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Joseph R. Dunn

Member / Co-Chair, Cross-Border Asset Recovery Practice



Joe’s broad-ranging litigation and restructuring practice draws on his significant experience with complex creditor rights litigation, bankruptcy and corporate reorganization, and transactional work outside of insolvency. He has a long track record of successfully representing bankruptcy trustees and other fiduciaries, chapter 11 debtors, purchasers of distressed assets, franchisors, and equity holders. He is highly skilled at asset recovery, judgment enforcement, and litigation in the insolvency arena. Joe employs a holistic and economical approach to litigating matters in courts around the country. Institutional investors, hedge funds, boards of directors, business owners, and other creditors value his counsel.

In addition to his legal work, Joe is active in the community. He has served various leadership roles in local and statewide bankruptcy organizations and has served on the Selection Committee for the Ninth Circuit’s Lawyer Representative Program. Joe serves on the board of a non-profit organization, actively mentors junior attorneys in the firm, and organizes an annual golf tournament to benefit victims of domestic violence and their children.

Joe founded the Finance Association at California State University, Chico. While in law school, he was a member of Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse (VC3), where he assisted in representing capital murder defendants and was published in the Capital Defense Journal.  When not working, Joe can be found surfing, golfing, hiking, biking or otherwise enjoying San Diego with his wife, three daughters and son.


  • Washington and Lee University (JD)
  • California State University, Chico (BS, Finance, magna cum laude)


  • Represents indenture trustee in connection with receivership and bankruptcy proceedings in Indiana and Texas to recover approximately $100 million from operator of continuing care retirement community.
  • Advises various publically-traded and private company Boards of Directors and executive management teams regarding insolvency issues, including distressed dispositions/acquisitions of assets, fiduciary duties, and creditor rights.
  • Successfully defended CrossFit, Inc., its Founder and certain high-level employees against defamation claims, resulting in plaintiff’s voluntary dismissal of all claims. Obtained award of over $400,000 in discovery-related sanctions against plaintiff and appointment of a neutral forensic evaluator to evaluate plaintiff’s discovery misconduct.
  • Successfully prosecuted complex civil RICO case against 34 foreign and domestic defendants on behalf of Taiwanese manufacturer. Successfully defeated over 30 motions to dismiss, managed millions of pages of written discovery, over 40 depositions on two continents and hundreds of discovery disputes before two court-appointed Special Masters. Defeated summary judgment and in limine motions before favorably settling case at commencement of trial.
  • Represented creditor in obtaining $27+ million non-dischargeable judgment against the CEO of a consumer electronics company, and successfully defended the judgment through multiple appeals in Federal court.
  • Represented major league baseball team in litigation to recover damages for breach of contract and breaches of fiduciary duty.
  • Represented purchaser of bankrupt paper mill employing a large portion of a Midwest community.
  • Represented various Chapter 7 trustees in obtaining millions of dollars in judgments and settlements in numerous pieces of complex fraud-based litigation.
  • Represented Chapter 11 trustee in successfully prosecuting and securing millions of dollars in judgments and settlements arising out of real estate-based Ponzi scheme in Orange County, California.
  • Successfully prosecuted alter-ego arbitration, navigating complex array of obstructive discovery tactics to recover documents from offshore shell companies.  Obtained order from US Bankruptcy Court lifting stay on arbitration and remanding case to tribunal following defendant's bankruptcy filing. Obtained finding of alter-ego liability against CEO of defendant corporation and judgment of over $26,000,000.
  • Represented environmentally-focused medical waste processor in bankruptcy court and on appeal in confirming its highly-contested Chapter 11 reorganization plan.
  • Advised nonprofit organizations on workout, bankruptcy, and dissolution matters.

Recognition & Awards

  • Best Lawyers in America: Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, Litigation - Bankruptcy (2018 - 2023)
  • San Diego Super Lawyers: Civil Litigation: Defense (2018 - 2020), Business Litigation (2021-2022)
  • Best Lawyers in America: San Diego Litigation - Bankruptcy Lawyer of the Year (2020)
  • The Recorder: California Trailblazer (2020)
  • The Daily Transcript: Top 40 Under 40 (2017)
  • San Diego Super Lawyers Rising Star: Litigation (2015 - 2017)
  • San Diego Business Journal: "Best of the Bar" (2015)


  • Member, Board of Directors, Association of Business Trial Lawyers San Diego
  • Member/Vice President, Board of Directors, Center for Community Solutions (2016-2019)
  • Member, Board of Directors, California Bankruptcy Forum (2012-2015)
  • Member, Board of Directors, San Diego Bankruptcy Forum (2009 – 2011)
  • President, San Diego Bankruptcy Forum (2011)
  • Member, J. Clifford Wallace Inn of Court (2010-2012)
  • Member, American Bankruptcy Institute

Case Studies

Complex Fraudulent Transfer Case Dismissed with Prejudice Case Study Hero Case Study
Mintz’s Bankruptcy & Restructuring team achieved a significant victory by obtaining complete dismissal (at the pleading stages) of a lawsuit brought against our clients by a liquidating entity, which sought to recover at least $50 million in damages based on allegedly fraudulent transfers of real estate during and after a bankruptcy case.

Recent Insights



Pro Bono Viewpoint
Mintz helped organize, and several firm attorneys made presentations at, webinars on business and legal issues co-hosted by the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program and the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce, a pro bono project that arose from the firm’s San Diego Addressing Racial Inequality Group.
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Bankruptcy & Restructuring Viewpoints Thumbnail
For bankruptcy litigators – or any business which has been frustrated to receive a demand letter after one of its customers filed bankruptcy – one particular amendment stands out in the CARES ACT bill. The Act amended Section 547 of the Bankruptcy Code to provide suppliers and landlords with an additional potential challenge to actions brought to “claw back” payments made by a debtor in the 90 days preceding bankruptcy.
Read more
Cross-Border Asset Recovery Viewpoints Thumbnail
The 2020 coronavirus pandemic has not spared the asset recovery practice from its profound impacts. As we previously have discussed, the pandemic accelerated trends toward increased globalization and the ability of evasive debtors to move assets fluidly around the world, as business operators, banks, regulators and virtually all market segments rapidly embraced remote work and electronic commerce.
Read more
Cross-Border Asset Recovery Viewpoints Thumbnail
With courts and government agencies around the world enacting emergency measures in response to the Covid-19 pandemic – ranging from complete shutdowns to delays and limitations – advancing the ball in dispute resolution is more challenging than ever.
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Viewpoint Thumbnail

Protecting Creditor Rights in Insolvency Proceedings

August 27, 2018 | Video | By Joseph Dunn

Joe Dunn discusses the importance of creditors taking action to protect their interests when dealing with a distressed company and the tools available to businesses in order to do so.
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Lyondell: Is the Safe Harbor Closed to Former Shareholders of LBOs?

February 10, 2014 | Advisory | By Joseph Dunn

In a recent decision by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, Weisfelner, v. Fund 1, et al. (In re Lyondell Chem. Co.), 2014 Bankr.
Read more

News & Press

News Thumbnail
Mintz Members and Co-Chairs of the firm’s Cross-Border Asset Recovery Practice Daniel Pascucci and Joseph Dunn co-authored an article published in Law360 highlighting opportunities the current global climate presents that are often deployed to trace and recover assets: investigation, litigation and external pressure tactics.
Press Release Thumbnail
Mintz Levin is pleased to announce that nine attorneys have been named San Diego Super Lawyers for 2018 while two others have been named San Diego Rising Stars. The annual publication identifies lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. 
Press Release Thumbnail
Best Lawyers named 85 Mintz attorneys to its 2018 list of The Best Lawyers in America. In addition, Mintz attorneys Matthew J. Gardella and Samuel M. Tony Starr were named “Lawyer of the Year” in their respective practice areas.
News Thumbnail
Co-authored by Members Joseph Dunn and Daniel Pascucci and attorney Heather Silver, this article discusses the steps boards should take in deciding whether further investment in pursuing transferred assets.

Top 40 Under 40

April 19, 2017

This article highlights Joe Dunn as among the rising stars in the San Diego business community. The coverage highlights Joe’s journey into the legal profession and showcases his interests.
Joseph R. Dunn, a Member of the Bankruptcy & Restructuring Practice at Mintz, has been named a “Top 40 Under 40” business professional by the San Diego Daily Transcript. The Top 40 Under 40 honors “top young professionals” who they believe are “helping shape San Diego’s future.”
News Thumbnail
This article details the successful end of the ten-year fight to settle a case involving Taiwanese client Tatung Co. and Westinghouse Digital Electronics. The lengthy legal battle resulted from Westinghouse’s refusal to pay $11 million for goods purchased from Tatung.
News Thumbnail
This feature story reports on the settlement Tatung Co. Ltd reached with Westinghouse Digital Electronics. The settlement resolves nearly ten years of litigation after Westinghouse was accused of not paying for Tatung $11 million of LCD televisions.
Seven Mintz attorneys have been named Southern California Super Lawyers for 2017 and five have been named Southern California Rising Stars. Only five percent of area lawyers were named 2017 Southern California Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.  


Conference Reference Image

Technology Issues: Crash Course

American Bankruptcy Institute


Webinar Reference Image

Common Issues Businesses Face During COVID-19

San Diego Central Black Chamber of Commerce

Online event

Webinar Reference Image

Maximizing Value When IP Infringement Disputes and Bankruptcy Collide

California Lawyers Association (Intellectual Property Section)


Webinar Reference Image

Do Defaults Matter in the Era of COVID-19?

The State of Creditor Rights in Unprecedented Times

View Webinar Recording

Webinar Reference Image

Stafford Webinar

Navigating Fraud Issues in Bankruptcy


Real Talk San Diego

Real Talk San Diego

San Diego, CA