Category: Lawyers

Articles for lawyers by lawyers.

David Engelman Attorney at Engelman Berger

The Art of Advice

David Wm. Engelman on what he’s learned after 40 years of law and a lifetime of helping the less fortunate.

Bankruptcy attorney David Wm. Engelman has represented businesses and lender for decades, but he might be better known for his free financial clinics for the needy. “The knowledge of the law is essentially the same, but it’s very different folks that you’re working with as clients.” he says.

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An Armistice in the Fight for Anti-Deficiency Reform

“Peace in the Middle East.” That is how Tom Farley, chief lobbyist for the Arizona Association of Realtors, described the collaborative effort that led to the passage of the most recent amendments to Arizona’s anti-deficiency statutes.1 Though the amendments may not have achieved that lofty objective, they did effectuate a compromise between Arizona real-tors, bankers and homebuilders over the scope and reach of the statutes—an issue that previously had sharply divided these groups.

Engelman Berger Welcomes Our New Shareholder Damien R. Meyer!

Damien has extensive experience in representing private businesses and individuals, contractors and real estate developers in all areas of their business including contractual analysis and disputes, collection and payment disputes, tort liability and negotiation of pre-litigation disputes to avoid formal litigation.

Patrick Clisham Attorney at Engelman Berger

Patrick A. Clisham

Patrick Clisham Attorney at Engelman Berger


[email protected]
602.271.9090 MAIN
602.222.4968 DIRECT
602.222.4999 FAX
2800 North Central Avenue
Suite 1200
Phoenix, Arizona 85004


Practice Areas

Commercial Litigation
Bankruptcy and Reorganization
Business Formation and Transactions
Buying/Selling Businesses
Creditors’ Rights
Loan Workouts
Commercial Landlord Tenant Law
Business and Financial Restructuring
Real Estate
Loan Documentation


DePaul University College of Law, J.D., cum laude, 2002
Northern Illinois University, B.S. in Political Science, 1992


Arizona and Illinois State and Federal Courts
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh and Federal Circuits


Patrick Clisham has extensive experience representing clients in corporate financings, restructurings and reorganizations. Patrick’s experience primarily derives from representing distressed businesses, banks, secured and unsecured creditors, strategic buyers, and trustees in both complex chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings and out of court deals.

Patrick joined Engelman Berger in 2009 after relocating from Chicago. His prior practice experience includes more than five years with a Chicago-based nationally recognized reorganization practice where he primarily represented a spectrum of corporate debtors in bankruptcy, including in the fields of retail, manufacturing, and real estate development. Patrick’s practical approach to his cases and his guidance to clients are informed by his considerable business management and financial experience, which predates his career as an attorney. He is a former commodities futures trader and was a Member of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange from 1996 – 2001. Patrick also previously served as Assistant Vice-President of Law & Government Affairs for AT&T Communications from 2002 – 2004.



To advance the financial interests of clients through business transactions and restructurings or litigation.



Corporate Bankruptcy Debtors
Bankruptcy Creditor Committees and Trustees
Real Estate Developers
Commercial Banks
Private Equity Investors/Lenders
Commercial Landlords



American Bankruptcy Institute, Member of the Board of Directors and Finance Committee

ABI Southwest Conference Planning Board, Co-Chair

ABI Journal, Recurring Author/Contributing Editor

Credit Abuse Resistance Education (CARE), Executive Board Member, Secretary

Arizona Bankruptcy American Inn of Court; Master of the Bench

Turnaround Management Association, Member



Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© in the field of Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law in Phoenix, AZ, since 2020

Selected to Southwest Super Lawyers, Bankruptcy, Business/Corporate, Business Litigation, since 2019

Selected to Southwest Rising Stars, Bankruptcy, Business/Corporate, Business Litigation, 2012

Award For Excellence in Public Interests Legal Education from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 2007


Career Highlights

Representation of Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in successful reorganization of more than $100 million of unsecured claims.

Representation of a large-scale commercial dairy operation in chapter 11 liquidation including disposition of inventory, equipment, real estate and related investment assets.

Representation of regional home goods retailer in out-of-court liquidation and wind-down.

Representation of commercial landlords and developers with respect to reorganizations, lease enforcements, restrictive covenant issues, credit workouts, and guarantor liabilities.

Representation of commercial lenders in more than $1 billion of commercial financing transactions, including traditional asset based lending, ESOP, and LIHTC and New Market tax credit financings, workouts, foreclosure/trustee sales, receivership actions, and bankruptcy proceedings.

Representations of buyers and sellers in the private sales of manufacturing, multi-state and regional retail, healthcare, and construction contracting services businesses.

Representation of debtor and trustee of a post-confirmation liquidating trust in negotiations and settlement of environmental claims and reclamation processes with the U.S. EPA and various state agencies in a chapter 11 proceeding.

Representation of international manufacturer and wholesaler of consumer goods in chapter 11 proceedings, including a sale of significant operating assets as a going concern.

Representation of major machinery equipment lessor in a successful chapter 11 reorganization case.

Representation of chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee in the $50 million liquidation of international boat manufacturer, including the prosecution of avoidance actions and the resolution of more than $2 billion in claims.

Representation of Healthcare Ombudsman appointed in chapter 7 liquidation of private physician practice.

Representations of plaintiffs and defendants in 11 U.S.C. § 547 bankruptcy preference and bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy fraudulent transfer avoidance litigation.



Monthly Benchnotes Column for the ABI Journal, Regular Contributing Editor and Co-Author, January 2016 – Present

“A Primer on the Valuation of Affordable Housing in Chapter 11,” XXXII ABI Journal 4, 52-53, 102-03, Co-Author, May 2013

“Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education Secured Transactions,” Co-Authored Various Chapters, 2006 – 2010

“The 547(c)(4) New Value Defense: Paid or Unpaid,” Bankruptcy Strategist, Co-Author, 2009


Community Service

Patrick volunteers his time teaching America’s youth the importance of responsible credit use for the national Credit Abuse Resistance Education (CARE) Program and serves as Secretary of CARE’s Board of Directors.

David Engelman Attorney at Engelman Berger

David Wm. Engelman – Retired

David Engelman Attorney at Engelman Berger


[email protected]
602.271.9090 MAIN
602.222.4975 DIRECT
602.222.4999 FAX
2800 North Central Avenue
Suite 1200
Phoenix, Arizona 85004


Practice Areas

Bankruptcy and Reorganization
Creditor Rights
Loan Workouts
Business and Financial Restructuring
Real Estate
Loan Documentation
Buying and Selling of Businesses
Automobile Dealership Law
Credit Union Law


John Marshall Law School, J.D. with honors, 1975
Antioch College, B.A., 1972


Arizona State Courts
Arizona Federal District Court
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
United States Supreme Court

Assisted By

Lisa Morgan


David Wm. Engelman brings a longstanding commitment to efficient and effective client service developed over 25 years as a solo practitioner and 17 years managing a small firm. He integrates that style with a similar commitment  to providing quality legal services to his clients. The success of this approach is evidenced by the retention of clients for over 35 years.

David is an experienced attorney whose practice focuses on commercial law. He has engaged in a wide variety of areas over his career, including banking and credit union law, loan and contract drafting, bankruptcy representation for commercial creditors and debtors, loan workouts, and business and agricultural matters.  David currently concentrates his practice areas to business deals, including buying and selling businesses, banking and credit union matters, loan originations, loan workouts, complex business disputes, and commercial bankruptcy matters.

David also currently serves as General Counsel to Arizona Federal Credit Union.


To build and maintain long-lasting successful business relationships by offering personalized and individualized service designed to meet the client’s needs.



Appliance Wholesalers
Automobile Dealerships
Commercial Lenders
Cattle and other Farmers
Financial Institutions
Golf Courses
Hard Money Lenders
HUD – Affordable  Housing
Financial Investors
Real Estate Developers
Small Business Owners



Credit Union
Hospitality and Lodging
Real Estate


Bar Associations

State Bar of Arizona: Board of Governors
Bankruptcy Section
Former Pro Bono Chairman
Former Chairman of Judicial Relations Committee
Maricopa County Bar Association
American Bar Association
Law Practice Management
American Bankruptcy Institute



Selected to Southwest Super Lawyers, Creditor Debtor Rights, Bankruptcy, Closely Held Business, since 2008

Recipient of the Golden Rule Award from Arizona Interfaith Movement, 2012

Pro Bono Attorney of the Year, Arizona Supreme Court, 2010

Frank Gordon Traveling Award for Volunteer Attorney of the Year, Volunteer Lawyers Program, 2009

William Birmingham Clinic Services Award, Volunteer Lawyers Program, 1995 and 1999

William Morris Pro Bono Service Award, Arizona Bar Foundation, 2004


Career Highlights

Representation of numerous lenders and borrowers in commercial and agricultural loan origination matters, including drafting and negotiating loan agreements and related commercial finance documents.

Representation of lenders and borrowers in loan workouts, including negotiating and drafting forbearance and modification agreements.

Representation of lenders in commercial foreclosure matters, including handling trustee sales and follow up deficiency actions.

Conversion of federally chartered credit unions to state chartered credit unions.

Representation of a large credit union, handling all its bankruptcy files, loan disputes, regulatory issues, title disputes, and day-to-day general legal matters. Drafted various documents for the credit union, including loan documents and motor vehicle dealer finance agreement.

Representation of various farmers in chapter 11 and chapter 12 bankruptcies, with positive outcomes.

Successfully represented a new homebuilder in the orderly Chapter 11 liquidation of its partially constructed homes.

Represented an owner of an apartment complex in successful business reorganization, permitting the client to sell the complex for a tidy profit.

Representation of a major resort through bankruptcy.

Represented a purchaser in the acquisition of $40 million worth of assets from a bankrupt fiber optic business. This involved the negotiation with over 25 different lessors and contractors to adjust and resolve lease and contract disputes, as well as the negotiation with various mortgagees of real property.

Representation of a creditors’ committee in the Chapter 11 case of a primary school and nursery school holding company, resulting in the successful sale and spin-off of schools as going concerns.

Successful bankruptcy liquidation of medical provider company. Representation of asset purchasers from various bankruptcy estates. Drafting and reviewing numerous commercial loans on behalf of lenders.


Published Opinions

First Southern National Bank v. Sunnyslope Housing Limited Partnership (In re Sunnyslope Housing Limited Partnership), _ F.3d _, (9th Cir. May, 2017)

In re Sunnyslope Housing Limited Partnership, 2012 WL 603573 (B.A.P. 9th Cir. 2012)

In re Bender, 586 F.3d 1159 (9th Cir. 2009)

National Union Fire Ins. Co of Pittsburgh, Pa. v. Greene, 195 Ariz. 105, 985 P.2d 590 (Ariz.App. Div 1, 1999)

Oyakawa v. Gillette, 175 Ariz. 226, 54 P.2d 1212 (Ariz. App. Div. 1, 1993)



Frequent speaker for CLE programs sponsored by the State Bar of Arizona, Maricopa County Bar Association, and National Business Institute. Topics are related to commercial and consumer bankruptcy and insolvency issues.

Business Law adjunct teacher at Phoenix College: 1990-1995

Financial Debt Clinic adjunct teach at Summit Law School: 2013

Occasional expert witness in bankruptcy related matters


Community Service

Active in various charitable and civic matters in the community for over 40 years

Current member of Volunteer Lawyers Program Advisory Board

Currently supervises Financial Distress Clinic, a monthly clinic offering free legal advice to community

Mentor for new participating lawyers of Volunteer Lawyer Program

Former board memberships include:
Hillel at ASU
Arizona Interfaith Movement
Temple Chai
Jewish Community Center
American Jewish Committee