Sharon Weiss brings an exceptional breadth of local, state, and national level bankruptcy community ties to her insolvency practice. Through these substantive relationships, including those with co-counsel, adversaries, and clients, Ms. Weiss has attained a base of experience from which she serves as a true client advocate. She offers her clients the personal attention and warmth of her small firm background combined with the added benefits of the firm’s wide array of department resources.

Ms. Weiss has extensive experience in a wide area of insolvency matters from various perspectives, including representation of creditors, individual and corporate debtors, trustees, franchisors, and creditors’ committees. She has served as lead trial counsel in bankruptcy and commercial litigation, including alternative dispute resolution, and has considerable experience in handling fraud and Ponzi scheme litigation and bankruptcy appeals, which have resulted in published Ninth Circuit opinions. Her clients include parties engaged in banking, real estate, consumer electronics, healthcare, restaurant, garment, entertainment, and retail sales industries. Ms. Weiss has served as lead counsel in out-of-court workouts and in the bankruptcy courts in cases involving such varied issues as disputed asset sales, financing, secured creditor rights, the avoiding powers, executory contracts, pension plans, claims priority, plan confirmation, surcharges, and the court’s inherent powers.

Ms. Weiss was recognized as one of the “Top Women Lawyers” in California by the Daily Journal in 2013 and as a notable practitioner in Chambers USA since 2012 in the California bankruptcy and restructuring practice area. She frequently speaks on panels regarding insolvency-related topics. Ms. Weiss has organized dozens of programs and panels and delivered presentations to industry groups such as the California Society of CPAs and The Alternative Board. She is also invited annually to speak to the Women in the Law Seminar Class at Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles, California.  

Civic Involvement & Honors

    • Daily Journal – Top Women Lawyers in California, 2013
    • Chambers USA – Bankruptcy/Restructuring: California, 2012-2017
    • Kathryn R. Heidt Memorial Award, ABA Section of Business Law Business Bankruptcy Committee, 2008 (first recipient)
    • Bankruptcy Law360, Outstanding Woman Bankruptcy Lawyer, 2007
    • Southern California Super Lawyers, 2005-2018
    • Congregation Or Ami – Vice President, 2017-present; member, Board of Directors, 2015-2017
    • Kathryn R. Heidt Memorial Award, ABA Section of Business Law Business Bankruptcy Committee, 2008 (first recipient)
    • Bankruptcy Law360, Outstanding Woman Bankruptcy Lawyer, 2007
    • Southern California Super Lawyers, 2005-2018
    • Congregation Or Ami – Vice President, 2017-present; member, Board of Directors, 2015-2017
    • Southern California Super Lawyers, 2005-2018
    • Congregation Or Ami – Vice President, 2017-present; member, Board of Directors, 2015-2017
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Professional Affiliations

    • ABA Business Law Section
    • Business Law Section Council, 2017-2021
    • Bankruptcy Court Structures and Insolvency Process Committee – Former Chair, 2014 to 2017
    • Business Bankruptcy Committee – Co-chair, Secured Creditor Subcommittee, 2017-2020; Kathryn R. Heidt Memorial Award Selection committee, Co-Chair, 2013 to 2017; Programs subcommittee, Co-Chair, 2007- 2013; Executory Contracts subcommittee, Vice Chair, 2004-2007; Membership subcommittee, Co-Chair, 2002-2004; Litigation subcommittee, Vice Chair, 2001-2002 
    • Diversity Committee - Content Director, 2011-present; Secretary, 2011-2013; Women’s Business Law Network subcommittee, Co-Chair, 2008-2011; Law Student and Young Lawyer Involvement subcommittee, Chair, 2005-2008.
    • California Bankruptcy Forum
    • President, 2012-2013; Conference Co-Chair, 2008-2009, 2017-2018; Program Book Co-Chair, 2006-2007.
    • Los Angeles Bankruptcy Forum
    • Board of Directors, 2010-2013
    • American Bankruptcy Institute
    • Healthcare Subcommittee;  Membership Chair, 2013-present; Listserv Facilitator, 2010-2013
    • International Women's Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation, Member
    • Restructuring and Insolvency Professionals of Southern California, Co-Founder 
    • Appointed to the Bankruptcy Mediation Program Panel for the United States Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California, 2006-present
    • Appointed an Attorney Settlement Officer for the United States District Court, Central of California, 2007-present
    • National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges
    • Education Committee Member, 2017 
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    • Los Angeles Bankruptcy Forum
    • Board of Directors, 2010-2013
    • American Bankruptcy Institute
    • Healthcare Subcommittee;  Membership Chair, 2013-present; Listserv Facilitator, 2010-2013
    • International Women's Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation, Member
    • Restructuring and Insolvency Professionals of Southern California, Co-Founder 
    • Appointed to the Bankruptcy Mediation Program Panel for the United States Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California, 2006-present
    • Appointed an Attorney Settlement Officer for the United States District Court, Central of California, 2007-present
    • National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges
    • Education Committee Member, 2017 
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    • Appointed an Attorney Settlement Officer for the United States District Court, Central of California, 2007-present
    • National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges
    • Education Committee Member, 2017 
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Representative Experience

International Insolvency

  • Special counsel in Chapter 11 bankruptcy case pending in Dayton, Ohio to protect Debtor’s assets in Germany from collection efforts by its major creditor. 

Fiduciary

  • Appointed as the Plan Agent responsible to distribute $2 million to creditors for the emsCharts bankruptcy case which was pending in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Ponzi Scheme Litigation / Avoidance Actions

  • Successfully represented client to resolve alleged fraudulent transfer action commenced by Federal Receiver.

  • Represented successor Chapter 7 trustee to prosecute Ponzi scheme avoidance actions before the bankruptcy court and on appellate review.

Bankruptcy Cases and Creditor Rights Representation

  • Successfully represented lender as Plaintiff in adversary proceeding to substantively consolidate 7 non-debtor entities and 3 non-debtor individuals into chapter 7 estate.
  • Successfully represent commercial landlords in bankruptcy cases throughout the U.S.
  • Successfully represented lender in chapter 11 bankruptcy estate to enforce creditor’s rights regarding whether the automatic stay tolls the right of redemption subsequent to a judicial foreclosure.
  • Represent several media vendors in KSL bankruptcy estate to defend proofs of claim and collection demands by chapter 7 trustee related to media vendor’s advance payment of money placement services and media buys.
  • Successfully represented Imagine Nation in Wisconsin Bankruptcy Court to enforce pre-petition judgment for fraud and embezzlement.
  • Represented JLG Industries in chapter 11 proceedings and related chapter 7 bankruptcy case of guarantor, which resulted in non-dischargeable judgment for more than $4.5 million.
  • Represented a wholesale distributor as member of creditor’s committee in the RCR Plumbing and Mechanical Chapter 11 bankruptcy case.
  • Represented Tully’s Coffee (prior to its own Chapter 11 proceedings) to enforce its rights against Debtor for violations of franchising law and intellectual property.
  • Represented the architect for a large mix use resident/retail real estate development known as “The Concerto” located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, to enforce its mechanic lien and intellectual property rights.
  • Represented founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer of a distributor of consumer electronics with gross revenues of approximately $20 million in connection with all facets of companies’ Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases, including critical strategic planning with respect to $45 million federal court judgment against Debtor-companies and their President.

Purchasers of Assets of Distressed Companies

  • Successfully represented stalking horse bidder to purchase Golfsmith International Headquarters for $20.5 million.
  • Successfully represented buyer of assets and acquirer of claim in technology oriented bankruptcy proceeding.
  • Represented buyer as a stocking horse bidder in its purchase of six warehouses for almost $40 million from the RadioShack bankruptcy estate.

     

    Health Care

  • Represented health care specialty client to enforce and recover outstanding secured loans from various insolvent health care facilities.

Corporate Governance

  • Represented members of the board of directors regarding their fiduciary duties during company’s insolvency and distressed sale process.

Published Opinions

  • Lead bankruptcy counsel for major financial institution in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Bankruptcy court granted Plaintiff summary judgment to substantively consolidate 7 non-debtor entities and 3 non-debtor individuals into chapter 7 estate. District Court affirmed bankruptcy court’s judgment. Ninth Circuit appeal is pending. In re Owner Management Services, LLC, 530 B.R. 711 (Bankr. C.D. Cal. 2015).
  • Awarded attorneys fees and cost in defending non-party recipients of subpoenas duces tecum in chapter 11 case. In re Morreale Hotels LLC, 517 B.R. 184 (Bankr. C.D. Cal. 2014).
  • Represented chapter 7 trustee in ponzi scheme claw back avoidance actions. In re AFI Holdings, Inc., 525 F.3d 700 (9th2008).
  • Ninth Circuit ruled that a bankruptcy court must first determine that property is property of the bankruptcy estate before it may authorize sale of assets. In re Rodeo Canon Development Corp., 126 Fed. Appx. 353 (9th2005) (case subsequently unpublished by Ninth Circuit).
  • Successfully represented Chapter 7 Debtor in defending trustee's attempts to avoid as a fraudulent transfer $2 million pension plan. Gill v. Stern (In re Steven H. Stern), 345 F.3d 1036 (9th Cir. 2003).

  • Ninth Circuit confirmed bankruptcy court’s inherent authority to impose sanctions under 11 U.S.C. 105(a) in favor of chapter 7 trustee for willful violation of the automatic stay.  In re Dyer, 322 F.3d 1178 (9thCir.)

Publications

  • "Maryland Bankruptcy Court Rules that Secured Creditor Retains Priority Even Though Its UCC Financing Statement Lapsed During Case," ABA Business Law Section, February 2019
  • “How Reporting a Crime May Subject You to Sanctions,” ABA Business Law Section, March 2016
  • “Will Your Claim in Bankruptcy Withstand the Test?” Bryan Cave Bankruptcy and Restructuring Blog, May 18, 2015
  • “Overcoming Administrative, Procedural, and Evidentiary Hurdles in Ponzi Scheme Litigation,” Golden Gate University Law Review, June 2012
  • “Reclamation Rights and Federal Bankruptcy Law,” The Practical Lawyer, October 2010
  • Author/Speaker, “Are Your Clients Caught in a Bankruptcy Case? Hot Topics Relating to Ponzi Schemes, Distressed Real Estate Sales, and Other Emerging Issues: SELLER BEWARE: Understanding the Interplay of Reclamation Rights and Federal Bankruptcy Law,” Beverly Hills Bar Association: Business Law Section, March 2010 (and panel speaker)
  • Author/Speaker: “Recent Developments Regarding Claims in Bankruptcy,” ABA Business Law Section, Task Force of Current Developments in Bankruptcy, Fall 2008 (and panel speaker)
  • “Business Bankruptcy Primer Katrina-Rita Working Group, a task force of the ABA Business Bankruptcy Committee,” ABA Business Law Section, assist lawyers in the areas affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, October 2005

Speaking Engagements

  • "Surprise!: Ways in Which the Automatic Stay or Discharge Injunction Can Sneak Up On You," ABA Business Law Section, April 2017
  • “Alternatives to Bankruptcy,” Trigild Lenders Conference, April 2015
  • “How to Get Sanctioned Without Really Trying: The Perils of Litigating for Estate Fiduciaries,” ABA Business Law Section, Business Bankruptcy Committee, Oct. 2011
  • “The Rat Pack Is Back: A Simulated Multi-Party Mediation of a Chapter 11 Dispute Arising from (i) a Leveraged-Lease of a Las Vegas Casino and (ii) the Operation of the Claim Litigation under Section 502(b)(6),” ABA Business Law Section, Business Bankruptcy Committee, April 2009
  • “The 1, 2, 3's of Financial Statements,” presented to the ABA Business Law Section/Woman's Business Law Network, March 2008 and May 2008 (via national webcast)
  • “The Repercussions of Intentional Ignorance: Professional Liability,” The Federal Bar Association, Third Annual Bankruptcy Ethics Symposium, Sept. 2006