Jeffrey C. Toole, Partner

jtoole@bernsteinlaw.com
412-456-8144
412-456-8135 fax

Twitter: @BBLawFirmPA

Jeff is a partner in the firm’s Bankruptcy & Restructuring practice group.

Jeff’s practice focuses on commercial debt restructuring and insolvency matters primarily in the manufacturing, retail, real estate development, health care, hospitality, and transportation industries. He has vast experience successfully representing creditors’ committees, debtors, leasing companies, secured lenders, and unsecured trade creditors on corporate reorganizations, going-concern sales and other transactions, lending and leasing matters, receiverships, and complex commercial litigation in state and federal courts.

Through his years of experience as a transactional attorney and a commercial litigator, Jeff is able to help businesses and lenders achieve their objectives, mitigate their risks, and maximize their outcomes. He negotiates and prepares large restructuring agreements and helps clients navigate through the intricacies of business bankruptcy cases and receiverships. A particularly notable case involved enabling a national bank client and its participant lender to recover full repayment of a distressed, $29 million loan secured by multiple nursing homes, by working cooperatively with the borrower (while also aggressively and successfully motivating it) to effectuate multiple sale and refinancing transactions that gradually paid down and ultimately satisfied the debt. Another involved navigating a borrower through a hotly-contested Chapter 11 reorganization, which included convincing the court to approve the client’s use of the lender’s cash collateral (despite the lender’s opposition), and ultimately confirming a Chapter 11 plan where the client’s business was sold as a going concern, maximizing its creditors’ recoveries, preserving its employees’ jobs, and enabling the business to continue.

Jeff has been recognized by Chambers USA, Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers for his work in bankruptcy and creditor-debtor rights. Jeff also devotes his time to developing future attorneys by serving as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law where he teaches bankruptcy law and procedure. He writes and lectures on a wide array of business bankruptcy and secured transactions issues, commercial loan workouts, and other important credit-debtor topics.

Admissions:

  • Ohio State Bar
  • Indiana State Bar
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana

Awards:

  • Best Lawyers in America® – Banking and Finance Law; Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law; Commercial Transactions / UCC Law; Litigation – Bankruptcy – Recognized since 2012
  • Ohio Super Lawyers – Business & Corporate Attorney; 2006 – 2008; 2010 – 2020

Affiliations and Memberships:

  • American Bankruptcy Institute – Member
  • American Bar Association – Business Bankruptcy Committee, Business Law Section
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association – Bankruptcy and Commercial Law Section;
  • Cleveland State University, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law – Adjunct Professor, Bankruptcy

Education:

  • Cornell Law School, J.D., Cum Laude, 1985
  • Kenyon College, B.A. in Psychology, 1982

Publications:

  • “Once More Unto the Breach, Dear Friends: The Supreme Court Visits the Bankruptcy Briar Patch Again (Author, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal, September 2018)
  • “Clarifying Officers’ Fiduciary Duties and Mitigating LLC Members’ Liability Risks: Senate Bill No. 181 Fills Some Gaps and Patches Some Holes (Author, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal, January 2017)
  • “Pre-Filing Advice for Individual Chapter 11 Debtors: Practical Tips and Pitfalls” (Author, ABA Business Law Today, April 2015)
  • “Law Firm Bankruptcies: Partners May Run, But They Can’t Hide” (Author, American Bankruptcy Institute, April 2015)
  • “Law Firm Dissolutions…Is The ‘Unfinished Business Doctrine’ Finished?” (Co-Author, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal, September 2014)
  • “Credit Bidding at Bankruptcy Sales: A Powerful Tool, But Not Absolute” (Co-Author, ABF Journal, May/June 2014)
  • “Expanding Role of State Court Receivers in Rebirth of Distressed Commercial Properties” (Author, Properties Magazine, January 2014)
  • “This Land Isn’t Your Land” (Co-Author, Commercial Law World, January/February 2012)
  • “UCC Article 9: More Than Ten Years Later Traps for the Unwary Still Linger” (Author, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal, January 2012)
  • “What Do You Mean the Lessee Sold My Equipment? It’s Mine!” (Co-Author, Lease Enforcement Attorney Network, July 2011)

Presentations:

  • Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 – Presenter, 9th Annual Bankruptcy and Turnaround Update (Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Bankruptcy & Insolvency Section & Turnaround Management Association – Ohio Chapter, October 2019)
  • Co-Chair (UCC Panels, William J. O’Neill Great Lakes Regional Bankruptcy Institute, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, 2018)
  • Turning the Page to the Next Chapter: Individual Chapter 11 Cases (Co-Presenter, American Bankruptcy Institute, Mid-Atlantic Bankruptcy Workshop, August 2017)
  • Preference and Fraudulent Transfer Updates (With a Few Unusual Asset Issues Thrown In) (Presenter, William J. O’Neill Great Lakes Regional Bankruptcy Institute, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, June 2016)
  • Righting the Sinking Ship: Working Out Problem Loans and Troubled Clients Before It Is Too Late (Co-Presenter, The Commercial Law League of America National Convention, April 2016)
  • Advising the Company’s Board of Directors: Fiduciary Duties in Good Times and Bad (Presenter, Ohio State Bar Association, September 2015)
  • Receiverships: Everything You Need to Know About Ohio’s New Receivership Law (Presenter and Moderator, William J. O’Neill Great Lakes Regional Bankruptcy Institute, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, May 2015)
  • Working with Financially Troubled Companies (Presenter, Ohio State Bar Association, September 2014)
  • When Receiverships and Bankruptcy Collide: How Can You Use the Pre-Petition Appointment of a Receiver to Your Advantage? (Co-Presenter, The Commercial Law League of America Annual Convention, April 2014)
  • What Happens in a Workout? – Forbearance, Restructuring and Other Alternatives to Work Out Defaulted Commercial Loans (Presenter, Ohio State Bar Association Webinar, August 2013)
  • Financial Stress and Distress – What Are Your Options? (Co-Presenter, Ohio CPA Not-for-Profit Leadership Symposium, October 2011)