Michael
Michael D. Rubenstein
Shareholder, Houston
Managing Partner, Houston
1001 Fannin Street
Suite 1800
Houston, Texas 77002

Overview

Michael Rubenstein is an experienced bankruptcy practitioner with a diverse commercial practice encompassing not only business bankruptcies, restructurings and reorganizations, but complex business litigation and criminal law. With a reputation for efficiency and effectiveness, his bankruptcy practice is largely devoted to the representation of creditors, often in the energy sector, in complex reorganizations throughout the U.S., such as:

  • In re Cubic Energy, Inc. (Bankr. D. Del.)  -- Lead counsel for a senior secured lender and plan proponent. 

  • In re PostRock Energy Corporation (Bankr. D. Okla.) – Lead counsel for national bank holding the single largest portion of secured debt.

  • In re Greenfield Energy Services, Inc. (Bankr. D. Del.) – Lead counsel for SWEPI L.P., obtaining a complete release for a senior secured creditor involving a hydraulic fracturing operation.

  • In re ATP Oil & Gas Corporation (Bankr. S.D. Tex.) – Lead counsel for both trade creditors and energy companies potentially responsible for substantial collective decommissioning obligations due to the Debtor’s default.

  • In re Superior Offshore International (Bankr. S.D. Tex.) -- Lead counsel for the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, obtaining full payment with interest.

Michael also routinely handles the defense of preference litigation in some of the largest bankruptcy cases in the U.S. and is certified in the area of business bankruptcy law by the American Board of Certification.  “Liskow’s depth of bankruptcy and courtroom experience is truly an asset for every client that hires us in these areas,” Michael notes.

Major financial institutions throughout Texas and Louisiana regularly seek Michael's guidance.  In addition, he has extensive experience in general business litigation and government enforcement proceedings, and has managed complex, large and difficult electronic discovery projects in both criminal and civil cases. 

Michael currently serves as managing partner of the firm's Houston office and as a member of the firm’s Board of Directors. He was a Law Clerk to the Honorable Edith Brown Clement, Judge, United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana from1993–1995.

Experience

Clients know Michael as a lawyer who is highly responsive and focused on getting what they need done.  "My job is to practically and efficiently achieve their goals within the law, a valuable approach when uncertain economic conditions demand even more pragmatic business solutions."  Here are recent examples of Michael's work that illustrate this: 

  • In re Cubic Energy, Inc. (Bankr. D. Del.)  -- Lead counsel for a senior secured lender and plan proponent. 

  • In re PostRock Energy Corporation (Bankr. D. Okla.) – Lead counsel for a national bank holding the single largest portion of secured debt.

  • In re Greenfield Energy Services, Inc. (Bankr. D. Del.) – Lead counsel for SWEPI L.P., obtaining a complete release for a senior secured creditor involving a hydraulic fracturing operation.

  • In re ATP Oil & Gas Corporation (Bankr. S.D. Tex.) – Lead counsel for both trade creditors and energy companies potentially responsible for substantial collective decommissioning obligations due to the Debtor’s default.

  • In re Superior Offshore International (Bankr. S.D. Tex.) -- Lead counsel for the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, obtaining full payment with interest.

Involvement

Professional

  • Elected Member, American Law Institute, 2011 to present

  • Death Penalty Representation Project, American Bar Association – Steering Committee Member, 2013 to present; Chair, 2016 to present

  • Board of Directors, The Promise of Justice Initiative, 2014 to present

  • Board of Advisory Editors, Tulane Law Review, 2003 to present

  • Law Dean’s Advisory Council, Tulane Law School, 2014 to present

  • Governing Council of the Antitrust and Business Litigation Section of the State Bar of Texas - Secretary-Treasurer, 2008–2009; Chair-Elect, 2009–2010; Chair, 2010–2011

  • American Bar Association – Section of Business Law, Business Bankruptcy Committee

    • Vice-Chair, Partnerships and Limited Liability Entities in Bankruptcy Committee, 2012-2014

    • Chair, Legislation Subcommittee, 2015-present

    • Business and Corporate Litigation Committee, Chair, Subcommittee on Bankruptcy Litigation, 2007–2011

    • Vice-Chair Subcommittee on Ethics, Professionalism & Civility, 2011 - present

  • Federal Bar Association, National Government Relations Committee, 2010 to present, New Orleans Chapter Board of Directors, 2002-2005

  • Fellow, Louisiana Bar Foundation, 2002 - present

  • Fellow, Foundation of the Federal Bar Association, 2014 - present

  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation, 2014 to present

  • Criminal Justice Act Panel, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, 1998 - 2007

  • Adjunct Faculty Criminal Procedure, Loyola University, New Orleans, School of Law, 2005

  • Louisiana Supreme Court, Committee on Bar Admissions - Assistant Bar Examiner, Criminal Law, Procedure and Evidence, 2003–2009

Community

  • Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, World's Championship Bar-B-Que Committee – Committeeman, 2006 -2011; Assistant Captain 2012-2014; Captain 2014 - 2016; Vice Chair, Present

  • Tulane Alumni Association – President, 2015 - 2016, Member, Board of Directors, 2011– 2017

  • Board of Trustees, Congregation Beth Israel, 2011 - present

  • Board of Trustees, The Selwyn School (Denton, Texas), 2012 - present

  • Teach for America Greater New Orleans Region - Community Advisory Board Chair 2001 - 2003; Member, 1998 - 2005

  • New Orleans Speech and Hearing Center - President, 2001–2003; Board of Directors, 1997–2005

  • Anti-Defamation League – South Central Region Board, 2002–2005; Southwest Region Board, 2008 - 2014; Chair's Council, 2012 - 2014

  • Congregation Temple Sinai - Treasurer, 2005; Board of Trustees, 1998–2005; Brotherhood President, 2003–2005

  • Leadership Louisiana, Council for a Better Louisiana, 2003

  • Young Leadership Council - Board of Directors, 1997–2000; Secretary and Counsel, 1997–1998

  • Metropolitan Leadership Forum - 1998

Recognition

  • Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2007, 2011-2012, 2014-2017

  • Certified in Business Bankruptcy Law by the American Board of Certification

  • Camille Gravel Pro Bono Award, Federal Bar Association New Orleans Chapter, 2009

Presentations

  • “Drilling Down: The Oil & Gas Industry and Bankruptcy Collide,” American Bar Association Business Law Section, Spring Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana, April 7, 2017.
  • "Bankruptcy for Breakfast," American Bar Association, Section of Business Law, Fall Meeting, Washington, D.C., 2007-2010, 2012-2016
  • "Ethics: Attorney Liability and Responsibility to Non-Clients,” Institute for Energy Law, 4th Midstream Oil & Gas Law Conference, Houston, Texas, December 3, 2015.
  • "Tips for Avoiding a Dry Hole in an Oil and Gas Bankruptcy: An ATP Case Study,” The Interplay of Bankruptcy and Oil & Gas Law, New Orleans Bar Association, October 15, 2015
  •  “Yes, No, and Maybe – What You Can, Can’t, and Might be Able to do in Bankruptcy Asset Sales, 34th Annual Advanced Real Estate Law Course, State Bar of Texas, San Antonio, Texas, July 13, 2012
  • “Bankruptcy Sales: Free and Clear?,” 27th Annual Real Estate Law Conference, South Texas College of Law, June 8, 2012
  • “Recent Developments: Prosecutorial Misconduct,” 4th Annual White Collar Crime Symposium, New Orleans, 2012
  • "Bankruptcy Basics for Corporate Counsel," Association of Corporate Counsel, Houston Chapter, May 2011

Publications

Pro Bono

By order of the Louisiana Supreme Court, Michael represented an inmate on death row at the Louisiana State Penitentiary. This resulted in a compromise, whereby the client was allowed to plead guilty to a lesser charge and receive a life sentence.

In recognition of this work, Michael received the Camille Gravel Pro Bono Award from the New Orleans Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, and the firm received the Beacon of Justice Award from the National Legal Aid & Defender Association.

Michael now serves a Chair of the Steering Committee for the American Bar Association’s Death Penalty Representation Project.

After Hours

"I'm an avid scuba diver and underwater photographer.  When I'm in the water, I am able to set work aside and relax."