Skip to Main Content
Overview

Michael efficiently enforces lenders’ rights against troubled borrowers. 

Many clients that Michael counsels find themselves as creditors to troubled and insolvent borrowers. Although he assists clients across industries, he focuses his practice on lenders with distressed agriculture loans. Michael takes a straightforward, no-nonsense approach, seeking to maximize recoveries for these lending institutions, while minimizing their time and fees. Michael's advocacy often results in enforcing loans, crafting workouts and representing lenders in state and federal courts (including bankruptcy proceedings) on matters involving defunct borrowers.

Michael also proactively advises clients on minimizing exposure to bankruptcy avoidance actions such as preferential transfers and constructively fraudulent conveyances. His extremely efficient approach has generated significantly low settlement amounts for clients while minimizing both the time and attorney’s fees needed to get those results. His work includes the development of Pref-Defend—a proprietary program used to efficiently defend preferential transfer claims for which Michael was given a Top Legal Innovation Award. He is one of just a handful of attorneys in Missouri, Kansas and Iowa who are board certified in Business Bankruptcy by the American Board of Certification.*

Clients in agribusiness and other sectors appreciate Michael's reputation as a thought leader. He has authored over 30 articles nationally and internationally and given more than 60 presentations. His recent writings and speaking engagements illuminate issues central to banks and other lending institutions wrestling with troubled loans.

*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

  • The Best Lawyers in America©, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law, Litigation - Bankruptcy, 2021
  • Kansas City Business Journal, Best of the Bar, 2013-2016
  • Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers, Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights, 2011-2019; Top 100, 2018; Rising Star, 2008-2010
  • IFLR1000, Restructuring and Insolvency (Missouri), Highly Regarded, 2018-2019
  • Missouri Lawyers Weekly, Top Legal Innovation Award
  • Missouri Bar Pro Bono Wall of Fame, 2019

Education

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

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
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Professional Memberships and Certifications

  • American Agricultural Law Association
  • American Board of Certification, Director, 2016-2018; Marketing Committee, Chair, 2018
  • American Bankruptcy Institute, Labor & Employment Committee, Co-Chair, 2016; Education Director, 2014-2016; Newsletter Editor, 2013
  • 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

Food & Agribusiness

  • Regularly advises lenders regarding resolution of distressed agricultural loans.
  • Obtained affirmation from Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals upholding bankruptcy court's decision that worker's compensation lien was not voided by the automatic stay. Davis v. Tyson Prepared Foods, Inc. (In re Garcia), 740 Fed. Appx. 163 (10th Cir. 2018), cert denied 139 S. Ct. 2614 (2019).
  • Coordinated successful multi-state foreclosure action for agricultural properties in Kansas and Oklahoma owned by a single owner who had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
  • Defended Tyson Foods, Inc. and affiliates from claims seeking over $10 million in alleged preferential transfers ultimately settling the four matters for $100,000. In re Central Grocers, Inc. (Bankr. N.D. Ill. 17-13886 and Adv. Nos. 18-00662, 18-00692, 18-00693, and 18-00695).
  • 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. The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Quantum Foods, LLC v. Tyson Foods, Inc. (In re Quantum Foods LLC), 554 B.R. 729 (Bankr. D. Del. 2016).
  • Obtained summary judgment denying discharge of $807,500 debt. Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Patterson (In re Patterson), 2013 WL 3376780 (Bankr. N.D. Ala. 2013).
  • Resolved $1.4 million preference settled for $32,500. Peterson v. Tyson Fresh Meats Inc. (In re Agri-Best Holdings LLC, Bankr. N.D. Ill. 12-01455).
  • 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).

Bankruptcy & Other Litigation

  • Obtained $3.37 million judgment following 14-day trial, avoiding constructively fraudulent conveyances. Redmond v. NCMIC Finance Corp. (In re Brooke Corp.), 568 B.R. 378 (Bankr. D. Kan. 2017).
  • Obtained judgment voiding more than $2 million in constructively fraudulent conveyances. Redmond v. SpiritBank (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).
  • Successfully defended several preferential transfer claims that sought recoveries in excess of $1 million. Notable preference settlements: 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).
  • Prosecuted various discharge complaints seeking denial of debtor’s bankruptcy discharge: 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).
  • 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.
  • Served on legal team that navigated expedited negotiations, hearings and discovery for state insurance department client in disputed rehabilitation and subsequent liquidation proceedings. Team counsel avoided trial, resulting in significant client cost and time savings, thus preserving and maximizing estate assets.
Alerts | August 30, 2019
New Legislation Likely to Spur Increase in Bankruptcy Filings

Lenders and trade creditors alike need to assess their exposures and risk in light of these changes.

Webinar | December 4, 2018
Doing it Right: Best Practices for Forbearance Agreements

Insolvency Webinar Series

News Releases | June 03, 2019
Sixteen Husch Blackwell Attorneys Recognized in 2019 IFLR 1000 United States

The 2019 edition of the IFLR 1000 represents the second year IFLR has ranked top financial and corporate law firms and lawyers on a state-by-state basis.

News Releases | December 11, 2018
Michael Fielding Receives Top Legal Innovation Award from Missouri Lawyers Weekly

Michael Fielding is a recipient of the Missouri Lawyers Weekly inaugural Top Legal Innovation Awards.

News Releases | November 14, 2018
Thomson Reuters' Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers and Rising Stars 2018 Names 58 Husch Blackwell Attorneys

Husch Blackwell has 58 attorneys in the 2018 edition of Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.

Media Mentions | November 05, 2018
Missouri Lawyers Weekly: Missouri Lawyers Media to present 16 awards for legal innovation

For the first time, Missouri Lawyers Media present its Top Legal Innovation Awards honoring work to drive new practice areas, services and business strategies. Husch Blackwell's Michael Fielding is an honoree.

News Releases | October 18, 2018
Husch Blackwell Prevails for Tyson in Bankruptcy Litigation

The Tenth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed a lower-court judgment on behalf of Husch Blackwell client Tyson Prepared Foods, Inc.

News Releases | September 05, 2018
Husch Blackwell Places 10 Attorneys in 2018 IFLR 1000 United States

Ten Husch Blackwell attorneys have earned rankings in the IFLR 1000, a directory of leading transactional attorneys. The firm also earned rankings in three state jurisdictions.

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 running 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 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 served until the end of 2019 helping several young men achieve the rank of Eagle. Michael also volunteers with Husch Blackwell's Human Trafficking Legal Clinic.

  • University of Missouri-Kansas City Law and Religious Freedom Conference, 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
  • Religious Entities and the Law Community, Founding member and moderator, 2019-present
Pref-Defend Proprietary Analytics

Clients save time and money by using Pref-Defend, a proprietary and highly specialized software. Developed by Michael, Pref-Defend is a product of HB Innovations, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Husch Blackwell LLP.

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.

Follow Michael on Twitter

Stay updated.

Subscribe to receive Husch Blackwell’s news and insights.

Select your preferences