Joseph F. Hutchinson Jr.

Partner

Cleveland
T +1.216.861.7701
F +1.216.696.0740

"[Joe Hutchinson] gained our respect with how he performs and interacts, and with his extensive knowledge and experience."

— Chambers USA 2015

Overview

Joe Hutchinson focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation, including fraud recovery, bankruptcy litigation and federal regulatory disputes. In addition to his litigation experience, Joe has represented debtors, Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 trustees, and creditors' committees in many bankruptcy cases in which substantial distributions were made to creditors. 

A former national leader of the firm's Bankruptcy, Restructuring, and Creditors' Rights team, Joe has been listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business and The Best Lawyers in America©, and has been named an Ohio "Super Lawyer" and The Best Lawyers in America© "Lawyer of the Year" for 2017.

Select Experience

Complex Commercial Litigation
  • Lead counsel for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) as receiver of several failed bank holding companies, including litigation regarding a large pre-failure capital maintenance commitment claim, disputes between the FDIC receiver and bank holding companies over ownership of substantial tax refunds, pursuit of specialized fraudulent transfer and preference claims under Title 12 of the U.S. Code, and defense of pre-failure fraudulent transfer claims relating to capital contributions made to banks by their holding companies.
  • Co-lead counsel in a fraudulent transfer case against two hedge fund lenders to a consumer receivables finance company whose principals were convicted of operating a massive fraud scheme.
  • Lead counsel for the FDIC as receiver for a failed bank in defense of a case alleging that the FDIC, as receiver, improperly denied claims for indemnification under a mortgage servicing rights sale agreement.
More »

Experience

Complex Commercial Litigation
  • Lead counsel for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) as receiver of several failed bank holding companies, including litigation regarding a large pre-failure capital maintenance commitment claim, disputes between the FDIC receiver and bank holding companies over ownership of substantial tax refunds, pursuit of specialized fraudulent transfer and preference claims under Title 12 of the U.S. Code, and defense of pre-failure fraudulent transfer claims relating to capital contributions made to banks by their holding companies.
  • Co-lead counsel in a fraudulent transfer case against two hedge fund lenders to a consumer receivables finance company whose principals were convicted of operating a massive fraud scheme.
  • Lead counsel for the FDIC as receiver for a failed bank in defense of a case alleging that the FDIC, as receiver, improperly denied claims for indemnification under a mortgage servicing rights sale agreement.
  • Lead counsel for an estate in a multimillion-dollar fraud recovery and attorney malpractice case against a law firm that had assisted its client in violating state securities laws. 
  • Lead counsel for union retirees against an international union for violating provisions of the Labor Management Relations Act.
  • Co-lead counsel for administrative claimants against former management personnel of a major steel company for breach of fiduciary duties.
  • Lead counsel for a creditors' committee against a large international corporation in a fraudulent transfer and illegal dividend action resulting from a failed leveraged buyout (LBO).
  • Lead counsel for a large regional electric utility company in defense of a multimillion-dollar preference and fraudulent transfer action in the Enron bankruptcy case.
  • Lead counsel for a bankruptcy estate against the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) regarding whether the PBGC's multimillion-dollar unfunded benefits and minimum funding claims should be calculated using the PBGC's regulations or under methods of actuarially determining the appropriate discount rate to calculate the claims.
Chapter 11 Debtor Representations
  • Excello Engineered Systems LLC (automobile parts supplier)
  • CEP Holdings LLC (automobile parts supplier)
  • VSV Group Inc. (ambulance and computer bus manufacturer)
  • Cold Metal Products Inc. (steel processor)
  • Controlled Power Corp. Inc. (machinery)
  • American Way Investment Corp. (nursing homes)
  • Machining Corp. of America Inc. (machining and engineering)
  • DeLuca Distributing Inc. (regional beer distributor)
Chapter 11 Creditors' Committees Representations
  • LTV Steel Co. (integrated steel manufacturer – official administrative creditors' committee) 
  • Copperweld Steel Co. (special bar-quality steel manufacturer)
  • Republic Technologies Inc. (special bar-quality steel manufacturer)
  • Republic Engineered Products LLC (special bar-quality steel manufacturer)
  • Deaconess Hospital
  • Akron Thermal Limited Partnership (public utility)
  • NRM Steelastic Inc. (equipment manufacturer for tire/rubber industry)
  • Terex Inc. (manufacturer of earth-moving construction equipment)
  • Phar-Mor Inc. (retail drug store chain)
  • Drug Emporium Inc. (retail drug store chain)
  • Revco D.S. Inc. (retail drug store chain – representation of an unofficial committee of secured creditors)
  • Grand Eagle Inc. (industrial equipment manufacturer)
  • Renaissance Plastics Inc. (automotive supplier)
  • Bliss-Salem Inc. (steel mill repair and manufacturer)
  • W. G. Lockhart Construction Co. (developer/construction)
  • Roco Supply Inc. (fuel supply company)
Other Representations
  • Represented a major national bank in asset recovery workouts and bankruptcy matters.
  • Represented creditors' committees in several large Chapter 11 cases in litigation against secured creditors to re-characterize secured debt as equity.
  • Represented creditors' committees in several large Chapter 11 cases in litigation against lenders and former owners who received fraudulent conveyances in pre-petition LBOs.
  • Represented a national insurance company in a Chapter 7 case regarding a multimillion-dollar claim for retrospective premiums.
  • Represented a national insurance company regarding funding claims in an insurance company superintendence proceeding in Pennsylvania state courts.
  • Represented the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation and the Ohio Department of Taxation in many significant Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 cases in the Northern District of Ohio.
  • Represented two law firms in claims against them in respect of separate representations in Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases.
  • Represented a large grocery store chain in a restructuring and refinancing transaction.
  • Represented a fabric importer and converter in restructuring and refinancing transactions.
  • Represented an industrial hose manufacturer regarding the acquisition of a joint venture interest in China from a bankrupt joint venture.
  • Represented many clients in acting as purchaser in bankruptcy and receivership sales.
  • Represented a debtor in litigating a refund of excise taxes from the IRS in a Chapter 11 case.
  • Appointed by the Bankruptcy Court as special counsel for a fraud investigation. 
  • Represented the chief restructuring officer in a fee dispute in the Chapter 11 reorganization of a steel company. 
  • Represented a tort claimants' committee in the Chapter 11 proceeding of a company that provided emergency room medical personnel to hospitals located on the East Coast.
  • Represented a large lumber mill regarding its restructuring and sale.
  • Represented a shipper in a dispute over demurrage charges by a railroad.
  • Represented a landowner in a dispute with a regional airport authority in eminent domain litigation.
  • FDIC v. AmFin Corp., 957 F.3d 530 (6th Circ. 2014).
  • Bash v. Textron Financial Corp., __F3d.__ (6th Circ. 2016).
  • Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. v. Belfance (In re CSC Industries Inc.) 232 F.3d 505; 2000 U.S. App. LEXIS 29336 (6th Cir. 2000).
  • In re NRM Steelastic Inc., U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Case Nos. 92-10028 – 10030, Bankruptcy Judge David F. Snow, and NRM Steelastic Inc. et al., v. Internal Revenue Service, Adv. No. 98-1262, Bankruptcy Judge David F. Snow.
  • Daido Steel Co. v. Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, 178 B.R. 129; 1995 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2423 (N.D. Ohio 1995).
  • Copperweld Steel Co. v. Daido Steel Co. Ltd., Adv. No. 94-4128, U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aldrich.
  • Marc P. Gertz, Trustee v. Emens, Kegler, Brown, Hill & Ritter Co. L.P.A. et al., Case No. 5:93-CV-0331, U.S. District Court Judge Patricia A. Gaughan. 
  • Official Comm. of Unsecured Creditors of Grand Eagle Cos. Inc. v. Asea Brown Boveri Inc. (In re Grand Eagle Cos.), 310 B.R. 79 (Bankr. N.D. Ohio 2004). 
  • Official Comm. of Unsecured Creditors of Grand Eagle Cos. Inc. v. Asea Brown Boveri Inc. (In re Grand Eagle Cos.), 288 B.R. 484 (Bankr. N.D. Ohio 2003). 
  • Williams v. WCI Steel Co., 170 F.3d 598; 1999 U.S. App. LEXIS 4201 (6th Cir. 1999).
  • Forster v. Mutual Fire Marine & Inland Insurance Co., 531 Pa. 598; 614 A.2d 1086; 1992 Pa. LEXIS 429 (1992).
  • John J. Guy, Trustee v. Terex Corp., U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Case No. 91-3687; 1992 U.S. App. LEXIS 10018 (6th Cir. Apr. 30, 1992).
  • In re Revco D.S. Inc., 91 B.R. 777; 1988 Bankr. LEXIS 1670 (Bankr. N.D. Ohio 1988).
  • In re Mary Harpley Builder Inc., 44 B.R. 151; 1984 Bankr. LEXIS 4625 (Bankr. N.D. Ohio 1984).
  • Betsy Ross Foods v. Akron, Canton and Youngstown Railway Co., d/b/a AC&Y Railroad, 13 Ohio App. 3d 145 (1983).
  • Akron-Canton Regional Airport Authority v. Swinehart et al., 62 Ohio St. 2d 403 (1980).
  • Knott v. Penno Leasing Co., 472 F. Supp. 564; 1979 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13093 (S.D. Ohio 1979).

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • Chambers USA: Bankruptcy and Restructuring in Ohio (2004 to 2017)
    • Band 1 (2010 to 2017)
  • The Legal 500 United States (2015)
    • Recommended in Finance – Corporate restructuring (including bankruptcy)
  • The Best Lawyers in America© (2006 to 2018)
    • Cleveland: Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law
    • Cleveland: Litigation – Bankruptcy
      • Best Lawyers® 2017 "Lawyer of the Year"
  • Martindale-Hubbell: AV Preeminent
  • Ohio "Super Lawyer" (2008 to 2017)
  • Turnaround Management Association, Ohio Chapter: Lifetime Achievement Award (2016)

Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Akron Bar Association
  • Turnaround Management Association, Ohio Chapter: Past President

Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • Ohio

Education

  • J.D., The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law, 1973
  • B.A., University of Michigan, 1971, with honors