FRANCIS C. MORRISSEYclick here for full resume

direct telephone (781)353-5501
email address fcm@mwzllp.com

Francis C. Morrissey concentrates his practice in the areas of commercial litigation, insolvency and distressed acquisitions and divestitures. Mr. Morrissey is an experienced bankruptcy litigator and counselor who has practiced for more than fifteen years in the field. His practice encompasses all aspects of the bankruptcy process including contested and competing plan confirmation hearings, contested relief from stay and cash collateral hearings and fraudulent transfer and preference litigation. Mr. Morrissey also has deep experience in distressed acquisitions and divestitures, whether through Section 363 bankruptcy sales, chapter 11 reorganization plans, secured party sales or receiverships. This skill set covers negotiating break-up fees and overbid provisions as well as assisting both sellers and buyers take full advantage of the procedural and substantive protections offered by bankruptcy.

Mr. Morrissey's practice regularly involves representing financial institutions, borrowers and distressed investors in the resolution of nonperforming loans; restructuring, workout and liquidation of commercial real estate and related default, guaranty and recourse carve-out litigation. In addition, Mr. Morrissey is a member of the panel of professionals approved by the Massachusetts Superior Court to serve as receivers in cases filed in Suffolk, Middlesex, Norfolk and Worcester counties and was recently appointed by the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts as receiver for a multi-jurisdictional portfolio of nine mix-use office, industrial and commercial properties of more than 560,000 square feet that served as collateral for a failed CMBS financing.

Professional Activities

Mr. Morrissey also currently serves as a hearing officer in disciplinary hearings brought by the Office of Bar Counsel against attorneys; as a referee in proceedings under M.G.L. ch. 175, section 100 to determine losses covered under commercial property insurance and an arbitrator on the Massachusetts Bar Association's Legal Fee Arbitration Board. All of these responsibilities require hearing competing testimony, weighing evidence and making adjudicatory rulings and recommendations. Mr. Morrissey has also been engaged as an expert witness and consultant in a variety of matters related to bankruptcy and commercial law.

In addition to his insolvency and dispute resolution practice, Mr. Morrissey teaches bankruptcy, creditors' rights and secured transactions at Boston University School of Law and New England Law/Boston. He also regularly speaks and writes on insolvency and commercial topics for the American Bankruptcy Institute, the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Boston Bar Association and Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education.

Mr. Morrissey also serves on the Legal Affairs Council of the Archdiocese of Boston, as Co-Chair of the American Bankruptcy Institute's Annual Northeast Bankruptcy Conference, and as Co-Chair of the Massachusetts Bar Association's Business Law Council. And on March 1, 2010, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court appointed Mr. Morrissey to serve for a five year term as a trustee on the Clients' Security Fund which makes awards to members of the public who have sustained a financial loss caused by the dishonest conduct of a member of the bar acting as an attorney or fiduciary.

REPORTED CASES AND EXPERT ENGAGEMENTS

Examples of Mr. Morrissey's insolvency work include the following reported cases and expert engagements:

Reported Cases: Sherwood Partners, Inc. v. Lycos, 394 F.3d 1198 (9th Cir.) (a case of first impression holding that California's longstanding preference statute was preempted by enactment of the federal Bankruptcy Code), cert denied, 126 S.Ct. 397(2005); Ticketplanet v. TPAC, LLC, et al, 313 B.R. 46 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2004) (awarding summary judgment on claims of fraud, conversion, veil piercing and fraud on the court); New Bedford Capacitor, Inc. v. Sexton Can Company, Inc., 301 B.R. 375 (Bankr. D. Mass. 2003) (whether allegedly preferential transfer is a separate claim or transaction for purposes of Fed. R. Bankr. P. 7015 and section 546 of the Bankruptcy Code); In re Reading Broadcasting, Inc., 2008 WL 3540212 (E.D. Pa. August 8, 2008) (dismissing appeal of a sale order by competing bidder and largest unsecured creditor in case on equitable mootness grounds); In re Reading Broadcasting, Inc., 2008 WL 1828821 (Bankr. E.D. Pa. March 12, 2008) (whether section 1144 of the Bankruptcy Code precludes a motion under Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9023 to vacate confirmation order on grounds other than fraud); Jensen v. Neilson, 2002 WL 32817517 (C.D. Cal. Jan. 15, 2002) (whether bankruptcy court could approve terms of a settlement of fraudulent transfer litigation arising from a leverage buyout based on declarations filed under seal); Shoppers World Community Center,. L.P. v. Bradlees Stores, Inc., et.al, 2001 WL 1112308 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 20, 2001) (whether terms of a court-approved stipulation barring assignment of debtor's leasehold were enforceable in a subsequent bankruptcy case).

Expert Testimony: Eagles v, McCabe, Essex Superior Court, Civil Action No. 07-00293D (retained to testify about an attorney's duty of fidelity and care in connection with his client's investment in speculative real estate venture); Olde Center Ventures, Inc., Middlesex Superior Court Civil Action No. 08-0268F (retained to testify as to the reasonableness of a secured creditor's attorneys' fees incurred in connection with a Chapter 11 case.)

RECENT PUBLICATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS

An Old Tool for a New Job; The Use of Federal Receiverships to Liquidate Commercial Real Estate, Real Estate Finance Association, Boston, Massachusetts, May 4, 2010.

The Madoff Mess One Year Later, Massachusetts Continuing Education, Boston, Massachusetts, March 31, 2010.

Reports of the Death of Bankruptcy are Greatly Exaggerated-The Impact of General Growth Properties on CMBS Workouts and Liquidations, Massachusetts Bar Association's 2010 Annual Conference, Boston, Massachusetts March 11, 2010.

Be Careful What You Wish For-Liquidation of CMBS Loans in Federal Receiverships, Sixth Annual Caribbean Insolvency Symposium, Boca Raton, Florida, February 12, 2010.

Trying Your "1st" (or Next) Bankruptcy Case, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Boston, Massachusetts, December 17, 2009.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

EDWARDS ANGELL PALMER & DODGE LLP, Boston, MA
April 2006 to April 2009, Counsel in the Restructuring and Insolvency Department.

NIXON PEABODY LLP, successor by merger to HUTCHINS, WHEELER & DITMAR, Boston, MA
November 1997 to March 2006, Associate in Bankruptcy and Restructuring Department.

UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT, Boston, MA
Law clerk to the Honorable William C. Hillman, United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts September 1996-October 1997.

EDUCATION

BOSTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW, Boston, MA
J.D., cum laude, 1994
Honors: Paul J. Liacos Distinguished Scholar
G. Joseph Tauro Scholar

MASSACHUSETTS SCHOOL FOR FINANCIAL STUDIES
BABSON COLLEGE, Wellesley, MA
1990-1991

UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS, Amherst, Massachusetts
B.A., Political Science, 1987