Todd M. Brooks

Todd M. Brooks

PARTNER
tbrooks@wtplaw.com
BALTIMORE
T: 410.347.9421
F: 410.234.2318



Todd Brooks is a commercial litigator with a focus on debtor/creditor rights and disputes arising out of federal and state insolvency and receivership proceedings.  Mr. Brooks also has a significant appellate practice.  He has defended or brought over 20 federal and state appeals for Whiteford clients across a range of practice areas, and regularly represents pro bono clients before the appellate courts.  Currently, Mr. Brooks is handling a pro bono appeal in a case involving search and seizure standards under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article 26 of the Maryland Declaration of Rights.

Recognitions

  • Listed in "40 & Under Hot List" by Benchmark Litigation 
  • Listed in Maryland Super Lawyers as a "Rising Star" 2012 - 2019
 

Memberships & Activities

  • Member: Maryland State Bar Association
  • Member: American Bar Association
  • Assigned Public Defender
  • Member: American Bankruptcy Institute
  • Member: Bankruptcy Bar Association for the District of Maryland (Baltimore)
  • Judicial Clerk: The Honorable James A. Kenney, III, Maryland Court of Special Appeals (2006 - 2007)
  • Judicial Intern: The Honorable Lenore R. Gelfman, Circuit Court for Howard County (Summer 2004)
  • Comments Editor: University of Baltimore Law Review (2005 - 2006)
  • Staff Member: University of Baltimore Law Review (2004 - 2005)
  • Benchmark Litigation Designation

Appellate Practice

Immediately prior to joining Whiteford, Mr. Brooks served a one-year term as a judicial clerk for The Honorable James A. Kenney, III on the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.  During that time, Mr. Brooks was responsible for the preparation of more than 50 appellate opinions (civil and criminal) issued by Judge Kenney after the parties’ oral argument in Annapolis, Maryland.  Since joining Whiteford, Mr. Brooks has handled over 20 appeals for Whiteford clients across a range of practice areas.  Representative appellate matters include:

  • In State v. Baker, 453 Md. 32, 160 A.3d 559 (2017) (5-2 decision), the Maryland Court of Appeals concluded that the “double jeopardy” doctrine prevented the State from pursuing a second trial against the defendant; agreeing with the intermediate appellate court, the Court of Appeals held that the trial court abused its discretion by declaring a mistrial without “manifest necessity,” which prevents the State from pursuing a second trial
  • In Han v. Yancey (In re Kang), 2016 WL 6958438 (4th Cir. Nov. 29, 2016), the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision and the bankruptcy court’s judgment that the debtors’ purported sale of their ownership interests in a Virginia limited liability company was null, void and without effect because the debtors knowingly entered into the sale transaction without authority under the terms of their company’s operating agreement
  • In Miller v. State, 2016 WL 105490 (Md. App. Jan. 8, 2016), the Court of Special Appeals reversed the defendant’s convictions and ordered a new trial based upon the trial court’s refusal to ask prospective jurors during jury selection whether they would give the defendant’s testimony the same consideration as any other witness
  • In State v. Hunt, 443 Md. 238, 116 A.3d 477 (2015) (7-0 decision), the Maryland Court of Appeals determined that the defendant was entitled to a hearing to present evidence discovered after his trial in 1991, which generated a substantial question about whether the trial result would have been different had the evidence been known at the time of the trial
  • In Wolff v. United States (In re FirstPay, Inc.), 2015 WL 1064745 (U.S. 2014), Mr. Brooks spearheaded the preparation of a petition asking the United States Supreme Court to consider an appeal involving a bankruptcy trustee’s effort to avoid and recover $28 million from the IRS for the benefit of defrauded creditors of debtor; prior to its bankruptcy filing, the debtor provided payroll and tax-remittance services to hundreds of its customers; the petition sought the Supreme Court’s review of the standards for a defendant’s obligation in a claw-back action to “trace” the property it received to a particular trust fund from which the defendant claims the property originated
  • In United States v. Garcia, 752 F.3d 382 (4th Cir. 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed the defendant’s criminal convictions based upon non-harmless errors arising out of testimony elicited from the government’s expert witness on “code words,” including (i) the “conflation of expert and fact testimony,” (ii) the expert’s “failure to apply … methodology reliably,” and (iii) the expert’s “failure to state on the record an adequate foundation for … many of her specific interpretations”
  • In Neal v. State, Nos. 1148, 2728 (Md. App. Nov. 13, 2013), the Court of Special Appeals vacated the trial court’s imposition of restitution, agreeing that the State failed to produce evidence at trial of alleged property losses that were the direct result of the crime of which the defendant was convicted
  • In Holland v. State, No. 2252 (Md. App. Feb. 1, 2013), the intermediate appellate court vacated the defendant’s conviction for attempted theft pursuant to the “single larceny” doctrine because the defendant also was convicted of theft during the course of a single incident
  • In Spence v. State, No. 2441 (Md. App. Feb. 14, 2012), the Court of Special Appeals vacated the trial court’s imposition of a mandatory 10-year term of incarceration that was based upon separate convictions obtained by the State after the occurrence of the offense at issue on appeal
 

Business Litigation

  • Counsel to the petitioning creditor in a state court receivership action, involving the sale of the receivership debtor’s Enhanced Use Lease for the development of a residential community on government-owned property.  Far Hydrant, LLC v. Ft. Howard Dev., LLC (In re Ft. Howard Dev., LLC), No. 03-C-18-1606 (Balt. Cnty. Cir. Ct. 2018) (sale of receivership debtor’s assets to petitioner approved following contesting evidentiary hearing)
  • Counsel to the assignee-lender in an eight-count complaint brought by the borrower’s guarantors against the assignee and assignor, seeking to enforce an alleged loan-modification agreement purportedly struck between one of the guarantors and the assignor prior to the loan assignment.  Alter v. Branch Banking & Trust Co., 17-009631 (Balt. Cnty. Cir. Ct. 2017) (assignee-lender’s motion to dismiss granted)
  • Co-counsel to the defendant in an action brought by the Creditor Trustee of the Gas-Mart USA, Inc. Creditor Trust, pending before the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, involving breach of contract and bankruptcy-stay-violation claims.  Lauter v. CITGO Petroleum Corp., No. 17-2028 (S.D. Tex. 2017) (motion to dismiss granted)
  • Counsel to the court-appointed receiver in proceedings involving the administration of the receivership debtor’s electrochemoluminescence (ECL) technology assets.  PDL BioPharma, Inc. v. Wellstat Diagnostics, LLC, No. 395722V (Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland Sept. 24, 2014) (motion to sell receivership assets approved)
 

Creditors' Rights and Preference Defense

  • Counsel to the petitioning creditor in a proceeding before the Circuit Court for Baltimore County, seeking the appointment of an equity receiver to take control over an insolvent real estate developer.  See In re Ft. Howard Dev. LLC, No. 03-C-18-1606 (Balt. Cnty. Cir. Ct. 2018) (receivership petition granted following contested evidentiary hearing) 
  • Co-counsel to the defendant in an avoidance action brought by the Creditor Trustee of the Gas-Mart USA, Inc. Creditor Trust, pending before the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.  See Lauter v. CITGO Petroleum Corp., No. 17-2028 (S.D. Tex. 2017) (motion to dismiss granted on, among other issues, the defendant’s “new value” defense)
  • Co-counsel to certain defendants in an action pending before the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland, involving a multi-billion dollar lender liability case brought by the chapter 11 trustee against five major lending institutions.  Sher v. JPMorgan Chase Funding, Inc., et al. (In re TMST, Inc. f/k/a Thornburg Mortgage, Inc.), AP No. 11-340 (Bankr. D. Md. 2011) (case pending) 
  • Counsel to the lender in a confessed judgment action, in which the guarantors sought to vacate the confessed judgment entered against them through challenges to the underlying debt owed.  SummitBirdge Nat’l Invs. V LLC v. Lewis, No. 17-007781 (Balt. Cnty. Cir. Ct. 2017) (guarantors’ motion to vacate denied)
  • Counsel to the pre-bankruptcy, court-appointed custodian/receiver of assets for an electrochemoluminescence (ECL) technology research and development company, which commenced a chapter 11 bankruptcy case during the pendency of receivership proceedings.  In re Defined Diagnostics, LLC, No. 16-11491 (Bankr. D. Del. 2016) (chapter 11 bankruptcy case dismissed on motion by receivership petitioner)
  • Counsel to a creditor that acquired through assignment various pre-petition purchase-money and judgment liens attaching to the properties of a debtor and certain of his affiliates, involving defense of the creditor’s lien-priority position in litigation with another lienholder.  Wilson v. Schlossberg, et al. (In re Vincent L. Abell), AP No. 16-207 (Bankr. D. Md. 2016) (action against client voluntarily dismissed)
  • Counsel to freight carriers in bankruptcy claw-back proceedings before the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey, in actions by the trustee to avoid and recover payments made to carriers in connection with an alleged Ponzi scheme.  Giuliano v. New England Motor Freight, Inc. (In re TransVantage Solutions, Inc.), AP No. 15-01896 (Bankr. D.N.J. 2015); Giuliano v. Eastern Freight Ways, Inc. (In re TransVantage Solutions, Inc.), AP No. 15-01898 (Bankr. D.N.J. 2015) (cases settled)
  • Counsel to a Maryland bank in a claw-back suit before the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois, involving a plan administrator’s action to avoid and recover pre-bankruptcy payments made by the debtor in connection with the debtor’s operation of an alleged fraudulent equipment leasing scheme.  Brandt v. American Bank, FSB (In re Equipment Acquisition Resources, Inc.), AP No. 11-2200 (Bankr. N.D. Ill. 2011) (case settled) 
  • Counsel to creditors seeking the allowance of an administrative expense claim against the debtor, which owned and operated a horse racetrack and two off-track wagering facilities in Indiana, in a dispute arising from the debtor’s post-petition use of trademarks licensed by the creditors.  In re ID Liquidation One, LLC f/k/a Indianapolis Downs, LLC, No. 11-11046 (Bankr. D. Del. 2011) (matters resolved)
  • Counsel to creditors of more than 80 debtors involved in the global manufacturer of chemicals and plastics, refinery of heavy crude oil and production of fuel products, securing through settlement a $65+ million claim against the debtors’ estates.  In re Lyondell Chemical Co., No. 09-10023 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2009) (claims resolved)  
  • Counsel to a creditor in a case before the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, to avoid and recover fraudulent transfers made by the debtor to insiders. Longstone Real Estate Partners, LLC v. Elliott, et al., No. 10-07303 (E.D. Pa. 2010) (case settled)
  • Co-counsel to a telecommunications carrier in a case before the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland, involving disputes arising out of the client’s acquisition of the debtor’s assets.  In re Lightwave Communication, LLC, No. 08-11877 (Bankr. D. Md. 2008) (matter resolved)
 

Special Counsel Services, Bankruptcy Trustee Representation

  • Bankruptcy counsel to the state court receiver for a debtor against which alleged creditors commenced an involuntary chapter 11 case before the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland, involving the state court receiver’s successful prosecution of a motion to dismiss the involuntary petition.  In re Ft. Howard Dev. LLC, No. 18-18061 (Bankr. D. Md. 2018) (case dismissed following trial)
  • Special Litigation Counsel to the chapter 11 trustee in a proceeding before the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, involving the trustee’s suit to avoid and recover the debtors’ interests in assets that they transferred prior to their joint bankruptcy filing.  Yancey v. Han, et al. (In re Kang), AP No. 12-1496 (Bankr. E.D. Va. 2012) (judgment in favor of trustee affirmed after two appeals by opposing party)
  • Special Litigation Counsel to a chapter 11 trustee in a multi-million dollar dispute before the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, involving the trustee’s objection to a secured lender’s claim for retroactive prepetition default interest.  In re Grand Centreville, LLC, No. 13-13590 (Bankr. E.D. Va. 2013) (matter settled)  
  • Special Litigation Counsel to the chapter 11 trustee in multiple proceedings before the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, to avoid and recover several hundred million dollars of fraudulent and preferential transfers in connection with the debtors’ operation of a fraudulent mortgage scheme.  In re Taneja, No. 08-13293 (Bankr. E.D. Va. 2008) (proceedings settled or otherwise resolved)
 

Business Reorganization and Bankruptcy, Bankruptcy Litigation, Chapter 11 Reorganizations

  • Represented the putative debtor in obtaining dismissal of an involuntary chapter 7 bankruptcy petition filed by three petitioning creditors.  In re ESSI, No. 17-13141 (Bankr. D. Md. 2017) (case dismissed by consent)
  • As chapter 11 debtor’s counsel to a Maryland luxury home builder before the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland, represented the debtor-in-possession in all postpetition aspects of the bankruptcy case, including opposing creditor motions for relief from the automatic stay, formulating a plan of reorganization and disclosure statement, obtaining confirmation of the debtor’s reorganization plan, obtaining authority for multiple asset sales, successfully objecting to creditor claims, obtaining approval of settlements on behalf of the estate, and obtaining the debtor’s discharge.  In re Thompson, No. 10-21521 (Bankr. D. Md. 2010) (plan confirmed)
  • Counsel to 17 non-profit communities managed by a Maryland-based company involved in the development and operation of senior living facilities.  In re Erickson Retirement Communities, LLC, No. 09-37010 (Bankr. N.D. Tex. 2009)
  • As chapter 11 debtor’s counsel to a Maryland and Virginia real estate developer before the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland, represented the debtor-in-possession in all postpetition aspects of the bankruptcy case, including formulating a bankruptcy plan and disclosure statement, obtaining confirmation of the debtor’s plan, obtaining authority for multiple asset sales, successfully objecting to creditor claims, obtaining approval of settlements on behalf of the estate, disputing the debtor’s tax liabilities, and obtaining the debtor’s discharge.  In re Sites, No. 08-19174 (Bankr. D. Md. 2008) (plan confirmed) 
  • Debtors’ co-counsel in affiliated chapter 11 reorganization cases in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland, involving a multi-billion dollar energy company and its affiliates, which focused on power generation and natural gas transmission in North America.  In re National Energy & Gas Transmissions, Inc., No. 03-30459 (Bankr. D. Md. 2003)

NEWS

Four WTP Lawyers on Benchmark Litigation Under 40 Hotlist

Four lawyers from Whiteford, Taylor & Preston have been named to the Benchmark Litigation Under 40 Hotlist: Todd Brooks, Aaron Casagrande, Katherine Good and Christopher Samis. Each has been identified by peers and clients as being among the most notable up-and-coming litigation attorneys in the United States. Mr. Brooks and Mr. Casagrande are the only two Maryland lawyers to have been selected for this national ranking. Ms. Good and Mr. Samis are two of only six Delaware lawyers chosen, and Whiteford is the only firm to have two Delaware lawyers recognized. 


New Partners Elected at Whiteford Taylor & Preston

Whiteford, Taylor & Preston is delighted to announce that Marla Diaz, a community associations lawyer, and Todd Brooks and Aaron Casagrande, both bankruptcy lawyers, have been named Partners of the firm, effective January 1, 2015. 

In his congratulatory remarks, the firm’s managing partner, Martin T. Fletcher, said, “It is a privilege to welcome these exceptional attorneys into their new and expanded roles. Each has delivered tremendous value to clients and will make important contributions to the continuing growth of our firm.”


Fifty-Four Whiteford Attorneys Named Super Lawyers and Rising Stars in Maryland

Whiteford, Taylor & Preston is pleased to announce that 54 of its Maryland-based attorneys are listed among the 2014 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.

The firm is particularly proud of the young lawyers who are recognized as “Rising Stars” and the three partners who received special recognition -- Edward Buxbaum and Dwight Stone in the Top 100, and Mary Claire Chesshire in the Top 50 Women.


Sixty-Four Whiteford Attorneys Named Super Lawyers and Rising Stars in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia

Whiteford, Taylor & Preston is pleased to announce that 64 of its attorneys are listed among the 2013 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars in three states.

The firm is particularly proud of the young lawyers who are recognized as “Rising Stars”; the four partners who are listed in the Top 100 in Maryland – Edward Buxbaum, Edwin Fee, William Ryan, and Dwight Stone; and the 16 who are named for the first time this year.


Forty-Six Whiteford, Taylor & Preston Attorneys Named Super Lawyers and Rising Stars in Maryland; Five in Maryland Listed in “Top 100”

Whiteford, Taylor & Preston is pleased to announce that 46 of its attorneys are listed among the 2012 Maryland Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.

The firm is particularly proud of the five who are listed in the Top 100 in Maryland – Edward Buxbaum, Edwin Fee, Paul Nussbaum, William Ryan, and Dwight Stone. Selection of the Top 100 lawyers in a jurisdiction is strictly based on the highest scores in the Super Lawyer judging process, and Whiteford is one of the two firms with the most names on the list.