Michael Lichtenstein is a seasoned litigator who is recognized for his excellence in Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyers in Washington, DC, Maryland and DC Super Lawyers, the Washingtonian, Smart CEO and in Chambers and Partners, which notes his “quality” as both a lawyer and mediator. Michael has delivered successful outcomes for financial institutions, creditors’ committees, creditors, property owners, debtors and equity holder clients in Chapter 11 proceedings in a dozen states, including Maryland, DC, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Tennessee, California and New York. He has helped clients in a wide range of industries, including telecommunications, defense, real estate, technology and retail chains, in matters ranging from $5 million to $400 million.
Debtor and creditor clients in or facing Chapter 11 proceedings have found Michael’s background as a corporate board member and his business focus a tremendous asset in successfully navigating the process. Michael represents clients from a variety of industries in the purchase or sale of assets in bankruptcy proceedings. He also provides expert witness and mediator services in Chapter 11 matters.
“Michael is smart and clever. Best bankruptcy counsel I’ve worked with.”
In addition to representing companies and financial institutions in bankruptcy and restructuring, Michael delivers successful outcomes in commercial litigation matters involving business disputes, contracts, securities, telecommunications, construction, commercial real estate and intellectual property matters. He litigates in state and federal courts across the country and has argued several times before the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and Third Circuit.
Michael serves as chair of the Bankruptcy, Restructuring and Creditors’ Rights Group and is a member of both the firm’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Prior to joining Shulman Rogers, he was a litigation and bankruptcy partner at Swidler Berlin, L.P. in Washington, DC. He has earned an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell, a recognition of excellence from both his fellow attorneys and the judiciary.
- Represented the debtor and successfully confirmed a plan of reorganization for SAVI Technology, Inc. in a Chapter 11 in the Eastern District of Virginia. The majority of the secured creditors forfeited a portion of their claim to obtain equity in the reorganized debtor.
- Successfully confirmed a plan of reorganization for PMI parking in one of the first cases under Subchapter 5 of Chapter 11 in the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland.
- Successfully represented Redox Power Systems, LLC, a solid oxide fuel cell company, in its Chapter 11 proceeding. After four months of intense litigation and a four day contested confirmation hearing, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland confirmed Redox’s plan of reorganization in a 32-page opinion.
- Settled state court breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty limited liability litigation that resulted in multi-million dollar payment to clients.
- Obtained order converting Chapter 11 to Chapter 7 proceeding in case involving solar energy and cryptocurrency.
- Won an appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirming the lower court’s decision that lending institution client had a first lien priority on the borrower’s assets on account of a $3.2 million loan and allowing the bank to collect $1.2 million being held in the court registry.
- Successfully settled a $6 million suit filed for plaintiff in Montgomery County Circuit Court in Maryland through the use of mediation that resulted in monthly payments to client.
- Appointed by a Maryland Bankruptcy judge as a mediator in a large Chapter 11 proceeding with a trustee who sued several defendants over significant multi-million dollar disputes about lien priorities and entitlement to sales proceeds.
- Successfully defeated motion to dismiss lawsuit in federal court in Greenbelt, Maryland in suit against insurance company for coverage related to fraudulently issued $1 million letter of credit.
- Won Board of Immigration Appeals’ affirmance of immigration judge’s grant of asylum for pro bono client from Guinea who fled the country because of religious persecution. The BIA affirmed the immigration judge and then denied DHS’ subsequent motion for reconsideration.
- Successful representation of pro bono client from Burundi seeking asylum before the Board of Immigration Appeals.
- The Best Lawyers in America, 2014-2024
- Life Fellow, American Bar Foundation
- Chambers and Partners, Bankruptcy/Restructuring – Maryland, 2018-2023
- Washingtonian Lifetime Achievement Award, 2022
- Maryland Super Lawyers, Business Litigation, 2015-2021, 2023
- District of Columbia Super Lawyers, Business Litigation, 2014-2021
- Top Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights Attorney, Bethesda Magazine, 2019
- Washingtonian Magazine, Top Bankruptcy Lawyers, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2018
- Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating
- Governor’s Volunteer Service Certificate, 2014
- When Can an Individual Close a Subchapter V Case After Plan Confirmation?, Pratt’s Journal of Bankruptcy Law, September 2023
- Bankruptcy Courts Inflict Pain on Mary Jane, Pratt’s Journal of Bankruptcy Law, June 2023
- Unrecorded Deeds of Trust: Take Them Out of Your Pocket Before They Burn a Hole, The Banking Law Journal, February 2023
- Receiverships: Maryland, Thomson Reuters Practical Law, August 2022
- Country Dancing in the Bankruptcy Court: The “Texas Two-Step”, Pratt’s Journal of Bankruptcy Law, June 2022
- UCC Article 9 Sales: Maryland, Thomson Reuters Practical Law, May 2022
- Eligibility as a Debtor Under SBRA, American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, April 2021
- Exceptions to the Attorney-Client and Work Product Privilege, Pratt’s Privacy & Cybersecurity Law Report, September 2018
- The Enforcement of Arbitration Agreements in Bankruptcy Proceedings, Pratt’s Journal of Bankruptcy Law, June 2017
- Lender Liability: Avoid It Like The Plague!, February 2017
- A Split Supreme Court Leaves Spousal Guarantees Up in the Air, Pratt’s Journal of Bankruptcy Law, October 2016
- Lifestyles of the Rich and Not So Famous in Bankruptcy Proceedings, Pratt’s Journal of Bankruptcy Law, April/May 2016
- Violating a Debtor’s Discharge Injunction: Lender’s Beware, The Banking Law Journal, October 2015
- Can Consent Be Implied In A Sale Of Property Free And Clear Of Liens Under Section 363(F) Of The Bankruptcy Code?, Pratt’s Journal of Bankruptcy Law, January 2015
- Workouts and Forbearance Agreements, TSL Express, a product of the Secured Lender, July 9, 2014
- Asset Sales and Structured Dismissals in Chapter 11, Pratt’s Journal of Bankruptcy Law, January 2014
- A Commercial Landlord’s Damage Remedies in a Tenant’s Bankruptcy Proceedings, Real Estate Finance Journal, Winter 2013/2014
- Commercial Loan Officers’ Authority to Bind a Bank, The Banking Law Journal, September 2013
- What Are A Tenant’s Rights When A Landlord Files For Bankruptcy?, Real Estate Law Journal, Summer 2012, with Richard Goldberg
- Insolvency – Chapter 11 Reorganization or Liquidation for Businesses in the United States, Lawrope International, March 2012
- Disappointed Bidders Don’t Have Standing to Appeal an Order Approving a Sale of Assets, ABI Journal, March 2012
- Service of Pleadings on Counsel under Bankruptcy Rules 7004, 9014 and 9010, American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, February 2011
- The Treatment of IRUs in Bankruptcy Proceedings, In the Matter of Rural Health Care Support Mechanism, WC Docket No. 02-60, July 15, 2010
- Non-Dischargeability of Debts Under Section 523(A)(2)(B) of the Bankruptcy Code, The Banking Law Journal, June 2009
- The Imposition of Constructive Trusts in Bankruptcy Proceedings (with Stephen A. Metz), ABI Business Reorganization Committee Newsletter, Volume 7, Number 2, 2008
- The Payment of “Stub Rent” Under the Bankruptcy Code, Real Estate Law Journal, Fall 2007
- Bankruptcy Courts’ Treatment of Severance Agreements Providing for Continued Payments to Former Employees, Business Law Brief, Fall 2006
- Assertions of Insolvency in Avoidance Actions to Rebut Financial Statements, American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, October 2005
- Settling the Law in the Circuits: Presenting Hearsay Evidence in a Preliminary Injunction Hearing, American Journal of Trial Advocacy, Fall 2005
- How New Bankruptcy Code Changes Affect Tenants, Commercial Tenant Lease Insider, August 2005
- How New Bankruptcy Code Changes Will Affect You, Commercial Lease Law Insider, July 2005
- Service of Process on a Defendant’s Counsel in an Adversary Proceeding, American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, June 2005
- Supreme Court Ducks Sovereign Immunity Question: A Recap of Circuit Conflicts, American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, July/August 2004
- Violations of the Automatic Stay: Void or Voidable, American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, May 2004
- Calculating a Landlord’s Claim in Bankruptcy, Real Estate Law Journal, Volume 32, Number 2, Fall 2003
- The Treatment of IRUs in Bankruptcy Proceedings, Journal of Bankruptcy Law and Practice, Volume 11, Number 1, November/December 2001
- Who Is An Insider For Voting Purposes in a Single Asset Chapter 11?, Bankruptcy Law and Practice, Volume 10, Number 3, March/April 2001
Seminars & Speaking Engagements
- “Lender Liability 101,” Turnaround Management Association, December 12, 2022
- “The ABC’s of a Business Bankruptcy,” D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center, May 21, 2020
- “Chapter 11, the Maryland Commercial Receivership Act and Commercial Real Estate Issues,” Advanced Real Property Institute, November 7, 2019
- “Workouts, Turnarounds and Chapter 11 Highlights,” April 16, 2019
- “Commercial Bankruptcy Presentation, Law School for the Public,” Montgomery Community Media TV, January 13, 2016
- “Chapter 11 Structured Dismissals – Viable Exit Strategy or Impermissable”, October 28, 2014
- “Commercial Lease Damages in Bankruptcy Proceedings”, Maryland Bankruptcy Bar Association, February 26, 2014
- “Exit Strategies in Chapter 11: Asset Sales and Structured Dismissals,” The Twelfth Annual Spring Break Weekend, Maryland Bankruptcy Bar Association May, 2012
- “Bankruptcy Brush Up: What to do when a landlord files?” MICPEL, Advanced Real Property Institute, October 7, 2009
- Recent Case Developments in Consumer and Business Bankruptcy Cases, The Tenth Annual Spring Break Weekend, Maryland Bankruptcy Bar Association
- Chair, Loan Workout, Bankruptcy and Collateral Liquidation in the District of Columbia, Lorman Education Services