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Douglas C. Bernstein

Partner

  • Licensed Since: 1982
  • Joined Firm: 2002
  • Partner Since: 2003
38505 Woodward Ave.
Suite 2000
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
TEL: (248) 901-4091
FAX: (248) 901-4040
Areas of Practice
Honors & Awards
  • Best Lawyers in America® for Bankruptcy, Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law (Copyright 2014 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC), 2014 - 2015
  • Award for Excellence - Chambers USA - Banking & Finance: Michigan, 2010
  • Leading Lawyer in Banking & Financial Institutions Law / Bankruptcy & Workout Law: Commercial / Creditor's Rights/Commercial Collections Law, Leading Lawyers Magazine Michigan, 2015
  • Martindale-Hubbell’s highest rating-AV Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated
  • Michigan Super Lawyer in Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights; Michigan Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters publication, 2008 - 2014
  • Top Lawyer in Banking & Financial Service Law and Bankruptcy / Creditors / Debtors Rights, Dbusiness magazine, 2009, 2012 - 2015
  • Top Lawyer in Insolvency and Reorganization Law, Dbusiness magazine, 2015
  • American Jurisprudence Award – Labor Law 1, 1980
  • Honor Roll – Spring 1979, Fall 1980
Education
  • Detroit College of Law, J.D., 1982
  • Wayne State University, B.A., 1978
Bar & Court Admissions
  • Michigan, 1982
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 1982
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan, 2004
  • U.S.Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 1982

The managing partner of Plunkett Cooney’s Banking, Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights Practice Group, Douglas C. Bernstein focuses his practice in the areas of commercial litigation, commercial loan restructuring and documentation, creditors’ rights, commercial and municipal bankruptcy, receiverships and other banking-related litigation and appeals on behalf of national and regional lenders and special servicers.

Prior to joining Plunkett Cooney, Mr. Bernstein was employed by Michigan National Corporation as an attorney for over 20 years. He subsequently joined the Standard Federal Bank Legal Department when the bank merged with Michigan National Corporation in 2001.

Mr. Bernstein, who currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Plunkett Cooney, the Detroit River Regatta Association and the H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Racing Series, has a number of published appellate decisions to his credit. He is a member of several professional organizations and presents seminars to clients and industry organizations on commercial loan restructure, bankruptcy and litigation issues, and assisted the state of Michigan in the training of potential emergency managers and emergency financial managers.

Mr. Bernstein regularly appears as a guest on finance and general news radio and television programs to discuss banking law and bankruptcy issues, and he is frequently quoted by media covering the business, banking and financial industries.

Representative Client Work

  • Serves as a resource to local, regional and national media on the City of Detroit's financial emergency status and Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy filing
  • Served as counsel to secured lenders in several troubled residential construction and development projects, including obtaining the appointment of a receiver.
  • Representation of lenders in bankruptcy proceedings to deny debtors discharge of debts.
  • Representation of court appointed receivers.
  • Successful restructure on behalf of lender of $28,000,000 loan relationship, resulting in full repayment to client, including reimbursement of all costs and attorneys’ fees.
  • Representation of major automotive supplier in defense of $10,000,000 preference and fraudulent conveyance action.
  • Served as counsel to lender in numerous matters involving troubled hotels, restaurants, boat manufacturers, automotive suppliers.
  • Providing general bankruptcy advice to several automotive suppliers.

Professional Affiliations

  • Oakland County Bar Association (In-House Counsel Committee, Past Chair)
  • State Bar of Michigan
  • Turnaround Management Association
  • American Bankruptcy Institute

Community Involvement

  • Attorney Discipline Board, Hearing panelist
  • Oakland County district and circuit courts, Case evaluation panelist
  • American Power Boat Association, General Counsel (Past)
  • Detroit River Regatta Association, Board Member (2005 - Present)
  • Hydro-Prop Unlimited Hydroplane Racing Series (General Counsel, 2002-2004)
  • H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Racing Series (General Counsel, 2010 - Present; Board Member, 2011 - Present)
  • Michigan Sports Hall of Fame (Board Member, April 2008 - July 2009)

Representative Publications and Lectures

  • "Does the 'Detroit Future City Plan' begin at Chapter 9?," Panelist, Turnaround Management Association Spring Conference, Southfield, Michigan, April 25, 2013
  • “To Sell or Not to Sell? That’s the $363 Million (Section 363) Bankruptcy Question,” Presenter, ACG and Turnaround Management Association Detroit Chapter Seminar, Farmington Hills, Michigan, March 12, 2013
  • "Between a Rock & a Hard Place - Municipal Entities in Distress" Presenter, The Federal Bar Association, Eastern District of Michigan - Bankruptcy Committee Seminar, Southfield, Michigan, October 10, 2012
  • "Best Practices in Local Government Fiscal Management" Panelist, Michigan State University and Turnaround Management Association Michigan Chapter Conference, Bankruptcy - Chapter 9, Lansing, Michigan, April 19, 2011
  • “Bank and Special Asset Forum on Distressed Real Estate” Presenter, Information Management Network third annual conference, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, February 17, 2011
  • Bankruptcy - Chapter 9, Emergency Financial Manager Training Program, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, February 10, 2011

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