Hon. Cecilia G. Morris

Adjunct Professor
B.S., West Texas State University
J.D, John Marshall Law School

Chief United States Bankruptcy Judge
Southern District of New York

Chief Judge Cecelia G. Morris began her official tour of duty as United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of New York on July 1, 2000, and commenced her service as Chief Judge on March 1, 2012. Chief Judge Morris is a Bachelor of Sciences graduate of West Texas State University, and received her Juris Doctorate from John Marshall Law School. 

Prior to her appointment to the bench, Chief Judge Morris served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Child Support Recovery Unit of the District Attorney’s Office of the Spalding Judicial District headquartered in Griffin, Georgia. Chief Judge Morris worked in private practice and ultimately served as Clerk of the Court for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York (1988-2000), the first bankruptcy court to implement electronic filing of original documents to the court via the Internet. 

With jurisdiction over six counties in New York’s Hudson Valley, Chief Judge Morris presides over a large consumer base. Chief Judge Morris is often required to interpret the bankruptcy amendments added by the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 and decide important consumer issues as matters of first impression in the Southern District of New York.  Chief Judge Morris has lead efforts by attorneys representing debtors and secured creditors to implement a model chapter 13 plan and order, and a detailed worksheet that requires disclosure of arrearages and other current mortgage information as part of a motion seeking relief from the automatic stay concerning residential real estate and cooperative apartments. She recently collaborated with other judges and practitioners to develop loss mitigation procedures for residential real estate, resulting in the adoption of a court-supervised program that is the first of its kind in the United States. 

Chief Judge Morris is a frequent writer and lecturer on issues related to bankruptcy. She serves as an editor of a bankruptcy treatise being developed by Bloomberg Law, and published an article describing the history and legal basis of the Court’s loss mitigation program in the Spring 2011edition of the ABI Law Review. Chief Judge Morris has authored several articles on electronic filing, including the chapter on electronic case filing in Collier on Bankruptcy, and has published articles on mediation, the consumer credit counseling requirement in bankruptcy, and cross-border insolvency cases under Chapter 15 of the Bankruptcy Code. Chief Judge Morris has testified before Congress and served on the Bankruptcy Judges Advisory Board to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

Chief Judge Morris currently serves as a member of the Judicial Conference of the United States Committee on Information Technology and various other committees to the Second Circuit and to the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges. 

Chief Judge Morris teaches Bankruptcy Ethics Fraud and Malpractice with Judge Cyganowski.