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Apr 28 Attorney Articles, Recovery Resources

Higgs Fletcher & Mack Bankruptcy, Insolvency & Reorganization Team

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With the recent economic downturn due to the impact of COVID-19, there will be large numbers of small businesses and small business owners as well as lenders, lessors and creditors in San Diego County and throughout Southern California that will require legal counsel regarding bankruptcy, insolvency and reorganization and/or creditor’s rights and remedies.

Founded in 1939, Higgs Fletcher & Mack is the oldest full-service law firm in San Diego with more than 70 attorneys in a full range of practice areas including its uniquely qualified, diverse and very experienced Bankruptcy, Insolvency & Reorganization Team.

The attorneys in our Bankruptcy, Insolvency & Reorganization Team have more than ten decades of high-level experience and expertise:

  • Representing debtors, creditors, trustees and committees in bankruptcy, insolvency and reorganization including all aspects of Chapter 7 liquidation and standard and complex Chapter 11 reorganization.
  • Negotiating and implementing out of court restructuring, forbearance agreements and workouts.
  • Litigating all aspects of commercial and business disputes in both State and Federal Courts.
  • Prosecuting and defending against bankruptcy adversary proceedings including preference, avoidable transfers, lien priority, non-dischargeability and objections to discharge.
  • Prosecuting and defending against all aspects of creditors’ rights and remedies including writs of attachment, writs of possession, receivership, judgment enforcement and voidable transfers.
  • Handling a variety of corporate and real estate matters, including entity formation and governance; mergers and acquisitions; real estate purchase and sale; land entitlements and development; construction contracts; commercial real estate finance; public finance; commercial and industrial lending; office, industrial, and retail leasing; and ground leases.
  • Resolving bankruptcy tax matters, including relief from stay, exceptions to discharge and discharge of taxes in a bankruptcy proceeding.


Our Bankruptcy, Insolvency & Reorganization Team enjoys a first-rate reputation within the bench and bar in San Diego County and throughout Southern California.

Martin A. Eliopulos

Marty Eliopulos is in his 30th year of practice with Higgs Fletcher & Mack and serves as co-chair of the firm’s Bankruptcy, Insolvency & Reorganization practice group. His practice focuses on bankruptcy, insolvency and reorganization. More specifically, Marty’s practice encompasses out-of-court work-out solutions, representing debtors, creditors and trustees in bankruptcy, advocating for and defending against creditor’s rights and remedies in both state court and federal court, and litigating business disputes in both state and federal court.

Paul J. Leeds

Paul Leeds has represented clients in civil litigation and bankruptcy for over 18 years, and serves as co-chair of the firm’s Bankruptcy, Insolvency & Reorganization practice group. Paul has represented both commercial and nonprofit corporations – from national equipment manufacturers to local churches and charities – in Chapter 11, and out-of-court restructuring. Paul is also an experienced trial attorney, having tried over thirty cases to verdict in state, federal and military courts.

John L. Morrell

John Morrell has practiced in insolvency litigation and business reorganization, including Chapter 11, for over 35 years. His practice is equally balanced between creditor and debtor representation. John also uses his twenty-year business executive experience to strategize and counsel businesses outside court supervision.

Maggie E. Schroedter

Maggie Schroedter represents both debtors and creditors in commercial litigation and business bankruptcy, with special emphasis on Chapter 11, out-of-court restructuring and creditor’s rights and remedies. Maggie’s clients include individual business owners, their companies, investors and creditors. She also has experience representing clients in bankruptcy appeals at the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Meredith King

Meredith King is a commercial litigator with experience representing business owners, corporate clients and fiduciaries on complex financial litigation in federal, state and bankruptcy courts. Prior to joining HFM, Meredith served for several years as a career law clerk to Judge Margaret M. Mann, Honorable Chief Judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of California.

Kirsten A. Worley

Kirsten Worley has been practicing for nearly two decades and her practice is focused on creditors’ rights and restructuring. She works with creditors to minimize the impact of insolvency and bankruptcy events and to help clients position themselves for maximum recovery. Kirsten has special expertise with claims in the construction and real estate industry, and represents owners, developers, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and lenders in connection with such claims.

S. Douglas Kerner

Doug Kerner has represented clients in all aspects of commercial real estate acquisition, development, financing, and leasing for more than 25 years. He represents investors and developers in the purchase and sale of commercial real estate, landlords and tenants in negotiating and documenting commercial leases, as well as lenders and borrowers in commercial real estate loan transactions, including construction loans. Doug brings a detailed understanding of these complex transactions to workout negotiations and court-supervised restructuring.

Laura L. Buckley

Laura Buckley is a California Certified Specialist in Taxation who represents creditors and debtors in resolution of bankruptcy tax matters, including relief from stay, exceptions to discharge and discharge of bankruptcy taxes. Before joining HFM, Laura was an IRS Chief Counsel attorney and a Special Assistant United States Attorney where she represented the IRS in both Tax Court and U.S. Bankruptcy Court regarding deficiency and collection matters.