Judge Elizabeth S. Stong
Judge Elizabeth S. Stong is a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District of New
York. Previously, she was a partner at Willkie Farr & Gallagher, associate at Cravath,
Swaine & Moore, and law clerk to U. S. District Judge David Mazzone. She is a member
of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Council of the American Law Institute, board of
the ABA Center for Innovation, and the Advisory Committee of the Columbia
University’s Committee on Global Thought and holds leadership roles in the
International Insolvency Institute, Practising Law Institute, P.R.I.M.E. Finance, American
Bar Foundation, and ABA Business Law Section, International Law Section, and
Her past positions include President of the Harvard Law School Association, Chair of
the NCBJ International Judicial Relations Committee, and Chair of the New York City
Bar ADR Committee. She also served on the ABA’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono
and Public Service, Standing Committee on the American Judicial System, Standing
Committee on Continuing Legal Education, Commission on Women in the Profession,
and Commission on Homelessness and Poverty.
Judge Stong has trained judges in more than 25 countries on five continents, including
Central Europe, North, Central and West Africa, Central Asia, the Middle East, and the
Arabian Peninsula with the U.S. Commerce Department, the World Bank, ABA-ROLI,
and INSOL, among other organizations. She has consulted with the Supreme Court of
China and People’s High Courts in Beijing and Guangzhou, and led judicial workshops
in Cambodia, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile. She received the ABA Glass Cutter Award,
the NYIC Hon. Cecelia Goetz Award, the Brooklyn Bar Association’s Freda Nisnewitz
Award for Pro Bono Service, the Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors
Judicial Service Award, and the MFY Legal Services Scales of Justice Award. Judge
Stong is an adjunct professor at Brooklyn Law School and St. John’s University School
of Law. She received her A.B. magna cum laude and her J.D. from Harvard University.
Leslie A. Berkoff , Esq.
Leslie A. Berkoff is a Partner with the firm where she serves as Chair of the firm's Dispute Resolution Practice Group and is the former Co-Chair of the firm's Creditors' Rights and Restructuring Department. Ms. Berkoff splits her practice between these two Practice Groups. In the restructuring space, she concentrates her practice in chapter 11 cases, bankruptcy litigation and corporate workouts, where she represents a variety of corporate debtors, trustees, creditors and creditor committees both nationally and locally.
Ms. Berkoff is an experienced commercial litigator. Ms. Berkoff's Dispute Resolution practice has her frequently serving as an ad hoc and panel mediator; she is on the Mediation Panel for the Eastern and Southern Districts of the United States Bankruptcy Courts in New York, the United States Bankruptcy Courts in Delaware and the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, as well as the Commercial Mediation Panel for Nassau County and the American Arbitration Association ("AAA").
Ms. Berkoff also serves as a member of the Second Circuit United States Court of Appeals Pro Bono Appellate Mediation Panel and as a Special Master in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department Mediation Program. Ms. Berkoff is also a trained arbitrator and is a member of the AAA panel. Ms. Berkoff is the immediate past Co-Chair of the American Bankruptcy Institute's (ABI) Mediation Committee and is a contributing editor of the quarterly column Mediation Matters. She has also served as Co-Editor and contributing author of the ABI's Bankruptcy Mediation Manual.
Ms. Berkoff also serves as the American Bar Association ("ABA") Business Law Section's representative on the Dispute Resolution Advisory Council, and is the Chair of the Dispute Resolution Committee, the Vice Chair of Programming for the Business Bankruptcy Committee of the Business Law Section and the Vice Chair of the Bankruptcy Court Structure and Insolvency Committee. She is a contributing editor for the ABA publication Business Law Today on Dispute Resolution. Ms. Berkoff speaks and writes frequently on topics concerning both Dispute Resolution and Bankruptcy. Prior to joining Moritt Hock & Hamroff LLP, Ms. Berkoff served as a law clerk to the Honorable Jerome Feller, United States Bankruptcy Judge in the Eastern District of New York, from 1991 to 1993 and to the Honorable Allyne R. Ross, Federal Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District of New York, from 1990 to 1991.
Judge Melanie L. Cyganowski
Melanie L. Cyganowski joined Otterbourg P.C. as a partner in 2008, after serving a full 14-year term as a Bankruptcy Judge in the Eastern District of New York. From November 29, 2005 through the end of her term, she was the Court’s Chief Judge. Graduating magna cum laude from the School of Law at the State University of New York at Buffalo, Melanie then served as a law clerk to the late Hon. Charles L. Brieant, former Chief Judge in the Southern District of New York.
Following her clerkship, Melanie was a litigator at Sullivan & Cromwell, and Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy. Melanie presently chairs Otterbourg’s Bankruptcy practice. She is co-counsel to the Ad Hoc Committee of consenting governmental parties in Purdue Pharma, and counsel to the Ad Hoc Committee of States with Acthar-related claims in Mallinckrodt. She has been been appointed as Receiver in SEC v. Platinum Partners, an alleged billion dollar fraud, and in ÂCP Investment Group, LP.
Her other fiduciary appointments include (a) Chief Restructuring Officer and Temporary Operator of Brooklyn’s Interfaith Medical Center, a 287 bed acute care teaching hospital with ambulatory and out-patients clinics in the surrounding Bed-Stuy neighborhood, and (b) Patient Care Ombudsman in Randolph Health, Promise Healthcare, 21st Century Oncology and California Proton. She has also represented Official Committees of Unsecured Creditors in bankruptcy cases, including L&L Wings, Quirky and Escada.
In addition, Melanie has represented the FDIC as Receiver in various bankruptcy cases; has served as the Auditor of Capital One in connection with a consent judgment in a national matter; and is an arbitrator/mediator in numerous disputes, including Madoff, Lehman, Century 21, Quebecor and Metaldyne. In 2014, Melanie was inducted as a Fellow into the American College of Bankruptcy.
An author of numerous articles, she sits on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Norton Journal of Bankruptcy Practice & Law. Melanie is also a Fellow of the American and New York State Bar Foundations, and an adjunct professor of law at St. John’s University School of Law.
Andrew M. Thaler, Esq.
Andrew M. Thaler is the founding member of Thaler Law Firm PLLC. With more than 30 years of experience in the bankruptcy, insolvency, and restructuring fields, his practice focuses on a wide spectrum of matters, including representation of debtors, creditors, trustees, and creditors' committees in commercial chapter 11 and 7 cases, consumer chapter 7 and 13 cases, and various interested parties in complex bankruptcy litigation and insolvency matters. He has represented clients and handled matters in diverse industries, including professional and service businesses, manufacturing and retail companies, and financial institutions. As a federally appointed Chapter 7 Panel Trustee for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York since 1990, Mr. Thaler has presided over approximately twenty five thousand bankruptcy cases. In addition to his bankruptcy practice, he also serves as a mediator for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York and the Mediation Panel of the Commercial Division of the New York State Supreme Court, Nassau County.
Mr. Thaler is active in the Nassau County Bar Association, where he has served as a member of the Board of Directors, former Dean of the Nassau Academy of Law, and Chair of the Bankruptcy Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution Committees. He has lectured on bankruptcy and insolvency topics for the Nassau Academy of Law, the National Business Institute, the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the First American Title Insurance Company of New York. Mr. Thaler was recently appointed to the New York City Bar Association’s Committee on Bankruptcy & Corporate Reorganization. In 2010, he served as President of the Theodore Roosevelt American Inn of Court. In 2003, Mr. Thaler received the Partner in Justice Pro Bono Award from the Nassau/Suffolk Law Services Committee for his pro bono service to the community.
Mr. Thaler founded and was a managing member of the East Meadow law firm Thaler Gertler LLP from 1997-2013. Prior thereto he was bankruptcy department head of the Westbury firm Goldman, Horowitz & Cherno.
Martindale-Hubbell has assigned Mr. Thaler a rating of AV Preeminent, its highest peer rating standard. This rating signifies that his peers rank him at the highest level of professional excellence for his legal knowledge, communication skills and ethical standards.
Mr. Thaler has been selected to the Metro New York Area Super Lawyers list as one of the top bankruptcy & creditor/debtor rights attorneys in the New York Metro area every year from 2012 to 2016. Each year, no more than five percent of the lawyers in the state are selected to receive this honor. Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer nominations, evaluations and reviews by practice area.
He was recognized by L.I. Pulse Magazine each year from 2010 to 2016 as one of the region’s “Top Legal Eagles.”
Bruce L. Weiner
Bruce Weiner (Partner) has been practicing bankruptcy law since he was
admitted to the bar in 1978. In addition to his 30 years experience
representing debtors, creditors and those being sued by bankruptcy trustees,
Mr. Weiner has been involved in hundreds of trustee litigation cases since he
joined Rosenberg Musso & Weiner in 1994. Bruce Weiner is known for
thinking fast on his feet, his ability to handle complex cases, caring client
representation, attention to detail, excellent writing skills and courtroom
demeanor, and tenacity.
Here are some highlights of the thousands of bankruptcy cases that Bruce
Weiner has successfully handled: Mr. Weiner has successfully argued three
cases before the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit:
1. Musso vs. Ostashko, (
http://www.law.com/jsp/nylj/PubArticleNY.jsp?id=900005466696 ) this case
involved the complicated interplay between divorce and bankruptcy. On
appeal, Mr. Weiner successfully proved the assets belonged to the
bankruptcy trustee, not to the spouse who had been awarded them by the
2. He successfully represented a debtor in a case against Caesar's Palace
Casino, (http://www.nybankruptcy.net/CM/Custom/Consumernews.asp ) not
only discharging his gambling debt, but forcing the casino to pay fees for
violating the automatic stay.
3. Fisher case: (link to: In re Fischer , 53 Fed. Appt. 129, 2002 WL 31505620
(2nd Cir. NY) Trustee case involving multiple parcels of real estate and
complex issues. Bruce Weiner is married with 2 children.
Areas of Practice:
40% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
New York, 1978
U.S. District Court Southern District of New York, 1981
U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York, 1981
U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit, 1990
Washington University School of Law, St. Louis, Missouri, 1977
Law Review: Washington University Law Review, Member, 1976 - 1977
Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, 1973
Seminar Course Book, Consumer Bankruptcy (Co-Author) St. Johns School of
Law Consumer Bankruptcy
Two Recent Second Circuit Cases Involving Fraudulent Debtors, ABI
Commercial Task Force Newsletter, April,
Co-author, Zero tolerance for Commercial Bankruptcy Fraud, ABI Journal,
Dec05/Jan 06, Featured Article
Co-author, Judicial Code 959(b) and its Relation to the Automatic Stay, ABI
Journal, November, 1997
Rosenberg, Musso & Weiner, LLP
26 Court St
Brooklyn, NY 11242-1125
Phone: (718) 530-0210
Toll Free: (866) 402-8476