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Laura Day DelCotto

Super Lawyer Bankruptcy Laura Day DelCotto

Laura Day DelCotto has always held a passion for counseling and advocating for her clients over her more than 25-year career of practicing law. Laura Day sees her clients’ situations as an opportunity to create a persuasive message to advocate for their interests, with the other parties involved as well as in court when required. Through her experience, Laura Day has come to view this process as both an art and a science, and as a way to present the best chance to meet her clients’ goals and advocate their positions. “Everything we do falls on a spectrum of options, pros and cons, how it fits in to the big picture, negotiation, and risk analysis. I mostly see lots of gray and multiple choices of how to proceed, usually not a simple black and white answer. It is very important to me to make sure the clients get the benefit of what I see so they can make the best choices for themselves.”

Laura Day has handled many different kinds of cases over her career. She began as a young lawyer doing bank work, but says her heart grew to love the debtor side of the table. “The early years of my practice are invaluable to me, because I got to both write and argue so many motions in different courts across the Commonwealth, and learned to think about what the banks are looking for in a situation. I learned a lot of law in the process. As a debtor or committee lawyer, being able to understand and work with the other parties is an absolute necessity.” She believes in always trying to resolve issues consensually, while simultaneously preparing to go argue the matter in court if necessary. Laura Day holds many accolades from her peers in the legal profession community.

Outside of the office, Laura Day enjoys working in her yard, traveling, reading, and spending quality R&R time with her husband and grown children. She says she will never pass up a good patio gathering with her girlfriends. She is passionate about taking steps to make improvements in work/home life balance and equality of pay for today’s young women as well as young men, especially within the legal profession.

Laura Day's Accomplishments

Education
  • University of Kentucky College of Law
    Juris Doctorate, with distinction, 1986
    • Honors: Colvin Rouse Best Note Award, 1986 Member, Kentucky Law Journal, 1984-86 Order of the Coif
  • The University of the South at Sewanee
    Bachelor of Science, Magna Cum Laude, 1983
    • Honors: Order of the Gownsmen Phi Beta Kappa
Admissions & Certifications
  • Kentucky Supreme Court, 1986
  • United States District Courts:
    • Eastern District of Kentucky, 1986
    • Western District of Kentucky, 1991
  • United States Court of Appeals
  • Sixth Circuit, 1988
  • United States Supreme Court, 1993
  • Southern District of Indiana, 2002
Memberships & Activities
  • Fayette County Bar Association, Board of Directors, 1999-2002

  • Kentucky Bar Association, Chair, Bankruptcy Section, 2002-2003

  • American Bar Association

  • American Bankruptcy Institute

  • Turnaround Management Association

  • IWIRC Central KY Chapter, Co-founder and Chair, 2013

  • NAWBO, Board of Directors and Chair, Public Policy Committee, 2013-2016

  • Certified in Business Bankruptcy Law by the American Board of Certification *

  • Joint Local Bankruptcy Rules Committee for Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky; ED Bankruptcy Court Local Rules Committee (2011)

  • Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference, Life Member

  • Kentucky Bar Foundation, Life Member

  • Fayette County Bar Foundation, Founding Fellow and Founding Firm

  • Leadership America, Class of 2011

  • *Kentucky does not certify specialties in legal fields.

  • Current and former memberships

  • American Heart Association, Board Member

  • Mary G. Copeland Home, Board Member

  • Bellewood Presbyterian Home for Children, Board Member

  • Ordained Elder, Presbyterian Church

  • Central Kentucky Section of the Credit Abuse Resistance Education Program, Volunteer Presenter

  • Don Jacobs Financial Literacy Program, Volunteer Presenter

  • National Association of Professional Women

Honors & Awards
  • Fellow, American College of Bankruptcy, 2006 – present

  • KY Fellow- American Bar Foundation 2013

  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2007 - present

  • Kentucky Super Lawyers, Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights, 2007 - present

  • Top 25 Female Attorney in Kentucky Super Lawyers, 2007 - present

  • Leadership Lexington, Class of 1994-1995

  • Leading Women of Central Kentucky, Business Lexington 2011

  • Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers, (Martindale Hubbell) Inaugural Edition 2011 - present

  • Martindale Hubbell “AV” Peer Review Rated

  • Leadership Kentucky, class of 2013

  • UK College of Law Alumni Professional Achievement Award, 2013

  • NAWBO, board of directors and chair, public policy committee, 2013-2014

  • Top 50 Attorney in Kentucky Super Lawyers, 2015

  • Kentucky Super Lawyers, Business Bankruptcy, 2016

  • Lawyer of the Year, Lexington Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law, Best Lawyers, 2017

  • Best Lawyers List, Lexington Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law, and Litigation – Bankruptcy, The Best Lawyers in America, 23rd Edition

  • Top 10 Attorney in Kentucky, Super Lawyers, 2017

Publications & Presentations
  • Medical Practices and Health Care Facilities In Bankruptcy, 18th Biennial Judge Joe Lee Bankruptcy Institute, Speaker 2017

  • Chapter 51- Kentucky, author, Strategic Alternatives for and Against Distressed Businesses, 2016 edition; detailing the receivership process in Kentucky and weighing significant pros and cons of receivership from various perspectives

  • Bankruptcy for Beginners, Introduction to Forms of Bankruptcy and Choice of Form of Bankruptcy, Panel Presenter, 2015

  • National Diversity Council, Women in Leadership Symposium, Panel Presenter, 2015

  • KLC, Municipal Bankruptcy, Presenter 2013

  • National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, Panel Presenter 2006

  • Colvin Rouse Kentucky Law Journal Best Note Award “Jurisdictional Uncertainties Under the Bankruptcy Code”, 1986

Experience

Chapter 11's

  • Counsel to an eastern Kentucky marina and houseboat manufacturing company in a Chapter 11 case
  • Counsel to debtor in a successful multi-million dollar reorganization of a northern Kentucky gasoline company with multiple gas stations and $20 million in assets through a Chapter 11 case
  • Representation in multiple coal industry Chapter 11 cases in Eastern District of Kentucky as debtor in possession counsel. Successful chapter 11 plans and assets sales. Cases involved complex issues including permitting, bonding, reclamation, WARN, and corporate control
  • Representation in coal industry Chapter 11 cases as Unsecured Creditors Committee counsel. Liquidation proceedings and multiple asset sales with related permits and bonding issues involved
  • Committee Counsel for franchise fast food restaurants with multiple locations, chains and national franchisors involved
  • Western District of Kentucky, 1991
  • Committee Counsel to multi-location retail fashion company. Counseled going-out-of-business (GOB) sales, auction and bidding process and negotiations with national liquidators. Case also involved inventory and secured creditor lien dispute, franchise licenses, multi-location leases and fee properties
Commercial Loan Restructures and Work-Outs

    Commercial Loan Restructures and Work-Outs:

  • Representation of real estate developer guarantors and “springing guaranty” issues in Central Kentucky multi-lender development project in excess of $50 million dollars
  • Successful out-of-court restructure of historic Kentucky brand including related insider litigation involving alleged wrongdoing of insiders and counsel
  • Representation of closely-held insurance company/insiders restructure and state court litigation involving third party wealthy guarantors and complex tax issues. Related lien issues involving status of renewal commissions for insurance
  • Successful restructures for numerous small and middle-market companies with large national and regional banks
  • Successful restructures in residential real-estate projects, including multi-location and multi-bank capital structures
  • Franchisee/Franchiser workouts and restructures
  • Hotel/Motel workouts and restructures
  • Numerous wind-downs/liquidations and friendly foreclosure work-outs to maximize recoveries for creditors
  • Restructures of multi-location franchise fast-food chain operations, including but not limited to dealings with national franchisors such as Popeye’s; Arby’s; Ruby Tuesday; Fazoli’s; Long John Silvers and YUM Brands
  • Successful restructure of locally-served meat processing and retail operations/family-transition issues
  • Multi-generational, family-served business restructures and transitions
  • Crisis-setting liquidations and emergency cash-flow situations
  • Receiverships – friendly and hostile , state court and federal court proceedings
  • Multi-limited and master limited partnership workouts (oil and gas industry)
  • Fiduciary duty and corporate officer/director dispute workouts
  • Co-counseling assistance on pre-filing analysis of feasibility, liabilities and cost of possible Chapter 11 case and plan confirmation options and issues as work-out or litigation strategy/options. Extensive plan formulation outside chapter 11 as part of work- out analysis and strategy.
  • Extensive cash- flow and operational review and development as part of services provided in analysis of options
  • Crisis management communications
  • Internal investigations and crisis management in relation to debtor/creditor complex structures
Individual Debtors

    Individuals:

  • Representation of several high-income/high-profile individual debtors in personal Chapter 7 proceedings including press relation management and successful discharge of exposures and guaranties in excess of $10 million
  • Represented numerous Chapter 11 plan confirmations for individual debtors with closely-held, multi-corporate entities issues, numerous bank lenders and other LLC members/guarantors; multi-rental property ownership cases
  • Representation of “innocent-spouse” clients, including issues involving embezzlement; criminal issues; non-discharge, in both state and bankruptcy courts
  • Of counsel in numerous cases representing shareholders/insiders in closely-held corporate Chapter 11 filings, including litigation resolution and defense; director and officer exposure issues, and valuations involving shareholder equity interests
  • Complex Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 debtors with more serious issues and obstacles to discharge including fraud, fraudulent transfer, criminal, tax, embezzlement/theft, Directors and Officers insurance issues, and other complex challenges to emergence and fresh start
  • Husband/wife debt liability litigations and workouts
  • General partner/personal exposure in multi-entity complex entity-structure commingling/SPE issues
  • Complex auto dealership issues/out of trust exposure and resolutions
Litigation

    Litigation:

  • Oversight and case management for large-case/multi-million dollars and multiple avoidance litigation adversary proceeding matters for plaintiffs/Estate representatives
  • All types of bankruptcy litigation experience, including but not limited to: preferences; non discharge; contested plan confirmations and valuations; fraud and fraudulent transfers; adversary proceeding trials; contested lease assumptions/assignment; stay violations; injunctions and third party stay/releases
  • Chapter 7 trustee representation in large converted Chapter 11 case/administrative insolvency/lengthy mediation and successful resolution including payment on administrative and priority claimants
  • Dealing with numerous state and regulatory agencies and claims
  • Corporate Chapter 7 – large for-profit college shut down
  • Assignments for Benefit of Creditors (Kentucky state district courts)
  • D & O coverage and exposure issues
  • Construction/construction bonding disputes and projects completion issues
  • State court receiverships; pre-judgment remedies and ex parte efforts to enforce liens/control issues involving corporate management
  • Electronic information management/corporate records salvage
  • Corporate governance disputes
  • Expert witness consultation and testimony for other attorneys and/or insurance carries on bankruptcy – related disputes
  • Lender liability litigation
  • E-discovery disputes and resolution.
  • Trial plans and case management over large complex multi- party and multi- count litigation matters
  • Fraud, Ponzi, asset protection, and numerous other debtor/creditor disputes
Municipal

    Municipal

  • Presented to the Kentucky League of Cities regarding pending debt restructure/possible Chapter 9 case in Kentucky
  • Revenue bond and general obligation bond issues in Kentucky Chapter 9 case
  • Kentucky state law/municipal debt obligations and municipal collections issues
  • Special Purpose Governmental Entities ( SPGE) in Kentucky - possible financial
  • restructuring
  • Pension and joint and several issues
  • State entity rehabilitation matters /Franklin Circuit Court