In a recent decision, a gardening supply store was denied bankruptcy protection due to its business model, which targeted marijuana growers in states that have legalized its use.
James represents and advises businesses, commercial lenders and individuals in the areas of corporate restructuring, creditors’ remedies, bankruptcy, commercial litigation and related matters.
James guides businesses through the Chapter 11 process, including both asset sales and plan confirmation. He regularly consults with clients and other lawyers regarding the structure of commercial transactions to minimize exposure in the event of insolvency. He has represented trustees and receivers in preference and fraudulent transfer litigation and has defended similar actions across the nation. He has both brought and defended nondischargeability actions.
James is a Rule 114 qualified neutral on the Minnesota Statewide Roster (Civil Law). He regularly mediates civil disputes and helps break through difficult communication barriers between hostile parties. He is a proven problem-solver who also uses his experience as an effective mediator to assist clients in negotiating their best possible outcome.
James taught Secured Transactions as an adjunct Professor of Law at Mitchell Hamline School of Law for several semesters and a clinical course as an adjunct Associate Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School from 2009 to 2014.
- Represented retail business in Chapter 11 proceedings, including DIP financing, asset sales and plan confirmation.
- Represented printed circuit board manufacturer in section 363 sales of two operating divisions to separate buyers.
- Defended numerous avoidance actions, including preference and fraudulent transfer matters.
- Successfully opposed appointment of receiver in state court action.
- Successfully led an assisted living facility through Chapter 11 reorganization.
- Successfully led auto-industry franchisee through Chapter 11 reorganization, including the sale of dozens of locations and the restructuring of a core group of locations.
- Negotiated and confirmed Chapter 11 plan of reorganization on behalf of individual debtor.
- Represented local bank in liquidation of collateral.
- Represented data services company in section 363 sale of its operating assets.
- Repeatedly negotiated—and litigated—issues of cash collateral, adequate protection and stay relief for both creditors and commercial debtors.
Articles & Presentations
Squandered Claim? Creditor’s “Veil Piercing” Cause of Action Held to Be Receivership Property – Even After the Receivership Ended
October 10, 2018
In a new development to receivership law, the Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed a receiver’s power to pursue a creditor’s “veil piercing” claims against insiders of the company in receivership, and blocked the creditor from pursuing those same claims after the receivership ended.
April 17, 2018
The choice of a chapter 11 operating trustee can provoke a fight. Follow this guide for a smooth path through the process of displacing an interim chapter 11 trustee or challenging an election.
July 7, 2015
Super Lawyers Magazine recognized 36 Fredrikson & Byron attorneys as 2015 Minnesota Super Lawyers and 15 attorneys as Minnesota Rising Stars.
May 9, 2014
The Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) recognized 67 current Fredrikson & Byron attorneys as North Star Lawyers.
PUBLICATIONS & PRESENTATIONS
- Contributing Editor, Bankruptcy Bulletin
- Presenter, “Case Law Overview,” 2018 Bankruptcy Institute
- Co-author, “Corporations” and “Limited Liability Companies,” Minnesota Business Law Series, 2015
- Co-author, “Chapter 11 Reorganization,” Minnesota Continuing Legal Education Bankruptcy Practice Deskbook
- Presenter, Buying at the Bankruptcy Bazaar, April 29, 2014
- Bankruptcy, Contempt, and the Durability of Environmental Obligations, 24 Tul. Envtl. L.J. 221 (2011)
Honors & Education
- University of Chicago Law School, J.D., 2006
- Valparaiso University, B.A., 2002, summa cum laude
- Minnesota Supreme Court
- United States District Court, District of Minnesota
- United States Bankruptcy Court, District of Minnesota
- United States District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
- Transaction of the Year, Turnaround Management Association, Minnesota Chapter, 2018
- Transaction of the Year, Turnaround Management Association, Upper Midwest Chapter, 2016
- Minnesota Super Lawyers, Rising Star – Bankruptcy: Business, 2014-2017
- Minnesota State Bar Association, North Star Lawyer, 2012-2014
- Clerk, Hon. Eugene Wedoff, Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 2006-2007
- American Bar Association
- Minnesota State Bar Association
- Hennepin County Bar Association
American Bankruptcy Institute
- Volunteer Mediator, Hennepin County District Court Pilot ADR Project
- Volunteer, Volunteer Lawyers Network
- Former Adjunct Associate Professor of Law, University of Minnesota Law School
- Former Adjunct Associate Professor of Law, Mitchell Hamline School of Law