The Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel recently applied a totality of the circumstances test to determine what types of activities satisfy the core or historical operations requirement for debtors that are no longer operating.
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 former adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota Law School and Mitchell Hamline School of Law in the areas of bankruptcy and secured transactions.
- Represented retail business in Chapter 11 proceedings, including DIP financing, asset sales and plan confirmation.
- Represented multiple secured creditors in connection with Article 9 foreclosure proceedings and related matters.
- 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 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
November 4, 2021
Senator Elizabeth Warren recently introduced a bill that would dramatically reshape the private equity industry and create new tools and protections for creditors.
June 17, 2021
A recent case provides ten elements that courts and professionals may use to determine if vendors should receive critical vendor payments.
June 25, 2020
As Chapter 11 debtors have grappled with the SBA’s surprising anti-debtor stance, a promising strategy has emerged. This strategy does not make sense for every Chapter 11 debtor, but for those Chapter 11 debtors that need additional liquidity and otherwise qualify for a PPP loan, quick action may be necessary.
March 30, 2020
Executives and their companies facing a financial storm brought on by the pandemic can find themselves in an overwhelming spot. Fredrikson attorneys provide a next-steps checklist and wealth of resources to help weather the storm.
February 11, 2020
A recent Eighth Circuit decision protected an important aspect of the Chapter 11 process, the sale of substantially all of the assets of a debtor, while also providing two key practice pointers for estate professionals when conducting a sale process.
May 13, 2019
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.
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.
PUBLICATIONS & PRESENTATIONS
- Author, “Ninth Circuit BAP Weighs in on Subchapter V Eligibility,” The Restructuring Report, August 24, 2022
- Author, “Warren Targets Private Equity,” The Restructuring Report, November 2021
- Author, “Current Developments in ‘Critical Vendor’ Payments,” The Restructuring Report, June 2021
- Author, “Section 363 Sale Survives Collateral Attack by Chapter 7 Trustee,” The Restructuring Report, February 2020
- Contributing Editor, Bankruptcy Bulletin
- Presenter, “Case Law Overview,” 2018 & 2019 Bankruptcy Institute
- Author, “Continuing Risks for Businesses Connected to the Marijuana Industry,” The Restructuring Report, May 2019
- Author, “Squandered Claim? Creditor’s “Veil Piercing” Cause of Action Held to Be Receivership Property – Even After the Receivership Ended,” The Restructuring Report, October 2018
- Author, “Navigating Disputed Chapter 11 Trustee Elections,” The Restructuring Report, April 2018
- 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
- The Best Lawyers in America, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, 2020-present
- Minnesota State Bar Association, North Star Lawyer, 2012-2014, 2018
- Transaction of the Year, Turnaround Management Association, Minnesota Chapter, 2018
- Minnesota Super Lawyers, Rising Star – Bankruptcy: Business, 2014-2017
- Transaction of the Year, Turnaround Management Association, Upper Midwest Chapter, 2016
- 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