Donald W. Fitzgerald
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Representative Cases and Clients
Served as counsel for the Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Chapter 11 case of Capital Station 65, LLC, the owner of the 65 acre Township Nine multi use real estate development project just north of downtown Sacramento. The secured debt exceeded $45 million. All unsecured creditors were paid in full.
Served with Paul Pascuzzi as counsel for the City of Pittsburg in the Chapter 11 cases of Genon Energy, Inc. and over 50 affiliates pending in the Southern District of Texas. The City has multiple relationships with the Genon group, including landlord of a recently closed natural gas fired power plant within the City boundaries.
Served as lead counsel for chapter 11 Trustee for Shasta Enterprises, a commercial real estate development and management partnership owning 24 parcels of real property in the area of Redding, California, with over $15 million of secured debt. Liquidating Chapter 11 plan confirmed, fully secured debt paid and 100% return on non-insider unsecured claims.
Served as lead counsel for chapter 11 Trustee for Souza Propane, a retail commercial and residential propane supplier in Turlock, California. The company was sold as a going concern through a court-approved sale and majority of debt repaid.
Represented chapter 11 Trustee in the case of Kobra Properties, a company controlling 80 real estate projects and carrying over $300 million of secured debt. Liquidating chapter 11 plan confirmed after completed projects were operated under the Trustee's control for approximately one year. Case included successful litigation against insiders and prosecution of numerous preference and fraudulent conveyance adversaries.
Represented large Fresno-based tomato and almond grower and processor in successful three year engagement to downsize operations in out-of-court workout and pay off defaulted loan from institutional lender of in excess of $20 million and mezzanine loan of in excess of $4 million. Restructure included creative interim operating financing from third party growers and permitted client to retain control of operations throughout.
Represented large copier sales and supply enterprise in acquisition of assets of insolvent target company through an assignment for benefit of creditors (ABC). The ongoing operations were maintained and the acquisition permitted client to penetrate a new market at a relatively inexpensive entry price with low transaction costs.
Served as counsel for chapter 11 Trustee in the case of Robert Cook, the owner of a minority interest in the Sacramento Kings NBA team. Initiated successful litigation against disputed lienholders and orchestrated the sale of the minority interest for over $15 million, leading to a positive outcome in what appeared to be an insolvent estate at the time of appointment.
Served as co-lead counsel for the debtor in possession in the chapter 11 of Zacky Farms, LLC. At the time of the chapter 11 filing in 2012, Zacky Farms was one of the largest integrated poultry growers and processors in the United States, with annual sales of $146 million and over 1,000 employees. Company was sold in the chapter 11 to a family group who succeeded to the pre-petition institutional lender's $55 million line of credit. The sale preserved the operations and related jobs. Liquidating plan confirmed.
Served as lead insolvency counsel for a Northern California drilling and mining equipment supply company in restructuring bank debt of over $45 million in out-of-court workout.
Represented Comerica Bank in chapter 11 case of Curtis Westwood in connection with Bank's efforts to enforce a $15 million judgment, which was on appeal by the borrower at the time of the chapter 11. The Bank succeeded in obtaining appointment of a trustee and in forcing a favorable settlement, including dismissal of the bankruptcy.
Currently representing judgment debtor in negotiations regarding satisfaction of $4.2 million adverse arbitration award and regarding allocation agreement among jointly and severally liable judgment debtors.
Represented Creditors' Committee in the chapter 11 case of Michael Hat, a large wine and juice grape grower and processor with annual sales of $20 million and owner of 12,000 acres of vineyards in the Central Valley, Central Coast and Sierra Foothills regions of California. Recovery on $23 million of unsecured debt to date is over 70% under confirmed liquidating chapter 11 plan.
Represented California Housing Finance Agency in the chapter 7 of Robert McWhirk. Pre-petition fraud judgment for $13.2 million, on appeal at the time of the filing, determined to be non-dischargeable. Objection to large retirement exemption and lien avoidance action against an insider, prosecuted in cooperation with the trustee, both successfully resolved.
Represented numerous regional lenders and community banks as creditors in chapter 11, 7 and 13 cases and in commercial litigation, including cash collateral, relief from stay and plan confirmation disputes, as well as judicial foreclosure, receivership, injunctive relief and claim and delivery actions.
Represented Quality Assured Packing, Inc., a tomato processor with annual sales of $30 million, as debtor in possession in its chapter 11 case. Plan of reorganization confirmed in which stock in reorganized debtor was issued to prepetition creditors, and which permitted sale of the company to occur four years after confirmation.
Served as California counsel to American Builders & Contractors Supply Co. in its acquisition of the assets of insolvent roofing supply company Roof Top Metal Products, including real property of affiliate. Personal property acquired through successful 363 purchase through target company chapter 11 and real estate acquired through purchase of, and foreclosure on, real estate secured loan.