« Page Back
Joseph M Coleman
Southern Methodist UniversityAdmitted to the State Bar of Texas in:
Insolvency Bankruptcy and Creditor Rights
Mr. Coleman, a founding director of the Firm, chairs the Insolvency, Bankruptcy & Creditor Rights Section, which focuses on corporate and business reorganization and debt restructuring work throughout the nation. He has substantial experience representing unsecured creditors committees, lenders, debtors, equity holders, suppliers, trade associations, financial institutions, real estate companies, trustees and examiners in a wide array of pre-bankruptcy workouts and restructurings, reorganization proceedings, assignments for the benefit of creditors, adversary proceedings, foreclosures and virtually all aspects of bankruptcy and insolvency issues and related litigation. Mr. Coleman has represented 38 Creditor Committees in 16 states, confirmed in excess of 12 plans of reorganization representing both private and public debtors, and served as counsel for many lenders and other secured creditors in Chapter 11 and other insolvency-related matters.
Ranked by Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business as being among the top bankruptcy lawyers in the United States (2010 - 2015). Named by peers among the best bankruptcy lawyers in America, listed in The Best Lawyers in America® (Copyright 2013 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC) (2003 -- 2016). Named in Texas Super Lawyers® and in Texas Monthly magazines as one of the top bankruptcy & creditor/debtor attorneys in Texas, selected by Law & Politics (2003 - 2014). Selected by D Magazine for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in Dallas list (2012, 2015-2016). Selected for inclusion in ALM’s Texas’ Top Rated Lawyers for bankruptcy (2012). AV® Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubbell.
- Over the proceeding year, represented claims in numerous avoidance actions in five states seeking a total of over $30 million in damages.
- Represent Creditor's Committee in Atlanta bankruptcy case involving 4 levels of secured debt, several §363 sales of multi-state companies and significant avoidance actions.
- Equity owner of oil and gas services companies involving 7 bankruptcy cases, 3 state court receiverships and significant related litigation.
- Successful out of Court workout of contractor business with operations in multiple states, including debt restructuring, dispute resolution, with quasi-governmental agencies, bond company negotiations and related actions to prevent bankruptcy.
- Committee in Delaware bankruptcy case concerning U.S. operations of a Japanese company, confirmed committee-directed plan.
- Four and one-half day successful trial in the Texas Rangers bankruptcy case.
- Committee in Connecticut retail bankruptcy case resulting in committee-proposed plan and reduction of over 40 percent of claims through the committee's recharacterization of debt as equity actions against insiders.
- Highest bidder and purchaser of approximately 100 oil and gas leases and related properties out of bankruptcy.
- Committee in biofuel bankruptcy case, including litigation against a 20-member lender group that resulted in settlement with significantly under-secured lenders paying unsecured creditors 15 percent of their claims.
- Successfully defended officers and directors in oil and gas bankruptcy case resulting in court-approved settlement for an amount less than projected legal fees.
- Proposed and confirmed competing plan of reorganization as a means to stop the consummation of a Section 363 sale process and enable the acquisition of a natural gas pipeline transmission company out of bankruptcy.
- Post-Confirmation Trustees in the oil and gas, mortgage, retail and distribution industries.
- Equity holders of a holding company in a Nashville, Tennessee bankruptcy involving restaurants in five east coast states; confirmed plan resulted in equity holders retaining ownership of restaurants, with a vastly improved balance sheet.
- Equity owners of oil and gas service companies involving 7 bankruptcy cases, 2 state court receiverships and significant related litigation.
- Successful out of court workout representing contractor in negotiations with bonding company, governmental agencies, lender, vendors and related parties.
- Group of seven golf equipment manufacturers in an out of court workout with a national retail chain resulting in equity funding, significant payment and security interests from formerly insolvent company.
- Represented a publicly traded equity fund in bankruptcy litigation involving intellectual property and attempted recharacterization of debt as equity
- Represented public sports product company in out-of-court acquisition of insolvent licensee to preserve national line of products sold in all 50 states.
- Represented a Fortune 500 company in the acquisition of an international service firm in bankruptcy.
- Official Unsecured Creditors' Committee in a transportation industry bankruptcy comprised of 28 affiliated, publicly traded debtors, over $75,000,000 in debt represented, pending in the Southern District of Texas.
- Debtor, a publicly traded roll-up of thirteen entities, resulting in the sale of thirteen separate companies in a 120-day period; Dallas, Texas.
- Official Unsecured Creditors' Committee for a national mortgage lender, reported as one of the ten largest bankruptcies in that year. Committee members included Fox Sports, CBS Sports, TNT and Dan Marino; Northern District of Texas.
- Served as counsel for defendants in a $15,000,000 preferential transfer and anti-trust lawsuit in Delaware, resulting in a settlement of less than 5% of amounts sought by plaintiff.
- Official Unsecured Creditors' Committee, owed an aggregate of over $75,000,000 in 200+ store retail bankruptcy; Central District of California.
- Successfully represented a leading national golf products manufacturer in injunction proceedings in bankruptcy court in Augusta, Georgia.
- Official Unsecured Creditors' Committee and related officer and director litigation in the bankruptcy of a publicly traded distribution company located in Santa Barbara, California.
- Litigation arising from warehouse distributor's bankruptcy, including LBO/Fraudulent conveyance litigation against lender and breach of fiduciary duty causes of action against former owners, Northern District of Illinois.
Faculty Member, American Bankruptcy Institute; Faculty Member, Trial Advocacy Program. American Bar Association, Business Law Section. Dallas Bar Association; Corporate Reorganization, Creditor Rights Section, Bankruptcy and Business Litigation Sections. State Bar of Texas; Business Law Section, Bankruptcy Reorganization Committee. Turnaround Management Association.
State Bar of Texas. United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas.
"Setoffs: Cutting Your Losses Both Inside and Outside Bankruptcy" - CRF News, Q1, 2015
Defending Preferential Transfers: Don't Forget the "Other" Ordinary Course Defense - The Ordinary Business Terms Defense, by Joseph M. Coleman and Robert J. Taylor, published in Credit and Financial Management Review, Volume 19, Number 4, Fourth Quarter 2013 (download article)
Cutting Edge Preference Issues - Presented with Bruce Nathan of Lowenstein Sandler, LLP, and Richard Kulik of Sherwin Williams Co., to MEMA Financial Services Group, Inc.'s Aftermarket Volume Credit Group in Cleveland, Ohio, May 21, 2015.
Cutting Edge Preference Issues – Panel Discussion – Presented with Bruce Nathan of Lowenstein Sandler, LLP, and Richard Kulik of Sherwin Williams Co., at the Credit Research Foundation Credit & Accounts Receivable Open Forum in Tucson, Arizona, March 23, 2015.
Relevant Topics for Credit Professionals - Presented to Credit2B Distillers, Importers & Vintners Credit Group in San Antonio, Texas, March 12, 2015.
Speaker at 2014 ABCD Motor Credit Association Educational Seminar in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 17, 2014. Topics included Contract Preparation and Review and Preference Defenses.
Speaker at Pentair, Inc.'s 2014 North and South America Customer Financial Services Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, July 15-16, 2014. Topics included were Contract Preparation and Review; Anti-Trust Concerns from the Credit Professional's Perspective; and Collection Litigation Strategies.
Faculty Member, American Bankruptcy Institute/Turnaround Management Association's 13th Annual Litigation Skills Symposium, SMU Dedman School of Law – Dallas, Texas, May 20-23, 2014.
Complete List of Presentations.
Successfully summited Mt. Kilimanjaro; Dallas White Rock Marathon finisher; Past Chair, Prince of Peace Catholic Community Parish Advisory Council. Coached 25 youth sports teams. Recently completed nine-year term as Trustee of the Catholic Foundation. Founding Board Member, Center for Thomas More Studies, University of Dallas. Founder, Rev. Richard J. Hauser, S. J. Scholarship Fund at Creighton University. Recipient of President's Award, Ursuline Academy High School. Trustee of the Jesuit College Preparatory High School Foundation and Chairman of the Jesuit College Prep HS' Annual Challenge Drive, wherein over $1 million was raised in less than two months.
Southern Methodist University School of Law (J.D., May 1985); Editor, Southwestern Law Journal; member of Phi Delta Phi. Creighton University (B.S.B.A. 1982); Solon E. Summerfield Scholar; member of the accounting honor society Beta Alpha Psi.