Dan Swetnam is a partner at Ice Miller and focuses his practice on business restructuring and creditors’ rights. He represents both debtors and creditors in bankruptcy and workout matters and has litigated plan confirmation issues, contract disputes, valuation issues, lease disputes, preference claims, motions for relief from stay and numerous other bankruptcy issues.

In addition, Dan’s tried cases outside of bankruptcy include shareholder disputes, state and federal court receivership matters, trust disputes, contract disputes and other business related matters. He is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute and has been honored by inclusion in the Bankruptcy Law section of The Best Lawyers in America for 17 years. He was selected as the Best Lawyers® Lawyer of the Year in bankruptcy litigation in Columbus, Ohio.
Reported and Representative Cases
  • Lead counsel to mezzanine lender in connection with the bankruptcy proceedings of a former franchisee of a chain of fast casual restaurants.  Litigated issues include claims of former franchisor related to post-termination rights and attempted sale of assets to mezzanine lender.  Decision on these issues is reported at In re Flour City Bagels, LLC, 2016 WL 4595487 (Bankr. W.D.N.Y., Sep. 2, 2016).
  • Counsel to public retirement system in connection with Chapter 11 proceedings of participating nonprofit employer.  Following a lengthy trial, the bankruptcy court held that the debtor is not a governmental unit (as defined in the Bankruptcy Code) and that the relationship between the employer and the retirement system is an executory contract which the debtor can reject. The bankruptcy court's decision is reported at In re: Seven Counties Services, Inc., 511 B.R. 431 (Bankr. W.D. Ky. 2014). The decision has been appealed.
  • Represents over 20 separate public pension funds and public entities in fraudulent conveyance actions seeking to recover payments to selling shareholders arising out of the bankruptcy proceedings of Lyondell Chemical Co. and The Tribune Company.  Successfully obtained dismissal of state law claims asserted in the Lyondell case against 15 of the funds on the basis of sovereign immunity.
  • Lead counsel to district energy system, Akron Thermal, Limited Partnership. Successfully represented Debtor in motion to assume lease and plan of reorganization. Both matters were vigorously contested, with lengthy hearings including multiple experts. Following substantial consummation of plan, filed a second Chapter 11 proceeding and have addressed many issues in connection with the interplay between the two cases. Reported decisions in the case are at:
1. In re Akron Thermal, Limited Partnership, 2009 WL 1707907 (N.D. Ohio, June 17, 2009)
2. In re Akron Thermal, Limited Partnership, 414 B.R. 193 (N.D. Ohio, February 19, 2009)
3. In re Akron Thermal, Limited Partnership, 2008 WL 1886171, 2008 Bankr. LEXIS 1358 (Bankr. N.D. Ohio, April 25, 2008)
 
  • Lead counsel for lender in connection with defalcation of funds by a title agent. Successfully resolved numerous issues, including interpretation of a closing protection letter. Also litigated claims against separate bank under the Uniform Fiduciaries Act. Nations Title Insurance Co. of New York, Inc. v. William H. Bertram, Jr. , 140 Ohio App.3d 157 (2000), appeal dismissed, 91 Ohio St. 3d 1246 (2001)
  • Successfully represented TennOhio Transportation Co., in prosecution of preference claim and served as lead counsel in five day trial. Case focused on valuation of collateral (140 vehicle fleet of trucks) and the ordinary course of business defense. In re TennOhio Transportation Co., 269 B.R. 775 (Bankr. S.D. Ohio 2001) and TennOhio Transportation Co. v. Navistar Financial Corp. (In re TennOhio Transportation Co.), 269 B.R. 769 (Bankr. S.D. Ohio 2001)
Other Representative Cases
  • Successfully represented successor trustee of revocable trust on issues related to trust interpretation and effort to remove successor trustee.  In re Guardianship of Mull, 2015-Ohio-5440 (Seventh District, Dec. 17, 2015).
  • Represented seller of marina located in Grand Haven, Michigan.
  • Successfully represented lender in single asset limited partnership bankruptcy proceeding. Representation included successful challenge to confirmation in a three day confirmation hearing focusing upon feasibility of the debtor’s proposed plan of reorganization. Confirmation was denied, relief from stay was granted and the lender was able to proceed with its state court foreclosure proceedings.
  • Lead counsel in successful Chapter 11 reorganization of retail store chain with aggregate annual sales in excess of $10,000,000. Issues in the case included analysis of business operations, treatment of leases and executory contracts, and presentation and confirmation of a plan of reorganization.
  • Lead counsel in successful out of court workout of agricultural business with secured debt in excess of $50,000,000. Project included negotiation and sale of business; negotiation of agreement with United States Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Justice and other government agencies; and negotiation and resolution with other creditor constituencies.
  • Lead counsel to publicly traded national bank in shareholder derivative action and related lawsuits. Negotiated comprehensive resolution of the derivative claims and claims upon both a directors and officers’ policy and fidelity bond.
  • Co-counsel in prosecution of action to recover for the benefit of unsecured creditors alleged fraudulent transfer of assets in pre-bankruptcy acquisition of a competitor.
  • Successfully represented manufacturer in toxic tort action. Plaintiffs had claimed exposure to various airborne emissions, and claimed to suffer from “multiple chemical sensitivities.” Served as lead counsel in Daubert hearing leading to exclusion of evidence relating to “multiple chemical sensitivities.”
Published In
  • "What a Public Retirement System Should Consider if a Municipality Seeks Chapter 9 Bankruptcy Relief", October 2012 Benefits Magazine (WEB exclusive), co-author
  • “Factors for a Public Retirement System to Consider if a Municipality Seeks Relief under Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code”, National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems, PERSist, Summer 2012, co-author
  • "Lien on me: Recent decisions affecting the appointment and authority of receivers,"Ohio Lawyer, a publication of the Ohio State Bar Association, May 2011, co-author
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