The Honorable Donald H. Steckroth is Of Counsel in the Bankruptcy and Corporate Restructuring department.
Judge Steckroth served as a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the District of New Jersey from 2001 – 2015 and, during that period, presided over many of the largest bankruptcy filings in New Jersey covering a broad range of industries, including healthcare, retail, real estate, and telecom. Notable matters over which Judge Steckroth presided include:
- Hudson Healthcare, Inc., a successful Chapter 11 resulting in the sale of the not-for-profit hospital entity to a for-profit purchaser and the continuation of hospital and health care servicing Hudson County.
- 710 Long Ridge Road Operating Company, II, LLC, a complex confirmed Chapter 11 reorganization involving five senior living facilities and the rejection of collective bargaining agreements.
- Nathan and Miriam Barnert Memorial Hospital Association, dba Barnert Hospital, a Chapter 11 case that when confirmed, provided for a liquidating trust to receive and administer assets remaining after sale of essential hospital services.
- Big M, Inc., dba Mandee’s, Annie Sez, and Afaze stores, involving a Chapter 11 sale of hundreds of stores under Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code.
- Manyfoods, Inc., a successful reorganization sale in the food suppliers industry.
- Zayat Stables, LLC, a Chapter 11 restructuring in the sports and entertainment industries involving a large thoroughbred racing stable, restructuring of indebtedness, and continuation of operations for the equity holder.
- NJ Affordable Homes Corp., the largest Ponzi scheme in the history of New Jersey, involved a liquidation under Chapter 7 affecting thousands of claimants and overseeing complex multi-party litigations effecting hundreds of properties.
- Tarragon Corporation, a confirmed Chapter 11 of a publicly traded real estate developer involving approximately 100 subsidiaries and over $1 billion in debt.
Other notable matters include Best Manufacturing Group LLC, Dots, LLC, Kid Brands, Inc., Monroe Development Corp., Global Outreach S.A., Roseville Senior Living Properties, LLC, Rockaway Bedding, Inc., Velocita Corp., and Biolitec, Inc.
Judge Steckroth is a frequent speaker on current bankruptcy and restructuring issues and has been actively involved in the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges (NCBJ), the American Bankruptcy Institute, the American Bar Association, the Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors, the Turnaround Management Association, the New York Institute of Credit, the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education, the New Jersey Bar Association Bankruptcy Law Section, the Bankruptcy Inn of Court, and Seton Hall Law School. He served on the NCBJ’s Board of Governors as Third Circuit Governor and has served on the Benefits and Finance Committees of the NCBJ. Prior to joining the Bench, he was appointed by the New Jersey Supreme Court to serve on the New Jersey Bar Examiners Committee on Character for twelve years and chaired the Committee’s oversight of all out-of-state applicants to the New Jersey Bar.
Before his appointment to the Bench, Judge Steckroth was in private practice with Gibbons, P.C. and its predecessors for twenty-eight years, where he was a partner specializing in bankruptcy law and creditors’ rights.
Since returning to private practice, Judge Steckroth has been actively involved in complex financial matters which include:
- Retention by the State of New Jersey to serve as mediator in the financial crisis in Atlantic City which involves assisting the City’s Emergency Manager and the operating casinos in resolving outstanding tax revenue issues.
- Court appointment in the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York to mediate an adversary proceeding involving counsel fees dispute among several groups of class action counsel and the allocation of 70+ million dollars held in trust pending resolution.
- Successfully mediated an attorney malpractice action arising out of a prior bankruptcy proceeding.
- Appointment as mediator for a pending adversary proceeding and contested plan confirmation in the health care industry.
- Named Examiner by U.S. Trustee in the Chapter 11 Proceeding in Zucker, Goldberg & Ackerman, L.L.C. (Case No. 15-24585) to investigate and report any and all claims against insiders and related third parties as well as any matters determined to be appropriate by the Examiner. The Examiner’s Report was filed November 8, 2016, and continued as mediator with Debtor and Creditors in structuring joint plan of reorganization.
- Successfully mediated $4.5 million fraudulent conveyance and breach of contract action filed by assignee in assignment for the benefit of creditors proceeding.
- Successfully mediated Chapter 11 Debtor’s claim objection to $4.5 million dollar IRS claim in Chapter 11 Proceeding.
- Successfully mediated a $2.2 million dollar insurance claim in a contested Chapter 11 Adversary Proceeding.
EducationSeton Hall University School of Law, J.D., with honorsSeton Hall University, B.S.
Bar & Court AdmissionsNew Jersey, 1972New York, 1982U.S. District Court, New Jersey, 1972U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 1980U.S. District Court, New York, Southern District, 1982U.S. District Court , New York, Eastern District, 1982
As published in: Law360 October 4, 2017
As published in: Law360 August 1, 2017
Judge Donald Steckroth helped negotiate the Zucker Goldberg agreement as creditors reach second Ch. 11 plan
As published in: Law360 March 14, 2017
Judge Donald Steckroth was recognized in Law360 article, "NJ Firm's Bankruptcy Estate Could Sue Insiders, Report Says"
As published in: Law360 November 8, 2016
Judge Donald Steckroth was acknowledged in "The 2016 Midsize Hot List"
As published in: The National Law Journal May 23, 2016
Judge Donald Steckroth was mentioned in the article, "Legal Bills Coming Due in Zucker Goldberg Bankruptcy Case"
As published in: New Jersey Law Journal April 4, 2016
As published in: Law 360 February 9, 2015
Judge Donald Steckroth was mentioned in article, "Former Bankruptcy Judge Steckroth Picked for Zucker Probe"
As published in: New Jersey Law Journal February 8, 2016
Judge Donald Steckroth was mentioned in article, "Examiner To Be Named In Zucker Goldberg Chapter 11"
As published in: Law 360 February 1, 2016
Judge Donald Steckroth was quoted in the article, "ABI Commission Wants To Allow Small- And Midsize Business Equity Holders To Keep Their Stakes"
As published in: The Deal June 24, 2015
Judge Donald Steckroth was quoted in article, "Justices Silence Doubt Over Bankruptcy Court Authority"
As published in: Law 360 May 26, 2015
Judge Donald Steckroth was mentioned in article, "Cooler Heads Prevail: Why Mediation Is Growing as a Tool in Bankruptcy"
As published in: The Deal May 12, 2015
New Jersey taps former bankruptcy judge to mediate Atlantic City talks
As published in: Philly.com April 24, 2015
As published in: The Wall Street Journal April 23, 2015
As published in: New Jersey Law Journal April 9, 2015
As published in: NJBIZ February 3, 2015
Judge Donald Steckroth and Michael Sirota were quoted in an article titled, "NJ Bankruptcy Judge Hangs Up Robes For Cole Schotz"
As published in: Law360 February 2, 2015
February 2, 2015
Judge Donald Steckroth was quoted in the article, "Retiring New Jersey Bankruptcy Judge Donald Steckroth to Join Cole Schotz"
As published in: Wall Street Journal: Bankruptcy Beat February 2, 2015