Rudolph J. Di Massa, Jr., chair of the firm's Business Reorganization and Financial Restructuring Group, concentrates his practice in the areas of commercial litigation and creditors' rights.
He is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, the American Bar Association and its Business Law Section, the Commercial Law League of America, the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the Business Law Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association. He is listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, 2006-2014 editions, as one of the top bankruptcy and restructuring lawyers in the country.
A 1981 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a graduate summa cum laude of Lehigh University, where he became a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Mr. Di Massa currently represents various secured and unsecured lenders in bankruptcy cases pending in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Southern District of New York, as well as a number of European companies doing business in the United States.
Areas of Practice
- Insolvency Law
- Chapter 11 and Commercial Reorganization
- Bankruptcy Law
- Obtained an Order on behalf of the City of Reading, PA from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of PA voiding a Commonwealth Court ruling, thus allowing to stand the City's recycling user fee, which supported costs associated with the City's recycling program.
- Advised a Vietnam War Veteran, a pro bono client through the Military Assistance Project, in navigating various financial concerns brought about by medical issues.
- Obtained landmark ruling from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of commercial real estate landlord: court held that a debtor-tenant's "assumption" of lease agreement in bankruptcy case constituted an "affirmance" or "ratification" of the contract under state law that precluded debtor-tenant's continued prosecution of its claim for rescission of an amendment to the lease agreement.
- Represented a turnaround consultant in an adversary action for seven-figure claims for malpractice and fraudulent transfer brought by debtors A.S.K. Plastics, Inc., Jamison Plastic Corp. and 9800 Ashton Road. Obtained dismissal of case for a nominal payment. In re A.S.K. Plastics, Inc. (Bankr. E.D.Pa.).
- Represented the Italian trustee of a bankrupt U.S. software company with cases pending in Italy and the U.S.
- Represented Klausen Finanz, A.G., a Swiss finance company, in connection with the collection of secured indebtedness and negotiation of the purchase and sale of the borrower's assets.
- Represented North Philadelphia Financial Partnership, a community lending institution formed for the purpose of lending funds to start-up businesses in North Philadelphia, in a foreclosure action against a property owner and suits with various creditors.
- Represented BT Holdings NY, Inc., an affiliate of Deutsche Bank, in the chapter 11 case of Front Line Capital Group, an office and conference space operator. In re Frontline Capital Group (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.).
- Represented various Fortune 500 defendants in an action brought in the Pennsylvania state courts by the liquidator in the Reliance Group Holdings, Inc. liquidation proceedings. The liquidator sought to recover as preferences payments made to the defendants under a credit insurance policy with Reliance. Obtained summary judgment decision from the Commonwealth Court. After argument to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the Commonwealth Court decision was affirmed.
- Represented BMW Financial Services in connection with acquisition, construction and real estate loans made to dealerships throughout the United States and revolving automotive floor plan and lease line documents.
- Represented UniCredit Bank, Italy’s largest bank, in the collection of secured indebtedness and eventual sale of loan documents in connection with a large manufacturer in New Mexico.
- Represented various hotel owners in Pennsylvania and Maryland involved in refinancing/restructuring of indebtedness.
- Represented a residential real estate developer in connection with the restructuring of an $85 million credit facility.
- Represent Italian investors with judgments of $150 million against the government of Argentina.
- New York
- U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
- Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D., 1981
- Duane Morris LLP
- Chairman, Business Reorganization and Financial Restructuring Practice Group, 2001-present
- Partner, 1989-present
- Associate, 1981-1988
- American Bar Association - Business Law Section
- American Bankruptcy Institute
- Board Member
- Former Co-Chair, Mid-Atlantic Conference
- Pennsylvania Bar Association
- Philadelphia Bar Association
- Business Law Section
- Eastern District of PA Bankruptcy Conference
- Commercial Law League of America
- Justinian Society
Honors and Awards
- Listed in Best Lawyers for Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/ Insolvency and Reorganization Law, 2012, 2014 and 2015
- Listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, the Client's Guide, 2006-2014 editions
- Listed in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, 2004-2014
- Listed in Avenue magazine's Legal Elite, 2010
- Listed in Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Edition, 2010
- Listed in Continental Who's Who Registry of National Business Leaders, 2006 edition
- AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
- Advisory Board, Hudson United Bank
Civic and Charitable Activities
- Pro Bono Attorney, Support Center for Child Advocates, Philadelphia, PA
- Member of Board of Directors, Filitalia
- Volunteer Attorney, St. Thomas More Society
- Volunteer Attorney, Archdiocese of Philadelphia
- Former Chairman, United Way Campaign Committee,
Duane Morris LLP
- Co-author, "Debtors May Be Denied Discharge for Inadequate Financial Records," The Legal Intelligencer, February 6, 2015
- Co-author, "Creditor's Claim for Attorney Fees Not Entitled to Secured Status," The Legal Intelligencer, December 22, 2014
- Co-author, "'Loan-to-Own' Strategy May Lead to Limitation on Credit-Bidding," The Legal Intelligencer, September 19, 2014
- "District Court Clarifies Distinction Between Burdens of Proof on Stay Relief and Adequate Protection in American Airlines Bankruptcy," Duane Morris Alert, May 3, 2013; republished in Bankruptcy Law360 and New York Law360, May 13, 2013
- Co-author, "Supreme Court to Address Circuit Split Over 'Defalcation' Meaning," The Legal Intelligencer, November 16, 2012
- Co-author, "Supreme Court Addresses Circuit Split Over Cramdown Plans Precluding Credit Bidding," The Legal Intelligencer, May 22, 2012
- Co-author, "Harrisburg Filing Tests the Boundaries of Chapter 9," The Legal Intelligencer, November 23, 2011
- Co-author, "Fifth Circuit Expands Documents Applicable to Determining Claim Preservation," The Legal Intelligencer, August 26, 2011
- Co-author, "Court Limits a 'Self-Settling Trust or Similar Device' to an Express Trust," The Legal Intelligencer, May 20, 2011
- Co-author, "District Court Reigns in Significantly Expanded “Good Faith” Inquiry Obligation Under § 548(C) of The Bankruptcy Code," accepted for publication in the Norton Journal of Bankruptcy Law & Practice (Volume 20, Issue 2, April 2011)
- Co-author, "Trustee's Fraudulent Transfer Complaint Survives Motion to Dismiss," The Legal Intelligencer, February 23, 2011
- Co-author, "Court: Bankruptcy Schedules Don't Provide Constructive Notice to Trustee," The Legal Intelligencer, September 17, 2010
- Co-author, "Court: Loan Payments Outside Ordinary Course of Business Preferential," The Legal Intelligencer, June 24, 2010
- Co-author, "Third Circuit's Credit-Bid Decision's Impact upon Secured Lenders," Duane Morris Alert, March 25, 2010
- Staff Writer, The Legal Intelligencer, December 2000 to present - Bankruptcy Update Article (approximately every six weeks)
- Co-author, "Failure to Amend Claim Can Violate Bankruptcy Equivalent to Rule 11," The Legal Intelligencer, March 19, 2010
- Co-author, "Date of Incurrence of Debt Critical to Setoff Determination," The Legal Intelligencer, March 5, 2010
- Co-author, "Despite Failure of Trustee's Arguments, Debtor's Principal Personally Liable," The Legal Intelligencer, January 4, 2010
- Co-author, "UCC 'Goods' Definition Applies to Section 503(b)(9) of Bankruptcy Code," The Legal Intelligencer, August 7, 2009
- Profiled by Law 360, June 26, 2009
- Co-author, "Offset of Non-Estate Property Constitutes Willful Violation of Automatic Stay," The Legal Intelligencer, May 1, 2009
- Co-author, "Insurer-to-Insured Payment Not Antecedent Debt, Pa. High Court Rules," The Legal Intelligencer, March 20, 2009
- Co-author, "High Court Takes Pass on Circuit Split Over Defalcation Case," The Legal Intelligencer, February 6, 2009
- "Pennsylvania Supreme Court Recognizes an "Ordinary Course of Business" Exception to Preference Actions Brought by Liquidator of Reliance Insurance Company," Duane Morris Alert, March 2, 2009
- Co-author, "Lapse of Notices of Federal Tax Liens Doesn't Void Underlying Liens," The Legal Intelligencer, December 19, 2008
- Co-author, "Decision Issued Over Bankruptcy Court's Power to Impose Sanctions," The Legal Intelligencer, November 7, 2008
- Co-author, "Transfer Tax Exemption Only Applies to Post-Confirmation Asset Transfers," The Legal Intelligencer, August 1, 2008
- Co-author, "Court Imposes $650,000 in Sanctions on Lender, Servicer and Counsel," The Legal Intelligencer, June 6, 2008
- Co-author, "Bankruptcy Court Decides Indemnification Claims Against Debtors' Directors, Officers," The Legal Intelligencer, April 18, 2008
- Co-author, "Assumption and Assignment of IP License Agreements in Bankruptcy: Circuit Split Continues," ABI Journal, March 2008
- Co-author, "A Cautionary Tale: The Crime of Concealing Assets in Bankruptcy," The Legal Intelligencer, October 5, 2007
- Co-author, "A Split in the Circuits Over Assumption of an Executory Contract," The Legal Intelligencer, August 31, 2007
- Co-author, "Collateral Fractionalizing and the Risk of Hidden Interests," The Legal Intelligencer, April 13, 2007
- Co-author, "A Look at the 'Realist' Underpinnings Of the Uniform Commercial Code," The Legal Intelligencer, June 22, 2007
- Co-author, "Claim Traders Beware: When Equitable Subordination Applies," The Legal Intelligencer, January 6, 2006
- Co-author, "IRS Allowed to Offset Debtors' Tax Overpayment Against Unpaid Debt," The Legal Intelligencer, December 2, 2005
- Co-author, "Is the Insolvency Pendulum Swinging Back in the Lender's Favor?" The Legal Intelligencer, May 20, 2005
- Co-author, "Preliminary Injunction May Issue to Preserve Assets in Adversary Proceeding," The Legal Intelligencer, April 15, 2005
- Co-author, "Channeling injunction will not apply to nondebtors," The Legal Intelligencer, March 7, 2005
- Co-author, "Claim Sounding In Breach of Contract May Not Be An Unsecured Claim," The Legal Intelligencer, November 7, 2003
- Co-author, "Mickowski v. Visi-Trak Worldwide and Successor Liability," The Legal Intelligencer, August 27, 2004
- "Deepening Insolvency Concerns Secured Lenders in Bankruptcy," The Legal Intelligencer, October 3, 2003
- "Do Pre-Confirmation Real Estate Transfers Qualify for Tax Exemption?" The Legal Intelligencer, July 25, 2003
- "Creditor's Accounts Receivable Rights Upheld Security Interest Survives Dissolution of 'A Civil Action' Firm," New Jersey Law Journal, April 14, 2003
- "Interpretation Prohibits Cancellation Of FCC Licenses for Non Payment," The Legal Intelligencer, April 4, 2003
- Co-author, "Indemnifying Financial Adviser for Negligence Claim 'Reasonable'," The Legal Intelligencer, February 28, 2003
- "Bankruptcy Court May Enjoin Non-Consenting Creditors' Claims," The Legal Intelligencer, November, 8, 2002
- "Pre-Petition Employee 'Stay-on Benefits' Not Entitled to Administrative Priority," The Legal Intelligencer, October 4, 2002
- "Can Chapter 13 Debtors Modify Plans to Surrender Cars?" The Legal Intelligencer, August 23, 2002
- "9th Circuit: Some Attorneys Are Deluded," The Legal Intelligencer, July 19, 2002
- "Property Held in Trust and Commingled Funds," The Legal Intelligencer, March 29, 2002
- "11th Circuit Tackles Handling of Attorneys' Fees," The Legal Intelligencer, January 18, 2002
- "Latecomer Can't Reopen Closed Chapter 11 Case," The Legal Intelligencer, December 14, 2001
- "4th Circuit Approves Prepayment of Mortgages," The Legal Intelligencer, May 11, 2001
- "Debtor Obligated to Protect Assets Held in Escrow," The Legal Intelligencer, April 6, 2001
- "Court Gives Practitioners a Lesson on Rule 7004," The Legal Intelligencer, March 2, 2001
- "How Long is the Reach of Section 544(b) and UFTA Over Assets Transfers Between Husband, Wife?" The Legal Intelligencer, January 26, 2001
- "Does Bankruptcy Code Section 1329 Allow a Debtor to Modify a Chapter 13 Plan?" The Legal Intelligencer, December 15, 2000
Selected Speaking Engagements
- "Commercial Lending Requirements and Loan Documentation in Pennsylvania," Lorman Education Services, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 23-24, 2001; October 23-24, 2002; October 23, 2003; October 28, 2004
- "Officer and Director Liability," Pennsylvania Bar Institute's Officer and Director Liability Seminar, Milford, Pennsylvania, August 30, 2010
- Universita degli Studi di Urbino, September 27-28, 2002, American Bankruptcy Overview