Mary Joanne Dowd

Mary Jo represents debtors, secured and unsecured creditors, committees, trustees, and asset purchasers in bankruptcy court cases, out-of-court debt restructures, and related litigation.
Mary Joanne Dowd, Partner, Washington, DC at Arent Fox

Mary Jo has particular experience in the automotive, broadcast, construction, intellectual property, real estate, and not-for-profit areas.

Client Work

Mary Jo's practice includes representation of entities with contracts, real estate leases, intellectual property licenses, supply agreements, franchise agreements, and other business relationships with debtors or potential debtors. She litigates a wide variety of bankruptcy and commercial matters, including lift stays, plan confirmations, claim objections, contract and lease assumptions and rejections, preferences, fraudulent transfers, withdrawals of reference, and guarantee claims. Mary Jo also has represented several Canadian debtors in the transportation industry in ancillary bankruptcy proceedings in the United States. She has represented the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation in bankruptcy cases. She represented a nationwide coalition of automotive dealers in their successful effort to have federal legislation enacted in the wake of the Chrysler and General Motors bankruptcy cases.

Previous Work

Prior to Arent Fox, Mary Jo served as a law clerk to the Honorable Beryl McGuire and the Honorable John W. Creahan, US Bankruptcy Judges for the Western District of New York. She also worked at a major New York law firm.

Professional Activities

Mary Jo is a member of the Advisory Committee on Local Bankruptcy Rules for the District of Columbia. She is also on the Advisory Board for the American Bankruptcy Institute and Georgetown University Law Center's "Views from the Bench" program. She was an adjunct professor of bankruptcy and creditors rights at the Georgetown University Law Center. She was on the Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee panel for the District of Maryland.

Mary Jo has served on the Dean's Advisory Council for the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School for over ten years.

Publications, Presentations & Recognitions

Chambers USA has recognized Mary Jo as a leading bankruptcy and restructuring lawyer in Washington, DC annually since 2006. In its December 2004, December 2008, December 2013, December 2015, and December 2017 issues, Washingtonian named Mary Jo a “Top Lawyer” in bankruptcy law. She was selected by her peers to be included in The Best Lawyers in America annually since 2006. Mary Jo lectures on asset sales in the insolvency context, treatment of intellectual property licenses in bankruptcy, individual Chapter 11 bankruptcy issues, ethics, and evidentiary issues in bankruptcy litigation.

  • Bar & Court Admissions
    • District of Columbia Bar
    • New York Bar
    • Virginia Bar
    • Maryland Bar
    • Florida Bar
    • US Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit
    • US District Court for the District of Columbia
    • US District Court, Eastern District of Virginia
    • US District Court, District of Maryland
    • US District Court, Eastern District of New York
    • US District Court, Northern District of New York
    • US Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York
    • US District Court, Western District of New York
    • US District Court, Middle District of Florida
    • US District Court, Southern District of Florida
    • US District, Northern District of Florida
    • US Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Virginia
    • US District Court, Western District of Virginia
  • Education
    State University of New York at Buffalo
    State University of New York College at Buffalo
    summa cum laude