Aram has broad-based reorganization and bankruptcy litigation and appellate experience in a wide area of insolvency matters, from various perspectives, including: representation of businesses and high net-worth individuals facing financial distress, purchasers of assets, individual and corporate creditors, creditors' committees, trustees, and parties to out of court work-out transactions with debtors, before, during and after bankruptcies.
Aram has advised businesses in connection with debt restructuring, securitization, trust formation, acquisitions, divestitures and wind-downs in connection with financially distressed assets, and has advised corporations, limited liability companies and partnerships on creditors' rights, governance and control issues.
Individual & Corporate Debtors
Aram has represented a variety of high-income individuals, including business executives and insiders of insolvent corporations, real estate developers, physicians, and entertainment and sports industry members, in their pre-bankruptcy “workout” negotiations with creditors and in their later Chapter 11 reorganization cases when the “workout” process has failed. The following corporate debtors have recently been represented:
- In re Hi-Five Industries, LLC, In re One South Lake Street, LLC, and Wild Game Ng, LLC – these consolidated Chapter 11 cases concern the reorganization of the Siena Hotel Casino & Spa located in Reno, Nevada. Representation included the operations of the businesses in Chapter 11, including post-petition financing and cash collateral matters, and the ultimate sale of the businesses at an auction.
- In re S-King Estates, LLC – a Chapter 11 case pending in the District of Utah wherein the debtor owned a well-recognized 53-acre “ski-in / ski-out” property. Representation included the successful confirmation of a “new equity” plan of reorganization and the restructuring of large secured creditor notes, trust deed, and personal guarantee.
- In re Wall Street Mart, L.P. – a large real estate Chapter 11 reorganization concerning the debtor’s interest in several valuable ground leases. Representation includes a plan of reorganization and an adversary proceeding to avoid and recover as a fraudulent transfer a multimillion dollar deed.
- In re Citizen Smith, LLC – successor insolvency and restructuring counsel for popular restaurant and nightclub located in Hollywood, California. Representation included rejection of existing agreement with operator of business, approval of post-petition debtor-in-possession financing and operating agreement, and limited liability company governance matters.
- In re St. Patricks Day Lease, LLC – counsel to Chapter 11 debtor with valuable commercial real property in Inglewood, California. Successfully prosecuted a sale of the real property and later litigated lien avoidance actions against a secured creditor to pay creditors in full and make a distribution to equity holders.
- In re 3-Day Blinds, Inc. – served as special labor and employment counsel to the Chapter 11 debtor-in-possession and protected the interests of employees of the company during business sale and transition periods.
- In re Morpho Technologies, Inc. – a technology company with valuable patent and intellectual property assets which were sold allowing for a near 100% distribution to creditors.
- In re USA eChambers – a national chamber of commerce business endorsed by the federal government.
- In re ABEX, Corporation & ABEX, LLC – a gold bullion exchange business.
- In re ABC Windows, Inc. – manufacturer and installer of custom windows for residential homes.
- In re Universal Unlimited Services, Inc. – provider of skilled medical diagnostic technicians.
- In re Xero Mobile, Inc. – a mobile solutions startup company.
Aram has bankruptcy litigation experience in a wide array of matters, including assumption and rejection battles for unexpired leases, executory contracts, personal services contracts, preference and fraudulent transfer avoidance, and objection to discharge prosecution and defense work.
- In re NGTV, Inc. – counsel to Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 trustee for Internet content and production company. Analyze and recovery various tangible and intangible assets and sell estate assets.
- In re Amir-Jahed – lead trial counsel for trustee; obtained judgment at trial for avoidance and recovery of transfers of multimillion dollar real property assets.
- In re Victor Ortiz – lead trial and appellate counsel for profession boxer; obtained declaratory judgment and injunction rejecting and terminating personal services contract.
- In re Noodles, Inc. – counsel to Chapter 7 trustee in avoidance and recovery of fraudulent transfers of restaurant related assets to insiders of business.
- In re Reliant Pictures, LLC – counsel to Chapter 7 trustee; sold valuable intellectual property assets, including film rights and associated litigation rights.
- In re Bornstein – counsel to Chapter 11 trustee of individual debtor involved in the production and direction of feature films.
- Represent preference recovery defendants in various pending bankruptcy cases across the country, including in In re Axium, In re Delphi, In re Placer Fire Equipment, Inc., and In re North General Hospital.
Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors’ Committee Representation
Aram represented creditors’ committees from a variety of industries, including:
- In re Scour, Inc. – music file-sharing company like Napster; instrumental in sale of business for ultimate 100% distribution to all unsecured creditors.
- In re Jill Kelly Productions, Inc. – well-known adult movie production and distribution company; obtained reduction of secured lien on assets and sold movie titles at court auction to generate unexpected recovery for unsecured creditors; proposed and confirmed a plan of reorganization after prosecuting various litigation rights, including executory contract assumption and rejection matters.
- In re InternetConnect, Inc., In re Flashcom, Inc., and In re Fastpoint Communications, Inc. – DSL companies for retail customers; aided in limiting scope and extent of secured liens and subsequent sale of businesses; lead counsel for recovery of avoidable insider and non-insider preference and fraudulent transfers.
- In re Dilip Ram – real estate developer with large number of interests in various real property LLCs and “single purpose entities” and personal guaranty liability in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Drafted joint Chapter 11 disclosure statement and plan of reorganization with the debtor and resolved various tax related matters to ensure a distribution to trade creditors.
- In re Ethos Design, LLC / In re Lounge 22, Inc. – represent joint creditors’ committee for companies that design, manufacture, and sell or lease high-end furniture used in large events or conferences such as the Academy Awards and other such productions. Resolved various cash collateral usage issues with the companies’ secured creditor to allow the businesses to continue operations for the benefit of creditors and subsequently aided in the sale of the businesses to maximize distributions for creditors.
- In re Centerstone Diamonds, Inc. / In re Michael Beaudry, Inc. – represent joint creditors’ committee for “jeweler to the stars” in the restructuring of the design and retail sale companies. Monitored business operations to protect valuable inventory and conducted investigations regarding inter-company and other insiders transfers.
- In re Broadcast Store, Inc. – video equipment sale and rental company; aided in confirmation of joint plan of reorganization.
- In re Aesthetic Frame & Art Services, Inc. – family run framing company; investigated propriety of financial transactions by insiders of business.
- In re Netter Digital Entertainment, Inc. – technology company specializing in movie industry; aided committee in the investigation of suspicious transactions among the insiders of the business.
- In re Pull’R Holdings, LLC. and Maasdam Pow’R Pull, Inc. – established hand tool manufacturer and distributor; successfully obtained unexpected “carve-out” for unsecured creditors from collateral of under-secured creditors.
- In re Energy Development Corporation and In re Steven Harris – oil producer in Huntington Beach, California; represented committee in operating Chapter 11 case and interface with Chapter 11 trustee to effectuate bankruptcy exit with favorable distribution for unsecured creditors.
Secured Creditor Representation
Aram has substantial experience representing secured creditors, both senior and junior priority secured creditors, in liquidation and reorganization proceedings. He has represented a national bank in consumer bankruptcy cases to obtain relief from the automatic stay and in reorganization matters for the bank’s commercial leasing subsidiary to protect collateral and related rights. Also, Aram has represented a large regional construction lender with $18 million at stake in its dispute with various mechanics’ lien creditors stemming from a failed senior housing project now in an involuntary bankruptcy case as well as the senior secured creditor in an urban clothing and sports equipment retail business.
Insolvency Counseling, Distressed Transaction, & “Workouts”
Aram has represented potential debtors and creditors in all stages of pre-bankruptcy, out of court workout transactions, including aiding in the restructuring of corporate capital and debt structures. These engagements have included a large furniture manufacturer, a busy overnight-type courier service, a multistate franchisee of fast food restaurants, and various distressed real estate developers.
Bankruptcy Asset Acquisitions
Aram has represented asset purchasers, both “stalking horse” and over-bidders, to aid in their purchases of commercial and residential real estate, high-tech assets, corporate shells, and going concern assets from several bankruptcy courts across the country. This has included the documentation of the underlying transaction, participating in contested sale matters, and the presentation of alternative plans of reorganization to implement asset acquisition goals for clients.
- Top Rank, Inc. v. Victor M. Ortiz (In re Ortiz), 400 B.R. 755 (C.D. Cal. 2009).
- In re Lincoln Hospital Medical Center, Inc., 234 Fed.Appx. 426 (9th Cir. 2007).
- Investors Thrift v. Tam Ly Lam (In re Lam), 192 F.3d 1309 (9th Cir. 1999).
Prior to joining Arent Fox in 2009, Aram was a partner at the “bankruptcy boutique” law firm of Weinstein, Weiss & Ordubegian, LLP of Los Angeles, California where he practiced since 2000. From 1996 to 2000, Mr. Ordubegian was an associate at the firm of Shapiro & Miles LLP (now Miles & Bauer LLP) of Costa Mesa, California, where he represented primarily secured creditors in bankruptcy cases.
American Bar Association
Litigation Section, Commercial and Business Litigation Committee
Co-Chair, Bankruptcy Subcommittee, December 2010 – December 2012
American Bar Association
Litigation Section, Bankruptcy and Insolvency Committee
Chair, Twombly Task Force, September 2010 – September 2011
Chair, Appellate Subcommittee, November 2008 – September 2010
Bankruptcy Litigation Journal
Editor-in-Chief, September 2009 – September 2010;
Associate Editor, May 2007 – August 2009
Member, 2000 – present
American Bankruptcy Institute
Member, 2005 – present
California Bankruptcy Journal
Editor, 2007 – present
Los Angeles Bankruptcy Forum
Board of Directors, September 2008 – September 2011
Member, 2000 – present
Los Angeles County Bar Association, Commercial Law & Bankruptcy Section
Bankruptcy Committee, 2001 – present
Barristers Executive Committee, elected member 2001 – 2003
Member, 1996 – present
Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce
Board of Directors, 2006 – 2015; President 2015
Publications, Presentations & Recognitions
Aram has been recognized by Chambers USA 2016 for Bankruptcy and Financial Restructuring and Best Lawyers in America in 2013-2016 for Bankruptcy and Debtor Rights. He was also selected as one of the “20 Rising Stars Under 40” by the Armenian Bar Association.
Aram has consistently been recognized in the Southern California edition of Super Lawyers magazine in bankruptcy and financial restructuring since 2005. Dow Jones Daily Bankruptcy Review named Aram its “Mover of the Week” in July 2009. The Wall Street Journal, the flagship publication of Dow Jones, also published a profile of Aram in the newspaper’s online “Bankruptcy Beat” that same week. In the profile, Aram discussed some of his more interesting cases (including his work representing a boxer in a dispute with Bob Arum’s Top Rank and Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions) and Arent Fox’s bankruptcy practice on the west coast.
Aram’s articles and publications include:
"Trustee Allowed to Reach Back 10 Years to Avoid a Fraudulent Transfer," The Bankruptcy Strategist, co-author; January 2017, Vol. 34, No. 3
- "Triggering Event Test," The Bankruptcy Strategist, co-author; December 2014, Vol. 32, No. 2
- “Bankruptcy Sales and Related Settlement of Controversies in the Ninth Circuit: The Trend of More Scrutiny Continues,” California Bankruptcy Journal; Co-author with Andy S. Kong, 2010, Volume 31, Number 1
- “Sports Clubs vs. Sports Leagues: Battleground Bankruptcy Court,” Arent Fox Alert, co-author; August 2010
- “The Practice and Procedure of an Involuntary Bankruptcy Case,” Bankruptcy Litigation Journal; spring 2009, Vol. 15, No. 2
- “Bankruptcy Buyer Beware,” American Bar Association, Litigation Section; winter 2008
- “Intervention as a Tool in Bankruptcy Litigation,” California Bankruptcy Journal; 2008, Volume 29, Number 4; also republished in Bankruptcy Litigation Journal; winter 2007, Vol. 14, No. 1
- “Strategic Issues and Choices in Bankruptcy Appeals,” Bankruptcy Litigation Journal (a publication of the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association), co-author; fall 2006
- “Chapter 13 After "Lam": A Little Value Goes A Long Way,” California Bankruptcy Court Reporter, Daily Journal; January 1999, Vol. 3 No. 1
- “Review of the Bankruptcy Foreclosure Scam Task Force Report,” California Trustee’s Association Journal; spring 1999
- “Cybersquaters Beware! The Impact of the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act,” Submit Express Newsletter; December 15, 1999
- “Bankruptcy Court ‘Strips Off’ Junior Lien on Debtor’s Principle Residence,” California Trustee’s Association Journal; winter 1997/1998
- “Bankruptcy Law Careers,” Vault Guide; first edition, 2001
His speaking engagements include:
- "Perspectives on the Emerging Cannabis Industry," ABI's 2018 Bankruptcy Battleground West; March 6, 2018
- “Overview of Fraudulent Transfer Litigation,” Commercial Law League of America and Financial Poise Webinar; August 4, 2015
- "Chapter 11 Plan Conformation Concerns," Los Angeles County Bar Association Commercial Law and Bankruptcy Section; February 19, 2015
- "Is Your Facility on Track? Issues Impacting Long Term Care Facilities: Avoiding Distress and Identifying Opportunities," Hidden Opportunities: Capitalizing on Bankruptcy Scale; July 22, 2014
- "Favorable Litigation Defense Strategies When Your Former Employee Plaintiff Files for Bankruptcy," California Employment Law Webinar Series; January 25, 2013
- “Jurisdiction and Standing and the Stern v. Marshall Decision,” Insolvency Conference – 24th Annual; May 19, 2012
- “Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Reorganization: Averting Financial Calamity?,” Pepperdine Journal of Business, Entrepreneurship and the Law; March 27, 2012
- “Practical Issues in Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Cases,” Armenian Bar Association; November 27, 2011
- “Bankruptcy and Intellectual Property: Rights and Remedies,” Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association & San Diego Intellectual Property Law Association; June 3, 2011
- “In re Fremont General Corporation, A Case Study,” California Bankruptcy Forum – 23rd Annual Insolvency Conference; May 20, 2011
- “Hot Topics in Commercial Real Estate Bankruptcies,” Southland Regional Association of Realtors, Inc.; October 20, 2010
- “Landlord – Tenant Law Update (Bankruptcy Considerations),” Sterling Education Services; June 17, 2010
- “Discrete Issues in a Distressed Transaction – Substantive Consolidation,” CLE International – Real Estate Restructuring; January 22, 2010
- “Recent Bankruptcy Decisions in the Ninth Circuit: What You Need to Know,” Los Angeles County Bar Association; November 17, 2009
- “Sales Free-and-Clear of Liens: Dissident Junior Liens, and More,” American Bar Association – Annual Meeting; July 31, 2009
- “Interplay Between Family Law and Bankruptcy Law,” Los Angeles Family Law Mediators; May 27, 2008 and June 16, 2008
- “Commercial Insolvency Issues,” Stevenson Real Estate; April 29, 2008
- “Current Issues in Individual Chapter 11 and Developer Cases,” ReMax Optima; March 27, 2008
- “Understanding Bankruptcy and its Effect on Commercial Real Estate,” Southland Regional Association of Realtors, Inc.; March 12, 2008
- “Bankruptcy Law and its Effect on Real Estate Foreclosure & Short Sales,” Armenian American Real Estate Association; March 6, 2008
- “Optimal Strategies to Defend & Insulate Preferential Transfers from Avoidance,” Los Angeles Bankruptcy Forum; October 22, 2007
- “Representing Creditors’ Committees under the Newly Revised Bankruptcy Code,” Bankruptcy Roundtable; November 7, 2006
- “Secured Creditors’ Issues Round-Up,” Orange County Bar Association; January 2000
- “Are You Feeling Sheepish about In re Lam? The Effect of In re Lam on the Lending Community and Strategies to Overcome its Effect,” California Trustee’s Association, Los Angeles County Chapter; April 1998
Bar & Court Admissions
- US Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
- US District Court, Central District of California
- US Bankruptcy Courts, California
- US District Court, California
Loyola Law School, Los AngelesJDAmerican Jurisprudence Award for Advocacy; Moot Court Honors ProgramCalifornia State University, NorthridgeBA1993