USBC WDMI Judicial Liaison Program



February 22, 2013:
Notice Regarding Bruce W. Neckers as Court Ombudsman

TO:                   Bankruptcy Attorneys Who Practice In the Western District of Michigan
FROM:              James D. Gregg, Chief Judge
RE:                   New Bankruptcy Court Ombudsman
DATE:               February 22, 2013

            The bankruptcy judges are pleased to announce that Bruce W. Neckers has agreed to serve as the court’s ombudsman to facilitate anonymous communications between attorneys and the three bankruptcy judges (as well as the Clerk of the Court).  Mr. Neckers’ contact information is:

Bruce W. Neckers, Esq.
Rhoades McKee, PC
161 Ottawa Avenue, N.W., Suite 600
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Tele. No. (616) 233-5217
Email:  bneckers@rhoadesmckee.com

            Mr. Neckers has a wealth of experience.  He engages in a litigation practice in many areas:  corporate, business, large divorce disputes, healthcare, real estate, and employment relations.  He has served as a mediator in more than 500 cases in the state and federal courts.  He has  been the President of the State Bar of Michigan and the Grand Rapids Bar Association.

            Mr.  Neckers is an extremely good listener and a great communicator.  He is the ideal person for bankruptcy attorneys to pass along criticisms, suggestions and constructive comments about any judge, the judges collectively, the clerk, and the deputy clerks.  Mr. Neckers will not breach any confidences and will not disclose the identities of those attorneys who use his services.  After he receives information, he will communicate with the appropriate person to make the information known.  As chief judge, I will periodically meet with Mr. Neckers to discuss matters that may involve the bankruptcy court as an institution.

            One important comment:  Mr. Neckers is not the person to contact when you may disagree with a judge’s legal decision – that is what appellate courts are for.  However, if you have any specific complaints about procedures, that is fair game.

            The judges encourage you to contact Mr. Neckers when you think it is appropriate.

            Finally, the judges again thank Jamie Geary for the many years he was the court’s ombudsman.  He did an excellent job and we wish him well in the future.

JDG