David M. Guess

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Creditor Debtor Rights Attorney in Irvine, CA

Greenberg Traurig, LLP
 | 18565 Jamboree Rd, Suite 500
Irvine, CA 92612
Phone: 949-226-6591
Fax: 949-732-6501
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2015 - 2020
Selected To Rising Stars: 2009 - 2014
Licensed Since: 2005
Practice Areas:
  • Creditor Debtor Rights: Business (10%),
  • Bankruptcy: Business (50%),
  • Civil Litigation: Defense (10%),
  • Civil Litigation: Plaintiff (10%),
  • Business Litigation (10%),
  • Appellate (10%)
Attorney Profile

David M. Guess is a Shareholder at Greenberg Traurig, LLP in Orange County.  David has devoted his entire career to chapter 11 bankruptcy cases, representing every potential side in the case.  He has particular expertise in real estate-related bankruptcies, healthcare (including hospital and skilled nursing facility) bankruptcies, retail and restaurant bankruptcies, bankruptcy appeals, and bet-the-company fraudulent transfer litigation.  David has been recognized by the American Bankruptcy Institute as a 2018 “Top 40 Under 40” emerging leader in the insolvency practice, by Best Lawyers® for his work in bankruptcy and creditor-debtor rights, insolvency and reorganization law, and as a Super Lawyers® honoree in the Southern California edition of Super Lawyers® Magazine.  

Practice Areas
Lawyer Practice Area Pie Chart

Creditor Debtor Rights (10%)

Bankruptcy (50%): Bankruptcy Law

Civil Litigation (10%)

Civil Litigation (10%)

Business Litigation (10%)

Appellate (10%): Appeals

Focus Areas

Bankruptcy Law, Appeals


Selected to Super Lawyers for 6 yearsmiddle-imageSelected to Rising Stars for 6 years

Super Lawyers: 2015 - 2020 Rising Stars: 2009 - 2014

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About David Guess

Admitted: 2005, California


  • "Top 40 Under 40" Emerging Leader in Insolvency Practice, American Bankruptcy Institute, 2018
  • Chapter 11 Reorganization of the Year (Over $100MM to $250MM), Chapter 11 Reorganization of Pacific Sunwear, and Restructuring Deal of the Year (Over $100MM to $250MM), Restructuring of Pacific Sunwear, 11th Annual M&A Advisor Turnaround Awards, 2017
  • Chapter 11 Reorganization of the Year (Under $500MM) for Chapter 11 of The Wet Seal LLC, 10th Annual M&A Advisor Turnaround Awards, 2016
  • Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers Magazine, So. Cal. Edition, 2015-Present
  • For Work in Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law, The Best Lawyers in America, 2019-Present
  • AV Preeminent Rated, Martindale-Hubbell, 2015-Present
  • Jeffrey S. Turner Outstanding Commercial Law Student Award, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Commercial Law & Bankruptcy Section, 2005

Special Licenses/Certifications:

  • California Real Estate Broker (License ID 01781558)

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • California (Admitted 2005)
  • New York (Admitted 2013)
  • District of Columbia (Admitted 2012)
  • Turnaround Management Association, Southern California Chapter (Secretary, 2020-Present; Board Member, 2018-Present)
  • American Bankruptcy Institute Commercial and Regulatory Law Committee, Communication Manager (2019-Present)
  • American Bankruptcy Institute, Advisory Board Member to Southwest Bankruptcy Conference (2017-Present)
  • California Bankruptcy Forum (Co-Chair to 28th Annual Insolvency Conference, 2016; Board Member, 2019-Present)
  • Los Angeles Bankruptcy Forum (Secretary, 2019-Present; Board Member, 2015-Present)
  • Orange County Bankruptcy Forum (Board Member, 2018-Present)

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • Pro Bono Mediator, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Southern District of California
  • Pro Bono Mediator, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Central District of California

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • Speaker, Retail Bankruptcies: Steps to Salvage Business in Advance (or Instead) of Filing, American Bankruptcy Institute Winter Leadership Conference, 2016
  • Speaker, Judges’ “Shark Tank” Panel, American Bankruptcy Institute Bankruptcy Battleground West, 2016
  • Speaker, The Latest Crush: Revisions to the UFTA and Other Insolvency Laws, California Bankruptcy Forum 27th Annual Insolvency Conference, 2015
  • Speaker, Bankruptcy & Arbitration: Conflicting Policies, Uncertain Results, Los Angeles Bankruptcy Forum, 2015
  • Speaker, LLC Membership Interests as Collateral and as Property of the Bankruptcy Estate: Value More "Limited" Than You May Think, Financial Lawyers Conference, 2014
  • Author, Exposing the Convert’s Loophole: Postdischarge Conversion as an Abuse of the Bankruptcy Process, 2005 ANN. SURVEY BANKR. L. 505, 2005
  • Author, Disregarding The Mona Lisa’s Disappearing Mustache: An Analysis into the Increased Judicial Scrutiny of the Tax Treatment of Family Limited Partnership Interests, 32 W. ST. U. L. REV. 177, 2005


  • Represented insulation distributor with mass-asbestos liabilities in approximately 50 appeals from its chapter 11 bankruptcy case. Opinions arising from these appeals include Cont'l Ins. Co. v. Thorpe Insulation Co. (In re Thorpe Insulation Co.), 671 F.3d 1011 (9th Cir. 2012), Motor Vehicle Cas. Co. v. Thorpe Insulation Co. (In re Thorpe Insulation Co.), 677 F.3d 869 (9th Cir. 2012), Nat'l Fire Ins. Co. v. Thorpe Insulation Co. (In re Thorpe Insulation Co.), 393 Fed. Appx. 467 (9th Cir. 2010), Motor Vehicle Cas. Co. v. Thorpe Insulation Co. (In re Thorpe Insulation Co.), 392 Fed. Appx. 549 (9th Cir. 2010), In re Thorpe Insulation Co., Case No. CV 11-668-DSF, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38879 (C.D. Cal. Apr. 11, 2011), and In re Thorpe Insulation Co., Case No. CV 10-1493 DSF, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104196 (C.D. Cal. Sept. 21, 2010).
  • Represented Anadarko and Kerr-McGee in multi-billion dollar fraudulent transfer cases against them.  See In re Tronox Inc., 855 F.3d 84 (2d Cir. 2017); In re Tronox Inc., 549 B.R. 21 (S.D.N.Y. 2016); In re Tronox Inc., 503 B.R. 239 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2013).
  • Represented Culver City hospital in appeal from order confirming its chapter 11 plan of reorganization. See Prime Healthcare Servs., LLC v. Brotman Med. Ctr. (In re Brotman Med. Ctr.), 442 Fed. Appx. 317 (9th Cir. 2011).
  • Represented purchaser of assets of aerospace and defense company in appeal from order authorizing sale and establishment of litigation trust. See Boeing Co. v. Kaiser Aircraft Indus., Inc. (In re Alabama Aircraft Indus., Inc.), 514 Fed. Appx. 193 (3d Cir. 2013); Boeing Co. v. Kaiser Aircraft Indus., Inc. (In re Alabama Aircraft Indus., Inc.), 464 B.R. 120 (D. Del. 2012).
  • Represented Samson Energy Company, LLC and former owners of Samson Investment Company in multi-billion dollar fraudulent transfer cases against them.  In re Samson Res. Corp., 590 B.R. 643 (2018)

Representative Clients:

  • Medtronic USA, Inc.
  • Merlone Geier Partners
  • Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson
  • Sport Chalet
  • PacSun
  • Wet Seal
  • Eastern Mountain Sports
  • Bob’s Stores


  • American Bankruptcy Institute Unsecured Trade Creditors Newsletter, Contract Assumption – A Potent Defense to Preferences and Fraudulent Transfers (2019)
  • American Bankruptcy Institute Business Reorganization Committee Newsletter, The Delaware Bankruptcy Court Once Again Adopts the Narrow View of Stern v. Marshall (2019)
  • American Bankruptcy Institute Business Litigation Committee Newsletter, State Sovereign Immunity Bars Adversary Proceeding Concerning Tax Refunds (2019)
  • American Bankruptcy Institute Commercial Fraud Committee Newsletter, Rule 2004 Discovery Severely Limited After Invocation of Fifth Amendment Privilege Against Self-Incrimination (2019)

Educational Background:

  • UCLA, B.A., Major: History; Major: Slavic Languages & Literatures; Honors: magna cum laude, 2001

Industry Groups

  • Healthcare
  • Real Estate
  • Restaurants
  • Retail
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  • “David is a superb lawyer both in and out of court. He is aggressive but at the same time focused on achieving practical solutions.”
  • “Among the most intelligent and knowledgeable bankruptcy attorneys in the city”
  • “David Guess is a sharp strategist and fine appellate lawyer.”
  • “A terrific young bankruptcy lawyer who is on everyone's watch list.”

These comments were made by fellow attorneys during the annual nomination process.

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Office Location for David M. Guess

18565 Jamboree Rd
Suite 500
Irvine, CA 92612

Phone: 949-226-6591

Fax: 949-732-6501

David M. Guess:

Last Updated: 11/14/2019

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