RUTH VAN METER | Of Counsel

RUTH VAN METER

832-345-6343 | ruth@jonesmurray.com | vCard

Ruth has over three decades of experience in corporate restructuring and commercial litigation. Her restructuring experience includes representing debtors, lenders, statutory committees, and unsecured creditors in complex Chapter 11 cases. She has structured, negotiated, and confirmed plans of reorganization and liquidations. While she works toward consensual resolutions, litigation is sometimes necessary to achieve desired results. To that end, she has successfully prosecuted many contested matters involving financing, contract rejections, plan confirmations, claim objections, and recovery matters. Ruth also has extensive experience representing bankruptcy Trustees in all aspects of fulfilling their statutory duties, including advising them on operating companies, selling assets and investigating and prosecuting recovery actions.

Ruth also has significant experience as a trial attorney representing parties in various complex commercial litigation and bankruptcy-related litigation matters in federal and state courts. She has represented clients in numerous business disputes, including breach of contract, partnership and member disputes, professional liability, fraud, and fraudulent transfers, and DTPA. Throughout her career, she has tried numerous cases in federal and state courts, including jury and non-jury trials.

She also has extensive briefing and appellate experience for both litigation and bankruptcy, including all phases of research, preparation, and argument. This includes briefs in support of pleadings, trial briefs, and appellate briefs for district courts, court of appeals, Texas Supreme Court, and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Admissions & Memberships

Ruth was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 1989 and is admitted to practice before all federal (district and bankruptcy) courts in Texas as well as the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and all Texas state courts. Ruth has also practiced as a visiting attorney before federal bankruptcy courts and state courts across the country.

Ruth is a Member of the State Bar of Texas, Litigation and Bankruptcy Sections and the Houston Bar Association.

Publications

Co-Author, The Impact of Insolvency and Restructuring Proceedings Upon Security Interests in Intellectual Property Rights, presented at the 14th Annual Global Insolvency & Restructuring Conference presented by the IBA Section on Insolvency, Restructuring & Creditors' Rights (SIRC) on May 20, 2008, in Stockholm, Sweden, working in unison with UNCITRAL

Co-Author, Pre-Filing Problems, Southern Methodist University Bankruptcy Law Institute Chapter 1 (1990)

Co-Author, Materials for Panel Discussion on Workout of Non-Performing Loans, Southern Methodist University Sixth Annual Institute on Commercial Lending (April 1990).

Education

Ruth graduated from Texas Tech University on the Dean’s List with a Bachelor of Arts in History in December 1985. She received her law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law in May 1989, where she was a member of the Phi Delta Phi legal honor society.

Representative Experience

Ruth has provided legal representation to many types of interested parties in a wide variety of matters both in bankruptcy and litigation only. The following is intended to be a representative, but not exhaustive, list of matters to demonstrate some of the types of cases in which Ruth has been involved.

Trustee Representations

Represented Chapter 11, Chapter 7, and Liquidating Trustees in all aspects of fulfilling their statutory duties, including investigating and prosecuting recovery actions.

Bankruptcy recovery actions – Represented multiple trustees pursuing preferences, fraudulent conveyances, and other recovery actions.

Creditors’ Committees Representations

Represented Creditors’ Committee and then Post-Confirmation Liquidating Trustee in liquidating assets of a Houston-based technology-driven independent oilfield services company that historically offered well stimulation, coiled tubing and field management services to the upstream oil and gas industry in the United States and Argentina, and analysis of Chapter 5 Claims and proofs of claim.

Creditors’ committee in Gulf Fleet – Analyzed Debtors’ transactions with secured lender to analyze validity and extent of liens and other potential causes of action.

Medical Practice in Physician Practice Management Case – Represented member of Physicians’ Committee in liquidation of a consolidator of ophthalmologist practices. Lead counsel in litigation over the physician’s termination of practice management contract.

Successfully confirmed Committee sponsored plans in several nursing home restructurings. Required prosecution of motions to terminate Debtor’s exclusivity and contested confirmation hearings.

Debtor Representations

Represented Debtor and then Special Counsel to the Chapter 11 Trustee in bankruptcy of company that provided customers with high performance coatings, machining and grinding services in the Houston area and beyond for over 55 years. Following a tragic and catastrophic explosion at its facilities, the company sought relief under chapter 11.

Reorganization of Treasure Bay Casino – Represented the Debtor in the largest restructuring case in Mississippi at that time. Confirmed Debtor’s plan over competing plan proposed by secured creditor. Required extensive negotiations with Unsecured Creditors’ Committee, bondholders and other constituents, as well as multiple contested confirmation hearings over several years.

Creditor Representations

Represented creditor owed in excess of $1 billion in litigation related to the bankruptcy of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp., the largest independent mortgage lender in the United States prior to its bankruptcy.

Counsel for secured and unsecured creditors – Worked to maximize recovery for creditor clients.

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