, many of the trustees do not correct the debtor when so addressed, although some certainly  do.
 
Judges have come a long way to ascend the bench and deservingly warrant a certain degree of respect.  Chapter 7 Trustees, on the other hand, are simply bankruptcy attorneys who have sought to be placed on the panel of  trustees.  There are nine Chapter 7 trustees on Long Island.  There are two Chapter 13 trustees. See What Is a Bankruptcy Trustee?
 
For a list of all Long Island bankruptcy trustees, please see my earlier post Long Island Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustees or Brooklyn Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustees .
 
Although all New York trustees are bankruptcy attorneys, in some other parts of the country, there are non-attorney trustees.
 
So when addressing the trustee, simply call them by their name:  “Mr. Smith”, for example.
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Directions to Central Islip Bankruptcy Court – Long Island

Posted on Wednesday (July 22, 2009) at 10:47 am to Central Islip Bankruptcy Court & Judges

medications New York” src=”http://longislandbankruptcyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/court-central-islip-462×3471.jpg” alt=”Directions to the Long Island Bankruptcy Court in Central Islip, tadalafil New York” width=”300″ />Written by Craig D. Robins, Esq.
 
The new Federal Courthouse in Central Islip opened in September 2000. 
 
Upon entering the Courthouse, you will need to go through a metal detector.  VERY IMPORTANT: You are not permitted to take cellular phones into the building.  The U.S. Marshal’s Service, which provides building security, will make you go back to your car to leave your cell phone there if you bring it into the building.  They will only let you check it if you have no car.
 
There is a coffee shop on the first floor of the Courthouse which serves breakfast and lunch, and pay phones on every floor.
 
If you are going to court for your first bankruptcy hearing, it is called the Meeting of Creditors.  They are always held in either room 561 or 563.
 
You cannot miss the Federal Courthouse.  It is the tallest building in Suffolk County and it is located in the same complex that contains the Suffolk County Supreme Court.  It is a very large white building with an unusual-looking rotunda that looks like a missile silo.
 
The building is located off Exit 43A on the Southern State Parkway and it is at the Northeast corner of Carleton Avenue and the Southern State Parkway.
 
If coming from the West, take Southern State Parkway to Exit 43A.  You will loop over Southern State Parkway.  Please follow signs to the Court and into the parking lot. 
 
If coming from the North, take Route 111 which merges with Carleton Avenue.  The Courthouse is on the left, approximately 2 ½ miles south of the Long Island Rail Road tracks in Central Islip.  It is just before Southern State Parkway.
 
If using the Long Island Rail Road, the station is the Central Islip station, but you will need taxi accommodations to go the 2 ½ miles south to the Courthouse.
 
We tell our clients to time their travel so that they are at the Courthouse and in the hearing room at least 30 minutes before the scheduled hearing.
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How Are Long Island Bankruptcy Judges Appointed?

Posted on Sunday (July 5, 2009) at 9:30 am to Central Islip Bankruptcy Court & Judges
Info on Bankruptcy and the Court

Long Island Bankruptcy Judges are selected by the Second Circuit Court of AppealsWritten by Craig D. Robins, Esq.
 
There are three bankruptcy judges in the Central Islip Bankruptcy Court and four bankruptcy judges in the Brooklyn Bankruptcy Court.  Each of these judges has been appointed for a 14-year term.  Here’s how they got there.
 
Bankruptcy court judges are federal judges.  They are considered judicial officers of the U.S. District Court.  Congress determines the number of bankruptcy judges in any jurisdiction.  I previously wrote that this country’s bankruptcy judges are overwhelmed with cases because Congress has not designated any new bankruptcy judgeships since 1992 — see Are Bankruptcy Judges Overworked? .
 
When there is a vacancy to an existing bankruptcy judgeship, as there was in the Central Islip Bankruptcy Court two years ago when Judge Cyganowski and Judge Bernstein retired, the Court of Appeals for our jurisdiction, which is the Second Circuit, advertises public notice and solicits applications on a national level.  Applicants, who are typically bankruptcy attorneys, can then submit applications to become a bankruptcy judge. 
 
A screening committee which is set up by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals then reviews the applications and makes recommendations based on those individuals best qualified to serve as a bankruptcy judge.  This committee consists of a panel of circuit judges and district court judges from our district. 
 
The screening committee will then make its final recommendations to a committee of judges in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.  A majority of judges in the Circuit Court then appoints the new judge.
 
Several weeks thereafter, the chief circuit court judge will administer an oath to the candidate and swear in the new bankruptcy court judge.
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What has Former Chief Long Island Bankruptcy Judge Melanie L. Cyganowski Been Up To?

Posted on Wednesday (June 24, 2009) at 6:14 pm to Central Islip Bankruptcy Court & Judges

What has Former Chief Long Island Bankruptcy Judge Melanie L. Cyganowski Been Up To?Written by Craig D. Robins, Esq.
 
It was two years ago that Melanie L. Cyganowski retired from the bench as Chief Judge of the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York to pursue a career change into the private sector.  (see:  Chief Bankruptcy Judge Melanie Cyganowski Stepping Down ).  This year she has been quite busy.
 
The big automakers bankruptcies have kept most of the City’s top bankruptcy attorneys busy, and this was no exception for Judge Cyganowski.
 
Currently a partner with the New York firm, Otterbourg, Steindler, Houston & Rosen, Judge Cyganowski was tapped to advise GMAC Financial Services, which is the financing arm of General Motors, with matters involving the General Motors bankruptcy.
 
While Chief Judge, she spent a great deal of time trying to make the Long Island and Brooklyn bankruptcy courts more efficient.  She has continued with such laudable efforts by recently co-chairing the New York State Bar Association Task Force on the State of Our Courthouses.  The task force just issued a report aimed at improving the conditions and modernizing the state’s judicial facilities.  The 55-page report can be viewed here:  Task Force Report
 
Earlier this year, Judge Cyganowski appeared as a commentator on Fox Business News to discuss Ponzi scammer Bernie Madoff’s possessions and bank accounts, and what steps might be taken to go after any fraudulently transferred assets.  You can see the video here:  Judge Cyganowski Video on Fox.  In the interview, she commented on issues that previously came before her on a regular basis as a bankruptcy judge in Central Islip, such as fraudulent transfers, gifts given without sufficient consideration, and sufficiency of good faith defenses.
 
Judge Cyganowski has also been teaching some classes at St. John’s University School of Law, in their L.L.M in Bankruptcy Master of Laws program.  She teaches the class, “Bankruptcy Ethics, Fraud and Malpractice” with Southern District of New York Bankruptcy Judge Cecelia Morris.
 
To round out her dedication to the bar, Judge Cyganowski has also chaired the New York State Bar Association’s Nominating Committee.
 
In addition, Judge Cyganowski just moderated a dinner program last week at the Jericho Milleridge Inn, sponsored by the Turnaround Management Association and New York Institute of Credit, entitled “Chapter 7 and 11  – Can They be Lucky Numbers?”   Unfortunately, because of some other commitments, I couldn’t attend that program.
 
 
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Chapter 15 Bankruptcy

Posted on Friday (June 19, 2009) at 11:30 pm to Central Islip Bankruptcy Court & Judges
Issues Involving New Bankruptcy Laws

and also known as a cross-border insolvency case” src=”http://longislandbankruptcyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/chapter-15-bankruptcy.jpg” alt=”Rare “Chapter 15″ width=”290″ />Written by Craig D. Robins, Esq.
 
Rare and unusual “Chapter 15″ bankruptcy case filed on Long Island
 
Everyone is familiar with Chapter 7, 11 and 13 bankruptcies.  However, the 2005 Bankruptcy Amendment Act created a whole new category of bankruptcy filing: Chapter 15.
 
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What is Chapter 15 Bankruptcy?
 
A Chapter 15 bankruptcy filing is one in which a foreign company that has sought bankruptcy protection in its own country also files a case here so that the United States recognizes the foreign insolvency proceeding on an ancillary basis.
 
An international debtor would want to file a Chapter 15 proceeding here if it has assets and debts in this country.  This enables the various courts in different countries  to work together and avoid conflicts.
 
The technical name for a Chapter 15 bankruptcy case is an “Ancillary Cross Border Case”.  Detailed information about Chapter 15 bankruptcy is available on the U.S. Courts official website: Chapter 15 Ancillary and Other Cross-Border Cases.
 
Only One Chapter 15 Case Has Ever Been Filed on Long island
 
In the three and a half years since Chapter 15 cases have been in existence, only one has been filed in the Eastern District of New York: an Israeli company, Gold & Honey, Ltd.  The case, which was filed here earlier this year, emanated from a bankruptcy case filed in Tel-Aviv-Jaffa District Court.
 
The Chapter 15 case was filed by my friend and colleague, Paul H. Deutch, Esq., an associate at the New York firm of Troutman Sanders.  Paul was previously a law clerk for Judge Conrad Duberstein.  The case is currently pending in the Central Islip Bankruptcy Court before Judge Trust.
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Craig D. Robins, Esq. is a Long Island bankruptcy lawyer, who is focused primarily on helping individuals and families, find solutions to their debt problems. Read more »

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Craig D. Robins, Esq.
35 Pinelawn Road, Suite 218E, Melville, NY 11747.

Tel : 516 - 496 - 0800

CraigR@Craigrobinslaw.com