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Melissa Anne Peña

  • Jan 08, 2021Before the Deluge: Preparing for the Anticipated Rise in Bankruptcy Filings

    Melissa Anne Peña, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., and Chair of its Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights Practice Group, along with Jerome F. Gallagher, Jr., and Bruce J. Wisotsky, also Members of the firm, will present the free webinar, “Before the Deluge: Preparing for the Anticipated Rise in Bankruptcy Filings.”

    Preparing for the Anticipated Rise in Bankruptcy Filings

    Even under the best of circumstances, navigating thru a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing can be stressful and fraught with uncertainty for all involved. Add in the disruptive effects of COVID-19, and it’s easy to appreciate the daunting task facing bankruptcy courts, debtors, creditors, and their lawyers. The pandemic has challenged many industries and as the economy has worsened through the pandemic, declaring bankruptcy has become the only lifeline left, and, given the ongoing economic uncertainties, a successful Chapter 11 reorganization has become all the more important.

    This webinar will address steps that can be taken to protect a creditor’s interests before and immediately after a bankruptcy filing by a customer, client, or counterparty to an agreement. The panelists will discuss the recommended actions to be taken:

    • Upon establishment of creditor-debtor relationship
    • When a customer/client appears to be in financial distress
    • Upon notice of bankruptcy filing

    When: Thursday, January 28, 2021

    10:00 – 11:00 a.m.

    Registration: Eventbrite

    Although questions will be taken at the conclusion of the webinar, we strongly encourage you to submit questions in advance to be sure we address your specific needs. Please submit your questions by 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 27, 2021, via email to marketing@norris-law.com with “BANKRUPTCY WEBINAR” in the subject line.

    About Your Attorney Panelists

    Melissa Peña

    Melissa concentrates her practice on commercial litigation and bankruptcy and creditors’ rights. Her clients include financial institutions, private lenders, creditors, and accounting firms. She has successfully represented secured creditors and unsecured creditors in Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases and state court insolvency proceedings. Melissa frequently handles commercial foreclosure actions, actions to enforce promissory notes and guarantees, lien priority disputes, fraudulent conveyance actions, and creditor enforcement matters. She has also defended accounting firms in disputes regarding alleged failure to detect criminal and fraudulent activity in the state and federal courts of New Jersey and New York.

    Outside the courtroom, Melissa handles commercial workouts, negotiating forbearance agreements on behalf of lenders and troubled cross-border transactions. She frequently represents investors seeking to acquire defaulted loans from the due diligence stage to closing on the sale. Melissa also helps lenders to liquidate their collateral through UCC sales, including sales of co-ops. In connection with her participation in the firm’s cross-border practice, she represents clients concerning inbound and outbound transactions that require working with government agencies such as the U.S. Office of Foreign Asset Control and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

    Jerry Gallagher

    Jerry engages in civil trial and appellate practice with a concentration in commercial litigation, creditors’ rights, construction, contract litigation, and commercial accounts receivable matters. He also provides legal services related to contract drafting and negotiations. Jerry serves as New Jersey counsel to several national companies and represents private businesses in several industries, including cosmetics, retail packaging, computer support, and specialty concrete products.

    Jerry’s more significant results for clients include: an appellate affirmance of a trial court’s dismissal of “spoliation of evidence” claims against a national financing company; a jury verdict dismissing claims against a national real estate developer for alleged violations of New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act; prosecuting fraud claims against an insurance broker on behalf of a premium finance company, resulting in a seven-figure money judgment; a jury verdict in favor of a commercial equipment leasing company including dismissal of “lender liability” counterclaims; dismissal of Consumer Fraud Act and punitive damages claims brought against a privately owned electronic parts testing company; domesticating foreign judgments; recovering payments on surety bonds posted to stay post-judgment collection proceedings pending appeal; obtaining numerous monetary judgments in favor of financial institutions and businesses on commercial loan and accounts receivable claims; and regularly represents contractors in residential and commercial construction disputes, lien claims and commercial collection actions.

    Bruce Wisotsky

    Bruce has represented debtors, creditors’ committees, equity committees, trustees, landlords, and other individual creditors in Chapter 11 and 7 bankruptcy proceedings in New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Florida, and other jurisdictions. He has also represented assignees for the benefit of creditors in state court insolvency proceedings. A significant portion of Bruce’s practice has involved out-of-court restructurings, either as counsel to companies and individuals experiencing financial difficulties or their creditors.

    Bruce lectures on various bankruptcy issues before the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, the Turnaround Management Association, and the Essex County Bar Association. He has addressed topics including prosecution and defense of preference actions, treatment of tax claims in bankruptcy proceedings, executory contract issues, and retention bonus issues. Bruce is included in The Best Lawyers In America in the Bankruptcy Litigation and Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights Law sections and New Jersey Super Lawyers in the Bankruptcy & Creditor/ Debtor Rights section. He was also named the Best Lawyers Bankruptcy Litigation “Lawyer of the Year” in the Woodbridge, New Jersey, Metro Area in 2020, 2018, and 2016.

    Posted in: Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights, Bruce J. Wisotsky, Events, Jerome F. Gallagher, Jr., Melissa Anne Peña | Tags: , , ,

  • Sep 02, 2020The Pandemic Recovery: Debt Recovery Options Facing New York’s Restaurant Industry

    Jeanne Hamburg, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., and Chair of its Internet Law Practice Group, and Melissa Anne Peña, a Member of the firm and Chair of its Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights Practice Group, will present the free webinar, “The Pandemic Recovery: Debt Recovery Options Facing New York’s Restaurant Industry,” hosted by the New York State Restaurant Association.

    Debt Recovery Options Facing New York’s Restaurant Industry

    Poised for another banner year in 2020, New York’s restaurant and hospitality industry arguably endured the most significant decline as the COVID-19 global pandemic has dragged into its seventh month in New York. As other areas of the country tempted fate with a full reopening, local requirements for social distancing and indoor seating limitations have created additional challenges for struggling New York restauranteurs. As they grapple with keeping their businesses afloat, and despite relief in the form of eviction moratoriums and federal stimulus, the road to recovery seems fraught with more potholes than pavement.

    During this free webinar, Jeanne and Melissa will discuss:

    • CARES Act
    • Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Case Filings
    • Federal Bankruptcy Law
    • Relief and Protection for New York’s Restaurant Industry Debt
    • Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019
    • State Laws

    When: Tuesday, September 15, 2020

    10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

    Registration: Zoom Meeting

    About Jeanne Hamburg

    Jeanne concentrates her practice in all aspects of copyright and trademark law, both in litigation and in the transactional area. Resident in the New York City office, she assists clients in the food, beverage, and restaurant industries with their IP needs. In each year since 2009, Jeanne has been recognized in New York Super Lawyers® for Intellectual Property and Intellectual Property Litigation. Only 5% of New York attorneys are given this honor. Additionally, Jeanne is ranked in the 2019 World Trademark Review 1000 – The World’s Leading Trademark Professionals, which lists the top 1,000 trademark attorneys in 70 jurisdictions globally. Among a group of fewer than 90 trademark professionals in New York, she was named a top trademark attorney in the areas of enforcement and litigation.

    Jeanne litigates copyright, trademark, and cybersquatting cases through trial and, if necessary, appeal. To this end, she has acted as national counsel in federal courts across the country to bring and defend infringement claims for clients, both foreign and domestic. Additionally, Jeanne has recovered domain names for clients in many Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Proceedings and prosecuted and defended numerous opposition and cancellation proceedings and ex parte appeals in the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. She recently litigated through appeal to the Federal Circuit a food trademark case that has been described as generating one of the most important trademark decisions in 2018.

    In the transactional area, Jeanne counsels clients on intellectual property aspects of mergers and acquisitions. She is experienced in copyright and trademark clearance, prosecution, and enforcement, and has particular expertise with contentious and transactional issues arising from the Internet.

    As a co-author of the firm’s trademark, copyright, and unfair competition law blog, More Than Your MaⓇk™, Jeanne is a frequent writer and speaker on intellectual property topics and is active in many trade groups in industries whose clients she serves. Additionally, she is a member of the New York State Restaurant Association, the Specialty Food Association, and the International Trademark Association (INTA), currently serving on its Leadership Development Committee. Jeanne formerly served on the Government Officials Training Committee, was nominated and served as Chair of INTA’s Law Firm Committee, and was selected as a speaker for INTA’s Trademark Basics “Maintaining the Perfect Partnership” seminar held in New York for inside and outside counsel.

    About Melissa Peña

    Melissa concentrates her practice on commercial litigation and bankruptcy and creditors’ rights. Her clients include financial institutions, private lenders, creditors, and accounting firms. She has successfully represented secured creditors and unsecured creditors in Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases and state court insolvency proceedings.

    Melissa frequently handles commercial foreclosure actions, actions to enforce promissory notes and guarantees, lien priority disputes, fraudulent conveyance actions, and creditor enforcement matters. She has also defended accounting firms in disputes regarding alleged failure to detect criminal and fraudulent activity in the state and federal courts of New York and New Jersey.

    Outside the courtroom, Melissa handles commercial workouts, negotiating forbearance agreements on behalf of lenders. She frequently represents investors seeking to acquire defaulted loans from the due diligence stage to closing on the sale. She also helps lenders to liquidate their collateral through UCC sales, including sales of co-ops. Whether inside or outside the courtroom, Melissa’s goal is to find a practical business solution for her clients. She utilizes litigation as a tool to further her client’s business objectives in a cost-effective manner.

    Melissa is Co-Chair of the Meritas Financial Services Section, Co-Chair of the Norris McLaughlin Diversity Committee, and a member of the firm’s Management Committee.

    Posted in: Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights, Events, Food, Beverage & Hospitality, Jeanne Hamburg, Melissa Anne Peña | Tags: , , ,

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