John is a seasoned commercial insolvency attorney who focuses his practice principally in the areas of Bankruptcy, Workout, Creditors’ Rights, Distressed Transactions, and Financial Litigation. During his 38 years in practice, he has represented virtually every type of interested party in insolvency-related matters across the country, encompassing all manner of contested bankruptcy/adversary proceedings, state and federal receiverships, real estate and Article 9 foreclosures, distressed asset sales, assignments for the benefit of creditors, and multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme clawback defense. He has appeared in bankruptcies in nearly every district in the country and has been involved in litigation before the Multidistrict Panel and the United States Supreme Court.

John is a continuing co-author of the “Asset Sales” chapter of the Bankruptcy Practice in Minnesota Deskbook and has written articles on a broad array of topics. He is also a frequent lecturer on bankruptcy, creditors’ rights, and commercial topics, has chaired the bankruptcy departments of two major law firms, was a founding board member of the Upper Midwest Chapter of the Turnaround Management Association, and is often quoted locally on bankruptcy and turnaround topics.

In the community, John is a member of the advisory board to the Center for Law and Business at Mitchell Hamline School of Law, sat on the Saint Paul Sales Tax Revitalization Board (appointed by Mayor Coleman), chaired a $6 million capital campaign for his local parish, and served as a crisis nursery foster parent for Children’s Home Society of Minnesota.


  • Honoree, Best Lawyers in America, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law

    (2013 – present)

  • Honoree, America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators®

  • Honoree, Top Lawyers, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law, Minnesota Monthly (2023)

  • Honoree, Leading American Attorney, American Research Corporation

  • Honoree, Turnaround Management Association Minnesota Chapter, Transaction of the Year (2024)


  • Mitchell Hamline School of Law (1985)
  • University of New Hampshire, M.A. (1982)
  • University of St. Thomas, B.A.


  • State - Minnesota
  • Federal - U.S. Supreme Court
  • Federal - 8th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Federal - 5th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Federal - District of Minnesota

Notable Matters

Notable engagements include representation of:

  • Successful bidder in all-asset sale of vinyl record manufacturer Bandbox LLC in Minnesota assignment for benefit of creditors;
  • Secured lender in crypto-related Chapter 11 of Core Scientific, Inc. (Bankr. S.D. Tex.);
  • General receiver in in Minnesota state court receivership involving sale of 17-story office tower in downtown St. Paul (Turnaround Management Association’s 2023 Winner, Upper Midwest Transaction of the Year);
  • Successful bidder in all-asset 363 sale of chicken processing plant in Chapter 7 of Simply Essentials, LLC (Bankr. N.D. Iowa);
  • Storage facility lessor in Chapter 11 case of Wexford Labs (Bankr. S.D. Ill.);
  • Secured creditor in Chapter 11 bankruptcy of wound care manufacturer Advanced Tissue, LLC (Bankr. E.D. Ark.);
  • Shopping center lessor in Chapter 7 case of Tip Top Tux (Bankr. N.D. Ga.);
  • Unsecured and priority creditor in Chapter 11 case of Briggs and Stratton (Bankr. E.D. Mo.);
  • Municipality and Port Authority as lessors in Chapter 11 of Hylife Foods (Bankr. D. Del.);
  • Landlord of main headquarters of Texas-based Chapter 11 debtor CiCi’s Pizza (Bankr. N.D. Tex.);
  • National bank and non-bank finance company as defendants in multi-billion dollar clawbacks in Polaroid and Petters Ponzi-scheme bankruptcies and related receiverships (Bankr. D. Minn., D. Minn., and 8th Cir.);
  • Creditor/defendant railroad in multi-billion dollar mass-tort-related Chapter 11 of Montreal Maine & Atlantic Railway, Ltd. and its associated Chapter 15 (Bankr. D. Me., 1st Cir., U.S. Sup. Ct.);
  • Second-lien lender in workout involving California precision metals manufacturer;
  • Unsecured creditor with 503(b)(9) claim in Borden Dairy Company Chapter 11 (Bankr. D. Del.);
  • Secured creditor in $30 million receivership involving frack sand company in Wisconsin state court;
  • Clawback defendant in Ponzi scheme-related Chapter 11 of Woodbridge Group of Companies, LLC (Bankr. D. Del.);
  • Shareholder/guarantor in $20 million frack sand-related receivership in Minnesota state court;
  • Landlord of main headquarters of Chapter 11 debtor USA Gymnastics (Bankr. S.D. Ind.);
  • Judgment lien holder/former owner in environmental-related Chapter 11 of defense manufacturer Wellman Dynamics Corp. (Bankr. S.D. Iowa) (M&A Advisor’s 2018 Industrials Deal of the Year);
  • Software Licensor in Chapter 11 of electronics manufacturer HEI, Inc. (Bankr. D. Minn.) (Turnaround Management Association’s 2016 Winner, National Transaction of the Year);
  • Forward contract merchant counterparties in bankruptcies of Cloud Peak Energy, Inc. (Bankr. D. Del.) (coal), G & R Feed and Grain Co., Inc. (Bankr. S.D. Iowa) (grain), and Louisiana Pellets, Inc. in (Bankr. W.D. La.) (wood pellets);
  • Corporate and individual defendants in case of Central States Southeast & Southwest Areas Pension Fund v. Lakeville Transportation, Inc. involving $100+ million in alleged controlled-group withdrawal liability (D. Minn.);
  • Successful bidder in 363 sale of loan servicer in Chapter 11 of bank holding company American Bancorporation (Bankr. D. Minn.);
  • Second-lien lender with $25 million claim in Stant Parent Corp.’s automotive-related Chapter 11 (Bankr. D. Del.);
  • Agent bank in $100+ million syndicated loan workout and ensuing Chapter 11 cases in Minnesota involving large national building products conglomerate Lyman Lumber Company (Bankr. D. Minn.) (Turnaround Management Association’s 2009 Winner, National Middle Market Transaction of the Year);
  • Official Committees of Unsecured Creditors in numerous Chapter 11 cases, including (i) Universal Map Enterprises, Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of maps (Bankr. W.D. Mich.); (ii) Citi-Equity Group, Inc., $100+ million Ponzi scheme involving low-income housing (Bankr. D. Minn.); (iii) Jonathan Brooks Hauser, owner of Canterbury Downs Race Track and Hauser Foods, Inc. (Bankr. D. Minn.); (iv) Retail Holdings Group Inc., retail clothing chain (Bankr. D. Minn.); and (v) Monica Scott, Inc., retail clothing chain (Bankr. D. Minn.);
  • Regional bank in $110 million workout involving real estate developer with residential projects throughout U.S.;
  • Chapter 11 debtor in Minnesota-based Sun Country Airlines reorganization, the first scheduled-service air carrier to file bankruptcy post-9/11, resulting in agreed-upon lifting of stay and unprecedented Article 9 disposition of airline by lender (Bankr. D. Minn.) ;
  • DIP lender/lessor and plan co-proponent in Chapter 11 of Recomm International Display Corp., Inc., a marketer/vendor of electronic advertising display equipment (Bankr. M.D. Fla.), and as defendant in related multi-district litigation involving hundreds of individual, class and mass actions across the U.S.;
  • Business interruption insurers holding $500 million claim in contested confirmation in Chapter 11 case of The Olympic Pipe Line Company venued in the (Bankr. W.D. Wash.);
  • Administrative expense claimant in ethanol/bio-fuel conglomerate VeraSun Energy Corporation’s Chapter 11 (Bankr. D. Del.);
  • Professional baseball and football teams in issuance of non-consolidation and non-relocation legal opinions associated with public financing of Target Field (MLB) and U.S. Bank Stadium (NFL) in Minneapolis;
  • Outside directors of large utility company in out-of-court workout involving over $10 billion of debt, with follow-on representation in Chapter 11 cases of NRG Energy and its 25 affiliates in (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.);
  • Sole shareholder/plan co-proponent in Chapter 11 of national home health care company, Intrepid U.S.A., Inc., and its nearly 60 affiliates venued in (Bankr. D. Minn.);
  • Founder/sole shareholder in distressed sale of national IT consulting firm;
  • Mixed-use, commercial, and residential developers in bankruptcy acquisitions in Washington, D.C. and surrounding area;
  • Physician-owned clinic in workout and distressed sale of largest private practice clinic in South Dakota;
  • Large multi-national bank in Chapter 11 of national scheduled-service bus company Jefferson Lines (Bankr. D. Minn.);
  • Multi-bank lender group in 363 sale of Chapter 11 debtor Benson Optical, Inc., a national manufacturer/retailer of optical equipment in (Bankr. N.D. Tex.);
  • Asset-based, mezzanine, and alternative lenders in multiple workouts, bankruptcies, and collection matters in state and federal courts across the U.S.;
  • National bank against large student loan finance company in S. Bank National Association v. Student Loan Finance Corporation (D. Minn.);
  • Private lender in Minnesota state court fraudulent transfer/debt recharacterization case of Arena Development, LLC v. Naegele Communications, Inc. stemming from UCC Article 9 disposition;
  • Manufacturer/lessor Pitney Bowes, class and mass action defense matters throughout the U.S. involving small ticket leasing; and
  • Leading agricultural conglomerate in business-to-business non-compete case of Cargill Incorporated v. E.I. duPont de Nemours and Company in Minnesota state court.

Speeches and Publications

Speaker, “Current Issues in Commercial Lending,” 2024 Banking Law Institute, April 17, 2024.
Speaker, “Current State of the Capital Markets,” Urban Land Institute, MN Market Council meeting,  September 14, 2023.
Speaker, “Dealing with Intransigent Parties in a Receivership,” Commercial Receivers Association, Annual Conference, August 22, 2023

Professional Affiliations

  • Minnesota State Bar Association

    Member, Bankruptcy Section

  • Hennepin County Bar Association


  • Ramsey County Bar Association


  • American Bar Association


  • American Bankruptcy Institute


  • Turnaround Management Association

    Member and Founding Board Member of Upper Midwest Chapter

  • Commercial Receivers Association


Community Involvement

  • Mitchell Hamline School of Law Center for Law and Business

    Advisory Board Member

  • Saint Paul Sales Tax Revitalization Board

    Member, Mayor Appointed

  • Children’s Home Society of Minnesota

    Crisis Nursery Foster Parent

  • Lumen Christi Parish

    Capital Campaign Co-Chair