Mr. Zapata has over 20 years experience in bankruptcy law and bankruptcy related litigation, representing debtors and creditors in all aspects of Chapter 7, Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 cases, creditors in Chapter 15 bankruptcies and trustees in Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 cases.  He has served as lead counsel to numerous post-confirmation trusts.  His practice includes representations of trustees, debtors-in-possession, official creditors committees, secured lenders, post-confirmation fiduciaries, landlords and other parties in complex proceedings.  Prior to becoming an attorney, Joe served as an intern for the Honorable William H. Gindin, Chief Bankruptcy Judge, District of New Jersey and teacher’s assistant for the Honorable Stuart M. Bernstein, Chief Bankruptcy Judge, Southern District of New York.  In 2007 and 2008, Mr. Zapata was selected as a New Jersey Rising Star* by New Jersey Monthly Magazine and Law & Politics Magazine.

Major Representations:

Mr. Zapata has served as lead counsel to the creditors’ committees in the Foxtons, Inc., and Allstate Excavating Inc. bankruptcy cases, and counsel to the debtors in the successful reorganization of DDOH Family Partners, et al. and KidsPeace Corporation.  In addition, Mr. Zapata was lead counsel responsible for receivership and receivership-related litigation in the matter of SEC v. Antar, resulting in $10,000,000 being recovered for disbursement to defrauded investors; as well as primary counsel to the New Jersey Turnpike Authority in the bankruptcy cases of WorldCom, Adelphia, 360Networks, Global Crossing and Metromedia.

Select Publications:

  • Co-author, Issues Arising from the Debtor’s Ownership of an Interest in a Limited Liability Company, for the Twenty-First Annual Honorable William H. Gindin Bankruptcy Bench-Bar Conference (April, 2019)
  • Co-author, Requirements for Filing and Proceeding with a Pre-Packaged Chapter 11 Case, for the Sixteenth Annual Honorable William H. Gindin Bankruptcy Bench-Bar Conference (May, 2014)
  • Co-author, Payment of Foreclosure Judgments Through A Chapter 13 Plan, for the First Annual Honorable William H. Gindin Bankruptcy Bench-Bar Conference (April, 1999)

Select Speaking Engagements:

  •  2019 PBI Bankruptcy Institute – Panel: Avoidance Actions – Philadelphia, PA (September 25, 2019)
  •  “Issues Arising from the Debtor’s Ownership of an Interest in a Limited Liability Company” – Twenty-First Annual Honorable William H. Gindin Bankruptcy Bench-Bar Conference, Atlantic City, NJ (April 5,  2019)
  •  “Discharging Taxes in Bankruptcy,” – New Brunswick, NJ (January 22, 2015)
  •  “Obligations for Debtors in Bankruptcy: Filing and Paying Taxes; Tax Obligations which Survive a Bankruptcy Filing,” Fox Rothschild, LLP: CPEs for CPAs – Fall, 2010, Ewing, NJ (November 29, 2010)

 

The Super Lawyers – Rising Stars list is issued by Thomson Reuters. A description of the selection methodology can be found at www.superlawyers.com/about/selectionproces detail.html.  No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

Education

  • BENJAMIN N. CARDOZO SCHOOL OF LAW, 1998
  • CANISIUS COLLEGE, 1994

Practice Areas

Bar Admissions

  • State of New Jersey
  • United States District Court, District of New Jersey
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois

Memberships

  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • New Jersey State Bar Association
  • Middlesex County Bar Association
  • Turnaround Management Association