Rocco I. Debitetto

Partner

Summary

Rocco is a member of Hahn Loeser’s Business Practice Area and co-chair of the firm’s Commercial Services & Restructuring Practice Group. In addition to his core work as a business bankruptcy lawyer, Rocco routinely provides day-to-day general legal counsel to businesses in several industries, maintains a strong commercial practice, including litigation, and has developed an art law practice.

At Hahn Loeser

Professionally, Rocco has grown up at Hahn Loeser, beginning his career with the firm as a 23-year-old law student. He considers himself lucky to spend every day working with people he both enjoys and respects.

During his tenure at Hahn Loeser, he has gained a wide range of experience representing debtors-in-possession, secured lenders, lessors and landlords, unsecured creditors, official creditor committees, individual business owners, trustees and receivers in all facets of bankruptcy, creditors’ rights and state court proceedings. His experience also includes advising clients in connection with a range of commercial and business transactions, including asset sales and acquisitions, business start-ups, significant contract negotiations and financings. His broad practice allows him to serve clients in various areas of the law, acting not only as an advocate but also as a trusted business advisor to his clients.

Rocco has been recognized by Chambers USA America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Up and Coming, Bankruptcy/Restructuring, by Ohio Super Lawyers, and by The Best Lawyers in America.

Community

As a former rugby player, Rocco remained involved with the sport through the Ohio Youth Rugby Association a/k/a “Rugby Ohio,” where he served on the board of directors and as commissioner of the high school division. This ongoing involvement gives Rocco the opportunity to give back to the sport from which he learned the value of hard work, teamwork and how to succeed in difficult situations.

In addition, he previously worked on the Pro Bono Bankruptcy Project and as a volunteer attorney for Wills for Heroes.

  • In re LTV Steel (represented oil distributor in administrative claim litigation)
  • In re Rouge Steel (represented largest vendor, Cliffs Natural Resources, in auction and sale of debtor’s assets and securing long-term supply contract)
  • In re K-Mart Corp. (represented commercial real property lessor in assumption and assignment of lease)
  • In re PHD (represented creditors’ committee in all facets of bankruptcy, including director and officer litigation)
  • In re Regional Diagnostics. (represented creditors’ committee and liquidating trustee in all facets of bankruptcy)
  • In re Antaeus Tech. Servs. (represented buyer of intellectual property)
  • In re Scott Acquisition Co. Inc. (represented commercial landlord of two Scotty’s DIY locations)
  • In re Villa Marie Estates (represented chapter 11 trustee in operation and sale of debtor’s assets)
  • In re WCI Steel (represented major supplier, Cliffs Natural Resources, in securing long-term contract and defending reclamation rights)
  • In re Nat. Steel Corp. (defended oil supplier in preference litigation)
  • In re Evangelical Retirement Village (represented capital equipment lessor in assignment of lease pursuant to sale of debtor’s assets)
  • In re Buckeye Elec. Co., Inc. (represented The Ohio State University in all bankruptcy aspects of complex construction and surety litigation)
  • In re O’Donnell Sec. Corp. (represented insurer in non-dischargeability action against broker-dealer and bankruptcy claim litigation)
  • In re Clark Indus. Insulation (represented debtor’s insurer in connection with alleged asbestos liability)
  • In re Nat’l Employee Benefit Servs. (represented real property lessor in obtaining relief from stay to remarket premises occupied by Securities Investor Protection Act trustee)
  • In re The Austin Co. (represented multiple parties in bankruptcy of general contractor, including preferential/fraudulent transfer defendants, project owners, and various unsecured creditors)
  • In re Delphi Corp. (represented multiple suppliers in all facets of bankruptcy case)
  • ABS Litigation Trust v. Fifth-Third Bank, et al. (defended member of lending syndicate in lender liability action)
  • In re Cardinal Fastener & Specialty Co., Inc. (lead counsel to chapter 11 debtor in sale of substantially all of its assets)
  • In re Ventilex USA Inc. (lead counsel to chapter 11 debtor in reorganization and recapitalization of fluid bed dryer distributorship)
  • In re Triad Resources, Inc., et al. (represented chapter 11 debtors-in-possession in sale and reorganization of oil and gas exploration and production companies)
  • In re I.E. Liquidation, Inc. f/k/a Ideal Electric Co. (represent largest unsecured creditor and defendant in significant business litigation with debtor)
  • In re Freida R. Lauer (lead counsel to individual chapter 11 debtor)
  • In re Eastman Kodak Co. (lead counsel to Johnson Controls, Inc., one of the largest general unsecured creditors)
  • In re Cleveland Corp. Servs. (lead counsel to SMART Technology Inc., the largest general unsecured creditor/supplier)
  • In re D&L Energy, Inc. (counsel to oil exploration and production company doing business with debtor-in-possession pursuant to joint venture agreements)
  • Hanna Inv., LLC v. Canyon Props., LLC (lead counsel to debtor and individual business owners/guarantors)
  • In re Lapahana, LLC (lead counsel to senior secured creditor)
  • Bank of Am., N.A. v. Pearl Drake, LLC, et al. (lead counsel to receiver of operating strip mall)

Credentials

Education

University of Cincinnati College of Law, J.D., with honors, 2001

 

Honors and Activities: Winner, 2001 Norbert Heinsheimer Essay Award for Best Comment; 1999 George C. Katsanis Scholarship Award; member, Dean’s Honor List, 1999-2001; associate member, Law Review; member Phi Alpha Delta; student volunteer, Volunteer Lawyers Project

 

University of Dayton, B.A., summa cum laude, 1998

 

Honors and activities: Omicron Delta Epsilon (Economics Honors Fraternity); Golden Key International Honor Society; Rugby Football Club (president)

Memberships & Affiliations

American Bankruptcy Institute: member

 

Federal Bar Association: Board of Directors, Cleveland Chapter, 2006-present; vice chair, Newsletter Committee, 2007-09; inaugural chair, Bankruptcy Section, 2009-present

 

Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association. Young Lawyers’ Section: chair, Young Lawyers Section, 2007-08; vice chair, 2006-07; chair, Recruiting Committee, 2006-07; treasurer, 2005-06; chair, Pro Bono Committee, 2005-06; secretary, 2004-05; liaison, Justice for All Subcommittee, 2005-06. Member, Bankruptcy and Commercial Law Section; co-chair Fall 2008 Seminar. Member, Planning Committee, 2006 and 2007, William J. O’Neill Great Lakes Regional Bankruptcy Institute; co-chair Marketing and Publicity, 2006-07; co-chair Hospitality, 2005-06.

 

Attorney Constituency Group, United States Bankruptcy Court, N.D. of Ohio (June 2006–present)

 

Catholic Lawyers Guild: member, 2001-present

 

The Justinian Forum: member, 2011-present

Bar Admissions

Admitted to the Ohio Bar, 2001

 

Licensed to practice before the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Ohio 2002; Federal District for the Southern District of Ohio, 2002; Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2005; United States Supreme Court, 2006.

Awards & Distinctions

Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, “Up and Coming,” Bankruptcy/Restructuring, 2014-16

 

Ohio Super Lawyers, 2014-17; Top 100 in Ohio 2015-17, Top 50 in Cleveland, 2015-17

 

Who to Watch in Law, Crain’s Cleveland Business, July 2013

 

The Best Lawyers in America, Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights Law, 2013-17

 

“Ohio Rising Stars,” Ohio Super Lawyers, 2005-07; 2009-13