Joseph L. Schwartz


Joseph L. Schwartz is Chair of the Firm’s Bankruptcy & Corporate Restructuring Group. He has over 25 years of experience in commercial bankruptcy and state court insolvency matters, with a focus on corporate restructurings and reorganizations.

Joe also has substantial experience in state and federal receiverships and assignments for the benefit of creditors, as well as out-of-court corporate restructurings, turnarounds, workouts, and commercial litigation. He represents a diverse array of clients, including, but not limited to, indenture trustees, debtors, official and ad hoc creditors’ committees, insurance companies, banks, other secured lenders, chapter 7 and chapter 11 trustees, trade creditors, third-party purchasers, and landlords.

Joe also serves as one of the Subchapter V trustees in New Jersey, having been appointed by the Office of the United States Trustee under the Small Business Reorganization Act, and regularly serves as a mediator in bankruptcy cases in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey. He also regularly both prosecutes and defends avoidance actions on behalf of various clients, including preference and fraudulent conveyance lawsuits.

Joe has considerable experience and has taken a leading role in representing various constituents in numerous bankruptcy cases and insolvency-related matters, including complex cases involving the construction, healthcare, mass tort, commodities, mining and metals, real estate, retail, apparel, steel, airline, manufacturing, distribution, telecommunications, and technology sectors.

Joe was elected President of the New Jersey Turnaround Management Association, effective January 2022, and will serve a two-year term, following years of service to NJ TMA. He also serves on the Turnaround Management Association’s Global Membership Council, which addresses global membership goals and strategies for TMA. He is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute and various other insolvency-related associations. In addition, Joe has previously served on the New Jersey Supreme Court District V-C Ethics Committee (western Essex County).

Joe serves on the Corporate Advisory Council of Homeless Solutions, which offers shelter, services, and supportive housing to the homeless and working poor in Morris County through outreach services, a Safe Haven Program for the mentally ill homeless, and a Family Transitional Housing Program.

He also frequently lectures and writes on various insolvency-related topics. While attending law school, Joe served as a member of the Suffolk University Law Review.

For the past few years, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers Client’s Guide has ranked Riker Danzig’s Bankruptcy Group in the top tiers of New Jersey’s bankruptcy practices. According to peers and clients, the group is “brimming with quality” and “has handled more workouts and distressed loans than anyone.” Chambers noted that Riker Danzig’s Bankruptcy Group is “famed for its impeccable work” on behalf of creditors.

Chambers has ranked Joe in Band One in its Client’s Guide for Bankruptcy Law, noting that he “is renowned for his expert handling of Chapter 11 cases for a variety of bankruptcy clients.” Chambers sources say: “He has an extremely strong knowledge of the law and the practical aspects of achieving excellent results.” “Joseph is very helpful and responsive.” “He is spectacular in court,” “absolutely fantastic,” and “in court he’s an expert in process and procedure.” They further say that he is a “technically proficient and procedurally adept” attorney who “presents well in court, makes very good arguments, and understands the complexities of the code.” He “inspires confidence” by being “fantastically well prepared, highly determined, and completely at ease on his feet in court.” Clients also call him a “talented lawyer” who “knows what he’s doing, when to compromise, and when to litigate,” and “probably the best-prepared attorney that I have ever seen.” Says one: “He really does his homework.”

Joe was recognized in the 2022 Lawdragon as one of the 500 Leading Bankruptcy and Restructuring Lawyers in the United States. According to Lawdragon, these lawyers “dazzle in financial restructuring, whether in court or out.”

Best Lawyers in America®, a peer review of U.S. Lawyers, has included him on its “Best Lawyers” list for Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights Law, as well as for Litigation-Bankruptcy Law, since 2010. Thomson Reuters has included Joe on the New Jersey “Super Lawyers” list for Bankruptcy Law each year since 2006. See Awards and Honors Methodology.

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Areas of Emphasis

Bankruptcy Litigation

Corporate Reorganization

Bar Admissions

New Jersey

United States District Court, District of New Jersey

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit


Suffolk University Law School, J.D., cum laude, 1991

Rutgers University, B.S. in Accounting, 1988

Professional Activities

Former Member, NJ Supreme Court District V-C Ethics Committee (western Essex County).

Member, Debtor/Creditor Section, New Jersey Bar Association

President, New Jersey Turnaround Management Association

Corporate Advisory Council, Homeless Solutions

ABI Mid-Atlantic Bankruptcy Advisory Board

Subchapter V Chapter 11 Trustee, District of New Jersey

Mediator, Bankruptcy Court Mediation Panel, District of New Jersey

Case Decisions

Published Cases

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