The Florida Bar
www.floridabar.org
The Florida Bar Journal
April, 2014 Volume 88, No. 4
Bankruptcy Appeals: A Stealthy and Different Kind of Appeal

by Ceci Berman

Page 35

Bankruptcy appeals are the ninjas of the appellate world. When the word “appeal” comes to mind, it is not usually accompanied by the word “bankruptcy.” Instead, these appeals sneak up on practitioners, complete with rules that differ from standard federal appeals, trial level judges sitting in an appellate capacity, and, frequently, two tiers of review. These stealthy appeals are significant, though, often resulting in important substantive law. On that note, this column touches very quickly and briefly on the high points of bankruptcy appellate rules and jurisdiction so that, hopefully, you are prepared when they next strike.

Federal District Courts’ Jurisdiction
Let’s start with the basics, such as when a bankruptcy order is appealable and how most bankruptcy appeals proceed. Because bankruptcy appeals are federal in nature, when there is no constitutional right to an appeal,1 there must be a statutory basis for the appeal,2 and federal principles of finality apply. This means that final orders are appealable, and, generally, nonfinal (or, interlocutory) orders are appealable only with leave of court.3 The courts with jurisdiction to hear these appeals are federal district courts, which, of course, are not typically appellate courts.4 Later in this article, we will get to when the 11th Circuit will hear a bankruptcy appeal.

Appealing Final Orders — As with any potential appeal, the immediate issue is whether the order is final and appealable, which can become a complicated one given the different types of bankruptcy proceedings. For example, bankruptcy proceedings always include the main bankruptcy itself, but there might also be adversary proceedings. In the main bankruptcy, an example of a final, appealable order is the order confirming the plan of reorganization.5

On the other hand, orders emanating from an adversary proceeding may be less easily categorized. In the same way that an adversary proceeding operates as a stand-alone litigation matter within the bankruptcy, which proceeds much like any other standard civil litigation case, the appealability of orders coming out of the adversary proceeding can generally be assessed in the same manner as those in a typical federal court action.

Thus, in determining finality of a bankruptcy order, general federal principles developed under 28 U.S.C. §1291 apply.6 Before jumping into the analysis of finality, be aware that in keeping with the treatment of bankruptcy cases as sometimes being a bit different, there are occasions when orders that appear to be nonfinal have been treated as final.7 This fits with the notion that finality is treated in a more pragmatic and less technical way in bankruptcy cases than in other situations.8 For example, in a Ch. 7 case in which the bankruptcy court removed the trustee, the 11th Circuit found an order of removal of the trustee to be final and appealable.9

Coupling the requirement of finality with a notion of flexibility, let’s return to assessing whether an order is final and appealable under federal principles. A bankruptcy order is final if it ends the litigation on the merits and leaves nothing for the court to do but execute judgment.10 With respect to final orders in adversary proceedings, usually it is the particular adversary proceeding that must have been finally resolved rather than the entire bankruptcy litigation.11 Again, finality must be flexible, which is one of the reasons why the 11th Circuit has said that any order concluding an adversary proceeding should be deemed final and reviewable.12

As in other federal cases, there are some exceptions to finality. Under the collateral order doctrine (also known as the Cohen doctrine), a nonfinal order is appealable if it 1) conclusively determines the disputed question; 2) resolves an important issue completely separate from the merits of the action; and 3) is effectively unreviewable on appeal from a final judgment.13 The collateral order doctrine has been applied in bankruptcy cases.14 However, despite the 11th Circuit’s statement that it has not hesitated to apply the collateral order doctrine in bankruptcy cases, there remain many instances when the doctrine has not been applied.15

Another exception to finality is the Forgay-Conrad rule, which can also apply in bankruptcy cases.16 In bankruptcy cases, the Forgay-Conrad rule allows for review whenever an order requires “immediate delivery of physical property and subjects the losing party to irreparable harm” if appellate review is not allowed until the case is over.17 As one might imagine, upon review of the narrow nature of the rule, Forgay-Conrad is applied even less frequently than the collateral order doctrine.18

Finally, there is a third exception to finality, termed the Gillespie, or marginal finality, rule.19 Under this rule, an appellate court will review an order that is one of marginal finality if the question presented is fundamental to further conduct of the case.20 While that exception may sound very broad, it is not. In fact, as many practitioners are aware, this exception is almost never applied. Finding a decision applying this exception in a bankruptcy proceeding within the 11th Circuit is challenging indeed.21

Appealing Nonfinal Orders — Recall that this article earlier noted that nonfinal orders (not including those that are treated as final pursuant to one of the exceptions already outlined) are appealable only with leave of court. Under 28 U.S.C. §158(a), district courts may hear appeals from nonfinal orders upon granting leave.22 Because neither the Bankruptcy Code nor the bankruptcy rules provide guidance to district courts in making their determinations on whether to review a nonfinal order, courts have turned to the same 28 U.S.C. §1292(b) analysis used in determining whether there should be interlocutory review in a standard federal action.23 Thus, the inquiry made by a district court considering review of a nonfinal bankruptcy court order is whether there is “(1) a controlling question of law (2) as to which there is substantial ground for difference of opinion and (3)…an immediate appeal…may materially advance the ultimate termination of the litigation….”24 Although the decision of whether to review a nonfinal order lies within the district court’s discretion, district courts within the 11th Circuit have generally followed the principle that if any of the three foregoing factors have not been met, leave must be denied.25

As for the first element, there is a controlling question of law if the issue “deals with a question of ‘pure’ law, or matters that can be decided quickly and cleanly without having to study the record.”26 Some courts have said that being determinative of the case does not make a question controlling.27 Rather, a question is controlling “only if it may contribute to the determination, at an early stage, of a wide spectrum of cases.”28 Other courts, by contrast, have found that there is a controlling question of law when the issues at hand involve pure legal interpretation and not fact finding.29 In any case, district courts appear to uniformly agree that the issue should not involve delving deeply into the facts.30

Second, as to whether there is a substantial ground for difference of opinion, an appellant must show that at least two courts interpret the relevant legal principle differently.31 There can be no substantial difference of opinion if the jurisdiction in which the bankruptcy order was rendered has decided the issue.32 A substantial difference of opinion cannot be shown merely by demonstrating that the order for which an appeal is sought presents a difficult ruling.33 Likewise, demonstrating a lack of authority on the legal issues does not show a substantial difference of opinion.34 Although demonstrating a substantial ground for difference of opinion may seem to be difficult, many district courts have made such a finding.35

Finally, as to the third requirement that granting leave to appeal would advance the termination of the litigation, this factor is met “if resolution of the controlling question of law substantially reduces the amount of litigation left in the case.”36 Of course, then, allowing an interlocutory appeal becomes most compelling when reversal of the issue on appeal would dispose of the entire bankruptcy case.37 Additionally, when a decision by the district court would preclude the need for further interlocutory appeals, district courts have found that there would be a material advancement of the ultimate termination of the litigation.38 On the other hand, continually seeking interlocutory appeals and otherwise being responsible for delays in the litigation can prevent a party from successfully showing that an interlocutory appeal will advance the ultimate termination of the litigation.39

Circuit Courts of Appeals’ Jurisdiction
As promised earlier in this article, let’s now touch on when the 11th Circuit has jurisdiction to hear a bankruptcy appeal. Bankruptcy appeals are unique in that they are one of the only types of appeals that often involve automatic two-tier review. Many orders are appealed from the bankruptcy court to the district court and then from the district court to the circuit court of appeals without the circuit court having discretion over whether to hear the appeal.

Under 28 U.S.C. §158(d), the circuit courts of appeals have jurisdiction to hear all final district court orders that result from the district court’s exercise of appellate jurisdiction over bankruptcy court orders.40 This is how there can be automatic two-tier review. However, the definition of a “final district court order” is the subject of debate. There is a split among circuit courts of appeals regarding whether, when there is an indisputably final bankruptcy order, finality can be affected by the district court’s actions on appeal. This split extends to an intra-circuit split at some circuit courts of appeals.41

That is, some circuits have held that if the district court’s appellate decision results in a decision that creates more substantive work for the bankruptcy court on remand, then the original bankruptcy order is no longer final, and the circuit court of appeals does not have appellate jurisdiction. The First, Second, Fifth, Seventh, 10th, and 11th circuits have adopted this approach, as have certain panels at the Eighth and Ninth circuits.42 Other circuits have held that if the original bankruptcy order being reviewed was final, then the district court’s appellate decision does not affect finality and the circuit court of appeals’ appellate jurisdiction for purposes of 28 U.S.C. §1293. The Third Circuit, as well as panels at the Eighth and Ninth circuits, have followed this rule.43 Finally, the Sixth Circuit has come out somewhere in the middle, using as guidance the case law from other circuits. It has decided whether there is finality and, thus, appellate jurisdiction on a case-by-case basis.44 The bottom line is that the analysis of appellate jurisdiction in a circuit court of appeals in a bankruptcy case can be an extremely complex issue.

Because the 11th Circuit generally requires traditional finality all the way through the district court’s decision, before it exercises jurisdiction, the 11th Circuit will often analyze the finality of the district court’s order disposing of the bankruptcy appeal, and, if there is not finality, whether one of the previously discussed three exceptions to finality applies.45 For example, there would not be finality, and thus no jurisdiction, when a district court order reversed a bankruptcy order for the sale of property and remanded to the bankruptcy court for a full adversary hearing.46 Another good example of a lack of finality, and, therefore, lack of appellate jurisdiction in the 11th Circuit, might be a district court’s reversal of a bankruptcy court’s order granting a motion to dismiss. On the other hand, a district court order that affirms a bankruptcy court’s order on the merits is final and appealable. This is true even when entitlement to attorneys’ fees remains undecided (depending on the basis for the fee claim).47

Sometimes, though, the district courts need not have a role in this jurisdictional puzzle. There are instances in which direct appeals to the circuit courts are authorized.48 The 11th Circuit has direct appellate jurisdiction in a bankruptcy matter if the bankruptcy court (or the district court on review) certifies that 1) an order entered in the case involves a question of law as to which there is no controlling decision of the court of appeals for the circuit or of the supreme court, or if it involves a matter of public importance; 2) the order involves a question of law that requires resolution of conflicting decisions; or 3) an immediate appeal from the order may materially advance the progress of the case or proceeding.49

Standard of Review
The standard of review is important to understand in bankruptcy appeals. An interesting aspect of bankruptcy appeals is what happens when there are two tiers of appellate review. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals independently reviews the factual and legal findings of the bankruptcy court.50 It reviews the legal conclusions of the bankruptcy or district courts de novo and the findings of fact for clear error.51 This is noteworthy because it means that the second appellate court reviewing the case is not giving any deference to the first appellate court reviewing the case (the district court), which might seem surprising. This is arguably one reason why parties that do not seek the results they desire are quick to appeal district court decisions, if, jurisdictionally, they are able to do so. Finally, the 11th Circuit reviews a bankruptcy court’s interpretation of its own order using an abuse of discretion standard, which it also uses when reviewing a bankruptcy court’s imposition of sanctions.52

Bankruptcy Appellate Procedure
Last but not least are the procedural aspects of a bankruptcy appeal, which differ slightly from a standard federal court appeal. When handling a bankruptcy appeal, a lawyer must be aware of not only the relevant Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, but also the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, and, depending on which court is handling the appeal, the local court rules and internal operating procedures.

Bankruptcy appeals move on a much quicker timeline when appealing from bankruptcy to district court. There are only 14 days, from the date of the order being appealed, to file a notice of appeal.53 As with other appeals, there are certain motions that toll the time for filing a notice of appeal.54 Interestingly, in rare instances, bankruptcy rules also allow for a request for an extension of time to file a notice of appeal.55 When a party must seek leave to appeal, the rules also provide information on the content of such a motion and the timing of an answer in response.56 When filing a notice of appeal, always take into account the local rules of the bankruptcy court in a particular district. For example, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida has rules regarding the filing fees that must accompany the notice of appeal.57 It even has special Clerk’s Instructions for Appeals.58

In terms of the briefing schedule itself, the initial brief must be served and filed within 14 days of entry of the appeal on the docket.59 The answer brief must then be served and filed within 14 days after that, and the same is then true for the reply brief.60 The rules also discuss the form and length of the briefs.61 Again, remember to consider, though, the effect of the local court rules, whether that is the district court or the circuit court of appeals, on such guidelines. For example, the Middle District of Florida generally applies its local rule regarding the length of motions to primary appellate briefs. There, motions cannot exceed 25 pages and responses cannot exceed 20 pages.62 These same page limitations are applied to initial briefs and answer briefs, respectively.

Conclusion
Hopefully, this article illustrates the sneaky nature of bankruptcy appeals; they are not always what they seem. Many of the topics in this article, particularly the jurisdictional ones, have been handled only superficially due to page constraints and the nature of this column. For instance, there is no discussion of Bankruptcy Rule 7054, and what that means to the appealability of certain adversary proceeding orders.63 In fact, entire articles could be devoted to any one of the issues highlighted in this column. Nonetheless, this article is meant to impart the necessary tools to spot issues when dealing with bankruptcy appeals.


1 See Jones v. Barnes, 463 U.S. 745, 751 (1983).

2 See U.S. v. Bushert, 997 F.2d 1343, 1347 (11th Cir. 1993). In bankruptcy cases, 28 U.S.C. §158 (2013) provides that statutory basis.

3 See 28 U.S.C. §158(a).

4 28 U.S.C. §158(a); Williams v. EMC Mortgage Corp. (In re Williams), 216 F.3d 1295, 1296 (11th Cir. 2000).

5 Stoll v. Gottlieb, 305 U.S. 165, 170-71 (1938); Wallis v. Justice Oaks II, Ltd. (In re Justice Oaks II, Ltd.), 898 F.2d 1544, 1550 (11th Cir. 1990).

6 Wisz v. Moister (In re Wisz), 778 F.2d 762, 764 (11th Cir. 1985) (“In determining what is a final order in a bankruptcy appeal this court consistently has applied the final-order jurisprudence developed under 28 U.S.C. §1291.”); Int’l Horizons, Inc. v. Comm. of Unsecured Creditors (Matter of Int’l Horizons, Inc.), 689 F.2d 996, 1000 n.6 (11th Cir. 1982) (noting that “in determining whether we are presented with a final and appealable order for the purposes [of §1293], we shall look to the extensive final order jurisprudence that has developed in the context of appeals brought under 28 U.S.C. §1291”).

7 See, e.g., Walden v. Walker (In re Walker), 515 F.3d 1204, 1210-11 (11th Cir. 2008).

8 Jove Eng’g, Inc. v. I.R.S., 92 F.3d 1539, 1547 (11th Cir. 1996) (quoting In re Amatex Corp., 755 F.2d 1034, 1039 (3d Cir. 1985)).

9 Id. (agreeing with Third Circuit that “judicial efficiency would be ‘turned on its head’ if the court were to delay reviewing the trustee appointment until after the entire bankruptcy proceeding concluded” and ultimately concluding that removal of bankruptcy trustee is a “final,” appealable order).

10 Commodore Holdings, Inc. v. Exxon Mobil Corp., 331 F.3d 1257, 1259 (11th Cir. 2008); Guy v. Dzikowski (In re Atlas), 210 F.3d 1305, 1307 (11th Cir. 2000).

11 Commodore Holdings, 331 F.3d at 1259.

12 Martin Bros. Toolmakers, Inc. v. Indus. Dev. Bd. of the City of Huntsville (In re Martin Bros. Toolmakers, Inc.), 796 F.2d 1435, 1436 (11th Cir. 1986).

13 Carpenter v. Mohawk Indus., Inc., 541 F.3d 1048, 1052 (11th Cir. 2008) (citing Cohen v. Beneficial Indus. Loan Corp., 337 U.S. 541 (1949)).

14 See, e.g., Martin Bros., 796 F.2d at 1437 (“This circuit and others reviewing bankruptcy decisions have freely applied the collateral order doctrine and the Forgay-Conrad rule….”).

15 E.g., Charter Co. v. Prudential Ins. Co. (In re Charter Co.), 778 F.2d 617, 622 (11th Cir. 1985); Providers Benefit Life Ins. Co. v. Tidewater Group, Inc. (In re Tidewater Group, Inc.), 734 F.2d 794, 797 (11th Cir. 1984); Celotex Corp. v. AIU Ins. Co. (In re Celotex Corp.), 187 B.R. 746, 749 (M.D. Fla. 1995); Babic v. Ford Motor Credit Corp. (In the Matter of Ashoka Enters., Inc.), 156 B.R. 343, 345 (S.D. Fla. 1993).

16 Growth Realty Cos. v. Regency Woods Apartments (In re Regency Woods Apartments, Ltd.), 686 F.2d 899, 901-02 (11th Cir. 1982).

17 Masters, Mates & Pilots Plans v. Lykes Bros. Steamship Co. (In re Lykes Bros. S.S. Co.), 200 B.R. 933, 938 (M.D. Fla. 1996) (quoting Forgay v Conrad, 47 U.S. (6 How.) 201 (1847)).

18 E.g., In re Regency Woods, 686 F.2d at 902; Spencer, Spencer, Depper & Guthrie v. Paskay (In re Hillsborough Holdings Corp.), 164 B.R. 673, 675 (M.D. Fla. 1994).

19 Warner v. Unsecured Creditors’ Comm. (In re Warner), 94 B.R. 734, 737 (M.D. Fla. 1988).

20 Lockwood v. Snookies, Inc. (In re F.D.R. Hickory House, Inc.), 60 F.3d 724, 727 (11th Cir. 1995) (citing Atl. Fed. Sav. & Loan Ass’n v. Blythe Eastman Paine Webber, Inc., 890 F.2d 371, 376 (11th Cir. 1989); and Gillespie v. U.S. Steel Corp., 379 U.S. 148, 153-54 (1964)).

21 Compare OB/GYN Solutions, L.C. v. Six (In re Six), 80 F.3d 452, 455 (11th Cir. 1996) (applying marginal finality and Forgay-Conrad rules in case when three orders appealed, one final and two interlocutory), with In re Warner, 94 B.R. at 737 (refusing to apply marginal finality doctrine), and Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. v. AASI Liquidating Trust ex rel. Welt, No. 12-23707-CIV, 2013 WL 704775 at *4 (S.D. Fla. Feb. 26, 2013) (same).

22 28 U.S.C. §158(a).

23 See In re Warner, 94 B.R. at 738.

24 Id. (quoting 28 U.S.C. §1292(b)).

25 See Figueroa v. Wells Fargo Bank N.A., 382 B.R. 814, 823-24 (S.D. Fla. 2007).

26 Id. at 824; Colonial Bank v. Freeman (In re Pac. Forest Prods. Corp.), 335 B.R. 910, 919 (S.D. Fla. 2005).

27 Auto Dealers Group v. Auto Dealers Servs., Inc. (In re Auto Dealer Servs., Inc.), 81 B.R. 94, 96 (M.D. Fla. 1987).

28 Id.

29 In re Prestwood, 2011 WL 1771051, Case No. 4:11-CV-00154-MP-WCS at *1 (N.D. Fla. May 10, 2011).

30 E.g., Harnett v. Mustelier (In re Hartnett), 2004 WL 3019365, Case No. 04-13613-BKC-RAM at *2 (S.D. Fla. Nov. 4, 2004).

31 Figueroa, 382 B.R. at 824; In re Pac. Forest Prods. Corp., 335 B.R. at 922.

32 Id.

33 Id.

34 Id.

35 See, e.g., Musselman v. Stanonik (In re Seminole Walls & Ceilings Corp.), 388 B.R. 386, 391 (M.D. Fla. 2008); In re Pac. Forest Prods. Corp., 335 B.R. at 923-24; Aerovias de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. v. Feltman (In re Empresa de Transportes Aero del Peru, S.A.), 263 B.R. 367, 375 (S.D. Fla. 2001); In re Lykes Bros. S.S. Co., 200 B.R. at 938. But see, e.g., Figueroa, 382 B.R. at 825; Scarfia v. Holiday Bank, 129 B.R. 671, 674 (M.D. Fla. 1990); In re Auto Dealer Servs., 81 B.R. at 96.

36 Figueroa, 382 B.R. at 831.

37 Id. at 825-26.

38 In re Lykes Bros. S.S. Co., 200 B.R. at 938; cf. In re Pac. Forest Prods. Corp., 335 B.R. at 924-25 (finding interlocutory appeal would advance ultimate termination of litigation when issues would be crystallized for trial and appeal would stave off re-trial should district court later reverse bankruptcy court order).

39 See In re Hinners, Case No. 12-80924-MC, 2012 WL 4049967 at *1 (S.D. Fla. Sept. 13, 2012).

40 28 U.S.C. §158(d); Silliman v. Cassell (In re Cassell), 688 F.3d 1291, 1294 n.2 (11th Cir. 2012); Guy v. Dzikowski (In re Atlas), 210 F.3d 1305, 1307 (11th Cir. 2000); Jove Eng’g, Inc. v. I.R.S., 92 F.3d 1539, 1547 (11th Cir. 1996); Lockwood v. Snookies, Inc. (In re F.D.R. Hickory House, Inc.), 60 F.3d 724, 725 (11th Cir. 1995).

41 See 5 Collier on Bankruptcy ¶5.10[1]-[2] (16th ed. 2013), for a good discussion regarding the intra-circuit and inter-circuit debates on this issue.

42 Estancias La Ponderosa Dev. Corp. v. Harrington (In re Harrington), 992 F.2d 3, 5 (1st Cir. 1993); Pegasus Agency, Inc. v. Grammatikakis (In re Pegasus Agency, Inc.), 101 F.3d 882, 885 (2d Cir. 1996); Sandoz v. Crain Bros., Inc. (In re Emerald Oil Co.), 694 F.2d 88, 89 (5th Cir. 1982); Suburban Bank of Cary Grove v. Riggsby (In the Matter of Riggsby), 745 F.2d 1153, 1155-56 (7th Cir. 1984); First Nat’l Bank of Tekamah v. Hansen (In the Matter of Hansen), 702 F.2d 728, 729 (8th Cir. 1983); Dental Capital Leasing Corp. v. Martinez (In re Martinez), 721 F.2d 262, 265 (9th Cir. 1997); Masunaga v. Stoltenberg (In re Rex Montis Silver Co.), 87 F.3d 435, 438 (10th Cir. 1996) (citing Homa Ltd. v. Stone (In the Matter of Commercial Contractors, Inc.), 771 F.2d 1373, 1375 (10th Cir. 1985) (abrogated on other grounds by Conn. Nat’l Bank v. Germain, 503 U.S. 249 (1992))); Wisz v. Moister (In the Matter of Wisz), 778 F.2d 762, 764 (11th Cir. 1985).

43 Official Unsecured Creditors’ Comm. v. Michaels (In the Matter of Marin Motor Oil, Inc.), 689 F.2d 445, 449 (3d Cir. 1982); Bayer v. Nicola (In re Bestmann), 720 F.2d 484, 486-87 (8th Cir. 1983); Sambo’s Restaurants, Inc. v. Wheeler (In re Sambo’s Restaurants, Inc.), 754 F.2d 811, 814 (9th Cir. 1985).

44 Breyfogle v. Grange Mut. Cas. Co. (In re Gardner), 810 F.2d 87, 91-92 (6th Cir. 1987).

45 See, e.g., In re Atlas, 210 F.3d at 1307-08; In re F.D.R. Hickory House, 60 F.3d at 725.

46 See TCL Investors v. Brookside Sav. & Loan Ass’n, 775 F.2d 1516, 1517 (11th Cir. 1985). But cf. Jove Eng’g, 92 F.3d at 1548 (finding no lack of finality, even with remand by district court to bankruptcy court, when remand contemplated performance of a purely ministerial, discrete duty).

47 See DeLauro v. Porto (In re Porto), 645 F.3d 1294, 1298-99 (11th Cir. 2011).

48 28 U.S.C. §158(d).

49 DaimlerChrysler Fin. Servs. Ams. LLC v. Barrett (In re Barrett), 543 F.3d 1239, 1241 (11th Cir. 2008) (citing 28 U.S.C. §158(d)(2)(A)).

50 Finova Capital Corp. v. Larson Pharmacy, Inc. (In re Optical Techs., Inc.), 425 F.3d 1294, 1299-1300 (11th Cir. 2005).

51 Id. at 1300.

52 Id.; Reyes v. Hood (In re Hood), 727 F.3d 1360, 1363 (11th Cir. 2013).

53 Fed. R. Bankr. P. 8002(a).

54 Fed. R. Bankr. P. 8002(b).

55 Fed. R. Bankr. P. 8002(c).

56 Fed. R. Bankr. P. 8003.

57 Bankr. S.D. Fla. Local R. 8001-1 & 8003-1.

58 See Clerk’s Instructions for Appeals, available at http://www.flsb.uscourts.gov. Follow the links for Administrative Orders, Local Rules, Forms, and Guidelines.

59 Fed. R. Bankr. P. 8007 & 8009(a).

60 Fed. R. Bankr. P. 8009(a).

61 Fed. R. Bankr. P. 8010.

62 M.D. Fla. Local R. 3.01.

63 See Dzikowski v. Boomer’s Sports & Recreation Center, Inc. (In re Boca Arena, Inc.), 184 F.3d 1285, 1287 (11th Cir. 1999); Fed. R. Bankr. P. 7054.


Ceci Berman is a partner with Brannock & Humphries in Tampa and is board certified in appellate practice, handling all types of federal and state appeals. She received her J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center. She is chair-elect of The Florida Bar’s Appellate Practice Section.

This column is submitted on behalf of the Appellate Practice Section, Caryn Lynn Bellus, chair; Brandon Christian, editor, and Chris McAdams and Kristi Rothell, assistant editors.

[Revised: 03-27-2014]