Joe’s broad-ranging litigation and restructuring practice draws on his significant experience with complex creditor rights litigation, bankruptcy and corporate reorganization, and transactional work outside of insolvency. He has a long track record of successfully representing bankruptcy trustees and other fiduciaries, chapter 11 debtors, purchasers of distressed assets, franchisors, and equity holders. He is highly skilled at asset recovery, judgment enforcement, and litigation in the insolvency arena. Joe employs a holistic and economical approach to litigating matters in courts around the country. Institutional investors, hedge funds, boards of directors, business owners, and other creditors seek his counsel.
Joe’s practice is focused primarily in the areas of corporate reorganization and bankruptcy law, although he has significant litigation and transactional experience outside of insolvency. Joe is experienced in the representation of chapter 11 debtors, secured and unsecured creditors, bondholders and indenture trustees, chapter 7 and chapter 11 trustees, and purchasers of distressed assets. He has also represented franchisors, equity holders, defendants in bankruptcy and other federal litigation, and individuals and companies in out-of-court restructurings.
In addition to his legal work, Joe is active in the community. He has served various leadership roles in local and statewide bankruptcy organizations and has served on the Selection Committee for the Ninth Circuit’s Lawyer Representative Program. In his “free” time, Joe actively mentors junior attorneys in the firm, and organizes an annual golf tournament to benefit victims of domestic violence and their children.
Joe founded the Finance Association at California State University, Chico. While in law school, he was a member of Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse (VC3), where he assisted in representing capital murder defendants and was published in the Capital Defense Journal.
- Washington and Lee University (JD)
- California State University, Chico (BS, Finance, magna cum laude)
- Represents major league baseball team in litigation to recover damages for breach of contract and breaches of fiduciary duty.
- Represented purchaser of bankrupt paper mill employing a large portion of a Midwest community
- Represented Chapter 7 trustee in successfully securing millions of dollars in judgments and settlements in numerous pieces of complex litigation
- Represented creditor in obtaining a $27+ million non-dischargeable judgment against the CEO of a consumer electronics company, and successful defended the judgment on appeal.
- Represented environmentally-focused medical waste processor in bankruptcy court and on appeal in confirming its highly-contested Chapter 11 reorganization plan
- Advised nonprofit organizations on workout, bankruptcy, and dissolution matters
- In complex civil RICO case, represented Taiwanese creditor in claims against 34 foreign and domestic defendants. Successfully defeated over 30 motions to dismiss, managed millions of pages of written discovery, over 40 depositions on two continents and hundreds of discovery disputes before two court-appointed Special Masters. Defeated summary judgment and in limine motions. Favorably settled case at commencement of trial.
- Successfully prosecuted alter-ego arbitration. Navigated complex array of obstructive discovery tactics to recover documents from off-shore shell companies. Obtained order from US Bankruptcy Court lifting stay on arbitration and remanding case to tribunal following defendant's bankruptcy filing. Obtained positive finding of alter-ego liability against CEO of defendant corporation and judgment of over $26,000,000.
Recognition & Awards
- Best Lawyers in America: Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, Litigation – Bankruptcy (2018 - 2019)
- San Diego Business Journal: "Best of the Bar" (2015)
- Included on the Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Star: Litigation list (2015 - 2017)
- Member, Board of Directors, Center for Community Solutions (2016)
- Member, Board of Directors, California Bankruptcy Forum (2012-2015)
- Member, J. Clifford Wallace Inn of Court (2010-2012)
- President, San Diego Bankruptcy Forum (2011)
- Member, Board of Directors, San Diego Bankruptcy Forum (2009 – 2011)
- Member, American Bankruptcy Institute
- President, Dads Club, Del Mar Hills Academy of Arts & Sciences (2012-2014)