Picture of Robert G. Harris

Robert G. Harris

Partner

Mr. Harris is a partner at Binder & Malter LLP.

Mr. Harris’ practice focuses on representing businesses and individuals in Chapter 11, both as debtors and creditors, as well as in bankruptcy litigation, state court assignments for the benefit of creditors (ABCs), receiverships, execution sales and various other bankruptcy and collection matters. Mr. Harris has substantial experience in a number of bankruptcy areas, including real estate restructurings, sales and reorganizations of high tech and general manufacturing companies, dealing with intellectual property rights in bankruptcy, and handling alleged securities laws and Federal Trade Act violations.

Mr. Harris frequently lectures and writes on bankruptcy topics and has authored numerous articles, case analyses, and other material, including legislative proposals that have become law. Mr. Harris has also contributed to a book on the topic of small business bankruptcy and has testified before the California State Senate on three occasions as an expert in the field of bankruptcy and insolvency regarding bills based on legislative proposals which he authored or co-authored. Mr. Harris has twice served as chair of the California State Bar Business Law Section (“BLS”) Insolvency Law Committee (“ILC”) (2001-2004 and 2009-2012) where he has been an active advisor since 2001. Mr. Harris is presently serving a second, non-consecutive three-year term as a member of the BLS Executive Committee (2004-2007 and 2012-present), is the current Vice-Chair for Member Services and has been chosen to be the 39th Chair of the BLS for the 2016-2017 Bar year. Mr. Harris was educational co-chair of the 2013 California Bankruptcy Forum (“CBF”) Insolvency Conference and an overall conference co-chair of CBF in 2014.

Mr. Harris started his legal career in 1986 by serving as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Lloyd King, Judge for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California, from 1986 to 1988. Mr. Harris then joined the law firm on Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison before joining Binder & Malter LLP in 1993.

Education

J.D., University of California, Hastings College of the Law, 1986

B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1983

Bar Memberships State Bar of California
USDC: Northern District of California
USDC: Eastern District of California
USDC: Central District of California
USDC: Southern District of California
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Representative Matters
  • Represented high tech company that successfully exited Chapter 11 through a confirmed plan with Daimler Benz funding operations, resulting in a manufacturing facility employing hundreds of workers remaining open.
  • Represented the developer and various entities associated with a San Francisco high-rise in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy in which creditors received a distribution of nearly 60% on allowed claims.
  • Represented a bankrupt medical device manufacturer that successfully marketed and sold substantially all of its assets and technology through a “363 Sale” in bankruptcy court that resulted in a distribution of approximately 70% to general unsecured creditors in the case.
  • Represented individual debtors owning 13 real properties and four businesses successfully confirm a reorganization plan through which the debtors were able to retain their assets.
Judicial Experience
  • Extern, California Court of Appeal, Honorable William A. Newsom, 1984
  • Law Clerk, United States Bankruptcy Court, Honorable Lloyd King, 1986-1988
Publications/Speaking Engagements

Publications

  • The Disappointed Vendor
    Published in Dealing With the Reorganizing Debtor 1990: Transactions, Negotiations and Litigation (Practicing Law Institute, 1990)
  • The Contested Involuntary Petition Published in Dealing With the Reorganizing Debtor 1990: Transactions, Negotiations and Litigation (Practicing Law Institute, 1990)
  • Ethics Alert: the Ethical Dilemma Faced by California Insolvency Counsel Due to SEC Permissive Noisy Withdrawal Regulations Published in the California Bankruptcy Journal, volume 27, no. 4 (2005)
  • Strategies for Smaller Business Clients in and Beyond Small Business Chapter 11 Cases Published in Representing Small Businesses in Bankruptcy (Aspatore Books, 2011)
  • BAPCPA’s Impact on Application of the Absolute Priority Rule in Individual Chapter 11 Cases, State Bar of California Business Law News, Issue No. 4 (2011)

Speaking Engagements

  • “Bankruptcy Reform Legislation: Forecasting A Cold Winter For Debtors”, State Bar of California Section Education Institute (Presenter), January 18, 2002
  • “Scale Model Bankruptcy Practice: Executing The Game Plan for An Efficient Small Chapter 11 Case”, San Francisco Bar Association (Presenter), February 10, 2004
  • “Counseling The Chapter 11 Client Under the Bankruptcy Reform Act”, Don Edwards Inns of Court (Presenter), September 14, 2005
  • “Changes in Bankruptcy Law: The Direct Effect On Family Law”, Santa Clara County Bar Association, Family Law Section (Presenter), November 22, 2005
  • “The New Bankruptcy Act: What Every General Practioner Needs to Know”, State Bar of California Section Education Institute (“Presenter”), January 28, 2006
  • “Grappling With The New Bankruptcy Laws”, Santa Clara County Bar Association, Family Law Section (Presenter), October 17, 2006
  • “Individual and Small Business Chapter 11’s: A Primer”, American Bar Association Annual Meeting (Presenter), August 11, 2007
  • “Basic Bankruptcy Law For Employment Attorneys”, Santa Clara County Bar Association, Employment Law Section (Presenter), August 15, 2007
  • “It Only Hurts When You Laugh: Tips and Tricks For Negotiating Labor Law Issues in Bankruptcy”, San Francisco County Bar Association (Presenter), September 11, 2007
  • “Credit Crisis Impact on Agent and Broker Liability Exposure”, IBA West Blue Ribbon Conference (Presenter), May, 5, 2009
  • “Representing Debtors In Individual Chapter 11 Cases”, NACBA 2009 Members’ Only Workshop (Presenter), November 6, 2009
  • “What Judges, Trustees and Clerks Want You To Know, National Business Institute Bankruptcy Forum (Presenter), January 29, 2010
  • “Essentials of Small Business Workouts and Bankruptcy”, State Bar of California webinar (Presenter), February 17, 2010
  • “Effective Electronic Marketing for Lawyers”, Don Edwards Inns of Court (Moderator), April 17, 2010
  • “Careers in Business Law”, Santa Clara University School of Law (Presenter), September 14, 2010
  • “Financing in Chapter 11 – The Banks’ Perspective”, Don Edwards Inns of Court (Moderator), November 18, 2010
  • “The Individual Chapter 11 – Is the Price Right?”, State Bar of California webinar (Presenter), January 31, 2011
  • “Important Chapter 11 Issues Involving Individuals & Small Business, General Issues in Chapter 11 Cases and Evidentiary Issues in Confirming Plans in Large and Small Cases”, Bay Area Bankruptcy Forum (Presenter), February 23, 2011
  • California Association of Realtors Convention, Public Policy Forum (Presenter), September 21, 2011
  • “The Absolute Priority Rule in Individual Chapter 11 Cases,” Don Edwards Inns of Court (Presenter), January 5, 2012
  • “15 Major Pitfalls in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Cases”, State Bar of California Annual Meeting (Presenter), October 14, 2012
  • “A Socially Safe Webinar” (Moderator), October 31, 2012
  • "Chapter 11 in a Nutshell" (Presenter), 2014 Annual Meeting, State Bar of California, September 11, 2014. To watch the program click HERE
  • "Cramming Down Secured Debt and the 1111(b) Counter-Measure" Bar Association of San Francisco (Presenter), February 10, 2015
Legislative Accomplishments

Attorney Rob Harris is the co-author of an ILC Affirmative Legislative Proposal, that Assemblyman Brian Maienschein sponsored as AB 2317, a bill to clarify rights of parties on execution sales by making explicit that property owners retain an equitable right of redemption notwithstanding the statement in CCP §701.680 that "a sale of property pursuant to this article is absolute and may not be set aside for any reason.  Testimony by Assemblyman Maienschein and Mr. Harris can be viewed by clicking HERE, and forwarding to 1:50:00.

Mr. Harris is the author of an ILC Affirmative Legislative Proposal that Senator Ellen M. Corbett sponsored as SB 1069 , providing homeowners who have refinanced their mortgages the same protection against deficiency judgments following a judicial foreclosure that homeowners who never refinanced enjoy under Code of Civil Procedure section 580b. Click Testimony to view the testimony provided by Majority Leader Corbett and Mr. Harris before the Senate Judiciary Committee in May, 2012. SB 1069 was signed into law on July 9, 2012.

Mr. Harris is also the original author of an ILC Affirmative Legislative Proposal that Assemblyman Thomas G. Harman ultimately sponsored as AB 182. Mr. Harris worked with the California Law Revision Commission to achieve consensus on the face of financial industry opposition to generate a consensus proposal carried by CLRC that implemented an automatic triennial cost-of-living adjustment, consistent with federal bankruptcy law, to keep pace with inflation without the need for legislation or further review and conflict over the amount of personal property exemptions for debtors. AB 182 was signed into law on September 16, 2003.

BLS Executive Committee Calendar
BLS Executive Committee Calendar