Bankruptcy and Creditors' Rights
Tom Stilley chairs the firm's Bankruptcy and Creditors' Rights Practice Group. With over 20 years of bankruptcy and business reorganization practice, Tom has represented clients in a multitude of industries. Including lumber and wood products, healthcare, banking and finance, religious and charitable institutions, hotels, transportation, resorts and recreation, manufacturing, agribusiness, construction, casinos, technology, oil & gas, and real estate. Some of his most significant recent engagements have included the representation of religious entities concerning the intricacies of both their religious and civil law structure and finances, and of their rights and obligations in bankruptcy.
He also maintains an extensive practice representing bankruptcy trustees and receivers throughout Oregon and Washington. He is a past-chair of the Oregon State Bar Debtor-Creditor Section and has served on the section's executive and legislative committees.
Tom is AV® preminent peer review rated by Martindale-Hubbell and was selected to the 2012 Oregon Super Lawyers® Top 50 List and the Oregon Super Lawyers® List from 2007-2012 in the area of Bankruptcy and Creditor/Debtor Rights. Tom is licensed to practice in all courts in Oregon and Washington.
American Bankruptcy Institute
Turnaround Management Association
Oregon State Bar (Admitted 1988)
Executive Committee (2001-2007); Chairperson (2006)
Legislative Committee (1990-Present); Chairperson (1996-2001)
Washington State Bar (Admitted 1992)
Multnomah County Bar Association (Oregon)
Golf Committee (Chairperson 1997-2000)
Clark County Bar Association (Washington)
B.B.A., University of Texas at Austin
J.D., University of Houston Law Center
Youth Soccer Coach - Southeast Soccer Club
Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association
Co-Author, "Debtor/Creditor and Lien Law", 1993 Legislation,
Oregon State Bar Continuing Legal Education (1993).
Co-Author, "Consummating the Chapter 11 Plan", Bankruptcy,
Oregon State Bar Continuing Legal Education (1995).
Co-Author, "Dischargeability of Contingent Environmental Claims", Creditor-Debtor Section
Newsletter, Washington State Bar (1995)
Author, "Commercial, Consumer, Debtor-Creditor, and Lien Law," Legislation, OSB CLE (1997, 1999 & 2001 editions)
Author, "Provisional Process", Creditors' Rights and Remedies,
Oregon State Bar (2002)
In re Roman Catholic Archbishop of Portland in Oregon, 2007 Bankr. LEXIS 1180 (Bankr. D. OR 2007)
In re Roman Catholic Archbishop of Portland in Oregon, 339 BR 215 (Bankr. D. OR 2006)
In re Roman Catholic Archbishop of Portland in Oregon, 338 BR 414 (Bankr. D. OR 2006)
In re Roman Catholic Archbishop of Portland in Oregon, 2005 Bankr. LEXIS 42 (Bankr. D. OR 2005)
Tort Claimants Committee v. Roman Catholic Archbishop of Portland in Oregon, dba Archdiocese of Portland, 345 BR 686 (Bankr. D. OR 2006)
Tort Claimants Committee v. Roman Catholic Archbishop of Portland in Oregon, dba Archdiocese of Portland, 325 BR 342 (Bankr. D. OR 2005)
Tort Claimants Committee v. Roman Catholic Archbishop of Portland in Oregon, dba Archdiocese of Portland, 325 BR 368 (Bankr. D. OR 2005)
USAA Federal Savings Bank v. Thacker, 390 BR 654 (9th Cir. BAP 2008)
Past Speaking Engagements
1997 Legislation, Oregon State Bar Debtor-Creditor Section Annual Meeting: Oregon State Bar
Debtor-Creditor Legislation, Oregon State Bar Convention: Oregon State Bar (2001)
Legislation, Oregon State Bar Debtor-Creditor Section Annual Meeting: Oregon State Bar (2001)
Creditors Rights Seminar: Weathering the Economic Storm: Sussman Shank LLP (2008)
Bankruptcy Practice Seminar, Debtor-Creditor Section: Washington State Bar
Collecting Judgments: Oregon Law Institute
Fundamentals of Collecting Judgements: Oregon State Bar (2003)
How to Advise the Business in Distress: Oregon State Bar Continuing Legal Education
How to Advise the Business in Distress: Washington State Bar Continuing Legal Education
How to Collect a Judgment, Provisional Process: Lorman Education Services
Oregon State Bar Debtor-Creditor Section Annual Meeting Panel Participant
Secured Transactions, Bankruptcy Breakfast Series: Sussman Shank LLP
Secured Transactions, Good-Morning Credit: NACM-Oregon
When to Refer Collection Matters to an Attorney: CFDD Credit Workshop
Fundamentals of Collecting Money Judgments: Oregon State Bar (2011)
Reorganizing Companies with Mass Tort Liability: Turnaround Management Association Northwest Cross-Border Conference (2011)
Recent Developments in Business Bankruptcies: 24th Annual Northwest Bankruptcy Institute (2011)
- We served as lead counsel to the Archdiocese of Portland in the first Chapter 11 bankruptcy case filed by a Roman Catholic diocese in the United States. Tom Stilley, Howard Levine, and Susan Ford headed up a team of Sussman Shank lawyers in developing and implementing a strategy that considered the interplay of first amendment religious rights, charitable trust, and bankruptcy law in proposing and confirming a reorganization plan that resulted in the settlement and payment of over 250 known clergy sex abuse claims, provided a trust for the liquidation and payment of future abuse claims, and preserved the assets and operations of 124 parishes and 3 Catholic high schools.
- This was the first Chapter 11 bankruptcy case filed by one of the provinces of a Roman Catholic religious order in the United States. Relying on their experience from the Archdiocese of Portland case, and facing new issues relevant only to a religious order, Howard Levine and Tom Stilley were able to implement a strategy for resolving and paying over 500 clergy sex abuse claims through the use of insurance coverage and other assets. This resulted in a plan that was overwhelmingly accepted by all creditors, which included $119 million in contributions from the debtor's insurers and allowed the province to continue its mission throughout Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.
- Bank of America called upon us to represent it as the major secured creditor in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case filed in the state of Washington by the publisher of The Columbian Newspaper. Tom Stilley led the firm's successful negotiation of the bank's treatment under a plan of reorganization that resulted in The Columbian surrendering its recently built, state-of-the-art headquarters building to the bank in exchange for relief from a substantial portion of its unsecured debt. This resulted in improved cash flow to the debtor, allowed the bank to liquidate a non-performing asset, and assured the bank of consistent future payments on its remaining secured debt.
- Bankruptcy counsel to the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon, the first Catholic diocese in the United States to file a Chapter 11 reorganization case arising out of the clergy sex abuse situation, resulting in a successful plan of reorganization that paid known claims in full, provided a trust for the payment of future claims, and preserved all assets of the 124 parishes and Catholic high schools within the Archdiocese.
- Bankruptcy counsel to the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province, the first Catholic religious order to file a Chapter 11 reorganization case in the United States.
- Representation of various religious institutions and entities regarding alleged claims of sexual abuse, including providing counsel on various options available for resolving such claims including litigation, mediation, arbitration, settlement, and bankruptcy reorganization.
- Representation of numerous real estate developers and builders engaged in the Oregon and Southern Washington residential real estate market, including out-of-court workouts with lenders and, if necessary, Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings.
- Represented a builder/developer in one of the first Chapter 11 real estate reorganization cases filed in Oregon in 2008 as a result of the dramatic downturn in the national and regional real estate markets.
- Representation of a major financial institution specializing in construction financing for hotels, condominiums, and multi-family real estate projects resulting in the successful reorganization of one of its borrower's hotel projects and payment of the client's claim in full.
- Representation of a California casino operator (creditor) in a Chapter 11 proceeding resulting in confirmation of the client/creditor's plan and rejection of the debtor's plan that lead to full recovery of the client's claim against the debtor.
- Representation of one of the nation's largest heavy-equipment financing companies in both bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy cases, including proceedings to obtain both pre-judgment and post-judgment recovery of the client's collateral.
- Regular representation of bankruptcy trustees in both business and individual debtor cases filed in Oregon and Washington.
- Representation of creditors (including landlords) in bankruptcy cases filed by large multi-state retailers and other businesses in other jurisdictions such as Delaware, New York, and California.
- Representation of Chapter 11 agribusiness debtors engaged in the growing, marketing, and transportation of various farm products.
- Representation of a non-profit citizens' organization in a Chapter 11 case involving their local community hospital that lead to the successful reorganization and continuation of healthcare services within the community and surrounding area.
- Representation of a major motor home manufacturer in Chapter 11 resulting in a successful reorganization the preserved both the manufacturing business and numerous jobs in the local community.
- Representation of a well-known Central Oregon destination resort in Chapter 11 leading to the successful reorganization and continued operation of the resort.