On October 7, 2011, Irving Picard, the court-appointed trustee for victims of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme, filed an interlocutory appeal of Judge Jed Rakoff's September 27, 2011 order in Picard v. Katz, et al., pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.  The judge's order characterized Madoff as a stockbroker and his clients' withdrawals as settlement payments. Judge Rakoff also ruled in part that because Madoff was a stockbroker, his payments to former investors triggered a "safe harbor" provision of the federal bankruptcy code that protects various securities transactions from being undone.  The judge's order has the potential to reduce Picard's recovery by billions of dollars.  Although Judge Rakoff's ruling applies only to the case against the owners of the New York Mets, it could be extended to include other lawsuits Picard has brought in an effort to recoup funds issued through Madoff.  Through counsel David Sheehan, Picard has filed a motion seeking Judge Rakoff's approval to appeal his ruling to the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals.  ("Madoff Trustee Slams Judge's Ruling, Seeks Appeal," The Wall Street Journal, October 10, 2011).