Raymond M. Patella
Kraemer Burns, P.A.
675 Morris Avenue
Springfield, New Jersey 07081
Ray Patella has a national and local practice in business law, commercial transactions, business finance, commercial litigation, real estate and creditor rights, with a focus on corporate restructuring, bankruptcy and other insolvency related matters. Ray has represented creditors, trustees, secured creditors, asset purchasers, landlords, indenture trustees, creditors' committees, and debtors, in all matters related to financial distress including creditors' rights, corporate governance, business finance, insolvency related asset purchases and other distressed M & A, reorganizations and workouts, corporate acquisitions, commercial litigation, debtor-in-possession financing and complex credit and other financings inside and outside of bankruptcy and insolvency settings. The nature of Ray's practice requires him to provide legal advice under stressed situations in various legal areas including real estate, insurance coverage, tax, labor, employment, pensions, environmental, intellectual property, licensing, gaming, and health care.
Ray has drafted and negotiated many contracts including credit agreements and other commercial finance agreements, real estate contracts and leases (both residential and commercial), supply agreements, asset purchase agreements, letters of intent, term sheets, confidentiality agreements, and settlement agreements. Ray has also assisted clients with drafting and enhancing contractual provisions for their standard form agreements and contracts (while balancing clients' business objectives) to minimize litigation, credit and downside risk including default provisions; remedies; affirmative and negative covenants; indemnifications (including environmental and tax indemnifications); and "safe harbor" provisions.
Ray's complex commercial litigation practice includes representation of clients in following substantive areas: bankruptcy, director and officer claims; auditor malpractice; tax; breach of contract; and commercial financing; lender liability; and tort/fraud.
Representative Bankruptcy/ Creditors' Rights Matters
- Creditor rights counsel to large energy company and subsidiaries; cable manufacturer; cellular provider; electrical cooperative.
- Counsel to trustee in liquidation of bank holding company which was third largest bank failure in 2008. Representation included negotiation and coordination with government regulatory agencies investigating subsidiary bank failure including FDIC, SEC, OTS and IRS.
- Multiple financial institutions for transactions, financings, creditor rights matters and related litigation including drafting credit agreements and related documents; loan amendments and forbearances; post-default liquidation agreements, foreclosures; suits to recover amounts due from borrowers and guarantors; lender liability claims; and all matters in connection with bankruptcy cases.
- Counsel to creditor committees of: 150 year old laminating manufacturer; electrical distributor; printing company; e-calendaring software company; leading producer and supplier of ready mixed concrete and commercial general contractor.
- Counsel to body scanning technology company in UCC foreclosure of patents. Representation included drafting liquidation agreement and proactive risk management and corporate governance advice on duties/obligations to minimize transaction risk.
- Counsel to trustee in liquidation of alt-A mortgage lender including successfully obtaining insurance coverage under debtor's employment practices policy for WARN act claim made against the estate.
- Counsel to billion dollar subprime mortgage company in its bankruptcy case.
- Counsel to hospital in its bankruptcy case including asset sale to regional competitor.
Representative Transactional Matters
- Negotiation and eventual Federal court approval of litigated $13 million uniquely structured litigation funding financing facility. Litigation was condensed; briefing, discovery, depositions and evidentiary hearing were all completed over period of approximately 30 days.
- Successful bidder/acquirer in asset purchase of: 48 acre, 29 tenant shopping center in Ocean County, NJ; eight store leases from regional supermarket chain; intellectual property of name brand apparel company; nursing home chain; hair chemical company; availability solutions (disaster recovery) technology company (including antitrust issues). Transactions ranged from a few million dollars to almost $1 billion. Most representations had multiple bidders, required proactive litigation strategy and included contested hearings.
Representative litigation matters
- Won summary judgment for plaintiff for over $400 million in contested ownership of tax refund which was affirmed in Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Successful resolution for plaintiff of multi-year complex litigation against United States in Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C. resulting in recovery of over $400 million tax refund (the amount sought in complaint plus interest).
- Complete vindication in litigated, nationally watched case of mortgage servicer subject to New Jersey Federal bankruptcy court show cause order concerning use of pre-signed certifications by client's outside law firm in relief from stay proceedings. Representation included nationwide internal investigation of client's consumer bankruptcy procedures, interviewing employees and reporting to bankruptcy court.
- Intervention and eventual settlement in mediation for plaintiff of complex director and officer state court litigation including resolution of competing claims to multiple towers of insurance over two policy years.
- Successful resolution of arbitration against company's former auditor for breach of contract/malpractice.
- Counsel to trustee in complex litigation and eventual resolution with FDIC in actions brought in Federal courts in Washington, D.C. and Wilmington, DE of over $1 billion of claims asserted between the FDIC as receiver for failed bank and trustee of failed bank's parent holding company.
- Counsel to plaintiff in Freedom of Information Act case against IRS in district court in Washington, D.C.
- Counsel to plaintiff in litigation involving over $1 million breach of contract and fraud claim based upon misrepresentation of defendant's reputation as a highly acclaimed bronze sculptor.
- Counsel to plaintiff in Federal court litigation involving former employee embezzling approximately $1 million.
Areas of Practice
- New Jersey, 1996
- Pennsylvania, 1997
- District of Columbia, 1998
- United States Court of Federal Claims
- United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- New Jersey District and Bankruptcy Court
- District of Columbia District and Bankruptcy Court
- Eastern District of Pennsylvania District and Bankruptcy Court
- Middle District of Pennsylvania District and Bankruptcy Court
- Eastern District of Michigan District and Bankruptcy Court
- Fox Rothschild LLP - 2008-2017
- Blank Rome LLP - 1998-2008
- Law Clerk to the Honorable Stephen S. Mitchell (Ret.), U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia - 1996-1998
- Turnaround Management Association;
- American Bankruptcy Institute
- Pennsylvania Bar Associate
- Philadelphia Bar Association
- Atlantic County Bar Association
- District of Columbia Bar Associations.
- Co-Author, Rulings May Impact Pipeline Contracts, Oil & Gas Financial Journal (October 2016);
- Co-author, Stern v. Marshall and Jury Trials in Bankruptcy Cases, Dow Jones DBR Small Cap (October 2011);
- Counseling Small Business Owners in Financial Distress, Inside the Minds: Representing Small Businesses in Bankruptcy (April 2011);
- Letters of Credit: Credit Enhancement Tool, Journal of Business Credit (Sept./Oct. 2006);
- Bankruptcy Law Reform: A Primer for the General Practitioner (Business Bankruptcies), Pa. Bar Quarterly (2006)
- Co-author, Recoupment, Setoff Analyzed in Chapter 11 Case, The Delaware Law Weekly (September 25, 2001).
- Co-author, Recent Issues/Trends in Healthcare Insolvencies, 7th Annual Health Law Institute, Pennsylvania Bar Institute (2001)
Select Lectures and Speaking Engagements
- Speaker, "Coping With Customers and Competitors in Bankruptcy," Oil and Gas Contacts (Denver, August 2016);
- Speaker, "Proofs of Claims," American Gas Association Uncollectibles Workshop (Burlington, VT, October 2009)
- Speaker, "Update for Utilities," American Gas Association Uncollectibles Workshop (Salt Lake City, UT October 2008)
- Speaker, "Thought Leader Summit," Federation of Credit and Financial Professionals (New Paltz, NY Nov. 2007);
- Speaker, "Credit Enhancements at the Beginning of a Relationship," Federation of Credit and Financial Professionals National Maritime Group (Miami, January 2007)
- Speaker, "Mechanics Liens and the Prompt Pay Act," Delaware Valley Electrical Distributors Group (Bala Cynwyd, Pa., December 2006)
- Speaker, "High Yield/Special Situations Real Estate Panel," Bank of America 2006 Credit Conference (Orlando, Fla., December 2006)
- Speaker, "Bankruptcy Issues for the Utility," American Gas Association Uncollectibles Conference (Indianapolis, October 2006)
- Speaker, "Credit Enhancements at the Beginning of a Relationship," National Association of Credit Managers Credit Congress (Nashville, Tenn., May 2006)
- Moderator, "Finding Value through Appraisals, Liquidations and Other Assets," Turnaround Management Association (Philadelphia, April 2005)
- Speaker, "Bidding Procedures for Asset Sales in Bankruptcy Cases," Turnaround Management Association (Philadelphia, June 2002)