Mark S. Finkelstein

Shareholder

Phone: +1.713.646.5503 | Facsimile: +1.713.752.0337

E-mail: mfinkelstein@smfadlaw.com

vCard

Summary

Mark Finkelstein, a founding shareholder of the Firm, leads the Firm’s Bankruptcy, Creditors’ Rights and Commercial Litigation practice groups.

Mr. Finkelstein has been recognized by peers as one of Houston’s Top Lawyers in the areas of bankruptcy, creditors’ rights and commercial litigation in 2005, by H Texas Magazine. In 2012, based on client recommendations, Mr. Finkelstein was recognized as a BTI Consulting, Inc. “Client Service All-Star.”

Mr. Finkelstein has three decades of experience in high stakes business disputes, meeting the needs of clients in numerous industries and subject areas, including first chair trials and appeals in federal and state courts.

Clients value Mr. Finkelstein’s ability to help minimize the adverse impact of bankruptcies filed by their customers, suppliers, tenants and borrowers, and his keen focus on resolving business problems for clients in a cost-conscious manner. Clients—many of them Fortune 500 companies—include companies involved in the chemical, petrochemical and derivative products supply and distribution chain; real estate and equipment leasing; real estate development, construction and property management; financial services (banking, insurance, mortgage banking, title insurance, and securities brokerage); healthcare; telecommunications and computer technology; and oil, gas and petrochemical production, refining, transportation, marketing and distribution.

Cases are commonly complex, document-intensive, commercial disputes between large corporate entities, and have involved lawsuits in the following subject areas, among others: creditors’ rights and bankruptcy, contract and commercial, landlord-tenant, energy generation and finance, mortgage servicing, title insurance, lender liability, intellectual property, environmental (e.g., storage tank), property damage, and oil-patch and construction.

In addition, Mr. Finkelstein represents clients in alternative dispute resolution (ADR), including arbitration and mediation, and has served as an arbitrator and mediator.

Mr. Finkelstein’s practice has resulted in long associations with in-house corporate counsel managing active litigation dockets, and with business and commercial credit groups.

Mr. Finkelstein has a strong personal and professional dedication to helping clients’ resolve their legal disputes effectively, and efficiently, using his skills as a seasoned trial lawyer and mediator. By viewing each issue from not only the client’s point of view, but also the adverse party’s perspective, Mr. Finkelstein is able to reduce the scope of battles that must be waged, and fight those battles that cannot be avoided. With a 30 year track record, Mr. Finkelstein employs excellent critical analysis, strategic thinking, and is keenly attentive to his client’s litigation and commercial objectives.

Mr. Finkelstein is married to Deborah Barnette, and is a father of three children and two step children.

Highlights and Recognitions

  • AV® PreeminentTM 5.0 out of 5 by Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review RatingsTM (1997–current)
  • 2012 BTI Client Service All-Star awarded by The BTI Consulting Group
  • Recognized by peers as one of Houston’s Top Lawyers in the areas of bankruptcy, creditors’ rights and commercial litigation, by H Texas Magazine (2005)
  • Recipient, ADL’s 1998 Daniel Ginsberg National Leadership Award

Published and Unpublished Cases

Circuit Court

  • In re Kimball Trading, 224 F.3d 766 (5th Cir. 2000)
  • FDIC v. Transworld Mortgage Corp., 120 F.3d 266 (5th Cir. 1997)
  • Rohrbaugh v. Celotex Corp., 53 F.3d 1181 (10th Cir. 1995)
  • Whatley v. Resolution Trust Corp., 32 F.3d 905 (5th. Cir. 1994)
  • United Structures of Am., Inc. v. G.R.G. Eng’g, S.E., 9 F.3d 996 (1st Cir. 1993)
  • Scope Imports v. Interstate Commerce Comm’n, 688 F.2d 992 (5th Cir. 1982)

District Court

  • Encore Bank, N.A. v. Bank of Am., N.A., 918 F. Supp. 2d 633 (S.D. Tex. 2013)
  • Encompass Power Servs. v. Eng’g & Constr., No. H-05-2759, 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28427 (S.D. Tex. Nov. 10, 2005)

Bankruptcy Court

  • Intercontinental Polymers, Inc. v. Equistar Chems., LP (In re Intercontinental Polymers, Inc.), No. 03-23736, 2005 Bankr. LEXIS 997 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. Mar. 31. 2005)
  • In re Hedstrom Corp., 333 B.R. 815 (E.D. Ill. 2005)
  • Zeta Consumer Prods. Corp. v. Equistar Chem. L.P. (In re Zeta Consumer Prods. Corp.), 291 B.R. 336 (Bankr. D.N.J. 2003)
  • In re Placid Oil Co., 92 B.R. 183 (Bankr. N.D. Tex. 1998)
  • In re Gregory, 214 B.R. 570 (S.D. Tex. 1997)
  • In re Appletree Markets, 139 B.R. 417 (Bankr. S.D. Tex. 1992)
  • Shape Optimedia, Inc. v. Gelardi (In re Shape, Inc.), 138 B.R. 334 (Bankr. D. Me. 1992)

Appellate Courts

  • In re SavaSeniorCare, LLC, No. 04-05-00466-CV, 2005 Tex. App. LEXIS 5391, (Tex. App.—San Antonio July 13, 2005)
  • Herman v. Shell Oil Co., 93 S.W.3d 605 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2002)

Publications, Presentations, and Speeches

  • Bankruptcy Preferences – Tips and Traps, State Bar of Texas Corporate Counsel Section Newsletter (Winter 2012). Co-authored with my colleague Jeff Koch, Of Counsel to the Firm. The article provides practical legal advice to corporate counsel regarding the defense of bankruptcy preference actions, including advice regarding retention of records needed to reconstruct account history to prove affirmative defenses available to the creditor.
  • Bankruptcy Risk Management Strategies, National Association of Credit Management, NACM Houston – Energy Credit Group (Feb. 2012). With co-presenter Dean Swick, a Managing Director at Alvarez & Marsal in Houston, an interactive slide presentation to a group of approximately 30 Houston energy credit professionals. The topics covered included Energy Demand and Distress Indications by Mr. Swick with some economic forecasts about energy market trends, and Mr. Finkelstein presented advice and recommendations for managing the risk of potential bankruptcy relief sought by parties receiving goods and services on credit from the companies in attendance.
  • Author and presenter, 1990 and 1991 Seminars on Commercial Financial Services sponsored by the State Bar of Texas, Commercial Financial Services Committee
  • Guaranties in the Post-Deprizio Era Recent Developments: Guaranties; Deprizio Progeny; Equitable Subordination; and Participation Agreements (1990)
  • Recent Developments: Preferences and Post-Petition Transactions Sections 547 and 549 of the Bankruptcy Code (1991)
  • Corporate Buy-Sell Agreements, CPA ‘85, Vol. II, 2

Professional & Community Involvement

National

  • Chair, ADL National Litigation Oversight Committee (2016-Present)
  • Vice Chair, ADL National Civil Rights Committee for the Southern Area (2012-2015)
  • Chair, ADL National Legal Affairs Committee (2009-2012)
  • Chair, ADL National Investigation Research Oversight Committee (2006-2009)
  • Chair, ADL National Religious Freedom/Church-State Task Force (2003-2006)
  • Vice-Chair, ADL National Civil Rights Committee for the Southern Area (2000-2003)
  • Member, ADL National Executive Committee (2001-Present)
  • Member, ADL National Commission (1999-Present)

Regional

  • Chair, ADL Southwest Region (2002-2003)
  • Member, Executive Committee – ADL Southwest Regional Board (1996-Present)
  • Member, ADL Southwest Regional Board (1989-Present)
  • Co-Chair, ADL Civil Rights Committee – Southwest Regional Board (1999-2002)

Affiliations

  • Houston Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
    • Litigation Section
    • Dispute Resolution Section
    • Business Law Section