Goldblatt, Craig

Craig Goldblatt

Craig Goldblatt is an experienced bankruptcy litigator, with a focus on complex bankruptcy disputes and bankruptcy appeals. The core of his practice has been protecting the interests of secured creditors, financial institutions and insurance companies in bankruptcy-related disputes, though he has also represented leading technology, transportation and communications industry clients in bankruptcy matters. Mr. Goldblatt joined the firm in 1994.

Practice

Mr. Goldblatt represents parties in all stages of bankruptcy proceedings. The core of his practice involves bankruptcy and insolvency related trial-level matters and appeals—particularly the representation of financial institutions and other commercial creditors in bankruptcy litigation. He has argued three bankruptcy cases before the Supreme Court of the United States, and one before the en banc Third Circuit. He has testified before a congressional committee on issues of bankruptcy law and policy. He has also developed a particular expertise on consumer bankruptcy matters, representing several major mortgage servicers, holders of credit card and other unsecured debt, and bankruptcy trustees in a variety of regulatory investigations, bankruptcy disputes and appeals.

Outside of his bankruptcy practice, Mr. Goldblatt participated in WilmerHale's representation of the University of Michigan, from the district court to the Supreme Court, in Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 US 306 (2003). The Supreme Court's decision in that case held that institutions of higher education may consider race as a factor in admissions decisions. He has also represented an array of pro bono clients in civil rights, criminal and constitutional litigation.

Professional Activities

Mr. Goldblatt is a conferee of the National Bankruptcy Conference and is the chair of the ABA Business Bankruptcy Committee's Subcommittee on Bankruptcy Litigation. He previously served as Chair of the Subcommittees on Bankruptcy Appeals and on Environmental and Mass Tort Claims. He is a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, and chairs the College's Fourth Circuit Education Committee. He has taught as an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Law Center. He is a regular speaker at ABA, ABI and other conferences on bankruptcy matters. Mr. Goldblatt also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Speaking Engagements

  • March 7, 2018 – Testimony before Subcommittee of Senate Judiciary Committee on potential bankruptcy reform legislation
  • October 9, 2017 – Participated in National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges panel on the treatment of LLCs in bankruptcy 
  • April 8, 2017 – Participated in ABA Business Bankruptcy Committee panel on issues involving the automatic stay
  • October 7, 2016 – Participated in Views From the Bench "Great Debate" on use of priority-skipping structured dismissals in bankruptcy
  • June 29-30, 2016 and April 18-20, 2016 – Participated on panels about what every bankruptcy judge should know about the appellate process during the National Workshop for Bankruptcy Judges
  • May 20, 2016 – District of Delaware Bench and Bar Conference, panel on "Litigating in the Supreme Court and Courts of Appeals"
  • May 13, 2016 – Luncheon address to the Maryland Bankruptcy Bar Association on "Bursting the Bankruptcy Bubble"
  • April 18-20, 2016 – National Workshop for Bankruptcy Judges, panel on "What Every Bankruptcy Judge Should Know About the Appellate Process"
  • April 2, 2016 – Participated in American College of Bankruptcy 5th Circuit Education Session on ABI Commission proposals for bankruptcy reform
  • March 31, 2016 – Participated in Southeast Bankruptcy Law Institute Conference on Harris v. Viegelahn
  • October 28, 2015 – Participated on panel on bankruptcy reform issues at Loan Syndications Trading Association Annual conference
  • October 23, 2015 – Participated on panel sponsored by Bloomberg and American College of Bankruptcy on bankruptcy issues in the Supreme Court
  • September 28, 2015 – Moderated panel of federal district and court of appeals judges at National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges on circuit splits on issues of bankruptcy law
  • May 5, 2015 – Speaker at Fifth Circuit Judicial Conference on future of Article I bankruptcy courts in light of Stern v. Marshall, Executive Benefits and Wellness
  • February 13, 2015 – American College of Bankruptcy panel on reform of Chapter 11
  • October 24, 2014 – Views From The Bench panel on Supreme Court decisions affecting authority of bankruptcy courts
  • July 2014 – ABA Webinar on Executive Benefits
  • December 6, 2013 – American College of Bankruptcy Symposium on the Theory and Practice of Chapter 13
  • October 31, 2013 – National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, Plenary Session panel on Appellate Advocacy in the Post-Stern World
  • October 17, 2013 – Loan Syndications Trading Association 18th Annual Conference, Panel on The Future of Bankruptcy: A Provocative Discussion of What Bankruptcy Reform Means for Secured Lending 
  • January 17, 2013 – ABA Business Law Section, Avoidance Power Subcommittee of the Business Bankruptcy Committee – Webinar on "More Fallout from Stern v. Marshall: Ninth Circuit v. Sixth Circuit—the holding of Bellingham Insurance (9th Cir.) allows waiver of Article III adjudication conflicting with Waldman v. Stone (6th Cir)"
  • October 5, 2012 – ABI Views From The Bench Conference Panel on "Recent Decisions Addressing the Implications of Stern v. Marshall"

Experience

    • Representing the petitioning creditors in the involuntary bankruptcy case filed against the Houston Regional Sports Network and related litigation and appeals.
    • Representing a leading debt buyer in an investigation and litigation by the Office of the US Trustee arising out of its proof-of-claim filing practices.
    • Representing a leading specialty lines insurer in the bankruptcy of Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, a bankruptcy case arising out of the July 2013 train derailment in Lac Megantic, Quebec.
    • Representing an array of swap counterparties—from large financial institutions, major hedge funds, Fortune 100 companies and public entities—in the Lehman Brothersbankruptcy and related litigation involving bankruptcy law's treatment of derivatives, swap agreements and other complex financial products. Mr. Goldblatt has also represented the International Swaps and Derivatives Association as amicus curiae in appeals (in both the Lehman and Enron bankruptcy cases) in disputes related to the treatment of derivative transactions in bankruptcy.
    • Representing a class of WARN Act plaintiffs, first in the Supreme Court and then (after prevailing) on remand to the bankruptcy court, in the precedent-setting case of Czyzewski v. Jevic.
    • Representing a leading financial institution in matters relating to the servicing of mortgage loans for borrowers in bankruptcy.
    • Representing the Loan Syndication Trading Association in connection with the Report of the American Bankruptcy Institute's Commission on Chapter 11 Reform. Mr. Goldblatt has also represented the LSTA in several complex bankruptcy appeals affecting the treatment of syndicated bank debt, as well as in its successful effort before the Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules seeking to amend Bankruptcy Rule 2019 to prevent disclosure of proprietary information.
    • Representing Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries in dozens of bankruptcy cases filed by debtors, over more than 15 years, with asbestos and other mass-tort related liabilities, including the Western Asbestos, Combustion Engineering, Federal Mogul, Skinner Engine Company and Global Industrial Technologybankruptcies and related appeals. Currently pending cases include In re Kaiser Cement (involving asbestos and environmental liabilities) and In re Soynut Butter Company(involving foodborne illness). Mr. Goldblatt prevailed in his argument before the en banc Third Circuit in Global Industrial Technologies, in which the court issued a pathmarking decision on the issue of insurer standing in bankruptcy. In describing the industry-wide significance of the string of precedent-setting cases, Chambers USApointed out Mr. Goldblatt's “contribution to changing the mass-tort legal landscape to the advantage of his insurance-industry clients.”
    • Serving as co-counsel to the Marshall estate in Stern v. Marshall, a matter that resulted in a landmark Supreme Court decision on the scope of bankruptcy jurisdiction. Mr. Goldblatt previously represented a group of law professors as amici curiae when the case was pending before the Ninth Circuit. In that appeal, the Ninth Circuit rejected the approaches advocated by the two parties, expressly adopting the approach urged in WilmerHale's amicus brief, which the court described as “thoughtful.” Following the Supreme Court's decision to grant certiorari, WilmerHale was retained as co-counsel to Marshall estate. The Supreme Court affirmed the Ninth Circuit's judgment, in a decision sharply curtailing the authority of bankruptcy courts to resolve non-bankruptcy disputes.
    • Representing a chapter 13 trustee in the Supreme Court regarding the disposition of undisbursed funds upon conversion of the bankruptcy case to chapter 7.
    • Representing William Schwab, a chapter 7 trustee, before the Supreme Court in Schwab v. Reilly, No. 08-538 (decided June 17, 2010), a case involving the process by which bankruptcy trustees are required to object to debtors' claims of exemption. Mr. Schwab retained WilmerHale during the certiorari stage before the Supreme Court, following successive adverse decisions by the bankruptcy court, the district court and the Third Circuit. The Supreme Court granted certiorari and reversed the decisions of the lower courts.
    • Successfully representing Elliott and Carol Archer in the Supreme Court (Archer v. Warner, 538 US 314 (2003)). In addition to his successful arguments in Schwab and Archer, Mr. Goldblatt has also been involved, for a party or an amicus, in most of the Supreme Court's other bankruptcy cases in recent years, including Milavetz, Gallop & Milavetz v. United States, 559 U.S. ___ (2010); Travelers v. Pacific Gas & Elec., 549 U.S. 443 (2007); Marrama v. Citizens Bank of Massachusetts 549 U.S. 365 (2007); Marshall v. Marshall, 547 U.S. 293 (2006); and Rousey v. Jacoway, 544 U.S. 320 (2005).
    • Representing Alcatel-Lucent, on appeal from a judgment in favor of a bankruptcy trustee for more than $335 million, arising out of the Winstar bankruptcy, on theories of preferential transfer, breach of contract and equitable subordination.
    • Involvement in the firm's representation of debtors in complex and high-profile bankruptcy matters, including PSINet, Iridium, US Office Products and Kmart.

Recognition

  • Recognized as a DC leader in the bankruptcy/restructuring field in the 2005-2018 editions of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, with clients noting that he is "very smart, very responsive and very practical" and "has a very good grasp of communication and what needs to be said and done in a fast-moving and otherwise cluttered world." On technical issues, Mr. Goldblatt "does a super job of explaining matters." 
  • Selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2010-2018 editions of the Best Lawyers in America in the area of bankruptcy and creditor-debtor rights law
  • Selected by his peers as a leading attorney in Washington DC in the 2012-2018 editions of Super Lawyers
  • U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers 2013 states that "Mr. Goldblatt is extremely smart and thoughtful" and "is a first-rate mind, has extensive bankruptcy litigation experience, and excellent ability to relate to clients and their needs"
  • Winner of the Washington Business Journal's 2008 award for the Top Washington Lawyer in the category of bankruptcy
  • Listed as a Top Lawyer in bankruptcy and commercial law in Washington DC by Washingtonian magazine in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013
  • Listed as a leading bankruptcy lawyer by The American Lawyer and The Daily Deal
  • Recipient of the 2007 Pro Bono Award from the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys for the firm's amicus brief in Marrama v. Citizens Bank of Massachusetts

Insights & News

Credentials

  • Education

    • JD, University of Chicago Law School, 1993

      with honors Comment Editor, University of Chicago Law Review
    • BA, Georgetown University, 1990

      magna cum laude
  • Admissions

    • District of Columbia

    • United States Supreme Court

  • Clerkships

    • The Hon. David H. Souter, US Supreme Court, 1995 - 1996

    • The Hon. Richard D. Cudahy, US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 1993 - 1994

Credentials