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Paul J. Pascuzzi
Paul J. Pascuzzi
Partner
email/ ppascuzzi@ffwplaw.com
direct dial/ 916.329.7400, ext. 222

Experience

Paul represents creditors and debtors in virtually every type of bankruptcy case, out of court workout, and commercial litigation.  Paul has worked as co-counsel with the California Attorney General's Office representing numerous California state agencies in the Pacific Lumber Company, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Worldcom, and Enron bankruptcies.  He has represented landlord and creditor clients in complex chapter 11 reorganizations, liquidations and sales of assets in numerous jurisdictions.  He also has represented creditors and defended clients in preference actions in large cases across the country, including cases such as Calpine, Circuit City, Linens N Things, Mervyns, Chrysler and General Motors, Paul also has represented chapter 11 debtors in complex corporate reorganizations and liquidations, including Large Scale Biology and Capital Corp of the West, a bank holding company.  Paul also represents receivers in various jurisdictions in California and federal courts in Nevada.

Education

Paul earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration-Finance from Iowa State University in 1986, and earned his Juris Doctor degree with Great Distinction from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1990.  While at McGeorge, Paul gained membership in the Order of the Coif and the Traynor Honor Society.  He also received the Prentice Hall Annual Taxation Award in 1990 for outstanding performance in tax subjects.

Honors and Activities

Paul is a Fellow of the prestigious American College of Bankruptcy, and is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell.  Paul has been listed since 2007 in The Best Lawyers of America in the specialization of Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights Law and was named as Lawyer of the Year for 2014.  Paul also has been named a “Super Lawyer” in the field of Bankruptcy by Law and Politics Magazine since 2005.  Paul was voted by his peers as "Best of the Bar 2013," by the Sacramento Business Journal.  Paul serves as a Lawyer Representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference for a three-year term.

Paul served as Chair of the Executive Committee of the Business Law Section of the State Bar of California from 2009-2010, and currently serves as an advisor.  Paul will again serve as the Chair of the California State Bar Business Law Section Long Range Strategy Committee for the 2013-2014 state bar year.  Paul served as Chair of the Insolvency Law Committee of the Business Law Section of the State Bar of California from 2005-2006, and currently serves as an advisor.  He is a former Co-Vice Chair of the State Bar Uniform Commercial Code Committee.  Paul served as President of the California Bankruptcy Forum from 2009-2010 and Co-Chair for the 2005 and 2011 California Bankruptcy Forum Annual Conference.  He has served as Vice President, Secretary and Board member of the Sacramento Valley Bankruptcy Forum.  He has served as member of the UCC Advisory Committee to the Secretary of State’s office and the UCC Committee’s Liaison to the Secretary of State.

From 1988 through 2011, he was a panelist at the California Continuing Education of the Bar’s "Recent Developments in Business Law" annual program in Sacramento.  Paul also has taught bankruptcy and collection law as a visiting lecturer at California State University, Sacramento.  Paul has been a presenter at the Sacramento County Bar Association Business Law, Intellectual Property and Bankruptcy & Commercial Law sections monthly meetings.

Paul also regularly volunteers his time to the Voluntary Legal Services Program, Debt Collection Defense Clinic.  Paul volunteers as a mentor to new California lawyers through the California State Bar Business Law Section Mentor Program.

Representative Experience

  • Represents The Roman Catholic Bishop of Stockton, a corporation sole in its chapter 11 cased filed January 15, 2014.

  • Represented Cha Cha Enterprises, Inc. in chapter 11 reorganization with related debtor Mi Pueblo San Jose, Inc.  Successfully confirmed a plan of reorganization allowing both companies to exit bankruptcy with over $55 million of exit financing, preserving approximately 3,000 jobs in the hispanic grocery store industry.

  • Represented a publicly traded bank holding company Capitol Corp of the West in a chapter 11 case after the appointment of the FDIC as receiver for its wholly owned subsidiary bank County Bank of Merced.  County Bank of Merced had assets of almost $2 billion.  Capitol Corp of the West had over $65 million of unsecured debt, made up mostly of trust preferred securities.  The chapter 11 case involved successfully confirming a liquidating plan and litigation in the bankruptcy court over the ownership of over $40 million of tax refunds and life insurance policies.  The resolution of the litigation resulted in distributions to creditors of over 24%.

  • Represented a publicly traded company Large Scale Biology a chapter 11 case involving substantial interests in intellectual property.  LSBC was a biotechnology company, founded in 1987 to use new methods of genetic engineering to produce pharmaceutical proteins and vaccines at a lower cost than is possible with traditional manufactuing methods.  The chapter 11 case involved evaluating the ability to reorganize and eventually lead to the successful confirmation of a liquidating plan providing for an orderly liquidation of the company's intellectual property and resolving challenging issues involving assumption and assignment of license agreements.

  • Represented several bank holding companies in out of court wind down proceedings involving negotiations with the FDIC regarding ownership of tax refunds and claims resolutions.  These cases are in the process of resolving without the need for a bankruptcy filing, avoiding the costs and delays sometimes associated with bankruptcy.

  • Represented the Creditors Committee in a local dairy farmer's chapter 11 bankruptcy case.  The case involved the sale of over $10 million of real property to fund the payment in full of all creditors, including interest.

  • Acted as co-counsel with the California Attorney General's Office in representing numerous California state agencies regulating the timber industry in the Pacific Lumber bankruptcy case in Corpus Christi, Texas.  The case resulted in the sale of the debtor's assets to Humbolt Redwood Company, an affiliate of Mendocino Redwood Company.  The case involved potential challenges to the state regulatory scheme of the timber industry, but resulted in pass through treatment with regard to the state agencies' claims and regulatory authority.

  • Represented the California Housing Finance Agency in the Residential Capital bankruptcy case in the Southern District of New York.  The case involved the successful assumption and assignment of CalHFA's servicing and loan agreements by GMAC to Ocwen Financial Corporation in connection with a $3 billion sale of Res Cap's loan and servicing portfolios.

  • Represented the California Housing Finance Agency in the Pasadena Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc. bankruptcy case in the Central District of California.  The case involved the sale of a senior affordable housing complex, the payment in full of CalHFA and the retention of the regulatory restrictions on the property to ensure availability of senior affordable housing in the future at the complex.

  • Represented Elli M.A. Mills, JD, MBA, as receiver in the United States District Court, District of Nevada, Las Vegas Division.  Mr. Mills was appointed receiver over 338 acres of undeveloped land located in Placer County.  This case came out of the USA Commercial Mortgage Company bankruptcy case.  The property is being marketed for sale with the goal of returning some recovery to lenders who at one point had lost all of their $33 million investment.

  • Represented Randy Sugarman as receiver for VPL, Inc. at trucking company operating out of Lodi, California.  Mr. Sugarman was appointed on the motion of Loanvest, the secured lender owed over $2.9 million.  Through the receivership, Mr. Sugarman liquidated all of the personal property and acted as receiver while Loanvest conducted a judicial foreclosure on real property and obtained a deficiency judgment.  Mr. Sugarman also was able to make claims against 401(k) bonds to recover $2335,000 of funds to pay to the 401(k) beneficiaries after the 401(k) plan assets disappeared under prior management.

  • Represented McClatchy Company, a media company that owns numerous newspapers across the United States, as a creditor and/or defendant in preference actions, claims objections, and sales of substantially all of a debtor's assets involving the assumption and assignment of executory contracts in numerous jurisdictions including bankruptcy courts in New York, Virginia, Delaware, Texas, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Alabama.

  • Represented Pacific Coast Producers, a local fruit processor and supplier, in connection with the Snokist chapter 11 bankruptcy case in the Eastern District of Washington.  Snokist was a non-profit cooperative association operating a cannery business under which it purchased fruit from both member and non-member growers and processes that fruit into a variety of different products, including applesause and canned pears.  PCP was the successful highest bidder for inventory and accounts in connection with a $26 million sale of substantially all of Snokist's assets.

  • Represented landlords as creditors in national cases involving the assumption and assignment of leases, cure amount disputes, and claim objections.

  • Represented local credit union in small chapter 7 and 13 cases involving vehicle, fixture and residential housing loans.

  • Consulted with many businesses and litigation lawyers regarding the impact and alternatives of bankruptcy on existing business arrangements and litigation strategy.

  • As Chair of the California State Bar, Business Law Section, Insolvency Law Committee, led a subcommittee that performed a comprehensive review of all California statutes to clean up references to insolvency law concepts resulting in the introduction, passing and signing of clean up legislation fixing all incorrect references to insolvency law and concepts in 2009.

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