James E. Rossow, Jr.
Indianapolis Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights Attorney
Firm partner Jim Rossow concentrates his practice in the areas of bankruptcy, debtors and creditors’ rights, commercial law, secured transactions, commercial finance, commercial foreclosure, and business litigation. He represents clients out of court and in state and federal-court litigation in enforcing creditor interests and pursuing remedies.
Mr. Rossow’s bankruptcy practice includes representing and advising creditors, trustees, receivers, and occasionally business debtors and insiders in economic disputes out of court, in state and federal court, and in bankruptcy court. He prosecutes and defends avoidance actions (preferences, fraudulent transfers, and subsequent transferee litigation), and advances creditor interests in out-of-court workouts and in chapter 11 bankruptcies. He has represented sellers and buyers of assets in a variety of contexts. In chapter 11 cases, he has represented secured creditors, trade creditors, creditor’s committees, chapter 11 trustees, and debtors in a wide array of matters these parties encounter. This work includes litigation concerning relief from the automatic stay and adequate protection, use of cash collateral, allowance and payment of administrative expenses, compensation of a chapter 11 debtor’s officers, claims litigation, contested plan confirmation proceedings (as plan proponent and opponent), motions to appoint chapter 11 trustees, convert or dismiss cases, Bankruptcy Code section 363 sale motions, lease assumption and assignment or rejection motions, and professional fee disputes.
Mr. Rossow advises businesses on credit decisions, structuring secured credit, and the economic risks clients face in competitive business environments. He also has experience negotiating license agreements and other commercial contracts, and when things go awry, prosecuting and defending claims in arbitration, and in state and federal courts. He has also represented debtors and creditors in out-of-court assignments for the benefit of creditors, and he represents those parties and receivers in receivership cases.
How I Help
I believe one important aspect that differentiates our firm from many competitors is our ability to handle both routine and complex matters for a reasonable fee. We have skilled lawyers, paraprofessionals and staff who allow us to achieve client goals for a reasonable fee. Our practice is “scalable” when necessary. We can assemble a litigation team to staff complex matters, but we can also deploy those same resources to work more independently on smaller matters when appropriate.
I don’t believe clients should have to pay (or be billed) for several partners and associates to work on moderate-sized matters or for junior associate training.
Instead, we work to ensure client matters are appropriately staffed with the goal of achieving the best result for a reasonable fee. We’re in it for the long run, whether that means developing long-term relationships with existing clients or earning “word of mouth” referrals for clients who need quality representation on an isolated basis.
I devote my practice to ensuring a client’s case is managed in accordance with client objectives and outcomes firmly in mind, which in many cases comes down to economic results. There are many great lawyers in our practice area. The challenge is to achieve great results for a reasonable fee. I counsel clients against the dangers of “Pyrrhic victories,” where the toll of a “win” is tantamount to a defeat when considering the economics. This does not mean we counsel clients to give in when faced with expensive, protracted litigation. Sometimes it is necessary to pursue litigation through a trial or an appeal, and that requires capable trial court and appellate practice. However, clients are well served when their professionals give practical advice that allows them to achieve economic results.
Clients look to our firm not only for achieving outcomes through traditional litigation, but when possible, to develop creative solutions and strategies to short-cut the litigation process.
Highlights & Notables
Mr. Rossow earned his B.A. degree from Indiana University—Bloomington and his J.D. degree from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Upon graduation, Mr. Rossow began his practice of law in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He joined Rubin & Levin in 2000 and became a partner in 2006.
- Co-Chair, Issues in Business Bankruptcy—Chapter 11, Steven H. Ancel Annual Bankruptcy Institute, Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum (2014-2021)
- “Foundational Requirements, Hearsay Exceptions, and Use of Affidavits,” Depositions, Evidence and Experts, Indianapolis Bar Association (2021)
- “Subchapter V of Chapter 11: Lessons Learned Two Years In,” National Business Institute (2021)
- Common Bankruptcy Issues in Commercial Real Estate Leases, IBA (2019)
- “Locating Assets and Handling Fraudulent Transfers” and “Collecting on Judgments Against Business Debtors,” Collecting from a Business, NBI (2017)
- Bankruptcy: New Rules and Latest Issues Affecting Your Practice, NBI (2015)
- Co-Presenter with The Honorable James K. Coachys, United States Bankruptcy Judge, Federal Rules of Evidence Review, IBA (2013)
- “Bankruptcy in Divorce: chapters 7, 11 and 13,” Dividing the Family Business in Divorce NBI (2012)
- Annual Bankruptcy Institute, ICLEF (2003-2005, 2008-2012)
- Basics of Bankruptcy ICLEF (2010)
- Bankruptcy Law and Litigation, NBI (2008, 2009)
- Co-presenter, Leonard H. Opperman Chapter 11 Roundtable, IBA (2008, 2009)
- Bankruptcy: A Creditor’s Perspective in Indiana, Lorman (2004-2006, 2009)
- Basic Bankruptcy Litigation, NBI (2007)
- Debtor / Creditor Issues Related to Setoff, Recoupment & Reclamation, IBA (2007)
- “Recent Bankruptcy Code Amendments,” Business Transactional Attorneys Conference, IBA (2006)
- Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, ICLEF (2005)
- Aligning Your Practice with the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, NBI (2005)
- How Bankruptcy Affects Your Practice, ICLEF (2005)
- Bankruptcy from the Creditor’s Perspective, American Credit Association of Indiana (2003)
- Default and Enforcement Under Revised Article 9 of the UCC, Lorman (2002)
- “Controlling Your Own Destiny? Using the Automatic Stay and the Injunctive Power of the Bankruptcy Court”, Annual Bankruptcy Institute, ICLEF (2001)
- Default and Enforcement Under Revised Article 9, ICLEF (2001)
- Bankruptcy Today, Indiana Lawyer, CLE Division (2000)
Awards and Recognitions
- Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2013 through 2022 Editions in the practice areas of Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law
- AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell® www.martindale.com/ratings
- Selected to the 2013 through 2022 Indiana Super Lawyers List, composed of no more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state selected by Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business
- Selected to the Indiana Rising Stars List, 2009-2012, composed of no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state under age 40 selected by Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business
Reported and Related Cases
- In re Morrow, 631 B.R. 879 (Bankr. N.D. Ind. 2021)
- State of Indiana and City of East Chicago ex rel. Gregory Zoeller v. Robert A. Pastrick, 2013 Bankr. LEXIS 3603 (Bankr. N.D. Ind. March 25, 2013)
- Global One Fin., Inc. v. Jennings, 2011 Bankr. LEXIS 2491 (Bankr. S.D. Ind. June 22, 2011)
- Gibraltar Financial Corp. v. Prestige Equipment Corp., 949 N.E.2d 314 (Ind. 2011)
- Superior Distribution of Indiana, Inc. v. Shaffer, 2010 Bankr. LEXIS 92 (Bankr. N.D. Ind. January 21, 2010)
- Steven L. Speth v. Kimball International Marketing, Inc., 2007 Bankr. LEXIS 835 (Bankr. D. Kan. March 7, 2007)
[V]ictory is claimed by all, failure to one alone.
- J.D. Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law (1998)
- B.A. Indiana University School of Journalism, Bloomington, Indiana (1994)
- Indiana State Bar
- United States District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana
- United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois
- American Bankruptcy Institute
- Indianapolis Bar Association
- Indiana State Bar Association
- Indiana Association for Corporate Renewal
- Indianapolis Bar Foundation, Distinguished Fellow and Distinguished Life Fellow