Stephen J. Humeniuk is an associate in the Austin office of Locke Lord LLP where he focuses his practice on commercial litigation and business bankruptcy matters. Prior to joining the Firm, he served as a law clerk for Justice Paul W. Green of the Supreme Court of Texas and Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Ronald B. King of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Western District of Texas.
Steve represents both plaintiffs and defendants in commercial litigation matters in state and federal court, including bankruptcy court, and he also advises clients to help resolve disputes prior to prolonged litigation.
Steve has experience with disputes involving breach of contract, contract enforcement and termination, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty, corporate governance, insurance and surety, real property, construction, copyright and trademark infringement, interpleader claims, and energy-related and environmental matters.
Steve also represents financial institutions and loan servicers in litigation involving mortgages and consumer lending. Steve understands and appreciates complex litigation, and has experience in matters involving multiple parties with competing cross and counterclaims, class actions, and derivative actions.
Steve’s bankruptcy practice involves representation of financial institutions, secured lenders, and industry creditors in all aspects of Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases. He has also represented debtors and competing plan proponents in business bankruptcies.
Steve utilizes his litigation experience in bankruptcy contested matters, including relief from stay proceedings, claim objections, objections to cure amounts and adequate assurance and adequate protection, assumption and rejection of executory contracts and unexpired leases, adequacy of disclosure statements, and contested plan confirmations.
Steve has broad experience litigating adversary proceedings in bankruptcy court involving avoidable preferences and fraudulent transfers, lien and contract disputes, and the discharge of debts.
Steve has represented clients in bankruptcy whose industries have involved oil and gas exploration and production, media and advertising, real estate investment (including landlords) and secured lending, commercial insurance and life insurance, consumer lending, retail energy and telecommunication utilities, and information technology.
Steve utilizes his bankruptcy and commercial litigation background to advise clients and help them achieve business needs beyond appearing on their behalf in traditional litigation settings.
For instance, Steve has counseled clients to help them protect their interests and navigate through complex insolvency-related proceedings that exist apart from bankruptcy, including equity receivership proceedings, state court insurance company liquidations, assignments for the benefit of creditors, and asset forfeiture proceedings.
In addition, Steve has advised clients, including mineral lessees, operators, surety companies, and prospective asset purchasers, on administrative law issues related to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) laws and regulations pertaining to successor liability, decommissioning obligations, bonding and financial surety requirements, and indemnification.
Steve has also advised clients on a variety of issues pertaining to application of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), particularly relating to responsibilities and obligations concerning lien perfection, attachment, and enforcement, and notices of assignment of receivables (including healthcare insurance receivables).
In addition to his two judicial clerkships, during law school Steve gained considerable experience as an intern/extern with four federal judges, including spending a semester working full-time in the chambers of U.S. Circuit Judge Harold R. DeMoss, Jr., with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Steve also spent time working as an intern in the Civil Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas assisting with trial and appellate litigation on behalf of federal government agencies.
Representative Experience :
- Commercial and Business Litigation
- Represented national bank association as plaintiff in federal court in action for breach of credit agreement, promissory notes, and guaranty agreements involving amount in excess of $26 million. Opposed intervention of other secured lender and sought pre-judgment attachment resulting in defendants filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy and confirming a plan to repay the debt.
- Represented broker and major commercial real estate brokerage firm as defendants in state court litigation involving claims of fraud and negligent misrepresentation seeking in excess of $10 million. Following summary judgment briefing and mediation, case settled for clients.
- Represented multiple financial institutions and mortgage servicers as defendants in state and federal court litigation involving claims of wrongful foreclosure, breach of contract, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, quiet title, home equity provisions of the Texas Constitution, and other consumer lending statutes.
- Represented insurance company to specially advise on successor liability defenses concerning California state court product liability lawsuit against an insured involving claims in excess of $10 million.
- Represented offshore exploration and production company as plaintiff in lawsuit against federal officials and federal agencies challenging enforcement of order concerning decomissioning obligations under the OCSLA laws and regulations for oil and gas facilities and structures in offshore waters.
- Bankruptcy Litigation
- Represented Chapter 11 debtor as plaintiff in adversary proceeding against contract counter-party for termination of contract and declaration of rights under Bankruptcy Code sections 363(f) and 365(h). Case settled following summary judgment briefing and mediation.
- Represented secured lenders, commercial insurers, and franchisors in prosecution of motions for relief from the automatic stay.
- Represented contract counter-parties in objecting to lack of adequate protection, lack of adequate assurance of future performance, and inadequate cure amounts for contract assumption.
- General Bankruptcy Representation
- Represented investment fund regarding bankruptcy risks associated with multibillion dollar alternative lending product, including obtaining court approval to solicit acceptance of competing plan of reorganization.
- Represented multiple secured lenders, including national banking associations and private lending consortiums, with claims in excess of tens of millions of dollars in all aspects of Chapter 11 bankruptcies.
- Represented and counseled insurance and surity companies in a wide range of disputes with debtors, trustees, government agencies, and other stakeholders related to insolvency, liquidation, and bankruptcy proceedings.
Professional History :
- Associate, Locke Lord LLP
- Law Clerk for Justice Paul W. Green of the Supreme Court of Texas (2014-2015)
- Law Clerk for Chief Judge Ronald B. King of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Western District of Texas (2013-2014)
- Judicial Extern for U.S. Circuit Judge Harold R. DeMoss, Jr., of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Judicial Intern for U.S. District Judge Robert A. Junell of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas
Professional Affiliations :
- Associate Member, Larry E. Kelly Inn of Court
- Member, Turnaround Management Association, Central Texas Chapter
- Member, Young Lawyer’s Committee of the Bankruptcy Law Section of State Bar of Texas
- Member, Austin Young Lawyer’s Association
- Member, Austin Bankruptcy Bar Association
- J.D., summa cum laude, Texas Tech University School of Law, 2013
- Comment Editor, Texas Tech Administrative Law Journal
- B.A., Political Science, Texas A&M University, 2010
Admissions : Texas, 2013
Admitted To Practice :
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas
Rate : $$$