Richard M. Goldberg concentrates in bankruptcy, creditors’ rights, workouts, and commercial litigation, with an emphasis on bankruptcy court litigation. He has achieved favorable results for debtors, creditors’ committees and trustees in numerous large corporate reorganizations, Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 proceedings, and complex multi-party, out-of-court workouts. Mr. Goldberg has considerable experience representing financial institutions, developers, retail chains, home builders, commercial landlords, specialty lending institutions, trustees, insurance companies, and government agencies in all aspects of Chapter 11 reorganization cases, Chapter 11 liquidations, and large Chapter 7 liquidations. He has also successfully represented numerous parties seeking to acquire assets from bankruptcy estates.
In addition to his experience in traditional bankruptcy areas and the significant litigation that arises within most bankruptcy cases, Mr. Goldberg represents parties in a wide variety of commercial litigation matters, including commercial contractual disputes, commercial real estate transactions, and the Uniform Commercial Code, in state and federal trial and appellate courts.
Widely respected for the depth of his knowledge, he has been declared and has testified as an expert witness on commercial transactions, commercial litigation, and the reasonableness of attorney fees in commercial litigation and transactions. Chambers USA and Best Lawyers in America name Mr. Goldberg among the leading bankruptcy and creditors' rights attorneys in the country.
- Mr. Goldberg successfully represented the bankruptcy-court-appointed Chapter 11 Trustee in the Vincent L. Abell bankruptcy case. As lead bankruptcy counsel, he was the chief strategist for the Trustee and the architect of a successful strategy that resulted in the recovery for creditors of nearly $20 million. (See story: "An Empire of Concealed Assets".) After pending for over seven years, the case culminated in January of 2020, when Mr. Goldberg obtained the Court’s approval of a Chapter 11 Plan of Liquidation that will result in a meaningful distribution to unsecured creditors who had been defrauded by the debtor. Mr. Goldberg continues to represent the Liquidation Trust and Trustee that were created as part of the confirmed Plan. This bankruptcy case centered on the Trustee’s allegations that the debtor (along with related parties) had “continuingly concealed” his assets from creditors by a series of interrelated schemes. This case has been extraordinarily litigious resulting in numerous trials in front of the bankruptcy court, appeals to the United States District Court, and the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals (each of which Mr. Goldberg has prosecuted successfully), and numerous matters in front of the D.C. Superior Court and regulatory agencies in Washington D.C.
- Mr. Goldberg has acted as bankruptcy counsel with his partner Joel I. Sher for Creative Hairdressers, Inc. (The Hair Cuttery) in its successful Chapter 11 case and sale. The Hair Cuttery is a national chain of hair salons that employed more than 10,000 salon professionals before the COVID-19 Pandemic.
- Mr. Goldberg represents the largest martial arts chain in Maryland in connection with issues it faces as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the various governmental orders requiring the shut-down of gym operations.
- Mr. Goldberg represents the bankruptcy Trustee appointed in the Eastern Industrial Scaffold Services, LLC bankruptcy case (formerly one of the largest commercial scaffolding companies in the region) as special litigation counsel seeking to recover various assets that are asserted to have been wrongly transferred out of the debtor’s grasp as a result of a partnership dispute.
- Mr. Goldberg has served as regular bankruptcy counsel to GEICO, handling bankruptcy-related matters in which the insurer is involved, including disputes with debtors under various contractual agreements and lawsuits brought against GEICO filed in bankruptcy courts.
- Mr. Goldberg represented the largest creditor/acquiring party of the majority of equity interest in the Redox Power Systems, LLC bankruptcy case pending in the Greenbelt Division of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland. In this representation, disputes arose with founding equity holders resulting in substantial litigation, including Mr. Goldberg's successful joint prosecution with the debtor of a lengthy, contested confirmation hearing. Redox is a high-tech company attempting to design and market solid oxide fuel cell devices used for the production of clean and economically produced electricity.
- Mr. Goldberg successfully represented a highly reputable local law firm that was a large creditor in a bankruptcy case where the debtor owned a luxury golf course and related service assets. Mr. Goldberg obtained the appointment of a trustee as a result of the debtor’s mismanagement, while simultaneously fending off various attempts by the debtor to sue his law firm client.
- Mr. Goldberg serves as lead bankruptcy counsel to his partner Joel I. Sher, who is the court-appointed Trustee in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases of TMST, Inc. and its affiliates, formerly known as Thornburg Mortgage, Inc.
- Mr. Goldberg successfully represented Heaver Properties, LLC, the owner of a 112,000 SF commercial building just north of Towson, Maryland in an out-of-court workout with its tri-party lending group that resulted in the sale of the building to a third party.
- Mr. Goldberg represented Charles County, Maryland in connection with workout issues and bankruptcy "ring fencing" related issues in a dispute with the County's largest taxpayer, the owner of an electric power generating plant.
- Mr. Goldberg represented one of the largest developers/ business owners on the eastern shore of Maryland in an out-of-court workout involving approximately $50 Million in several layers of debt and with several lenders.
- Mr. Goldberg represented a party in a complex litigation dispute concerning a real estate development financed in part pursuant to a complex Historic Tax Credit program.
- Mr. Goldberg successfully represented Fieldstone Mortgage Company, obtaining approval of its Chapter 11 plan. The client became one of the only mortgage lenders to survive bankruptcy proceedings in the wake of the real estate credit crisis of 2008.
- As counsel to the unsecured creditors committee in the Chapter 11 case of PhyAmerica Physician Group, Inc., a physician practice management company, Mr. Goldberg and the Shapiro Sher bankruptcy team engineered a hostile takeover of the debtor companies that resulted in a payout of 75 percent of the creditors’ claims, an unusually favorable outcome for unsecured creditors.
- Deeply experienced in the real estate industry, specifically in connection with bankruptcy matters, Mr. Goldberg has represented Ryland Homes, Elm Street Development, home builder Caruso Homes, Inc. (in its Chapter 11 case), the Chapter 7 Trustee of Regency Homes Corporation and 12 subsidiaries in the liquidation of the companies, and numerous other developers and purchasers of raw, developed, and fully completed commercial and residential real estate projects. Of note, Regency Homes had been one of the largest home builders in Maryland and Virginia. Upon filing, Regency had more than $50 million in claims against it, including approximately $35 million in secured debt. Mr. Goldberg negotiated and consummated several sales of Regency Homes’ assets that resulted in the reduction of secured and unsecured claims of approximately $35 million.
- In past “continuing concealment” bankruptcy matters, Mr. Goldberg engineered a $1.53 million settlement between a Baltimore landlord and ground rent owner, and the Trustee in that individual’s bankruptcy case. In this matter, Mr. Goldberg served as counsel to an attorney representing numerous plaintiffs who had brought and obtained multi-million-dollar lead paint claims against the landlord.
- Mr. Goldberg has extensive experience representing clients in cases that involve government contracting. He represented the Chapter 7 Trustee in the bankruptcy of Information Networks, Inc. (d/b/a Infonetics), a minority contractor that provided technology services to several federal agencies.
- Mr. Goldberg has served as bankruptcy counsel to the U.S. Small Business Administration in connection with failed Small Business Investment Companies in which the SBA made debt or equity investments pursuant to the Small Business Investment Act. For the SBA, he has successfully navigated disputes involving several franchisees of prominent national restaurant and retail chains.
- Member, American Bar Association
- Past President and Board Member, Bankruptcy Bar Association for the District of Maryland; Past Chair and Vice Chair of the Baltimore Division of the Bankruptcy Bar Association.
- Member, Bar Association of Baltimore City
- Member, District of Columbia Bar Association
- Member, Turnaround Management Association
- Member, American Bankruptcy Institute
- President and long-term Board Member, JDRF - Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Chapter
- Avid backcountry skier; has completed several Heli and CAT backcountry ski trips in Utah, British Columbia, and other destinations;
- Avid runner, having completed countless road races and charitable races;
- Avid rock climber
- Significant cycling racing history in the Masters category (Cyclocross and Road Racing); former member of C3 Amateur Cycling Team
News & Publications
Chambers USA, a preeminent guide to the U.S. legal industry, has released its 2020 rankings, naming five Shapiro Sher attorneys in its survey of Maryland lawyers.
Eleven Shapiro Sher attorneys are cited in Maryland Super Lawyers 2016
Fourteen Shapiro Sher Guinot & Sandler are cited in Maryland Super Lawyers 2015, including one attorney listed as a Top 10 Maryland lawyer, two listed in the Top 100, and four “Rising Stars.”
Chambers USA has cited Shapiro Sher Guinot & Sandler among the leading firms in Maryland.