Published Opinions

Kupfer v. Salma (In re Kupfer), 852 F.3d 853 (9th Cir. 2016) (prevailed for appellants in this case involving the scope of a commercial landlord’s claim for attorney’s fees in bankruptcy)

Walnut Producers of California v. Diamond Foods, Inc., 187 Cal.App.4th 634 (2010) (represented walnut growers and co-op members in asserting class action claims against buyer in California Superior Court and Court of Appeal)

Sigma Micro Corporation v. Healthcentral.com (In re Healthcentral.com), 504 F.3d 775 (9th Cir. 2007) (prevailed over trustee’s preference claim in appeal regarding bankruptcy court jurisdiction, withdrawal of reference and jury trials)

Towers v. Boyd (In re Boyd), 243 B.R. 756 (N.D. Cal. 2000) (prevailed for debtor and appellee over trustee’s objections to claim of exemption for personal injury claim ultimately worth more than $500,000)

Friedman v. Broach (In re Friedman), 220 B.R. 670 (9th Cir. BAP 1998) (represented debtor in this appeal involving whether funds borrowed from an ERISA-qualified retirement plan are exempt from execution)

Wyle v. C.H. Rider & Family (In re United Energy Corp.), 944 F.2d 589 (9th Cir. 1991) (prevailed in reversing judgment against innocent investors in Ponzi scheme on grounds that payments were exchanges for reasonably equivalent value because they satisfied claims for restitution)

UnPublished Opinions

Buckley v. Bartenwerfer (In re Bartenwerfer), No. NC-19-1016-TaFB (9th Cir. BAP 2020) (prevailed on remand and subsequent appeal in excluding wife from nondischargeable claim against husband for fraudulent concealment of construction defects)

Crull v. Utnehmer (In re Utnehmer), A.P. No. 11-1239 (Bankr. N.D. Cal. 2016) (prevailed in obtaining favorable judgment after remand in action alleging nondischargeable claims for fraud and defalcation while acting in a fiduciary capacity)

Ferlmann v. Meyer Wilson Co., LPA (In re Prasad), No. 2:15-cv-2229-JAM-EFB (E.D. Cal. 2016) (prevailed for chapter 7 trustee in opposing defendant’s motion to withdraw reference of adversary proceeding alleging concealment of estate assets and malpractice)

Hansen v. Sobek (In re Sobarea Ranches, LLC) A.P. No. 13-05182-ASW (Bankr. N.D. Cal. 2014) (prevailed in moving for dismissal of causes of action for appointment of a receiver or special master, for an accounting and for injunctive relief)

Uecker v. Ng (In re Mortgage Fund ’08 LLC), A.P. No. 12-4099-RLE (Bankr. N.D. Cal. 2014) (prevailed in obtaining judgment against perpetrator of complicated Ponzi-type scheme in which defrauded investors lost more than $85 million and recovering certain real property and other assets; represented official committee of unsecured creditors and liquidating trustee)


In re Sunco Liquidation, Inc. fka Sungevity, Inc., No. 17-10561 (LSS) (Bankr. Del. 2017) (represented makers of video advertisements in recovering damages for unauthorized use of videos after bankruptcy by Sungevity and its successor)

In re Violin Memory, Inc., No. 16-12782 (Bankr. Del. 2016) (represented former employee in enforcing claim for unpaid compensation against Violin Memory, a California-based company that sought bankruptcy protection in Delaware) 

In re RS Legacy Corporation fka RadioShack Corporation, No. 15-10197 (Bankr. Del. 2015) (represented landlord respecting a location leased to RadioShack)

In re Mount Diablo Young Men’s Christian Ass’n, No. 10-44367-EDJ-11 (Bankr. N.D. Cal. 2010) (represented debtor in possession and liquidating trustee in this case involving three YMCA locations)

In re Calpine Corp., No. 60200 (BRL) (Bankr. S.D.N.Y 2005) (represented official committee of unsecured creditors in this complex commercial case filed in the Southern District of New York)



Macdonald Fernandez LLP successfully defends a leading California maker of commercial cooking equipment against a preference lawsuit brought in Delaware’s bankruptcy court.

The Company:
A manufacturer and international distributor of commercial kitchen equipment.

The Problem:
A large customer – a national chain of restaurants – filed bankruptcy in Delaware. Thereafter, the liquidating trustee brought dozens of lawsuits against creditors who were paid in the 90 days prior to the bankruptcy to recover allegedly avoidable preferences. The company was sued for almost $60,000.

The Solution:
Macdonald Fernandez LLP aggressively defended the action, which allowed the company to stand out from the crowd of other defendants and assert its rights. We carefully analyzed the facts, demanded that the trustee immediately dismiss the lawsuit and geared up for a fight. The trustee saw the writing on the wall and dismissed the lawsuit, fully and with prejudice.

The Impact:
In addition to prevailing in full, obtaining an early dismissal saved the company from thousands of dollars in legal costs, not to mention avoiding time and frustration.

The Client Testimonial:
“Thank you for your prompt and aggressive response to this matter. Our strategy was successful in that it resulted in a prompt resolution in our favor.”


Macdonald Fernandez LLP confirms chapter 11 bankruptcy plan and obtains approval of sale netting more than $500,000 for owners.

The Company:
S.F. Bay Area yacht harbor.

The Problem:
As of the fall of 2011, the marina was unable to pay its current monthly payments on two mortgages. The mortgage holders were foreclosing on the marina, which was about four acres in size, with two of the acres under the water and two acres on land.

The Solution:
During the summer of 2012, Macdonald Fernandez LLP filed a chapter 11 bankruptcy plan for this San Francisco Bay Area marina in a cost-effective way, bringing a lot of pressure against the lender. Macdonald Fernandez LLP was able to negotiate a very favorable reduction in the amount of the liens.

The Impact:
Through a confirmed chapter 11 plan, we saved the marina from foreclosure and conducted a bankruptcy sale on a unique piece of property by using tried and true negotiating strategies. Specifically, we were able to negotiate down the two mortgages by more than $150,000. We sold this property for about $1.4 million, resulting in more than $500,000 in net proceeds to the owners.

The Client Testimonial:
“This case has, I believe, been a true team effort led, of course, by Warriors Reno and Iain.”


Macdonald Fernandez LLP brings an embattled residential care facility for the elderly (RCFE) out of bankruptcy with more than $1.3 million in new court-approved financing.

The Company:
A Walnut Creek residential care facility for the elderly (RCFE).

The Problem:
The company’s senior secured loan matured in 2012, after which it was sold to an aggressive claims buyer who attempted to foreclose. The title company would not close escrow on a takeout loan because there were possible claims by third parties, including the IRS, the County of Contra Costa, the Franchise Tax Board, the Employment Development Department and others.

The Solution:
Macdonald Fernandez LLP brought a lawsuit in bankruptcy court against the IRS, the County of Contra Costa, the Franchise Tax Board, the Employee Development Department and others. We prevailed; in fact, most of the defendants stipulated to a judgment. After title was clear, we obtained bankruptcy court approval of $1.3 million in new senior secured financing, and were able to craft a creative and strong order closing the bankruptcy case and preserving all judgments against third parties.

The Impact:
The facility avoided foreclosure and continued to operate with no interruption. The company emerged from contentious and uncertain circumstances to return to profitability.

The Client Testimonial:
“[W]e are truly grateful to you and your staff for all the help you have provided to us during the bankruptcy. You truly are our ‘answered prayer.’ We couldn’t be more lucky to have you as our bankruptcy counsel. Your entire team really made the entire process less stressful for us. Thank you very much for taking such good care of us. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!”


Chapter 7 bankruptcy case liquidation results in satisfaction of all personal guarantees.

The Company:
A San Francisco Bay Area restaurant equipment supply company.

The Problem:
This flagging economy reduced the value of the company’s accounts receivable and inventory, placing it in breach of the borrowing base covenant under its commercial loan agreement. The bank froze the line of credit and declared the balance immediately due and owing.

The Solution:
During this chapter 7 bankruptcy case, Macdonald Fernandez LLP worked closely with the trustee to ensure that the assets would be sold in the manner that would fetch the highest price. Specifically, rather than selling the assets individually (which would not attract big buyers) and rather than selling them in bulk (which would have cut out smaller buyers), a creative approach was used to bring all interested buyers to the table.

The Impact:
Our unique approach to this case resulted in a successful liquidation of assets and satisfaction of all personal guarantees. This level of skill and close attention is important for anyone who needs to maximize value and minimize liabilities.


Macdonald Fernandez LLP confirmed a chapter 13 plan, reducing the insurance brokerage’s debt to less than $100 per month and eliminating two junior mortgages.

The Company:
A San Francisco Bay Area insurance agency.

The Problem:
A local insurance agency was owned and operated in the name of an individual. The client suffered from excessive business and personal debt.

The Solution:
We simultaneously reorganized the insurance agent’s personal and business affairs and stripped off two junior mortgages (home equity lines of credit) from his home.

We were able to convert the case to chapter 13 bankruptcy reorganization over the objection of the trustee, who would have taken our client’s renewal commissions.

The Impact:
Macdonald Fernandez LLP restructured and reduced payments on this client’s business debt to less than $100 per month and placed the client in a position to gain equity in his home.


Macdonald Fernandez LLP obtained a chapter 11 settlement providing for maximum return.

The Company:
A couple owned a San Francisco apartment building.

The Problem:
In 2011, we handled a Chapter 11 case for a couple that owned a San Francisco apartment building. They had three loans totaling approximately $1.5 million secured by liens against the property, at an annual interest rate of 12%.

The Solution:
Although it is notoriously difficult, Macdonald Fernandez LLP filed a chapter 11 bankruptcy case, sued the lender for usury, and won.

In this case, the actions of the lender’s broker were determinative of the outcome. Because the broker did not negotiate the loan and performed only minimal tasks, the loan did not qualify for an exception to California’s usury laws.

Macdonald Fernandez LLP prevailed at the liability phase of the usury trial. We also prevailed on interesting issues regarding the Statute of Limitations. We were able to avoid the effects of the Statute of Limitations because our claim was brought in the bankruptcy case in the nature of a recoupment claim.

The Impact:
Before proceeding to the damages phase of trial, we were able to extract a favorable settlement from the lender, reducing the interest rate from 12% to 7%, extending the term of payment from one year to seven years, and reducing the principle amount by approximately half.


Macdonald Fernandez LLP confirms a chapter 11 plan and reduces trade debt by 80 percent.

The Company:
A famous San Francisco restaurant.

The Problem:
This eating establishment was saddled with major debt and was considering closing its doors after decades of service.

The Solution:
Macdonald Fernandez LLP sued the bank which had instituted a leveraged buyout-type loan for constructive fraud and negotiated a favorable settlement.

We also prevailed against the bank’s motion for relief from the automatic stay. As a result of the leverage we were able to bring against the bank, as well as other creditors, we were able to confirm a chapter 11 plan and successfully reorganize the restaurant.

The Impact:
Total business debt was reduced by 80% through bankruptcy litigation.

The Client Testimonial:

Macdonald Fernandez LLP “became our partners in navigating through the intricacies of the process… they were with us for every step. Their expertise is something to lean on and… they worked tirelessly on our behalf to resolve the situation. They are creative and explored all possible angles to find the best solution for us. Anyone in business can appreciate their candor and accessibility. They speak your language not legalese. They are here to help. If your business is in trouble, do not wait until it is too late.”
– Owner


“[W]e are truly grateful for the amount of attention and care that you have given us throughout this process. You and your team are our ‘answered prayer.’ You were there with us when we had little to no hope. You made us feel that things will work out and to not worry so much. You are not only a good lawyer but a good person as well.” – CEO of a senior assisted living facility

“This case has, I believe, been a true team effort led, of course, by Warriors Reno and Iain.”  Owner of an operating Bay Area yacht harbor

“Thank you! And thanks for your assistance in helping me obtain a fine recovery for the unsecured creditors!” – Chapter 7 trustee

“Hallelujah…! I am so pleased and relieved. Thank you for the successful oral argument.” – Defendant in lawsuit by husband to discharge debts after divorce

“I have to say, I like the way your firm does business. Personal and professional. A winning combination.” – Creditor bringing fraud litigation against former financial advisor

“I am writing to thank you both for your spectacular legal representation. You both have been so thorough in your briefs and letters, sensitive to the various personalities with both neutral and adverse interest in this proceeding and careful to think through the various permutations of outcomes in formulating your approach to the Judge and the rest of the participants.” – Debtor in involuntary chapter 7 bankruptcy case

“Please accept my genuine thanks again for handling the matter so well and bringing it to a successful conclusion. You’ve been great to work with!” – Creditor in chapter 7 bankruptcy case

Macdonald Fernandez LLP “became our partners in navigating through the intricacies of the process… they were with us for every step. Their expertise is something to lean on and… they worked tirelessly on our behalf to resolve the situation. They are creative and explored all possible angles to find the best solution for us. Anyone in business can appreciate their candor and accessibility. They speak your language not legalese. They are here to help. If your business is in trouble, do not wait until it is too late.”
– Owner of a renown San Francisco restaurant