Communications With Judge Murphy’s Chambers By E-Mail


You may communicate with Chambers using e-mail at

Chambers receives hundreds of calls, letters and personal visits from attorneys or messengers each month. Much of that communication can be effected more rapidly, more efficiently and more economically by email.

To keep track of e-mail messages, we ask that attorneys follow these procedures in formatting e-mail messages and proposed orders.

1. Subject Line Format. The subject line of every message must begin with the case or adversary proceeding number in the form 00-12345 (for adversary proceedings, AP 00-1234), followed by the Chapter number and the last name of the Debtor. So, for example, a subject line might read as follows after the word "subject" on the e-mail software form:

99-54321; Ch7; John Doe
AP 00-1234; Doe v. Smith

If the Debtor is a company and the name is long, such as Doe Mechanical and Electrical Contractors Company, Inc., put in enough to indicate the name; e.g., Doe Mech. Contractors.

2. Text - The first line in the text should include the full title of the motion or other pleading to which it relates, together with the ecf document number of the motion or application. For example: Motion for Relief from Stay #26.

3. Bankr. Rule 9003. Bankr. Rule 9003(a) states: "Except as otherwise permitted by applicable law, any examiner, any party in interest, and any attorney, accountant, or employee of a party in interest shall refrain from ex parte meetings and communications with the court concerning matters affecting a particular case or proceeding." Every message sent to chambers must be sent to all parties in the contested matter or adversary proceeding (or specific dispute in an adversary proceeding), where Rule 9003 would require that a communication to chambers sent by conventional means be served on other parties. If a party does not have an e-mail address, an indication that a copy was transmitted to that party and the method of transmission should be shown at the beginning of the text of the e-mail. For example:
cc: John Doe, Debtor (By regular U.S. Mail at [ADDRESS])
cc: Richard Roe, Attorney for xyz, Inc. (By facsimile to 404-999-0000)

4. Proposed Orders. Counsel should submit all proposed orders in Chapter 11 cases by email. Counsel may submit any proposed order in an adversary proceeding by email. Counsel may submit proposed orders in Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 cases by email only if so instructed by the judge or the judge’s staff. In Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 cases, if counsel believes submission of a proposed order by email may be appropriate, counsel may request permission from the judge’s staff by telephone prior to sending an email.

5. Attachments. Files (other than programs) smaller than 250K may be attached to an e-mail message. (This would exclude imaged files exceeding about 5 pages). A proposed order may be included as a Word or WordPerfect (not .pdf) attachment to an e-mail message. The primary word processing software used by the court is WordPerfect. Chambers also has access to Word. If the word processing software used to prepare the proposed order is anything other than WordPerfect or Word, save the document in ASCII before attaching it to your communication. The consent or absence of opposition to a proposed order of other parties in the contested matter or adversary proceeding should be indicated on the proposed order as set forth below.

6. Names of attorneys in proposed orders. Below the court's signature line, the signature lines of counsel should be set forth in the following format:

Prepared by:

Sam Spade
Attorney for Maltese Falcon, Inc.
State Bar No. 999999999
Telephone and fax
E-mail address
Attorney for _____________

Consented To:

/s/ with express permission
John Lawyer by Sam Spade
Mr. Lawyer's State Bar No. 888888888
Telephone and fax
Attorney for _____________

No Opposition by:
[same format]

7. E-mail is not a way to avoid filing pleadings. Attorneys shall not attempt to file or argue motions in the case by email. (See Rule 9003, quoted above in #3.)

8. Routine matters. Attorneys may use e-mail to communicate with the courtroom deputy clerk about routine non-substantive matters, but should not send email to inquire regarding whether a matter is on the calendar, whether an order has been entered, or for such other information that can be ascertained on ecf. Attorneys may use email to request a hearing for a matter not subject to the open-calendaring procedure, or to alert chambers regarding the filing of an emergency motion or other matter which may need expedited treatment. These rules must be followed in all respects, and when in doubt about whether Bankruptcy Rule 9003 is implicated, send a copy of your email to the other party’s attorney or to all parties’ attorneys.