David W. Criswell - Ball Janik LLP

David W. Criswell

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2015

David Criswell is Ball Janik LLP's Managing Partner and Chair of the Bankruptcy and Creditor Rights group. His principal areas of practice are business bankruptcy, corporate restructuring, loan workouts, insolvency, and real estate. He has represented numerous debtors-in-possession, secured lenders, and purchasers in complex Chapter 11 cases. He has also represented lenders and borrowers in out-of-court loan restructurings. Mr. Criswell is often sought out by community and regional banks in the Pacific Northwest and beyond for assistance with loan recoveries, loan documentation and other financial services issues. Mr. Criswell was recognized as a 2015 Best Lawyer in America in Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law in Portland, Oregon.

Prior to joining Ball Janik LLP in 1992, Mr. Criswell practiced for three years at the Chicago law firm Rudnick & Wolfe, which later became part of DLA Piper.

Mr. Criswell is a member of the Debtor/Creditor Section of the Oregon State Bar Association. He was listed as one of "Oregon's Top Rated Lawyers" by Legal Leaders, published in 2013 by The National Law Journal, The American Lawyer and Corporate Counsel magazine, affiliated with Martindale-Hubbell®. Mr. Criswell was recognized by his peers as an Oregon Super Lawyer from 2011-2014 in Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights. He has earned the AV® Preeminent™ Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, American Registry.

Dartmouth CollegeBA 1986University of Wisconsin–Madison

Case History

Snokist Growers — In 2011-2012, David Criswell represented a secured lender with a $10 million loan in the Snokist Growers Chapter 11 bankruptcy case in the Eastern District of Washington Bankruptcy Court. Snokist was a cooperative whose operations included the storing, packing and sale of fresh fruit as well as the processing and canning of apple, pear, and other fruit products. Mr. Criswell represented the lender client in a series of contested matters concerning adequate protection, section 363 sale, and auction proceedings and negotiations with other secured lenders with overlapping liens. Because of our successful representation, the client received a 100% payoff on its loan when the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case reached a successful conclusion, with Del Monte (a manufacturer and marketer of processed foods) purchasing substantially all of the operating assets of Snokist.
Law Firm Chapter 11 — In 2012-2013, David Criswell represented a lender with a blanket lien on the assets of a national mass tort plaintiff’s law firm which filed Chapter 11 in Portland, Oregon. Mr. Criswell represented the lender in prosecuting an adversary proceeding to determine the validity and priority of competing liens, in defending a lender liability action brought by another creditor of the law firm, and in negotiating plan treatment. Mr. Criswell’s efforts resulted in a judgment that the bank held a first priority lien, in the dismissal with prejudice of the lender liability action, and full payoff of the secured loan under a confirmed Chapter 11 plan, including payment of an exit fee to the lender.
ConocoPhillips – Olympic Pipeline — David Criswell represented ConocoPhillips in the Olympic Pipeline Chapter 11 case filed in Seattle, Washington. The Olympic Pipe Line Company operates a pipeline system that runs along a 299-mile corridor from Blaine, Washington to Portland, Oregon. The system transports gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel to Seattle's Harbor Island, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Olympia and Vancouver, Washington, and Portland, Oregon. Mr. Criswell filed and prosecuted a significant adversary proceeding on behalf of ConocoPhillips for declaratory relief regarding the classification and recovery of large refunds due to ConocoPhillips under Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission orders entered before the bankruptcy. His efforts in the bankruptcy court resulted in full payment of the refunds to ConocoPhillips and resolution of rate disputes between ConocoPhillips and Olympic Pipeline Company.
Harder/Sunwest Management Inc. – Bankruptcy and SEC Litigation

Represented several secured lenders owed hundreds of millions of dollars in complex civil litigation spanning several bankruptcy cases and an SEC enforcement action. The litigation involved secured loans to entities affiliated with Sunwest Management, Inc. and its principals who were accused of executing a "Ponzi-like scheme" to obtain funds from tenant-in-common investors. This high stakes litigation involved complex corporate and financing structures, legal issues of first impression, and large dollar amounts. As part of this litigation, Ball Janik LLP's team took the lead in successfully opposing a motion for preliminary injunction in the Bankruptcy Court aimed at stopping foreclosure efforts by secured lenders owed over $1 billion. Ball Janik took the lead in opposing a plan of distribution proposed by the SEC, the tenant-in-common investors, and others in the SEC enforcement action. This representation also involved a number of appeals before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals coordinated by Ball Janik's team.

In this complex representation, Ball Janik took the lead in coordinating the litigation efforts of several national and regional firms representing various banks and financial institutions. Ball Janik was also lead trial counsel in both the Bankruptcy Court and in the Federal Court in several key contested matters.

Sunwest Management — David Criswell represented several secured lenders holding approximately $462 million of loans secured by assisted living facilities in the SEC receivership and Chapter 11 case of Sunwest Management. Along with representing his clients, Mr. Criswell coordinated and led a large group of similarly situated secured lenders in contested litigation in the Bankruptcy and District Court in Oregon as well as in two appeals before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Ultimately, he was able to assist his clients in reaching consensual loan restructurings which resulted in performing loans following the conclusion of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case and related SEC enforcement action.

Office Location

101 Main Street, SW, Suite 1100
Portland, OR 97204
United States

Practice Areas

Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law