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).
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,
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
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
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
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
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.
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.