Joseph G. Epstein

Joe Epstein applies his talents in bankruptcy and business law to achieve results for his clients. His experience spans all areas of bankruptcy and business restructuring, Chapter 11 business reorganization, insolvency, creditors’ rights, receiverships, commercial real estate, energy and energy services, oil and gas and Chapter 9 municipal insolvency. He represents debtors, secured lenders, asset purchasers and other stakeholders in complex reorganization, commercial litigation and transaction matters.

Joe is a frequent speaker and writer for continuing education seminars in the areas of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, business reorganization, real estate, small businesses, 363 sale agreements and insolvency law.

GENERAL BACKGROUND

Education

  • University of Houston Law Center, J.D., 1988
  • The University of Texas at Austin, B.B.A. Finance, 1985

Licensure and Admissions
  • Supreme Court of Texas, 1988
  • United States District and Bankruptcy Courts for the Southern, Northern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas
  • United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

Professional and Community Involvement
  • American Bar Association (Business Law Section)
  • State Bar of Texas (Business and Bankruptcy Law Sections)
  • Houston Bar Association (Bankruptcy and Oil, Gas & Mineral Law Sections)
  • Arthur L. Moller/David B. Foltz, Jr. American Inns of Court (Past President)
  • Jewish Community Center of Houston Endowment Fund (Board of Directors)
  • Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston (Board of Directors and past Executive Committee)
  • Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo (Lifetime Member)
  • MS150 -- Houstonian Club Hammerheads Team

Representative Cases
  • Amidee Capital Group (SD Texas) – represented senior lender to real estate development group with ownership of more than 50 commercial properties
  • ATEX Manufacturing, Inc. (SD Texas) – represented purchaser of all assets of specialty steel valve manufacturer under Chapter 11 plan
  • Axion Services, Inc. and Magnum Precision (SD Texas) – represented senior lender and agent in Chapter 7 cases of oil and gas service companies
  • Aztec Oil & Gas, Inc. (SD Texas) - represented directors in contested confirmation hearing of plan proposed by former management insiders. 
  • Brougher, Inc. (Forge, USA) (SD Texas) - represented strategic purchaser of substantially all assets of metal forging and specialty products business. 
  • Business Radio Network et al. (SD Texas) – represented purchaser of radio station and transfer of FCC licenses in SEC receivership action
  • Diverse Energy Systems, LLC (SD Texas) – represented lessors of industrial equipment and heavy machinery in Chapter 11 cases of oil and gas service companies
  • Dome Hydrocarbon LLC (SD Texas) – represented senior lender group in the sale of secured claims in Chapter 11 cases of refinery operation
  • Dynegy Holdings, LLC, et al. (SD New York) – represented commercial landlord in restructuring a lease and agreeing on assumption and assignment terms
  • ECCO Drilling, Ltd. (ED Texas) – represented Official Creditors’ Committee in the Chapter 11 cases of a drilling rig operator
  • Excellence Medical Group, LLC (SD Texas) - represented debtor medical venture in filing of Chapter 7 liquidation case.
  • Enron Corp. et al. (SD New York) – represented multiple creditors and stakeholders with trade claims, executory contracts and unexpired leases, and parties to joint venture agreements
  • Goldking Holdings, LLC (SD Texas) – represented multiple defendants in preference adversary proceedings commenced by post confirmation plan trustee
  • Hillcrest GOM, Inc. (SD Texas) - represented debtor as non-operator of oil, gas and mineral lease interests in filing of Chapter 7 liquidation case. 
  • Logix Communications, Inc. (SD Texas) – represented Chapter 11 debtors in sale of assets and confirmation of reorganization plan and restructuring of debt
  • Pilgrim Cleaners, Inc. (SD Texas) -- represented Official Creditors’ Committee in Chapter 11 cases of dry cleaner operation with 110 retail and plant outlets
  • RAAM Global Energy (SD Texas) – represented licensors and property owners in Chapter 11 cases of oil and gas exploration and production companies
  • Rotary Drilling Tools (USA), LLC (SD Texas) - represented strategic purchaser of substantially all assets auctioned in 363 sale process. 
  • Reichmann Petroleum (SD Texas) – represented group of working interest holders in Chapter 11 cases of oil and gas exploration and production companies
  • Seahawk Drilling, LLC (SD Texas) – represented senior management members with compensation and severance claims in Chapter 11 cases of offshore drilling company
  • SemCrude, LP (Delaware) – represented working capital and revolving credit facility lenders in Chapter 11 cases
  • SMF Energy Corporation (SD Florida) – represented purchaser of Texas operations and approximately 200 fuel, lubricant and support vehicles in 363 sale agreement
  • Superior Offshore International (SD Texas) – represented purchaser of $100 million multi-purpose supply vessel and specialty equipment
  • Texas Systems & Controls and Dia-Den Ltd. (SD Texas) – represented senior lender in Chapter 11 cases of specialty manufacturing company
  • Vanguard Natural Resources, LLC (SD Texas) - represented mineral interest owner group seeking recovery for underpayment of royalties. 
  • Representation of secured lenders in multiple single-asset real estate cases and ancillary guarantor liability litigation
  • Representation of commercial lessors in multiple Chapter 11 cases of retail businesses, restaurants and offices
  • 5925 Almeda Tower North, LP (SD Texas) – represented Chapter 11 debtor as owner and developer of high-rise condominium project

Awards, Accolades And Recognition
  • Chambers USA Guide to America, Bankruptcy/Restructuring, Chambers & Partners Publishing, 2010-2016
  • Houston's Top Lawyers, H Texas, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2014
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor, Woodward/White, Inc., 2007-2018

Publications, Lectures And Presentation Topics
  • "How can a business escape from the preference action nightmare?" -- Houston Business Journal
  • "Bankruptcy: Cracking the Code" -- 10th Annual CLE International Negotiating Leases Conference
  • "Amendments to the Bankruptcy Code – How is your Business Affected?"
  • "The Bankruptcy Abuse, Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005" -- 29th Annual Convention of Texas Association of Bank Counsel
  • "Bankruptcy and Alternatives: Planning Ahead When Times are Bad" -- University of Houston Law Foundation Advising Small Business Seminar
  • "Cash Collateral. What is it? How does it work? Can counsel be held liable if Used Impermissibly?"
  • "Retail Workouts: Can Even the Strong Survive?" -- State Bar of Texas 27th Annual Advanced Business Bankruptcy Course and Houston Bar Association Real Estate Section Lunch
  • "Warning Signs and Problems Relating to Workouts" -- Houston Commercial Finance Association
  • "The Nuts & Bolts of Bankruptcy" -- Houston Bar Association
  • "The Top Ten Things Landlords Should Know When a Tenant Files Bankruptcy"
  • "Certification of Direct Appeals and Withdrawal of the Reference" -- South Texas Bench/Bar Conference and Small Business and Consumer Bankruptcy Conference
  • "Section 363 Sales in Oil & Gas Bankruptcies: Purchasing Oil & Gas Assets, Navigating Procedures for Bankruptcy Acquisitions, Weighting Considerations Unique to Oil & Gas Assets, Mitigating Risks" -- Strafford CLE Publications