Our practice is devoted to enforcing the rights of creditors, both secured and unsecured. The firm represents premier financial institutions, non-bank lenders and trade creditors, and parties to executory contracts including landlords. We have worked in industries that include healthcare, retail and manufacturing.
We counsel lenders restructuring credit facilities, trade creditors seeking protection of their rights – both in and out of bankruptcy and receivership court – and buyers purchasing assets at bankruptcy court sales and secured party sales. We work with secured creditors to enforce their rights under their security documents, and landlords addressing rejection, assumption and assignment of leases in bankruptcy court. We represent creditors and other parties in pursuit of and defense against fraudulent transfer remedies and in defense of preferential transfers under the federal bankruptcy code.
The firm continues to earn top rankings by Best Law Firms for the practice areas of Banking and Finance Law, Bankruptcy Litigation, and Bankruptcy & Creditors-Debtors Rights/Insolvency & Reorganization Law. Joe has also been selected as Lawyer-of-the-Year by Best Lawyers for these practice areas, earning his fifth Lawyer-of-the-Year designation for 2020. Joe DiOrio was recognized by Rhode Island Monthly in the practice area of bankruptcy and workout in its 2020 Professional Excellence in Law listing.
Joe DiOrio is frequently appointed as a state court receiver, federal bankruptcy trustee or special master, where he is charged with administering debt, liquidating property and satisfying creditor obligations pursuant to federal and state law. In that capacity, Joe has operated businesses, and managed and sold real estate.
Among the most complex challenges of Joe DiOrio's career was the successful resolution of the recent Microfibres, Inc. matter. Joe was appointed trustee in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Microfibres, which had ownership interests in companies in Belgium and Hong Kong (which owned the majority stake in a manufacturing company in China). The local property covered in excess of 300,000 square feet of space on 10.2 acres in Pawtucket. The North Carolina plant consisted of over 300,000 square feet of space. A Mississippi warehouse was also part of the estate.
The former manufacturer and distributor of upholstery fabrics closed both its Pawtucket facility, which had 57 employees, and its larger North Carolina branch, with 125 workers. Joe successfully sold the business to a company based in Turkey, defended and settled a class action WARN Act claim and, ultimately, paid a dividend of 73% to unsecured creditors.
Joe has also been involved in numerous other notable bankruptcy matters, many of which were in the retail sector and part of the fabric of the Rhode Island community. In one instance, he was co-counsel with Judge Silverstein in the Narraganset Clothing Company Chapter 11 case which involved retail leases in 28 locations and the sale of an ongoing business. He was active in both the Tilden Thurber and Almacs Chapter 11 bankruptcies. He served as local counsel to the Creditors Committee with Judge Silverstein in the Almacs case, which involved a 26-store grocery chain in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Beyond these matters, Joe has been involved in many significant healthcare insolvency proceedings that impact the Rhode Island landscape.