Michael S. Myers

Associate

myersms@ballardspahr.com
Tel 602.798.5421
Fax 602.798.5595
Phoenix

Michael is a member of the Litigation Department and Bankruptcy, Reorganization and Capital Recovery Group. Michael represents a diverse group of clients, including Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), secured lenders, financial institutions, private equity companies, special servicers, technology companies, and various other businesses in commercial litigation, business disputes, and corporate bankruptcies in courts throughout the country.

In his litigation practice, Michael counsels clients on all aspects of litigation. He handles matters from the initial resolution phase, and if necessary, through trial. Michael represents corporate clients in actions that typically involve distressed assets, enforcement of real estate leases and purchase agreements, forcible detainer (eviction) actions, garnishments, and judgment enforcement proceedings.

In the bankruptcy context, Michael has experience representing creditors in complex Chapter 11 reorganizations. He routinely advises clients on bankruptcy issues, including guiding clients through 363 asset sales, disclosure statements and plans of reorganization, assumption and assignment of leases and executory contracts, stay relief proceedings, filing proofs of claim and claims analysis, and fraudulent transfer and preference actions. Michael has significant experience representing creditor-clients in high profile retail and restaurant bankruptcies throughout the country.

Representative Matters

  • Represented Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and other commercial landlords in the following bankruptcies:

    • In re Mattress Firm, Inc. (Del.)— advised numerous landlords in Mattress Firm's reorganization and closure of more than 600 stores, including preserving the rights of landlords for leases assumed by Mattress Firm and filing proofs of claim on behalf of landlords of rejected leases
    • In re RMH Franchise Holdings, Inc. (Del.)—guided a REIT through the reorganization of the second largest Applebee's franchisee, including the debtor’s assumption of the REIT's leases
    • In re Gibson Brands, Inc. (Del.)—represented multiple landlords in the reorganization of guitar-maker Gibson Brands (formerly Gibson Guitar Corporation)
    • In re Gander Mountain Company (Minn.)—advised a REIT in the bankruptcy of retailer Gander Mountain and its store closures and subsequent acquisition by Camping World
    • In re Buffets, LLC (W.D.T.X.)—litigated to preserve a REIT's master lease in the bankruptcy filing of Buffets, LLC, which operated buffets Old Country Buffet, Country Buffet, HomeTown Buffet, and Ryan's Buffet
    • In re First Capital Retail, LLC (E.D. Cal.)—represented several landlords in the sale of a mall fast food franchisee in California, including obtaining administrative expense claims for the debtor's occupancy of the stores and stay relief for other landlords to pursue state-court evictions

  • Represented secured lenders, trade creditors and other creditors in the following bankruptcies:

    • In re Sears Holding Corporation (S.D.N.Y.)—advised multiple trade creditors in the bankruptcy of Sears on their rights of reclamation and 503(b)(9) administrative expense claims
    • In re III Exploration II LP (UT)—represented a large financial institution in the 363 sale of an oil company in Utah
    • In re Fresh & Easy, LLC (Del.)—negotiated a favorable settlement for a creditor in a preference action brought by the trustee
    • In re M Space Holdings, LLC (UT)—advised a secured lender in the bankruptcy of M Space Holdings, a manufacturer of pre-fabricated buildings

  • Served on the trial team in a three-week trial that obtained a judgment for a special servicer against the borrower for more than $150 million
  • Counsels a Fortune 500 technology company and a national hotel chain in bankruptcy proceedings and litigation
  • Assisted a large bank obtain a settlement and release and avoid liability relating to a $5 million wire sent by fraudulent means
  • Obtained the dismissal of a lawsuit against a large cable company by a customer alleging trespass and civil theft
  • Represented commercial landlords and lenders in numerous eviction actions, including obtaining an eviction judgment at trial and obtaining and enforcing writs of restitution
  • Successfully prosecuted interpleader actions on behalf of neutral parties holding funds in dispute by other parties to held the client avoid potential liability
  • Prosecuted and defended applications for temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions

Judicial Clerkships

Hon. Sarah Sharer Curley, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Arizona, 2012-2014

Externships

Department of State, Office of the Legal Adviser-Private International Law, in Washington, D.C., 2012

U.S. Bankruptcy Court, summer 2011

Professional Activities

State Bar of Arizona- Bankruptcy Section, Young Lawyers Division

American Bankruptcy Institute

Arizona Bankruptcy American Inn of Court

Cardozo Society of the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix, board member

Recognition & Accomplishments

Named a Rising Star by Southwest Super Lawyers, Bankruptcy: Business, 2016-2019

Publications

"Section 365(d)(3): More Bark or Bite?" American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, May 2019

Co-author, "Landlords, Beware! When Does the § 502(b)(6) Calculation Start?" American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, August 2016

"Dewsnup Strikes Again: Lien-Stripping of Junior Mortgages in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13,"Arizona Law Review, 2011

Speaking Engagements

Panelist, "Nuts and Bolts of Adversary Proceedings," State Bar of Arizona 2018 Convention, June 2018 

Panelist, "Let's Ask the Bankruptcy Bar: Ethical Issues in Bankruptcy," State Bar of Arizona 2015 Convention, June 2015

Community Activities

Suns Charities 88, member

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Arizona, mentor

Cancer Support Community Arizona – Young Professionals Council, member

University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law (J.D. 2012)
Articles Editor, Arizona Law Review; Volunteer Lawyers Program; Certificate in International Trade & Business Law

Occidental College (B.A. 2009 with distinction)
Recipient, Mayme Wright Scholarship (merit); Member, Mortar Board; Senator, Associated Students of Occidental College

Arizona

California

Utah

U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona

U.S. District Court of the District of Utah

U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California