Ever Wish You Could Re-Live Your College Years? Here’s an Opportunity for a Great Cause!

Hello Linked In!

My son, Justin, along with most of his brothers, is participating in a charity event called St. Baldrics. (Yes, that’s right… in a surprise development, my wonky son has stopped studying long enough to join a frat! Now, it is a frat full of young RPI engineering students. So let’s not get carried away. But it is a frat. Hijinks and shenanigans are involved.)

I digress, though. The young men are fundraising to help promote research into childhood cancer. At the conclusion, they will then shave their heads to raise awareness.

Being a supportive mother, I have made my donation ($250) on the condition that my very camera-shy freshman provide before and after photos.

Now Justin has asked if I can also spread the word to all of you. And if I do that, it seems only fair that you should be able to join in the fun as well. So…. If my Linked In/Facebook community, collectively, matches my donation, I will post those before and after photos for everyone to share at the conclusion of the fundraiser. I mean, this is clearly the only possible response; right? (Diabolical laughter! My children will need so much therapy….)

As an added bonus, if you all double my donation, I will also share with you the very special cheer of the RPI Engineers football team. For perspective, I first bring you this video clip from my alma mater… the Trinity University Miracle Lateral Play.  Suffice it to say, nobody in my family will ever be playing football for USC. Or UCLA.

Seriously, please help Justin with this great cause!  You can donate here.

Mette K. (Proud Mother)

California Fires Taking a Heartbreaking Toll on Horses: How to Help

As I acclimate to eastern winters, the fires ravaging California’s canyon country put things in perspective. While my friends, family, and colleagues are all safe, the destruction is staggering and has left people, literally, running for their lives while scrambling to get horses and other animals to safety. 

Having lived in Southern California for 26 years, I have experienced the increasing heat and drought. I have been told to prepare to evacuate while at home with a newborn. And I have rushed with neighbors to put out fires and seen homes destroyed. There is nothing more unsettling than the pervasive smell of smoke, and no more primal fear than that of a fire.

Fleeing the Thomas Fire

To put things into perspective for people here on the east coast, one of my dearest friends, Wendy Gerard, lives in Ventura in the Scenic Drive neighborhood, which was overrun by the Thomas Fire. Picture a Category 1 hurricane barreling down on your community. Now replace rain with fire. Wendy and her family fled, landing first at a shelter, then bouncing from friend’s house to friend’s house as they searched for temporary housing. Everyone is safe.  Her house is still standing. They have insurance. But it could be months before she can return home. This is all that remains of her neighborhood.

Horses Killed and Displaced by Fast Moving Fires

Wendy is a brilliant attorney with a generous heart and passion for horses. Her own horse is safely stabled in Simi Valley. But Ventura and San Diego are horse country, and not everyone has been so lucky. Roughly 60 horses have perished in the Lilac and Creek Fires, trapped in stables that burned. Many more have been injured and displaced. But when fires strike, Californians pull together and put their lives on the line to help save our horses.

How You Can Help

The Humane Society of Ventura County is one of many organizations that is on the front line.  It is working hard to care for more than 300 horses and other animals it has taken in since the fires began.  More are coming in daily. I spoke with Wendy, and they do excellent work. I can’t be there to help Wendy. But I have made a donation on her behalf to help the HSVC with hay, cat chow, rabbit food, water troughs, fruit, snacks, and other items that they urgently need for their new boarders. If you want to help as well, they have set up an Amazon registry wishlist or you can make cash donations on HSVC’s website.

I am still a Californian at heart.

Mette K.

A Question of Time, Specifically, Time to File Notice of an Appeal

Deadlines are critical. And when it comes to appellate-filing deadlines, the Supreme Court recently clarified they come in two flavors.

  • Rigid statutory deadlines are “jurisdictional” and cannot be forfeited or waived.
  • Their more flexible cousins, deadlines set by court rules, are mere “claim-processing rules” that can be forfeit or waived.

Hamer v. Neighborhood Housing

Specifically, Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure requires that a notice of appeal be filed within 30 days. In Hamer v. Neighborhood Housing, counsel obtained a two month extension from the district court. But when the plaintiff filed its notice of appeal, the Seventh Circuit questioned its timeliness.

The appellees seized on the opportunity, now arguing that the appeal was late. Relying on Bowles v. Russell, 551 U.S. 205 (2007), the Seventh Circuit agreed. It concluded that, although the appellant had relied on the extension order, the deadline under Rule 4 was “mandatory.” Thus, the extension impermissibly deprived the Court of Appeals of jurisdiction.

But the Supreme Court disagreed, stating that:

If a time prescription governing the transfer of adjudicatory authority from one Article III court to another appears in a statute, the limitation is jurisdictional . . . otherwise, the time specification fits within the claim-processing category [and is subject to forfeiture or waiver].

The statute corresponding to Rule 4, 28 U.S.C. § 2107, does not limit the length of an extension. The Supreme Court therefore concluded that the district court could extend the filing deadline.

What happens next is up in the air. The Supreme Court remanded the case. So it now falls to the lower court to decide whether the timeliness objections were forfeited or waived if not properly raised.


Hamer v. Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, Case No. 16-658.

Taking, and Opening, a Bar in Delaware

Many of you have reached out since my last blog post with questions about my upcoming move to Delaware.  One theme definitely stands out.  Does Jeff know?  Have you told your husband?  What about Jeff?  What’s Jeff going to do?

These are fair questions, as I have often been told that I am a terrible communicator.  Take this conversation last week, for example.

Refrigerator Repairman:  The freeway traffic in California is terrible.

Me:  True:  It has gotten so bad that my ex-husband moved in with his girlfriend in Culver City so he wouldn’t have to commute to West LA.

Repairman:  Oh, is that why you’re moving to Delaware?!  I guess you’re moving alone then.

Me:  (Long pause….)  No, my EX-husband.

So for those of you who have expressed concern, yes, I told Jeff.  Yes, Jeff is coming to Delaware with me!  No, I am not just going to pack him up in the car at the last minute with the dog and the hamster.  (Hey, Jeff!  Let’s go for a ride, buddy!)  He is amazing, and supportive, and all in on the Delaware move.  (And no, he does not have a girlfriend in Culver City.)

What is Jeff doing?  One of the drawbacks about Wilmington, we have heard, is that they roll up the sidewalks at sundown and there are few good places to eat or grab a drink.  Jeff is a problem solver.  So while I’m taking the bar, my husband will be opening a bar in Wilmington!   While I’m studying bar review courses, he will be scoping out the local restaurant and bar scene, refining his concept, and finding a location.  (Hard work, right…)  Hopefully by the time I’m admitted to the Delaware bar, Jeff’s bar will be open and we’ll all have a place to celebrate!

Stay tuned for more updates as the adventure continues.


Mette K.



Chapter 11 Filing: CBS Farms

Charles Blake Stringer, d/b/a CBS Farms, has filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.  The filing indicates that CBS Farms has between $10-50 million in assets and $10-50 million in liabilities.  Its largest unsecured creditors include Hilltop Securities, PHI Financial, Wilbur Ellis Agribusiness Division, Selectplus Agline, and West Texas Gas. The case is pending in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas, Ft. Worth, Case #16-44871.

Mette H. Kurth