Warren A. Usatine is co-managing shareholder of Cole Schotz as well as a co-chair of the firm’s Litigation Department and a member in the Bankruptcy & Corporate Restructuring Department.
His practice covers all aspects of complex commercial litigation and restructuring matters in both the state and federal courts. He has extensive experience in chancery litigation matters, as well as representation of Chapter 11 debtors and creditors’ committees in bankruptcy courts.
A Member of the firm since 2002, Warren has played a prominent role in representing an array of litigation and restructuring clients in complex, commercial matters, including:
- Representing the official committee of unsecured creditors in the chapter 11 proceedings of Revel AC, Inc. and its affiliates, a 1,400 room, 47-story casino hotel resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
- Representing a shareholder in litigation over the ownership and control of a closely held national logistics company, with multiple trials in the New Jersey chancery court and appeals spanning over a decade on oppressed shareholder and related valuation issues.
- Serving as lead counsel for the official committee of unsecured creditors in the Chapter 11 proceedings of Kara Homes and more than fifty of its affiliated entities, formerly one of the largest New Jersey-based developers of residential real estate. As counsel for the committee, Warren represented the unsecured creditors’ interests in negotiations that ultimately concluded in the confirmation of a plan of reorganization and a recovery for unsecured creditors.
- Representing Tarragon Corporation, a publicly traded residential real estate developer and investor, and 24 of its affiliates in their Chapter 11 proceedings, which resulted in a confirmed plan of reorganization. As of the date of the bankruptcy filings, Tarragon Corporation and its approximately 100 subsidiaries had consolidated assets of approximately $840 million and consolidated liabilities of $1 billion, making those Chapter 11 cases among the largest pending in the District of New Jersey.
- Representing a proprietary trading firm in litigation against a joint venture partner, ultimately negotiating a settlement in a hotly contested matter in the Delaware chancery court.
- Representing Zayat Stables, one of the nation’s largest and most prominent thoroughbred racehorse owners, in its Chapter 11 proceeding in the District of New Jersey. A plan of reorganization was proposed and ultimately confirmed that allowed Zayat Stables to emerge from Chapter 11 in less than six months with the unanimous support of creditors, and with the existing owner maintaining his equity interest in the company.
- Serving as conflicts counsel for the German Insolvency Administrator over the estate of Qimonda AG in its Chapter 15 proceeding, and acting as lead trial counsel in a multi-day evidentiary hearing concerning the applicability in the Chapter 15 proceeding of section 365(n) of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
Warren earned his B.A. from the University of Virginia and his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law.
Honors & Awards
Warren has been selected for inclusion in the “America’s Leading Lawyers in Bankruptcy” list by Chambers USA for the past six consecutive years in which “clients praise him for his ‘very good street sense,” noting that he is ‘driven and a pleasure to deal with.’ Chambers has described Warren as a “very smart lawyer” who is “absolutely fantastic in the courtroom” and notes that sources say he is “an excellent trial lawyer and strategist with excellent insight into winning arguments.” Most recently, client feedback for Chambers USA 2017 notes Warren as a “fantastic bankruptcy litigator who is very practical and down-to-earth but can also handle the most novel and complex legal issues.” He has been selected by his peers for inclusion in the prestigious Best Lawyers in America in Commercial Litigation (2007-2020), Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights Law/Insolvency and Reorganization Law (2010-2020), Litigation-Bankruptcy (2011-2020), and was named on the Lawyers of the Year list for 2015 and 2018. He was also selected for inclusion in New Jersey Super Lawyers Rising Stars in Bankruptcy Law.
Warren has lectured on various aspects of bankruptcy law as part of New Jersey’s Institute for Continuing Legal Education. He also has served as a panelist in the annual William H. Gindin Bankruptcy Bench Bar Conference.
Martindale-Hubbell awarded Warren an AV preeminent peer rating, selecting him as one of the “2013 Top Rated Lawyers in Corporate Restructuring and Bankruptcy” for his professionalism and the quality of his legal work. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.