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 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
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
- Contributing Editor, Bankruptcy Bulletin
- Presenter, “Case Law Overview,” 2018 & 2019 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
- The Best Lawyers in America, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law, 2020
- 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