Maria Ellena Chavez-Ruark
Maria Ruark has a diverse debtor-creditor practice and represents parties in interest in bankruptcy cases of all sizes from large Chapter 11 cases to small business Chapter 11 cases to consumer cases.
In business bankruptcy cases, Maria represents or has represented the following types of parties in interest:
- Secured creditors including lenders, judgment lienholders and indenture trustees;
- Creditors' committees, equity holders' committees and reclamation claimants' committees;
- Priority unsecured creditors including reclamation claimants;
- General unsecured creditors including suppliers of goods and services, contract parties, utilities, franchisors, judgment creditors and landlords;
- Bankruptcy trustees;
- Liquidating and disbursing agents;
- Purchasers of assets from bankruptcy estates; and
- Non-debtor co-obligors on debt.
In consumer bankruptcy cases, Maria represents or has represented the following types of parties in interest:
- Secured creditors including lenders and judgment lienholders;
- General unsecured creditors including judgment creditors, landlords, suppliers of goods and services and contract parties;
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustees; and
- Chapter 11 bankruptcy trustees.
In addition, Maria has served as a Chapter 11 examiner and a mediator.
Maria also has extensive experience on both the front end of transactions - negotiating and documenting multifaceted financial and business relationships - and on the back end of transactions - litigating breach of contract, fraudulent transfer, successor liability, directors and officers liability, conversion, Chapter 11 business bankruptcy and other complex debtor-creditor disputes.
Maria's practical legal strategies enable her to resolve or, when necessary, litigate complex and delicate disputes efficiently and effectively. Maria has a sharp understanding of the operational and management aspects of a business. She works collaboratively with her clients to develop the appropriate course of action and employs her problem solving and strategic thinking skills to strive to achieve the best possible results for her clients. Maria has appeared in state and federal courts throughout the United States.
Prior to private practice, Maria completed a two-year clerkship with the Honorable James F. Schneider of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland and a one-year clerkship with the Honorable Susan M. Marzetta of the Circuit Court for Baltimore City.
In addition to her state bar admissions, she is admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the United States District Court for the District of Maryland and the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
Maria is passionate about mentoring young women, pro bono service, community service, diversity and inclusion initiatives and the betterment of the legal profession.
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