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D 816.360.4343
F 816.572.5343
  • Education
    • J.D., Washburn University School of Law, 1980, with honors
    • M.B.A., University of Missouri-Kansas City, 1978
    • B.A., University of Missouri-Kansas City, 1976
  • Court Admissions
    • U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri, 1980
    • U.S. District Court, District of Kansas, 1998
James Bird assists clients in making informed decisions and devising effective solutions concerning their financial situation and business goals. For more than 38 years, James has worked diligently to provide clients with legal guidance they can trust and depend on. His primary areas of practice are:
  • Financial restructuring
  • Corporate bankruptcy
  • Bankruptcy and debtor-creditor litigation
James, as the former chair of the Polsinelli Bankruptcy and Restructuring Practice, has significant national experience representing debtor corporations, secured lenders, official committees of unsecured creditors, debenture holders, shareholders, employees, landlords, asset purchasers, and trustees. A broad spectrum of industries, including health care, insurance, real estate, trucking, manufacturing, agriculture (as well as farm cooperatives), service, retail, and nonprofits, routinely look to James for guidance and representation. James has been included in U.S. News – Best Lawyers ranking for Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law since 2005. 
  • Chapter 7 Trustee’s Special Counsel in the sale of a Nebraska insurance company. 
  • Debtor's counsel to PetroShare Corp. in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy case.
  • Represented a national specialty sporting goods retailer in chapter 11, including an expedited marketing/sale process that resulted in a sale of the business to a strategic buy in less than one month, which enable the repayment of secured loans in full and made meaningful distributions and unsecured credits. 
  • Represented a large municipality who issued several series of bonds in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of a billion dollar hospitality conglomerate with over 35 hotels and other hospitality properties. 

  • St. Louis bankruptcy counsel and conflicts counsel to Creditors’ Committee in first and second Chapter 11 bankruptcy case of Payless ShoeSource, LLC.
  • Lead counsel to specialty hospital and physicians group in out-of-court liquidation in El Paso, Texas.
  • Restructured the financial affairs of a digital media company with locations in retail malls and universities across the nation pursuant to an assignment and in benefit of creditors. Client obtained 100% ownership as a result of a public sale conducted as part of the restructuring.

  • Represented foreign debtor in Chapter 15 international bankruptcy.

  • Successfully represented and reorganized a community improvement district in a Chapter 9 bankruptcy proceeding.
  • Represented major vendors in Chapter 11 case of Golfsmith International. 
  • Counsel to Chapter 11 Debtors marina properties lessees (Marinas International Consolidated, LP, et al.).
  • Counsel to Creditors Committee in Chapter 11 bankruptcy case of Osage Exploration and Development, Inc.
  • Counsel to Creditors Committee (Revel A.C., Inc., d/b/a Revel Casino).
  • Co-Counsel to Creditors Committee (retailer Bakers Shoes).
  • Counsel to Creditors Committee in Chapter 11 and special litigation counsel to Chapter 7 Trustee (rural wireless provider, Open Range Communications, Inc.).
  • Counsel to Chapter 11 Debtor (online clothing retailer, Signature Styles, LLC).
  • Counsel to Creditors Committee and Chapter 11 Plan Administrator (rural telecommunications provider, Crossroads Wireless).
  • Counsel to Chapter 11 debtor (Ford Motor dealership, Blue Springs Ford Sales, Inc.), the successful reorganization of the only Ford dealership to reorganize and emerge in chapter 11 in the United States.
  • Counsel to Official Creditors Committees (numerous trucking companies, including NationsWay Transport Service, Inc.; Preston Trucking Company, Inc.; American Freight Systems, Inc.; Campbell 66 Express; Mid-American Lines, Inc.; and H&S Motor Freight, Inc.).
  • Counsel to Bondholders Committee agricultural cooperative (Farmland Industries, Inc., et al).
  • Counsel to Official Creditors Committee (service, retail and manufacturing – Payless Cashways (I and II); E.J. Shoes; Travel Investors, Inc.; Wire Rope Corporation of America; Markay Plastics; Stevie Togs, Inc.; Junge Baking Company; and Broadway Industries).
  • Counsel to debtor (Kroh Brothers Development Company; Vanguard Airlines; First Humanics Corporation; Kansas Psychiatric Institutes; Lady Baltimore Foods, Inc.; Cencor, Inc.; Krigels, Inc.; Tarkio College; Didde Web Press Corporation; Phelps Technologies; Standard Insulations; and Weld Wheels, Inc.).
  • Asset purchaser representation (Enron, WorldComm, Creative Restaurant Management, and numerous real estate and manufacturing acquisitions).
  • Represented the rehabilitator, liquidator, or receiver in numerous insurance company insolvencies (Commonwealth General Insurance Company, Farm & Ranch Insurance, and National Colonial Insurance Company).
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