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Overview

When clients need protection from bankrupt debtors, they turn to Michael.

Many of the clients Michael counsels are companies that find themselves as creditors to distressed borrowers and bankrupt debtors. Whether clients are secured lenders or unsecured creditors, Michael takes a straightforward, no-nonsense approach, seeking to maximize recoveries while minimizing the time and fees required to achieve each client’s goals. 

Michael also extensively counsels clients on how to avoid or minimize exposure to bankruptcy avoidance actions (preferential transfers and constructively fraudulent conveyances), saving them time and significant money in the process. He is one of a handful of attorneys in Missouri and Kansas who are board certified in Business Bankruptcy by the American Board of Certification.*

Michael has authored numerous articles nationally and internationally in well-respected bankruptcy publications and has frequently spoken on debtor/creditor issues, including bankruptcy, avoidance actions, landlord-tenant issues, evidence, electronically stored information, arbitration, international litigation and ethics.

*The American Board of Certification’s Business Bankruptcy certification program is accredited by the American Bar Association. Neither the Supreme Court of Missouri nor The Missouri Bar reviews or approves certifying organizations or special designations.


Industry

Services

Recognition

  • Kansas City Business Journal, Best of the Bar, 2013-2016
  • Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers, Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights, 2011-2017; Rising Star, 2008-2010
  • IFLR1000, Restructuring and Insolvency (Missouri), Highly Regarded, 2018

Education

  • J.D., J Reuben Clark Law School Brigham Young University
    • cum laude
  • B.A., Brigham Young University
    • with honors
    • Economics
    • Spanish Minor

Admissions

  • Missouri
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Iowa
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Iowa
  • U.S. District Court, District of Kansas
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court, District of Nebraska
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Board of Certification, Director, 2015-2018; Marketing Committee, Chair, 2018-present
  • American Bankruptcy Institute, Labor & Employment Committee, Newsletter Editor, 2013; Education Director, 2014
  • Risk Management Association
  • J. Reuben Clark Law Society, Kansas City Chapter, Board of Directors, 2010-2013; Religious Freedom Committee, 2015-2018
  • Legal Aid of Western Missouri
  • National Eagle Scout Association

Languages

  • Spanish
Experience
  • Obtained $3.37 million judgment following 14-day trial, avoiding constructively fraudulent conveyances. In re Brooke Corp., 568 B.R. 378 (Bankr. D. Kan. 2017)
  • In matter of first impression in Delaware Bankruptcy Court, obtained ruling holding that a client could offset its $2.6 million administrative expense claim against alleged preference liability. In re Quantum Foods LLC, 554 B.R. 729 (Bankr. D. Del. 2016)
  • Obtained judgment voiding more than $2 million in constructively fraudulent conveyances. In re Brooke Corp., 541 B.R. 492 (Bankr. D. Kan. 2015)
  • Obtained complete dismissal of complaint seeking $2.978 million as alleged preferential transfers. Kravitz v. National Info. Solutions Coop. (Bankr. N.D. Ala. 15-80053)
  • Defended several preferential transfer claims that sought recoveries in excess of $1 million. Notable preference settlements: Peterson v. Tyson Fresh Meats Inc. (In re Agri-Best Holdings LLC, Bankr. N.D. Ill. 12-01455), $1.4 million preference settled for $32,500; Davis v. Invista S.A.R.L. (In re Fabrics Estate Inc., et al., Bankr.E.D.Tenn. 10-01210), $388,243 preference claim settled for $4,000.
  • Obtained court ruling granting motion to dismiss more than $12 million in counterclaims. Redmond v. NCMIC Finance Corp. (In re Brooke Corp.), 485 B.R. 650 (Bankr.D.Kan. 2013)
  • Defended against various motions that sought to dismiss avoidance action claims seeking recovery of millions of dollars. In re Brooke Corp., 2012 WL 2120736 (D.Kan. 2012) and In re Brooke Corp., 2012 WL 2412151 (Bankr.D.Kan. 2012)
  • Obtained summary judgment denying administrative expense claim for indenture trustee of notes held by securitized lenders. In re Brooke Corp., 443 B.R. 856 (Bankr.D.Kan. 2011)
  • Defended claim that sought post-confirmation award of bank’s attorneys’ fees. In re Farmers Cooperative Association, 323 B.R. 494 (Bankr.D.Kan. 2005), aff’d 2006 WL 950189 (D.Kan. 2006)
  • Prosecuted various discharge complaints seeking denial of debtor’s bankruptcy discharge: In re Patterson, 2013 WL 3376780 (Bankr. N.D. Ala. 2013), granting of summary judgment and denying discharge of $807,500 debt, Quinn Capital LLC v. Ballard (Bankr. D. Kan. Case No. 11-06202), agreed judgment for $1.5 million; In re Glenn, 335 B.R. 703 (Bankr. W.D. Mo. 2005), denying debtor’s discharge under 11 U.S.C. § 727), Automotive Finance Corp. v. Knotts, (Bankr. D. Kan. Case No. 12-5102), agreed judgment.
  • Obtained court order confirming foreign arbitration award. Guang Dong Light Headgear Factory Co. Ltd. v. ACI International Inc., 521 F.Supp.2d 1153 (D.Kan. 2007)
  • Served as principal author of amicus curiae brief for significant number of Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustees whose rationale was adopted by U.S. Court of Appeals. In re Benn, 491 F.3d 811 (Eighth Circuit, 2007)
  • Served as lead attorney in Chapter 11 reorganization of Fortress Women's Center, St. Louis, Missouri, which provides services for homeless and abused women and children (Bankr.E.D.Mo. Case No. 06-40160)
  • Defended Dominican Republic and state-owned electric utility against enforcement of adverse foreign arbitration award. Cayman Power Barge I Ltd. v. the State of the Dominican Republic, Case No. 06CV01362 (D.D.C.)
  • Represented banks and other financial institutions in bankruptcy proceedings, including cash collateral issues, adequate protection payments, stay relief proceedings, plan confirmations, enforcement of rights and prosecution of discharge complaints.
Outside the Office

The father of five daughters and a son, Michael spends most of his free time with his family.

He enjoys hiking and biking with his family or by himself.

Michael is actively involved in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Community Leadership

Since attaining the rank of Eagle Scout in his teens, Michael has maintained ties to the Boy Scouts of America.

He served as Unit Commissioner of Troop 1175 of the Heart of America Council. He served for more than four years as Scoutmaster for a troop of 11-year-olds, then in 2017 became the Scoutmaster for his son’s troop, 1946, where he continues to serve and help young men achieve the rank of Eagle. 

  • University of Missouri-Kansas City Law and Religious Freedom Symposium, Steering Committee Chairman, 2014-present
  • Kansas Bar Association, Religion Law Section, Founding Member, President, 2017-present
  • City of Independence, Missouri, Personnel Board of Directors, 2011-2012
  • Legal Aid of Western Missouri, Volunteer
Pref-Defend Proprietary Analytics

Clients save time and money by using Michael’s proprietary and highly specialized software, Pref-Defend.

Combining technology with his vast experience in preferential transfers, he developed the analytical tool to defend and resolve preference claims. Using basic payment history information, the analytical tool identifies defenses to preferential claims, strengths and weaknesses of a client’s case, and possible settlement results.

Learn More About Pref-Defend

Michael also has written and spoken extensively on how clients can protect themselves from preference claims

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