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Bankruptcy post should be permanent

Virginia’s Eastern District Bankruptcy Court should convert its temporary judgeship to a permanent slot, according to testimony this week before a House subcommittee.

The Eastern District would have six permanent bankruptcy judgeships if Congress approves conversion of a temporary judgeship set to expire in 2011, according to Judge Barbara Lynn, chair of the Judicial Conference Committee on Administration of the Bankruptcy System.

Total bankruptcy filings in the Eastern District spiked in 2005 to 31,505, prior to the effective date of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention & Consumer Protection Act of 2005, and then dropped precipitously to 8,773 in 2006. Since then, they have steadily increased to the current level of 22,953 total filings over a 12-month period ending last March.

Judge Lynn reported that an additional permanent judgeship in Virginia’s Eastern District was recommended in 1997, 1999, 2003 and 2006, and that the district court’s request for “additional resources for over 12 years is now at risk of reverting to its resource levels dating back to 1992.”

By Deborah Elkins

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