Adjunct Professor of Law
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
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.