Douglas D. Kappler
Douglas D. Kappler

Admitted to bar, California, 1971.

Education: University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, Berkeley, California, (J.D., 1970), Westmont College, Santa Barbara, California (B.A., 1964).

Biography:  Doug began his career in 1971 litigating personal injury cases for the insurance defense firm of L.F. Haeberle III in San Francisco.  In 1973-1974, Doug was a litigator in the insolvency and business firm of Glicksberg, Kushner and Goldberg, also in San Francisco.  From 1974 to 1984 Doug was a solo practitioner in Santa Barbara County emphasizing insolvency, real estate, personal injury and business litigation.  In 1983 he joined the firm of Robinson, Diamant & Wolkowitz, an insolvency firm in Los Angeles.  He became a partner there in 1987, where he remained until the end of 2009.  While at the Robinson firm, Doug represented trustees, debtors, creditors and creditors committees in a variety of complex cases under the Bankruptcy Code.  Presently Doug and his wife, Kathryn, reside on their ranch in Acton, where they keep their four Tennessee Walking horses.  Doug is also an avid hiker and summited Mt. Whitney in 2002.

Trial Experience:  Experienced trial lawyer having tried a multitude of cases to judgment and more than fifteen jury trials to verdict. Experienced in fraud, transfer avoidance and preference litigation.

Represented Chapter 7 Trustee for Intellisys, Inc. by prosecuting  more than 350 preference actions in which more than $2,700,000 was collected for the estate.

Represented the official creditors committee in the Tepper Industries chapter 11 case, avoiding an asserted lien on personal property acquired by the debtor after it had changed business locations. The successful result in the trial court was affirmed by the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Ninth Circuit and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  In re Tepper Industries, 74 B.R. 713 (9th Cir. BAP 1987) and 840 F.2d 22 (9th Cir. 1988).

Represented creditor Travelers Insurance Company in opposing a chapter 7 Debtor's claimed exemption in his retirement trust.  A decision initially favoring the Debtor on technical grounds was reversed on appeal to the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  The decision of the BAP established standards for Chapter 7 Trustees wishing to continue creditors meetings under the Bankruptcy Code.  In re Clark, 262 B.R. 508 (9th Cir. BAP, 2001).

Represented beneficiaries of a one million dollar life insurance policy against competing claims by the proponent of a forged beneficiary statement and  by the bankruptcy estate of the decedent's wholly owned corporation, recovering more than 87% of the proceeds for the benefit of the clients.  (Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. v. Gulen et al).

Represented Diversified Capital Corporation, the owner of a large industrial park  in North Las Vegas, in a highly contested chapter 11 reorganization proceeding.  Successfully: 1) opposed attempts to convert or dismiss;  2) prevented foreclosure; and 3) confirmed a reorganization plan over the objection of the City of North Las Vegas, a major creditor.

Represented the Chapter 7 Trustee for Lasar Mfg. Inc.   Investigated and exposed a complex scheme whereby the owner of the debtor utilized domestic and foreign entities to siphon off substantial assets in fraud of creditors.  The litigation resulted in a seven figure  recovery for the bankruptcy estate and has been nicknamed "The case of the lady in white".

Represented the Chapter 7 trustee for Glen Riches Winn.  Among other things, successfully challenged the debtor's claimed exemption in his retirement trust and obtained a ruling in a contested proceeding that the trust was not ERISA qualified due to the Debtor's improper use and management of trust assets.

Represented the Chapter 7 trustee for William Beverly, an attorney who developed a scheme to defraud creditors by transferring substantially all of the non-exempt community property belonging to him and his estranged wife to his wife in exchange for the community interest in his law corporation=s profit sharing plan.  The transfer of more than $1,000,000 to the wife was made pursuant to a marriage settlement agreement that was ultimately approved by the state court.  The Bankruptcy Court, which found that this was permissible exemption planning in the context of a contested dissolution proceeding,  held in favor of the Debtor and his former wife.   That decision was reversed on appeal, distinguishing former precedent.   In re Beverly, 551  F.3d 1092 (9th Cir. 2008).

Represented the Chapter 7 Debtor in Matthews v. Transamerica Financial Services.    The bankruptcy court held that the refinancing of a loan secured by consumer goods destroyed the purchase money character of the loan and could therefore be avoided under 11 USC Sec. 522(f).   The Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Ninth Circuit reversed the trial court, which in turn was reversed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in a published opinion.  Matthews v.  Transamerica Financial Services, 724 F. 2d 798 (9th Cir. 1984).

Bar Admissions: California State Bar; Northern District of California; Central District of California; Southern District of California; Eastern District of California; Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Professional Affiliations: Los Angeles County Bar Association; Financial Lawyers Conference; Los Angeles Bankruptcy Forum.


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