about David M. Whittaker
For more than 40 years David Whittaker has represented clients in every facet of bankruptcy and debtor-creditor issues. He has litigated through complex bankruptcy issues, handled asset sales and acquisitions, and advised entrepreneurs and established owners how to plan with businesses in growth mode. David also represented commercial debtors, and a wide variety of creditors and debtors in Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 12 and Chapter 13 cases.
David has been a member of the panel of Chapter 7 Trustees in Columbus since May 1983. He has served as the Trustee in more than 25,000 bankruptcy cases.
His experience has spanned from commercial debtors’ reorganizations and liquidations to creditors’ workouts and litigation. He has served as a Chapter 11 Trustee involving the liquidation of a retail jewelry chain and as an examiner in a Chapter 11 case analyzing a sophisticated Ponzi scheme.
David’s even keel mindset and ability to analyze both sides allows him to serve as a trusted mediator. David completed a 40-hour course through the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) and St. John’s University Law School Mediation program designed to provide mediators with the skills necessary to handle all types of mediations. He has served as a mediator in complex and multi-party cases and was a panelist at the 2012 ABI Mid-Atlantic Conference on mediation topics.
While his focus is business, his real passion lies within the music industry, specifically Americana, Alt-Country, Bluegrass and Roots. David has represented musicians, songwriters, recording studios and record labels in a variety of genres.
education & admissions
The Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law, J.D., 1979
Wright State University, B.A., 1976
Bar & Court Admissions
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
articles & presentations
- Quoted in, “No Script to Follow in the Murray Energy Bankruptcy,” The Times Leader, November 12, 2019
- Quoted in, “Court Filing May Spell End of Longaberger Co.,” The Columbus Dispatch, November 1, 2018
- Quoted in, “Longaberger, Parent File for Bankruptcy Reorganization,” The Columbus Dispatch, June 29, 2018
Presenter, “Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Basics,” Columbus Bar Association Bankruptcy Law Institute, 2018
Presenter, “Executory Contract Issues in Chapter 11,” Columbus Bar Association, 2014
Presenter, “Bankruptcy Mediation Matters,” The National Association of Credit Managers Regional Meeting, 2013
Presenter, “Bankruptcy Mediation Issues,” Columbus Bar Association Bankruptcy Committee meeting, 2012
Presenter, “The role of the mediator,” ABI Mid-Atlantic Conference, 2012
Presenter, “Bankruptcy Exemption Issues,” ABI Central States Conference, 2008
Presenter, Bench-Bar Retreat for the Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of Ohio, 2005
Presenter, panelist and moderator at numerous Columbus Bar Association, Credit Education Coalition and National Business Institute seminars
professional & community activities
Ohio State Bar Association
Columbus Bar Association, Bankruptcy Committee and Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee; Bankruptcy and Judicial Liaison Committee, 2010 and 2011; Bankruptcy Law Institute Planning Committee, May 2005
Member, Southern District of Ohio Local Bankruptcy Rules Committee, 2002-2003 and 2005-2014
Serving as a member of the unsecured creditors committee (as a client representative) in a Chapter 11 of a regional consumer finance company in Wilmington, Delaware
Representing the Trustee of a Creditor’s Trust created pursuant to the confirmed Chapter 11 plan of a National Hockey League player.
Representing a bank in its capacity as the Trustee of a Trust in the liquidation of a chain of retail stores owned by the Trust.
Representing a Florida hospital system regarding approximately twenty executory contract and unexpired lease claims in the Southern District of New York Chapter 11 case of a national physician provider group and in the Wilmington DE Chapter 11 case of a national healthcare system.
Representing a national bank in the defense of a putative class action adversary proceeding asserting violations of the discharge injunction and motion to deem cure violations.
Representing a Chapter 7 Trustee in more than 350 adversary proceedings to avoid and recover preferences and fraudulent conveyances resulting in recoveries of more than $2 million.
Representing a Chapter 7 Trustee in approximately 35 adversary proceedings to avoid and recover preferences with recoveries of more than $225,000.
Representing multiple defendants in response to preference claims asserted by the Trustee in the Chapter 7 bankruptcy case of a manufacturing company pending in the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
Serving as the Examiner for a Chapter 11 Debtor for purposes of investigating and reporting upon a multi-million-dollar Ponzi scheme.
Serving as the Trustee of a Creditor’s Trust in a confirmed Chapter 11 case of a retail jewelry chain.
Representing a community hospital in restructuring debts, including bond holder debt of more than $10 million.
Representing the board of a faith-based college in relation to the financial distress of the college.
Representing a not-for-profit mental health care facility regarding debt issues, including the sale of assets and a successful offer in compromise with the Internal Revenue Service.
Representing multiple family farmers in Chapter 12 reorganization cases.
Representing a 50-unit regional motel chain is a successful Chapter 11 reorganization.
Representing a Receiver in the completion and sale of approximately 50 houses involved in a failed municipal housing project.
Representing a Municipal Housing Authority regarding secured claim and development agreement claim in the Chapter 11 of a developer of municipal housing project.
Representing a national recording label in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy cases of music distribution companies in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Chicago, Illinois.
Representing an insolvent healthcare provider in the sale of assets to a hospital system.
Serving as a member of the Chapter 7 Trustee Panel in Columbus since May 1983, acting as the Trustee in more than 25,000 cases including many commercial cases requiring the liquidation of commercial assets and the handling of litigation for the bankruptcy estate.
Representing a multi-million-dollar creditor in section 506 valuation litigation in a major coal company Chapter 11 case.
Representing a large retail energy company as local counsel in its Chapter 11 case.
Representing a DIP lender in financing a specialty wine distributor in regard to its Chapter 11 case.
- Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated 1996-2023
- Chambers USA, Bankruptcy/Restructuring with a Band 3 ranking, 2014–2022; Band 4 ranking, 2013
- The Best Lawyers in America®, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law; Litigation – Bankruptcy, 1995-2023
- Ohio Super Lawyers®, Creditor Debtor Rights: Business, 2005-2023
- Ohio Super Lawyers®, “Top 50: 2018 Columbus Super Lawyers”