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Kathleen L. DiSanto

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Board Certified in Business Bankruptcy Law
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1801 North Highland Ave
Tampa, Florida 33602
T: 813.204.6409
F: 813.223.9620

Kathleen offers her clients a unique approach to commercial dispute resolution.  While Kathleen’s practice primarily focuses on bankruptcy and insolvency matters, Kathleen is also an experienced litigator in state and federal court throughout the state of Florida.  The synergy between her bankruptcy and litigation practice is an asset to her clients and on any litigation team, as Kathleen brings a unique perspective to business disputes.   

During law school, Kathleen completed a judicial internship with the Honorable Alexander L. Paskay.  Kathleen began her career as the first law clerk to the Honorable Caryl E. Delano, Chief Judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida. Her judicial clerkship provided a solid foundation for her career.  Prior to joining Bush Ross, Kathleen practiced at boutique bankruptcy firm in Tampa, Florida.

Kathleen is committed to helping her clients find business solutions to their problems, whether through the bankruptcy process or litigation.  She is an excellent communicator, with her clients and opposing counsel alike, and Kathleen prides herself on being highly responsive and accessible to her clients.  Kathleen regularly represents debtors and assists them in navigating the complexity of business bankruptcies. She has helped more than thirty chapter 11 debtors successfully reorganize, including many closely-held family businesses and individuals.  Kathleen is also experienced in representing creditors and trustees in the bankruptcy process and has specialized expertise in defending trustees on Barton doctrine issues.

Kathleen has been Board Certified in Business Bankruptcy law since 2014 and has held an AV-Rating from Martindale-Hubbell since 2015.  Kathleen was also the youngest president of the Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association. 

Kathleen’s representative experience includes the following:

Debtor Representation

  • Confirmed one of the first subchapter V cases in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division
  • Assisted one of the last dairy farms in Southwestern Florida in successfully reorganizing under chapter 12
  • Assisted a travel industry technology provider in successfully reorganizing under subchapter V during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Successfully reorganized national third-party logistics provider in the trucking industry
  • Served as lead debtor’s counsel in several mid-size chapter 11 cases, including reorganization of an apartment complex and a family-owned appliance business
  • Represented more than fifteen individuals in complex chapter 11 cases, with a 100% confirmation rate

Creditor and Trustee Representation and Bankruptcy Litigation Matters

  • Represented a property owner in chapter 7 bankruptcy cases of serial filers and obtained an order dismissing a case as a bad faith filing with prejudice and a filing bar
  • Represented multiple financial institutions as secured creditors in multiple chapter 11 cases
  • Regularly represents community associations as creditors in chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcies
  • Assisted post-confirmation liquidating trustee in prosecuting more than fifty avoidance actions
  • Represented both plaintiffs and defendants in dischargeability litigation

State Court Litigation

  • Member of the trial team who defeated unit owners asserting claims against a condominium association in Sarasota County, Florida
  • Successfully defended chapter 7 trustee’s accounting firm in litigation emanating from Delaware bankruptcy case
  • Routinely represents financial institutions in commercial foreclosure actions across the state

Professional & Community Affiliations

Professional Involvement

  • Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association
    • Past President, 2020-2021
    • Past Board of Directors
  • American Bankruptcy Institute
    • Contributing Editor, ABI Journal
  • Hillsborough County Bar Association
  • IWIRC

Community Involvement

  • Region 2 Finance Supervisor, Gamma Phi Beta Sorority
  • Past finance advisor for multiple Gamma Phi Beta chapters for more than ten years
  • Lector, St. Stephen Catholic Church

Honors & Recognitions

AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell

Board Certified in Business Bankruptcy Law by the American Board of Certification

Florida Super Lawyers, Rising Star (2013-2021)

Florida Trend Legal Elite, Up & Comer (2012, 2017, 2018)

The Best Lawyers in America (2021)

Tampa Connection, Class of 2019

Articles and Presentations

  • When Less is Not More: Sufficient Identification of Collateral in Financing Statements, ABI Journal (May 2020).
  • Third Circuit Joins Other Circuits in Holding WARN Act Exception Standard is “Probable,” Not “Possible”, Unsecured Trade Creditors Committee Newsletter (October 2017).
  • When Is a Claim in “Bona Fide Dispute” under § 303(b)?, ABI Journal (October 2016).
  • Section 1111(b) Elections: Does “Inconsequential” Mean “None,” and Are Some Co-Equal Liens More Equal than Others?, ABI Journal (May 2016).
  • Trust or Debtor: You Decide, ABI Journal (December 2013).
  • How Efficient Is Your Market When to Apply the Till Rate in Chapter 11 Cases, ABI Journal (June 2013).
  • Standards of Value in Dirt-for-Debt Chapter 11s: Don’t Make a Rash Decision, ABI Journal (April 2012).
  • How Disposable Is Your Individual Chapter 11 Debtor’s Income, ABI Journal (October 2011).
  • Application of Absolute Priority Rule and New Value Exception in Individual Chapter 11s, ABI Journal (July/August 2011).
  • Make Yourself Necessary: How to Get Paid as Debtor’s Counsel in Individual Chapter 11s, ABI Journal (June 2011).
  • Clarifying the Florida Personal Property Exemption Statute: Was the “Right” Question Certified to the Florida Supreme Court?, The Cramdown (Spring 2010).
  • Florida Personal Property Exemption Statute: Why Courts Should Agree to Disagree over Its Interpretation, The Cramdown (Winter 2008).
  • Down the Rabbit Hole: An Adventure in the Wonderland of Stored-Value Card Regulation, Texas Bar Journal of Consumer and Commercial Law (Fall 2008).
  • Co-Presenter, Bankruptcy Basics for Accountants, FICPA, Gulf Coast Chapter (November 2011).
  • Guest Lecturer, Documents of the Deal course, Stetson University College of Law (April 2016, February 2017, March 2018, April 2020).
  • Panelist, Involuntary Petitions – Issues to Consider Before Pulling the Trigger, ABI’s Unsecured Trade Creditors’ Committee (February 2017).
  • Co-Presenter, A Whole New World: What Happens After the Defendant You Have Been Chasing for Years Files Bankruptcy?, Paralegal Association of Florida (June 2017).
  • Presenter, Federal Court Practice Seminar – Motions Practice, Tampa Bay Chapter of the Federal Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (July 2017).
  • Guest Lecturer, University of Florida Levin College of Law, Advanced Bankruptcy Seminar, Involuntary Bankruptcies – One Petition to Rule Them All (April 2018, March 2019, February 2020).
  • Guest Lecturer, Stetson University College of Law, Advanced Bankruptcy Seminar, Involuntary Bankruptcies – One Petition to Rule Them All (March 2019, February 2020, April 2021).
  • Co-Presenter, Close Encounters with the Fourth Kind: Navigating Bankruptcy Basics, Florida Association of County Attorneys Annual Meeting (June 2019).
  • Panelist, Bankruptcy Practice is Constantly Changing, Alexander L. Paskay Memorial Bankruptcy Seminar (January 2020).
  • Moderator, Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association, Between Three Bankruptcy Attorneys CLE Presentation (May 2021).

Personal

Ms. DiSanto was born and raised in Northern Virginia.

Education

Stetson University College of Law, J.D., 2008

  • Moot Court Board Member, 2007 Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot team and 2008 Conrad B. Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot team
  • 2008 Judge Alexander Paskay Bankruptcy Award Winner
  • 2008 William F. Blews Pro Bono Service Award Winner
  • Received 4.0 in Contracts I, Property I, Commercial Transactions, and Environmental Law

University of Virginia, B.S., 2005

Bar and Court Admissions

Florida

United States District Court, Middle, Northern, and Southern Districts of Florida

United States Court of Appeals of the Eleventh Circuit