Paul Shankman is Of Counsel at Fortis LLP.
Mr. Shankman represents clients in a broad range of business litigation matters in bankruptcy, federal, and state courts. These matters include actions involving several areas of law regarding disputed contracts, alleged fraud, partnership disputes, preferential and fraudulent transfer actions, federal and state court receiverships, prominent bankruptcy trustees, commercial, institutional and private lenders, and hedge funds, among numerous diverse businesses and their owners in debt collection, restructuring, liquidations, trials, arbitrations, and mediations.
While attending law school, Mr. Shankman was privileged to serve as a Legal Extern Clerk to the Honorable Calvin K. Ashland, United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Central District of California, who ultimately served as Presiding Judge for the Central District of California and on the Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel. Mr. Shankman prepared hundreds of disputed and litigated matters before the Court for judicial review and determination. He was mentored directly by Judge Ashland and by the Judge’s esteemed Career Law Clerk, Kathleen Thompson, who was subsequently appointed to serve as a Bankruptcy Judge for the Central District of California for 23 years and who also was appointed to serve on the Bankruptcy Appellate for the Ninth Circuit.
Upon Judge Ashland’s recommendation and positive reference, Mr. Shankman practiced for nearly nine years with the prestigious bankruptcy and commercial collections law firm of SulmeyerKupetz (formerly Sulmeyer, Kupetz, Baumann and Rothman) in Los Angeles. Mr. Shankman immediately became heavily involved in representing Arnold Kupetz, Trustee in a complex real estate Ponzi Scheme case involving over ten thousands fraud victims who invested in concocted fractionalized interests in deeds of trust secured by several real properties. The owner of the company in fact personally stole most of the funds invested and was ultimately incarcerated on related Federal Charges. Mr. Shankman was instrumental in assisting the Trustee in recovering millions of dollars for the defrauded creditors, as well as for the Trustee and his firm for legal fees and costs. This was the beginning of a very exciting career where Mr. Shankman also successfully represented Trustees Irving Sulmeyer and Max Rush (who co-authored many provisions of the 1978 United States Bankruptcy Code and Rules enacted by Congress), as well as Mr. Kupetz, in many more complex contested matters to recover assets totaling several millions of dollars for the benefit of creditors. In addition, Mr. Shankman represented numerous business clients in chapter 11 cases in various industries to restructure their debts through plans of reorganization and asset sales. Mr. Shankman was responsible for conducting and responding to voluminous written and deposition discovery, evidentiary hearings, and co-chairing trials before the Bankruptcy, Federal, and State Courts. Mr. Shankman also represented several creditors in commercial collection matters before the State Court. He was also then and to date deputized to conduct Examinations of several hundred chapter 7 debtors on behalf of Trustees by the United States Department of Justice, Office of the United States Trustee.
Concurrently, Mr. Shankman successfully completed a rigorous Certification Examination in Business Bankruptcy and related Litigation and is certified in same by the American Board of Certification of the American Bankruptcy Institute.
Subsequently, Mr. Shankman shifted his practice to representing numerous local, regional, and national businesses institutional lenders in several trials over distressed debt secured by real and personal property, in addition to complex contract and disputed fraud issues in Los Angeles with the late Hugh Biele through his retirement. Mr. Shankman continued representing national lenders through several contested matters during his association with Miede Sexton in Irvine (until its dissolution).
Mr. Shankman practiced complex Trustee and Business Reorganization and litigation representation in San Bernardino and Riverside with the highly respected Firm of Hanover and Schnitzer and withWeinstein, Eisen and Levine in Century City, before joining forces with James Andrew Hinds, Jr. for a successful career of over twenty years in the same complex areas of financial law and litigation before numerous state, bankruptcy, and Federal courts.
Mr. Shankman has spoken frequently on Panels and in Presentations at several prominent law and accounting firms, the California Association of CPA’s, and at many Provisors Group Meetings regarding many topical issues related to financial law and litigation. He currently serves on the Executive Committees of the Newport Beach Group and LGBT Affinity Group of Provisors. He is also an active member of the
American Bankruptcy Institute, American Bar Association, Financial Lawyers Conference, California Bankruptcy Forum, Los Angeles Bankruptcy Forum, Orange County Bankruptcy Forum, Orange County Bar Association, Association for Corporate Growth-Orange County, Orange County Transactional Network, and the Foreign Trade Association.
Mr. Shankman is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in California and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
- Successful Debt Restructuring of a $100 million per year International Bedding Importer through litigation to recover all corporate assets in a complex partnership dispute before the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California.
- Reduction of a $35 million dollar obligation of a wind energy farm developer litigated before the State Court with an international equipment supplier, reduced to $4.2 million by complex discovery revealing substantial counterclaims for product defects and negligence by the manufacturer and unanticipated weather conditions..
- Reduction of $70 million in alleged fraud claims in a complex bankruptcy court adversary proceeding in Los Angeles against Directors and Officers of a 25-year old multi-million dollar privately held Post-Production CGI Entertainment Corporation to $4.5 million, within Insurance Policy Limits, following two years of complex discovery and two-days of successful Mediation.
- 90 Percent collection of a $2.5 million debt upon early Mediation of a complex contested action brought on behalf of a multi-billion dollar hedge fund before the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
- Representation of Multi-million dollar women’s shoe importer as Chair of a Chapter 11 Committee of General Unsecured Creditors of a distressed 80-location shoe retailer, resulting in full recovery of administrative sales claim and minimizing loss post-asset liquidation, following required oversight of intensive urgent fraud investigation, in conjunction with local Florida Committee Counsel, Forensic Accountants, and required Florida Financial Law Counsel.