On Feb. 15, Judge Sandra R. Klein, of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California welcomed 50 first-year students from Loyola Law School (LLS) to her courtroom.  The Court’s hearing calendar was packed with motions for relief from the automatic stay, motions for sanctions and contempt, and numerous chapter 11 matters.  While some students had visited courts and observed hearings in the past, for many others, it was their first time being in a courtroom.

After concluding the hearings, Judge Klein spoke to the students and answered their questions.  The students inquired about a range of issues, from basic bankruptcy procedure to specific issues raised by counsel during hearings.  The students were curious about whether Judge Klein has ever changed tentative rulings after oral argument, what an appearance attorney’s responsibilities are, and how she determines what evidence is credible.  Students were also interested in knowing how often Judge Klein grants requests to continue matters.  Judge Klein explained that granting requests for continuances often allow parties to work out their issues, and she is always willing to give them the opportunity to do so.

Finally, Judge Klein shared some helpful insights with the students.  She stated that written advocacy is much more important than oral advocacy, noting that in some courts, oral argument is not permitted and the judge makes a decision based solely on the pleadings.  Judge Klein also encouraged the students to be meticulously honest with the court when citing the facts and the law because a lawyer’s reputation is extremely important and he or she never wants it to be tarnished.  Judge Klein concluded her remarks by mentioning that she hopes to see the students the next time she is at LLS.

Hasmik Simidyan, Extern to the Honorable Sandra R. Klein