James Patrick Shea has more than 35 years of experience advising financial institutions, landlords, vendors, creditors’ committees, debtors, bankruptcy trustees and other parties in business bankruptcy proceedings.   Jim also advises clients in commercial litigation relating to other aspects of the debtor-creditor relationship, including the enforcement of their rights in liquidations, receiverships, litigation, and informal out-of-court workouts.

Jim is Nationally recognized in the field of commercial insolvency and reorganization.  He is the former president, and current chairman of the board of the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI).  An ABI member since 1988, Jim has also served as ABI’s Vice-President of Communications and Information Technology and the founding chair of ABI’s Subcommittee on Gaming Insolvencies and Reorganizations. He serves as the chair of ABI’s Civility Task Force and is a former program chair of ABI’s Southwest Bankruptcy Conference. He is the founding chairman of the State Bar of Nevada’s Bankruptcy Law Section and served as co-chair of the Ninth Circuit Lawyer Representatives for the District of Nevada and was  elected to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference Executive Committee.

Jim has represented clients in significant hotel/casino bankruptcies including those filed by Landmark, Marina, Riviera, Bally’s, Gold River, Stratosphere, Arizona Charlie’s, Debbie Reynolds, Aladdin Hotel & Casino, Hooters Hotel & Casino, Stations Casinos, and Lucky Dragon Hotel and Casino. Jim has also handled high-profile bankruptcies in other industries involving such companies such as National Airlines, Sunworld Airlines, AgriBioTech, Mego Financial, Amerco (U-Haul), USA Capital, Pegasus Mining, Veris Gold, Vegas TV, and Lake Las Vegas.


Prior to joining the firm as Department Chair, Jim was a partner in the Las Vegas office of a national law firm, and prior to that, a founding partner of boutique commercial law firm.

Professional or Trade Affiliations:

  • Best Bankruptcy Lawyer, Best of Las Vegas 2018 Bronze Award
  • President, American Bankruptcy Institute (2015-2016)
  • American Bankruptcy Institute Civility Task Force Chair (2014-present)
  • American Bankruptcy Institute Chairman of the Board (2017-2018)
  • Member, State Bar of Nevada Civility Task Force
  • Named America’s Most Honored Professional by The American Registry (2015, 2016, 2017)
  • Best Attorneys in Nevada, Best Lawyers® (2014-Present)
  • Top Lawyers, Vegas Inc.
  • AV® Rated, Martindale-Hubbell (1987-present)
  • The Best Lawyers in America®; Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law (2006-present)
  • Mountain States Super Lawyers®; Super Lawyers®, Business Edition (2007-present)
  • Nevada Business Magazine’s “Legal Elite” (2013, 2017, 2018)

Speeches, Presentations & Publications

  • Speaker, “ABI-NCBJ Business Roundtable: Pitfalls of a Midsize Chapter 11,” National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges (October 2018)
  • Co-author, “Individual Chapter 11,” American Bankruptcy Institute (July 2018)
  • Speaker, “Unlike Death and Taxes: A Review of Important Recent Cases and Trends,” American Bankruptcy Institute’s 23rd Annual Rocky Mountain Bankruptcy Conference (January 2018)
  • Co-Author, “Navigating the Enforcement of Mechanics’ Liens in Bankruptcy,” Nevada Lawyer (December 2017)
  • Moderator, “Sub-Par Performers: Restructuring Challenges in the Golf Course Industry,” American Bankruptcy Institute’s 2017 Southwest Bankruptcy Conference (September 2017)
  • Moderator, “Paths for Committees Post-Jevic,” American Bankruptcy Institute’s 2017 Mid-Atlantic Bankruptcy Conference (August 2017)
  • Speaker, “Ethics: Who’s Your Daddy? Acing Your Fiduciary Duties,” American Bankruptcy Institute’s 2017 Bankruptcy Battleground West (March 2017)
  • Moderator, “Evidentiary Issues in Valuation Proceedings,” Conference of Chief Bankruptcy Judges, Clerks and Lawyer Representatives Meeting (March 2017)
  • Co-Author, “Avoiding Traps for the Unwary: What Nevada Claimants Must Know about Mechanic’s Liens in Bankruptcy,” Credit Management Association (December 2016)
  • Moderator, “Practicing in the Limelight: Celebrity Bankruptcies,” American Bankruptcy Institute Winter Leadership Conference (December 2016)
  • Speaker, “Business Development and Marketing Your Practice,” American Bankruptcy Institute’s 24th Annual Southwest Bankruptcy Conference (September 2016)
  • Moderator, “Bankruptcy Breakout Session,” Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference (July 2016)
  • Speaker, “Bankruptcy Judge Squares: The Supreme Court Edition,” American Bankruptcy Institute’s 34th Annual Spring Meeting (April 2016)
  • Speaker, “Civility Now: More Than Just the Ethical Practice of Law,” American Bankruptcy Institute 40th Annual Alexander L. Paskay Memorial Bankruptcy Seminar (March 2016)
  • Speaker, “Bankruptcy Breakout Session,” Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference (July 2015)
  • Speaker, “Flapjacks and Sage Advice: Judges’ Panel on Everything!” ABI 33rd Annual Spring Conference (April 2015)
  • Moderator, “Best Practices in Oral and Written Advocacy from the Perspective of Newer Judges,” 2014 Winter Leadership Conference (December 2014)
  • Speaker, “Still More Questions than Answers: Unresolved and Problem Issues in Individual Chapter 11 Cases,” National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges (October 2014)
  • Speaker, “Snake Eyes, or 11 the Hard Way: Betting the House in Individual Chapter 11 Cases,” Kansas City 34th Annual Midwestern Bankruptcy Institute & Professional Development Workshop (October 2014)
  • Speaker, “Anatomy of Evidentiary Proceedings – Demonstration: Evidence How-To’s,” ABI 22nd Annual Southwest Bankruptcy Conference (September 2014)
  • Speaker, “Ethics in Bankruptcy,” American Bankruptcy Institute’s Fourth Hawaii Bankruptcy Workshop (August 2014)
  • Speaker, “Cafeteria-Style Legal Services: Should Unbundling of Legal Services be on the Menu in Bankruptcy?” 2014 Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference (July 2014)
  • Speaker, “Five Minutes of Civility, Lessons Learned From a Task Force Survivor,” 2014 Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference (July 2014)
  • Speaker, “Civility & Professionalism,” Howard D. McKibben Chapter of the American Inns of Court (March 2014)
  • Moderator, “Individual Chapter 11s,” American Bankruptcy Institute 25th Annual Winter Leadership Conference (December 2013)
  • Moderator, “Ethics: Disagreeing without Being Disagreeable: The Case for Civility,” American Bankruptcy Institute 21st Annual Southwest Bankruptcy Conference (August 2013)
  • Speaker, “Selected Cases of Import,” United States District Court Conference (2013)
  • Speaker, “Who’s Your Daddy? Acing the Ethical Paternity Test,” American Bankruptcy Institute 20th Annual Southwest Bankruptcy Conference (September 2012)
  • Speaker, “Navigating Ethical Responsibility in a Complex World,” American Bankruptcy Institute Annual Spring Meeting (2012)
  • Speaker, “Bankruptcy Decisions, Another Year in Review,” United States District Court Conference (2012)
  • Speaker, “Snake Eyes or 11 The Hard Way, Betting the House in Individual Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Cases,” James E. Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona (November 2011)
  • “How BAPCPA Changes Chapter 11 Cases for Individuals, or No, This is Not Your Mothers Chapter 11!” National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges; Tampa, Florida (October 2011)
  • “Lost in Labyrinth of Individual Chapter 11 Cases,” American Bankruptcy Institute Southeast Bankruptcy Conference (July 2011)
  • “Bankruptcy Decisions: A Year in Review,” United States District Court Conference (May 2011)
  • “Bankruptcy Basics for Bankers,” Risks Management Association (April 2011)
  • “Dirt: It’s Not Just For Breakfast Anymore,” American Bankruptcy Institute Annual Spring Meeting (April 2011)
  • Speaker, “Individual Chapter 11 Strategies and Issues,” American Bankruptcy Institute 19th Annual Southwest Bankruptcy Conference (September 2010)
  • “Individual Chapter 11 Cases-Paradise Lost, Paradise Found,” American Bankruptcy Institute Third Hawaii Bankruptcy Workshop (August 2010)
  • “High Income Individuals: Chapter 11 by and for the People,” American Bankruptcy Institute Winter Leadership Conference (December 2009)
  • Speaker, “Individual Chapter 11: The Saga Continues,” American Bankruptcy Institute 17th Annual Southwest Bankruptcy Conference (September 2008)
  • Speaker, “The Ten Commandments of Commercial Loan Collection,” Risk Management Association (February 2008)
  • Speaker, “Top Ten Strategies for Getting Paid in Bankruptcy Court,” Risk Management Association (2007)
  • Speaker, “Individual Chapter 11: the ‘New’ Small Business Option?” American Bankruptcy Institute Winter Leadership Conference (December 2007)
  • Speaker, “How to Conduct a Chapter 11 Valuation Hearing,” American Bankruptcy Institute 15th Annual Southwest Bankruptcy Conference (2006)
  • Speaker, “Expert Testimony in Chapter 11 Cram Down Interest Rate Dispute After Till,” Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors (June 2006)
  • Co-Author, “Bankruptcy Abuse and Consumer Protection Act-It’s Not Just for People Anymore; How the Recent Amendments Affect Commercial Lenders and Borrowers,” Association for Financial Professionals (April 2006)
  • Co-Author, “Top 10 Reasons Lenders Should Love the New Bankruptcy Code,” Risk Management Association (February 2006)
  • Speaker, “Unique Issues in Gaming, Hospitality and Entertainment Venue Reorganization Cases,” American Bankruptcy Institute Winter Leadership Conference (December 2005)
  • Co-Author, “Pushing the Limits of Section 363-Is Confirmation Obsolete in the Asset Sale Case,” Journal of Bankruptcy Law and Practice, Vol. 14 (November 2005)
  • Speaker, “Great Debates-Whether Till Precludes Market Rates of Interest in Chapter 11 Cases,” American Bankruptcy Institute Annual Spring Meeting (April 2005)
  • Speaker, “Section 363 and the Path to World Domination; Can All Be Achieved in the Sale Motion?” American Bankruptcy Institute 13th Annual Southwest Bankruptcy Conference (September 2004)
  • Speaker, “Top Ten Strategies for Creditors in Bankruptcy Court,” Risk Management Association (March 2004)

Community Involvement:

  • American Bankruptcy Institute (Chairman, Board of Directors, 2017-2018; Immediate Past President 2016-2017; President 2015-2016; Executive Committee Member; Director, Board of Directors; Vice President of Communications and Information Technology, 2011-2015; Chair/Chair Emeritus, Southwest Bankruptcy Conference; Member, Mentor Program Committee; Secretary, 2008-2011)
  • Civility Task Force of the American Bankruptcy Institute (Chairman)
  • American Bar Association (Founding Chairman of Subcommittee on Gaming Insolvencies and Reorganizations)
  • District of Nevada Lawyer Representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference (2010-2013)
  • Lawyer Representatives Coordinating Committee for the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference (2011-2014)
  • Conference Executive Committee of the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference (2013-2017)
  • State Bar of Nevada (Founding Chair, Current Vice Chair of the Bankruptcy Law Section; Advisory Member, Civility Task Force)
  • Advisory Committee of the Southern Nevada Association of Bankruptcy Attorneys (Past Chairman)
  • Judge Lloyd George Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition at the William S. Boyd School of Law (Co-Chair)