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Jeffrey Weston Shields


Phone: 801-534-7278
VCard

 

FIRM:

Shareholder

Practice Group Leader, Bankruptcy Creditor Rights Group

Commercial Litigation Group

PRACTICE FOCUS:

Jeff Shields is a litigation attorney with extensive experience in complex commercial litigation in state and federal courts nationwide, with particular skills in litigation arising in and related to potential and filed business bankruptcy cases.  Jeff methodically and thoroughly evaluates, manages, discovers, mediates, settles and, if needed, litigates cases to achieve positive, cost-effective outcomes for our clients.

REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE:

Bankruptcy Litigation:

From the inception of his practice, Jeff has represented a diverse group of lenders, private equity funds, merchandise vendors, service providers, suppliers, landlords, indenture trustees of revenue and general obligation bonds, shareholders, equipment lessors, motor vehicle manufacturers, trustees, executive officers, employee groups, professional service providers, debtors, creditor committees and Chapter 11 debtors in reorganization cases.  In this context, he has litigated adversary actions  defending preference and fraudulent transfer actions, adversary actions seeking relief for fraud,  contested plan confirmations,  motions to appoint a trustee, defense and prosecution of equitable and mandatory subordination, formulation and defense of proofs of claims, pursuing rights of commercial landlords and executory contract counterparties, actions relating to the investigations of and claims by creditor and ad hoc committees, preparation and approval of complex debtor in possession financings, use of cash collateral, dismissals for bad faith filings,  actions to determine the validity and value of security interests, defending preference and fraudulent transfer claims, proceedings concerning jurisdiction,  Ponzi scheme matters, motions to approve bidding procedures and the sale of assets, restructuring and a wide variety of other issues which arise in Chapter 11 cases, including Bankruptcy Apellate Panel and District Court appeals.  Jeff is one of only a few lawyers practicing in bankruptcy courts recognized simultaneously for general business litigation skills and bankruptcy law expertise. 

Financial Services Litigation: 

Early in his career, Jeff was in-house counsel of a major bank with responsibilities over litigation, bankruptcy and operations issues where he learned the particular unique legal, credit, regulatory and operational issues lenders face.  Jeff has represented a variety of financial institutions since the early days of his practice both in bankruptcy court and state and federal courts in actions in which the institution has been sued in cases alleging Ponzi scheme involvement, employee theft and dishonesty, lender liability claims, fair debt collection practices violations, wrongful termination, and regulatory violations.  He has also litigated collateral and foreclosure matters, security interests, inter-bank claims, claims of bad faith lending practices, premises liability, and contested bankers fidelity bond and directors and officers insurance coverage claims.  He also has litigated numerous actions to enforce loan defaults, including real and personal property foreclosures, deed in lieu transactions, and has provided creative solutions to settlement and restructuring defaulted obligations within regulatory parameters.

Corporate and Shareholder  Disputes: 

Jeff represents corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, shareholders, directors and officers involved in disputes concerning mismanagement, bylaws and agreements,  voting rights and control, breaches of fiduciary duty, solvency, equity rights and preferences, corporate opportunity, dissolution, waste, commercial disparagement, defalcation, unlawful payments and dividends, fraud, and intra-family struggles.

Contracts: 

Jeff represents clients in a wide variety of contract disputes, including stock and asset purchase agreements, executive compensation, key executive agreements, insurance claims, commercial lease rights, noncompetition and nonsolicitation, customer/supplier, real estate purchase and sale,  agency agreements, corporate articles and bylaws, preferred and common stock options/warrants/agreements, licensing,

Arbitration and Mediation: 

Jeff represents his clients in disputes in arbitration under the rules of several arbitration forums, including American Arbitration Association and FINRA Dispute Resolution.   He served as a panel arbitrator and chairman for FINRA (formerly NASD Dispute Resolution) on several cases involving intra-industry disputes, raiding, suitability and fraud issues.

EDUCATION:

Pepperdine University, J.D., Deans Honor List

  • Dean’s Honor List
  • Student Trial Lawyers Association, Founder/President
  • Moot Court Honor Board
  • Awarded American Jurisprudence Awards (first in class), Commercial and Constitutional Law

University of Utah, B.S.

  • Alpha Kappa Psi Professional  Business Fraternity, President

PROFESSIONAL AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS: 

AV-Preeminent Rating, Martindale-Hubbell;

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, General Commercial Litigation, 2009-2015;

Best Lawyers in America, Bankruptcy Litigation (2014-2015); Bankruptcy and Creditor/Debtor Rights Law (2003-2013);

  • Utah Lawyer of the Year, Bankruptcy Litigation, 2012-2013;

Mountain States Super Lawyers, Bankruptcy/Creditors Rights, 2007-2015;

Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Edition, Bankruptcy (2010-2015);

Utah Legal Elite, Utah Business Magazine, 2004-2015 ( Bankruptcy and Civil Litigation).

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS: 

FINRA Dispute Resolution (formerly NASD), Arbitrator Panel, Chair Qualified;

Chicago Board Options Exchange Dispute Resolution;

Salt Lake County Bar Associations;

Utah Bankruptcy Lawyers Forum, Counselor Member;

Committee of Bar Examiners, Utah State Bar (Chair, Bankruptcy/Creditors Rights Subcommittee);

American Bankruptcy Institute;

Utah State Bar:

  • Corporate Counsel Section (Section Chair, 1991);
  • Litigation Section, Member;
  • Securities Section, Member;
  • Bankruptcy Section, Member.

COURT ADMISSIONS:

Supreme Court of the United States, 1986;

United States District Court, District of Utah, 1980;

United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, 1991;

Supreme Court of Utah, 1980;

United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Tenth Circuit (since inception);

Numerous pro hac vice admissions (D. Del.,D.S.C., C.D. Cal., N.D. Cal., N.D. Okla., E.D. Mich., W.D. Mich., W.D. Missouri, D. Kan., N.D. Ga., N.D. Ill., E.D. Pa., M.D. Pa., D. Nev., D. Ariz., N.D. Tex.).

COMMUNITY SERVICE:

Throughout his career, Jeff has participated in a number of community volunteer activities. These include:

Utah Symphony and Opera

  • Honor Board
  • Immediate Past Chair, Planned Giving Committee

Pepperdine University School of Law

  • Board of Visitors
  • Utah Area Alumni Chairman

Rocky Mountain Innocence Center (Executive Committee)

Jazz Arts of the Mountain West (Board of Directors)

Utahns Against Hunger (advocacy organization)

  • Chairman (1997-1998)
  • Director and Legal Counsel (1994-1998)

Park City Jazz Foundation (Trustee and Executive Committee)

Episcopal Church Education For Ministries Certification, University of the South (2008)

FBI Citizens Academy, Alumni Association

REPRESENTATIVE ENGAGEMENTS:

In Re Kmart Corporation, Debtor (Bankr.N.D. Ill.):  represented an indenture trustee of several store development bonds and two landlords in Chapter 11 case of large retailer.

In re Geneva Steel Corporation(I and II), Debtors, (Bankr.D. Utah): represented a large national equipment lessor, and an adjacent property owner in the Chapter 11 reorganization case and subsequent refilled liquidation case of an inland steel manufacturer.

In re Tri-Valley Distributing, Inc., Debtor (Bankr.D. Utah):  represented the state receivers of three national insurance companies sued for fraudulent transfer, disgorgement and fraud in Chapter 11 case of a petroleum products distributor and C-store operator.

In re Radio Shack Corporation, et al, Debtors (Bankr. D. Del.): represent major electronics goods supplier in Chapter 11 liquidation case of large electronics products retailer.

In re Imperial Sugar Company, Debtor (Bankr. D. Del.): represented agricultural cooperative of sugar beet growers in Central Michigan in the $66 million acquisition of three operating sugar beet processing factories and adjacent transport facilties.

In re Interstate Brands, Debtor (Bankr. E.D. Missouri):  represented agricultural products supplier in Chapter 11 case of baked goods manufacturer including Hostess and Wonderbread brands.

In re Safety-Kleen, Inc. Debtor (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.); represented strategic waste transporter in Chapter 11 case of special waste disposal and transportation provider.

In re Tupelo Investments, LLC, Debtor (Bankr. D. Utah): represented motorcycle manufacturer and financing entity in Chapter 11 liquidation and sale of inventory, financing, and restructuring of large Harley-Davidson Motorcycle dealership.

In re Easy Street,Inc., Debtor, (Bankr. D. Utah); represented Committee of Unsecured Creditors in Chapter 11 reorganization of a luxury hotel/condominium in the Park City, Utah ski resort zone.

In re Arrow Trucking, Inc., Debtor (Bankr.N.D. Okla.); represented factoring lender in liquidation of large national trucking company arising from high-profile financial fraud case, including defense of preference litigation, fraud claims, and related litigation.

In re Caesar’s Entertainment Corporation, et al, Debtors (Bankr. N.D. Ill.); represent engineering service provider in Chapter 11 reorganization case of domestic and international casino and resort operator.

In re Borders Book Stores, et al, Debtors (Bankr. D. Del.): represented shopping center landlord in Chapter 11 liquidation case of large national book retailer.

Transportation Alliance Bank v. Pielsticker, et al (N.D. Okla.); represented defrauded lender against culpable officers and directors of Arrow Trucking, Inc. in high profile federal court litigation.

In re Bonneville Pacific Corp., Debtor; Segal v. Frazier & Beatty, et al (D. Utah); represented large Canadian law firm in defense of adversary actions for damages in Chapter 11 liquidation of alternative energy provider.

In re SummittTrucking, Inc., et al, Debtor (Bankr. S.D. Ind.); represented lender in formulation, approval and management of debtor in possession credit facility.

In re: American Continental Corporation, Debtor (Bankr. D. Az.); represented real estate developer in bankruptcy case arising from the meltdown of the Charles Keating/Lincoln Savings empire.

Resolution Trust Corp. v. Keating, et al (D. Az.): Represented developer in multi-district litigation brought by the RTC, as successor to FSLIC, against Charles Keating, Lincoln Savings and several developers in the meltdown of the Charles Keating/Lincoln Savings empire in Arizona.

SELECTED OPINIONS:

In re Tri-Valley Distributing, Inc., Debtor, 452 B.R. 837 (Bankr. D. Utah 2011)

Strong v. Western United Life Assurance Company, 2011 WL 181525 (Bankr. D. Utah 2011)

Transportation Alliance Bank v. BancInsure, Inc., 2014 WL 684691 (D. Utah 2014)

Beach House Club v. Travelers Property Casualty Co. of America, 2009 WL 3580058 and 2009 WL 2512857 (D. Utah 2009)

In reTri-Valley Distributing Co., Inc. 533 F. 3d 1209 (10th Cir. BAP 2008)

In re Union Square Associates, LLC, 392 B.R. 474 (Bankr. D. Utah 2008)

Lunceford v. Lunceford Estate, et al., 139 P. 3d 1073 (Utah Ct. App. 2006)

Blackmore v. L & D Development, Inc., 274 P. 3d 316 (Utah. Ct. App. 2012)

In re Granada, Inc., 156 B.R. 303 (D. Utah 1990).

Olson v. Park-Craig-Olson, Inc., 815 P. 2d 1356 (Utah Ct. App. 1991)

REPRESENTATIVE PUBLICATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS:

  • Presenter, Information Governance and e-Discovery, Intermountain e-Discovery Conference, September 2013.
  • Presenter, Managing E-Discovery: Best Practices and Procedures, Intermountain e-Discovery Conference, September 2011.
  • Presenter, Lender Liability―A View from the Trenches, Risk Management Association, October 2012.
  • Faculty/Presenter, Issues in Debtor-In-Possession Financing, Southeastern Bankruptcy Law Institute, April 2011.
  • Faculty/Presenter, Reclamation Rights After the 2005 Amendments to the Bankruptcy Code, Southeastern Bankruptcy Law Institute, April 2011.
  • Presenter, Insolvency Tool Box—Selected Issues Concerning Struggling Corporations, Utah State Bar Corporate Counsel Section, Annual Meeting, December 2009.

CAREER BACKGROUND:

10/2012-5/2014:          SNELL & WILMER, L.L.P.; Salt Lake City, UT

10/1996-10/2012:        JONES WALDO HOLBROOK & McDONOUGH, P.C., Salt Lake City, UT

8/2002-4/2004:            BALLARD SPAHR ANDREWS & INGERSOLL, L.L.P., Salt Lake City, UT

11/1993-10/1996:        PURSER EDWARDS & SHIELDS, L.L.C. (dissolved), Salt Lake City, UT

12/1989-11/1993:        SUITTER AXLAND, P.C., Salt Lake City, UT

02/1986-11/1989:        KEY BANK OF UTAH, Legal Department, Salt Lake City, UT

Departments
Industry Awards

Shields Best

BEST LAWYERS - LAWYER OF THE YEAR, LITIGATION-BANKRUPTCY, 2013

BEST LAWYERS IN AMERICA, BANKRUPTCY AND CREDITOR DEBTOR RIGHTS LAW, 2003-2015

BEST LAWYERS IN AMERICA, COMMERCIAL LITIGATION, 2015

BEST LAWYERS IN AMERICA, LITIGATION - BANKRUPTCY, 2015

Shields Chamber 2015

CHAMBERS USA, GENERAL COMMERCIAL LITIGATION,
2009-2015

ShieldsAV
MARTINDALE-HUBBELL, AV RATING

SUPER LAWYERS, 2007-2015

SUPER LAWYERS, CORPORATE COUNSEL EDITION, BANKRUPTCY, 2015

UTAH BUSINESS MAGAZINE, LEGAL ELITE, 2004-2015

Bar Admittance

UTAH

U.S. DISTRICT COURT, DISTRICT OF UTAH AND U.S. SUPREME COURT

U.S. COURT OF APPEALS, TENTH CIRCUIT