SOURCE: Otterbourg, Steindler, Houston & Rosen

June 17, 2008 08:05 ET

Former U.S. Chief Bankruptcy Judge, E.D.N.Y., Melanie Cyganowski Joins Otterbourg, Steindler, Houston & Rosen

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - June 17, 2008) - Former U.S. Chief Bankruptcy Judge Melanie L. Cyganowski has joined the law firm of Otterbourg, Steindler, Houston & Rosen, P.C. as a member of the firm. Cyganowski served for 14 years, from 1993 to 2007, as a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District of New York. During her last two years at the court she was the Chief Judge. She left the bench to join Greenberg Traurig in New York before her move to become a member of Otterbourg's creditors' rights and insolvency practice group.

"We are very excited to have an attorney of Melanie's capabilities and outstanding reputation join us," says Daniel Wallen, chairman of Otterbourg. "Her experience as a judge only adds further to the quality and depth of our well known strength in the bankruptcy arena."

Cyganowski remarks, "After being on the bench for fourteen years, I've seen just about every creditors' rights issue from every viewpoint and understand how cases can take different twists and turns. It's a unique perspective that I believe translates well into private practice." About joining Otterbourg, Cyganowski notes, "Otterbourg has experience and expertise that rivals any large financial law firm and surpasses many. Its focus on the creditors' rights field meant it has been part of most major bankruptcies, whether representing a creditors' committee, secured or unsecured creditors, a lender or a potential buyer of assets. I am greatly looking forward to being able to contribute to the practice."

By joining Otterbourg, Cyganowski continues a long history between the firm, which was founded in 1909, and the bankruptcy court. Several bankruptcy judges pursued their careers at Otterbourg, including Cyganowski's predecessor as Chief Judge of the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York, Conrad B. Duberstein. Duberstein chaired Otterbourg's creditors' rights and insolvency department before moving to the bench, where he served for almost 25 years.

Before her judgeship, Cyganowski was a law clerk for Judge Charles L. Brieant, of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and then practiced in the litigation departments at Sullivan and Cromwell LLP for seven years and at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP for four years.

Cyganowski is a member of the executive committee of the Commercial & Federal Litigation Section of the New York State Bar Association, a member of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a director of the New York Institute of Credit where she is also a vice-president of its Women's Division. She sits on the advisory board of the St. John's University School of Law, Masters Program in Bankruptcy.

In 2007, Cyganowski received the New York Institute of Credit's 19th Annual Trustee Award. In 2006, she was the recipient of the New York State Bar Association, Commercial & Federal Litigation Section "Hail to the Chiefs" award and the Turnaround Management Association Award.

Otterbourg, Steindler, Houston & Rosen will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2009. The firm specializes in the representation of financial institutions and creditors, including commercial banks, investment banks, asset-based lenders and hedge funds in all aspects of their businesses, including the structuring and documentation of loan transactions, acquisitions, litigation and alternative dispute resolution, real estate transactions, workouts, restructurings and bankruptcy proceedings. The firm has particular expertise in leveraged finance, asset based lending and second lien loans, whether within the United States or cross-border, as well as the representation of committees of unsecured creditors in large and complex bankruptcy reorganization cases throughout the United States. It is also well known for its representation of individual institutional lenders, bank groups, commercial enterprises and other secured and unsecured creditors in complex, high profile litigation and its role as co-general counsel for the Commercial Finance Association.

Contact Information

  • Contacts:

    David Morse
    Otterbourg, Steindler, Houston & Rosen, P.C.
    212-661-9100, ext. 722
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    Diane Rumbaugh
    Kohn Communications
    805-493-2877
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