Mr. Coleman graduated from Stanford University in 1962 and the UCLA Law School in 1965. As soon as he passed the California Bar Examination, he was appointed as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of California, handling Federal cases from his Office in the United States Courthouse in Los Angeles that geographically ranged from the Border with Mexico as far North as Fresno. In 1969, the Justice Department assigned to him the representation of the U. S. Government in the complex litigation arising from the blowout of an undersea oil well off the Santa Barbara Coast. In the Santa Barbara blowout litigation, Mr. Coleman worked with lawyers that included the U. S. Attorney General and many other United States Justice Department lawyers. In addition, while in the of Justice Department, Mr. Coleman handled complex litigation involving title disputes between the United States Government, the States of Arizona and California, and private interests, involving real estate beside the Colorado River. Mr. Coleman entered private law practice in 1970, joining the Los Angeles law firm founded by another former Assistant United States Attorney, Donald C. Smaltz, Esq. Later, Mr. Coleman became a partner in the Los Angeles Office of one of the world’s largest law firms, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP.
Mr. Coleman’s experience in complex litigation led to his engagement, beginning in the mid 1970’s, as attorney for Trustees and Debtors-in-Possession in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Reorganization Cases, as well as by Receivers appointed by Federal and State Courts in California. By the early 1980’s, he was being appointed Receiver by those same Courts, as well as Liquidating Trustee of Delaware entities by the Delaware Court of Chancery. Over the years while he was a Partner in Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, Mr. Coleman also served as a Receiver and as attorney for receivers in Cases in Federal and State Courts. In addition, he has served as an attorney for every type of party-in-interest that may appear in a bankruptcy or receivership case.
Mr. Coleman was in charge of litigation that included over 150 separate actions in the Chapter X Bankruptcy Reorganization Proceedings of U. S. Financial, Inc., and affiliates, a conglomerate headquartered in San Diego, California, whose Court Proceedings lasted over a decade and was one of the largest bankruptcies of a publicly-traded company on record. Morevover, Mr. Coleman served as lead attorney in the Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Reorganization Case of Mortgage and Realty Trust, a real estate investment trust, whose assets approximated one billion dollars, as the lead attorney for the Official Shareholders Committee in the Chapter 11 Bankruptcy of The Wickes Companies, one of the largest public-company Chapter 11 Reorganization Cases ever filed; as the lead attorney for the Official Shareholders Committee in the Chapter 11 Bankruptcy of Carter Hawley Hale, also one of the largest public-company Chapter 11 reorganization Cases ever filed.
Mr. Coleman served as the Receiver of a mortgage broker and 21 related entities with thousands of investors in a Ponzi scheme fraud case in proceedings initiated at the request of the California Department of Corporations, and Mr. Coleman also served as the Receiver, at the request of the California Department of Corporations of a fraudulent, publicly- held investment company with thousands of investors, who invested in a Ponzi Scheme for the supposed rehabilitation of historically-important Buildings throughout the United States, including the Warfield Theatre Building in San Francisco, the original Union Bank Building in downtown Los Angeles, the Clocktower Building at Second Street and Santa Monica Boulevard in Santa Monica, and the New York Chamber of Commerce Building on Liberty Street in Lower Manhattan.
During the last 30 years, Mr. Coleman has continuously served as Receiver of operating businesses, including income-producing real estate, electronics, information technology, tracking technology, medical equipment technology and food processing technology, as well as Receiver in numerous SEC and California Department of Corporations receiverships arising from Ponzi schemes and other types of fraud.
Delaware Chancery Court Liquidating Trustee
In addition to serving as a Receiver, Mr. Coleman has also served as a Liquidating Trustee appointed by the Delaware Court of Chancery.
- “Bankruptcy, Receivership and Dissolution,” in Advising and Defending Corporate Directors and Officers, California Continuing Education of the Bar (Co- author, Chapter 10, 1998 and update editions).
- “Directors’ Fiduciary Duties to Creditors of Currently Solvent Companies,” Case ‘n Point (California Continuing Education of the Bar newsletter), Issue 1 (2001).
- “Corporate Bankruptcy May Deprive Directors and Officers of D&O Insurance,” Case ‘n Point (California Continuing Education of the Bar newsletter), Issue 2 (2002).
- “The Role of State Court Receivers in Bankruptcy Cases,” Examiners, Trustees, State Court Receivers and Chapter 11: Who, When and Why? Financial Lawyers Conference (January 1994) (co-author).
- “Looking Out for Shareholders: The Role of the Equity Committee in Chapter 11 Reorganization Cases of Large, Publicly Held Companies,” American Bankruptcy
Law Journal (Summer 1994).
- “Recent Ninth Circuit Rulings on Ponzi-Scheme Fraudulent Transfers”, California Receivers Forum Receivership News (Spring 2009).
- “The Friendly Receivership: Don’t Get Too Friendly”, California Receivers Forum Receivership News (Winter 2014).
- “When Mortgage Investments Crash,” Turnaround Management Association (December 1996).
- “Regulatory Receiverships,” Turnaround Management Association (December 1998).
- “Common Interest Developments in Receivership,” California Receivers Forum (August 2010).
- California Receivers Forum, Los Angeles/Orange County Chapter (from 1991; Director from 2008 to 2018; Ex Officio Director from 2018 to present; Officer 2009 – 2013).
- Turnaround Management Association, Southern California Chapter (Director 1994-2000) and President (1998-2000).
- Los Angeles County Bar Association (1966 – present): Chair, Judicial Appointments Committee, (1987-89) and Committee Member (1984-1990); Chair, Continuing Education of the Bar Committee (1968 – 1972) and Committee Member (1966 – 1972); Chair, Law Day Committee (1969) and Member (1968-9).
- The State Bar of California (1966 – present).
MR. COLEMAN has been honored as Peer-Review rated AV-Pre- eminent by Martindale-Hubbell, the American legal profession/s leading authority on lawyer quality and experience. Moreover, he has been listed in Law & Politics and Los Angeles Magazine as one of Southern California’s Super Lawyers for 11 years.