Joe focuses on in-court and out-of-court restructurings, distressed asset sales, and bankruptcy litigation.

His diverse bankruptcy practice includes representation of debtors, secured and unsecured creditors, distressed investors, independent directors, asset purchasers and other parties in interest in all phases of chapter 11 proceedings, related litigation and other insolvency-related matters. Joe’s experience spans a wide variety of industries including hospitality, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, food and beverage, entertainment, energy production, retail, manufacturing, publishing, finance, transportation, and real estate. He also concentrates on the preparation and issuance of substantive non-consolidation opinions.

Joe has been included in Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch for his work in bankruptcy and creditor debtor rights / insolvency and reorganization law. Active in the American Bankruptcy Institute, he currently serves as co-chair of ABI’s Bankruptcy Litigation Committee.

In law school, he served as the chief managing editor of The Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution. He also participated in the Ruby R. Vale Interschool Moot Court Competition at Widener Law, in which his team finished second overall. Joe received the CALI Award for Excellence in three courses, and he studied on scholarship at the Oxford University Law Programme at St. Anne’s College in the summer of 2010.

Prior to joining Morris Nichols, Joe was an associate in the bankruptcy and corporate restructuring department at another prominent Delaware law firm.

Experience

Co-counsel to the stalking horse bidder and DIP lender to YogaWorks, Inc. and its debtor affiliate (Case No. 20-12599 (KBO) Bankr. D. Del.).  The Debtors are a leading provider of online and live yoga classes and instruction across the United States.

Co-counsel to the Official Committee of Equity Security Holders of VIVUS, Inc. (Case No. 20-11779 (LSS) Bankr. D. Del.).  After its appointment, the Committee successfully negotiated a settlement for equity under the Debtors’ plan of reorganization which provided for a cash distribution and perpetual royalty arrangement with the reorganized company. The restructuring was named “Restructuring of the Year ($100MM to $500MM)” by The M&A Advisor.

Counsel to a midstream counterparty and one of the largest unsecured creditors of Whiting Petroleum Corporation and its debtor affiliates (Case No. 20-32021 (DRJ) Bankr. S.D. Tex.).  The parties successfully negotiated amended water, crude and gas gathering agreements as a means to resolving pending litigation and plan-related issues.

Co-counsel to Fred’s, Inc. and its debtor affiliates (Case No. 19-11984 (CSS) Bankr. D. Del.) in their chapter 11 cases.  The Debtors are discount retailers of general and pharmaceutical goods that generally serve low, middle- and fixed-income families located in small- to medium-sized towns.

Co-counsel to Southcross Energy Partners, L.P., its general partner, and its wholly owned direct and indirect subsidiaries (Case No. 19-10702 (MFW) Bankr. D. Del.) in their voluntary chapter 11 cases. The Debtors provide midstream services to natural gas producers and customers, including natural gas gathering, processing, treatment and compression, and access to natural gas liquid fractionation and transportation services.

Counsel to a competing debtor-in-possession financing lender in the cases of Apex Linen Service LLC and its debtor affiliates (Case No. 11774 (LSS) Bankr. D. Del.).

Counsel to a midstream counterparty and one of the largest unsecured creditors of Ultra Petroleum Corp. and its debtor affiliates (Case No. 20-32631 (MI) Bankr. S.D. Tex.).  This engagement included advising the company in its individual capacity as well as with respect to its role as a member of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors.

Co-counsel to Boy Scouts of America and its debtor affiliate (Case No. 20-10343 (LSS) Bankr. D. Del.) in their chapter 11 cases.  Founded in 1910 and chartered by an act of Congress in 1916, the BSA is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States and one of the largest Scouting organizations in the world, with approximately 2.2 million registered youth participants and approximately 800,000 adult volunteers.

Co-counsel to an ad hoc crossholder group of secured creditors in the chapter 11 cases of RentPath Holdings, Inc. and its debtor affiliates (Case No. 20-10312 (BLS) Bankr. D. Del.). The ad hoc group acted as both the DIP lender and backup bidder in the case.

Counsel to the chapter 11 trustee appointed in the cases of Tough Mudder Incorporated and its debtor affiliate (Case No. 20-10036 (CSS) Bankr. D. Del.).  The Debtors develop and host, either directly or through their subsidiaries, endurance event series in which participants compete in various obstacle course races around the world.  The chapter 11 trustee sought, and successfully obtained, approval of a private sale, subject to higher and better bids, of substantially all of the Debtors’ assets on an expedited timeline and less than one month after the trustee was appointed. 

Co-counsel to the chapter 11 trustee appointed in the cases of PWR Invest, L.P. and its debtor affiliates (Case No. 19-11164 (JTD) Bankr. D. Del.).  The Debtors are owners and operators of producing and non-producing oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquid reserves, which are located primarily in the Eastern Anadarko Basin of Oklahoma.

Counsel to one of the largest unsecured creditors of Fleetwood Acquisition Corp. and its debtor affiliates (Case No. 19-12330 (KBO) Bankr. D. Del.).  This engagement included advising the company in its individual capacity as well as with respect to its role as a member of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors.

Co-counsel to a bidder for substantially all of the assets of Bayou Steel BD Holdings, L.L.C. and its debtor affiliates (Case No. 19-12153 (KBO) Bankr. D. Del.).

Co-counsel to Lolli and Pops, Inc. and its debtor affiliates (Case No. 19-11813 (CSS) Bankr. D. Del.) in their chapter 11 cases. The Debtors are owner-operators of upscale retail candy stores primarily located in shopping malls around the country.

Counsel to the Official Committee of Preferred Equity Security Holders of Elk Petroleum, Inc. (Case No. 19-11157 (LSS) Bankr. D. Del.), an oil and natural gas business that specializes in applying established enhanced oil recovery technologies to mature oil fields, focused primarily in the Rocky Mountain region.

Co-counsel to White Star Petroleum Holdings, LLC and its debtor affiliates (Case No. 19-11179 (BLS) Bankr. D. Del.; Case No. 19-12145 (JDL) Bankr. W.D. Okla.) in their chapter 11 cases. The Debtors acquire, develop, operate and produce unconventional oil and natural gas properties.

Co-counsel to one of the largest suppliers and unsecured creditors of Orchids Paper Products Company and its debtor affiliates (Case No. 19-10729 (MFW) Bankr. D. Del.). This engagement included advising the company through the successful assumption of its contracts by the Debtors and assignment of such contracts to the purchaser of substantially all of the Debtors’ assets, and as chair of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the cases.

Co-counsel to the prepetition lender in the chapter 11 case of L.K. Bennett U.S.A., Inc. (Case No. 19-10760 (JTD) Bankr. D. Del.), the wholly-owned subsidiary of L.K. Bennett, Ltd, an international affordable luxury fashion brand specializing in women’s footwear.

Counsel to a distressed borrower in the food and beverage industry with its out-of-court restructuring of over $60 million of funded indebtedness.

Counsel to unsecured creditor and contract counterparty in the chapter 11 cases of Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc. and its debtor affiliates (Case No. 18-13374 (MEW) Bankr. S.D.N.Y.).

Co-counsel to an ad hoc group of second lien noteholders in the chapter 11 cases of LBI Media, Inc. and its debtor affiliates (Case No. 18-12655 (CSS) Bankr. D. Del.).

Counsel to a secured creditor in the chapter 11 cases of Promise Heathcare Group, LLC and its debtor affiliates (Case No. 18-12491 (CSS) Bankr. D. Del.).

Co-counsel to one of the largest unsecured creditors of J&M Sales Inc. and its debtor affiliates (Case No. 18-11801 (LSS) Bankr. D. Del.), with its successful prosecution of a rule 2004 motion and ancillary litigation.

Co-counsel to an ad hoc group of senior lenders in the prepackaged chapter 11 cases of Dixie Electric, LLC and its debtor affiliates (Case No. 18-12477 (KG) Bankr. D. Del.) which sought to reorganize approximately $297 million in funded indebtedness.

Counsel to one of the largest unsecured creditors of Welded Construction, LP (Case No. 18-12378 (KG) Bankr. D. Del.). This engagement included advising the company in its individual capacity as well as with respect to its role as a member of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors.

Counsel to a lessor of nonresidential real property to Sears Holding Corp. and its affiliates (Case No. 18-23538 (RDD) Bankr. S.D.N.Y.).

Co-counsel to Steinhoff International B.V. in assisting the international conglomerate with its global restructuring. This engagement included representation of the company as sponsor and prepetition term lender in the prepackaged chapter 11 cases of The Mattress Firm, Inc. and its debtor affiliates (Case No. 18-12241 (CSS) Bankr. D. Del.) and as co-counsel to the foreign representative of its affiliate, Stripes US Holding, Inc. (Case No. 18-12388 (CSS) Bankr. D. Del.), in a related chapter 15 proceeding which facilitated the exit financing in the Mattress Firm cases.

Co-counsel to the sponsor of the prearranged plan for American Tire Distributors, Inc. and its debtor affiliates (Case No. 18-12221 (KJC) Bankr. D. Del.), one of the largest independent suppliers of replacement tires in the United States. The restructuring of American Tire’s approximately $2.6 billion in funded debt includes a three-year maturity extension and conversion of approximately $1.1 billion of bonds to equity.

Counsel to a potential purchaser of the property held by single asset real estate debtor Jackson Overlook Corp. (Case No. 18-12465 (JLG) Bankr. S.D.N.Y.).

Counsel to one of the largest unsecured creditors of WW Contractors, Inc. (Case No. 18-12095 (BFK) Bankr. E.D. Va.), a general contractor for the General Services Administration with projects across the country.

Counsel to a defendant in a preference action lodged by the chapter 7 trustee of the estates of New Source Energy Partners, L.P. and its debtor affiliates (Case No. 18-50319 (CSS) Bankr. D. Del.).

Co-counsel to The Boston Herald, Inc. and its affiliates (Case No. 17-12881 (LSS) Bankr. D. Del.), which operated a historic newspaper based in Boston, Massachusetts, with their post-sale chapter 11 proceedings.

News & Insights

Professional & Civic

American Bankruptcy Institute (Asset Sales Committee, Bankruptcy Litigation Committee (Executive Board Co-Chair), Business Reorganization Committee, Secured Credit Committee)

Delaware Bankruptcy American Inn of Court (Barrister)

Federal Bar Association

St. Thomas More Society

Turnaround Management Association

Clerkships

  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Robert N. Opel, II, US Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, 2012-2014
  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Charles M. Caldwell, Chief Judge, US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Ohio, 2011

Education

The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law, JD, cum laude, 2012
The Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution, chief managing editor, 2011-2012
The 24th Annual Ruby R. Vale Interschool Corporate Moot Court Competition

Middlebury College, BA, International Politics & Economics and Theatre Arts, cum laude, with honors, 2007

Admissions

  • US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, 2018
  • US District Court for the Southern District of New York, 2018
  • US District Court for the District of Delaware, 2015
  • Delaware, 2015
  • New York, 2013
  • New Jersey, 2012
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