Since 1994, Taylor Porter Partner Mike Crawford has practiced primarily in bankruptcy-related litigation, including involuntary bankruptcy proceedings on behalf of petitioning creditors, representation of corporate debtors, creditors’ committees, bankruptcy trustees and corporate secured creditors and banks, for clients across a wide scope of industries, including oil and gas, environmental/energy, manufacturing, health care, gaming, and media and entertainment companies.
Mike serves as Chair of Taylor Porter’s Business Transactions, Bankruptcy and Real Estate practice. He is ranked by Chambers USA and Best Lawyers in America®, and for 2019 and 2021, Mike was ranked "Lawyer of the Year" in Baton Rouge in Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law.
In addition to representing clients in Louisiana, Mike has appeared in bankruptcy courts in New York, Ohio, Texas and Mississippi. He is admitted to practice in all federal courts, including bankruptcy courts, in Louisiana, U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and United States Supreme Court. He is a frequent lecturer on bankruptcy-related topics.
Notable bankruptcy cases:
- Lead counsel for the chapter 11 trustee in the involuntary bankruptcy of Rovig Minerals, Inc. (19-51133), United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Lafayette Division. After first assisting five petitioning creditors in placing Rovig in an involuntary bankruptcy and successfully securing the appointment of a chapter 11 trustee, was retained by the trustee and assisted in successfully selling the oil and gas assets of Rovig pursuant to an auction process and confirming a plan in September of 2020. The confirmed plan paved the way for several million dollars being paid to royalty owners and oil and gas lien claimants, amicable resolution of significant plugging and abandoning liability and taxes owed to the State of Louisiana and Lafourche Parish Sheriff respectively and the creation of a litigation trust for the prosecution of causes of action for the benefit of unsecured creditors.
- Lead counsel for an under-secured private equity lender in the involuntary bankruptcy of American Natural Energy Corporation (15-12229), United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Worked with debtor’s counsel and committee counsel in proposing and confirming a joint plan that allowed the company to survive through a debt for equity swap with creditors.
- Lead counsel for the chapter 11 trustee in Hydroflame Technologies, LLC (12-11250), United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Louisiana. Assisted the trustee in selling oil and gas patents to a foreign buyer via an auction and in brokering a bitter litigation dispute between the parties to a lease of the technology that resulted in a confirmed plan.
- Lead counsel for the official committee of unsecured creditors in the chapter 11 of East West Copolymer, LLC (17-10327), United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Louisiana. Joint plan co-sponsored by the committee created a liquidating trust for the benefit of creditors. Mr. Crawford has been retained by the liquidating trustee to wind down the estate’s claims and causes of action.
- Lead debtor-in-possession counsel for PBS Lumber Manufacturing, LLC, in its chapter 11 reorganization concluded in the Western District of Louisiana, Alexandria Division (12-80143). Successfully guided the lumber company through a competitive sales process and the Debtor’s Chapter 11 Plan was confirmed in January of 2013.
- Lead bankruptcy counsel for creditor NPC Services, Inc., in the chapter 11 bankruptcy of Chemtura Corp., Southern District of New York. Successfully defeated debtor’s motion for summary judgment and brokered a multi-million dollar settlement of an environmental damage claim associated with a rejected executory contract.
- Lead counsel for the Unsecured Creditors' Committee in the Harvest Oil/Saratoga Resources chapter 11 proceeding in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Louisiana. Confirmed chapter 11 plan paid unsecured trade creditors in full with interest.
- Lead Creditors' Committee Counsel for Communication Corp. of America and White Knight Holdings, chapter 11 consolidated proceedings in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Shreveport Division Lead Case No.06-50410. Debtors owned and operated several television stations in Louisiana, Texas and Indiana. Confirmed chapter 11 plan paid unsecured trade creditors in full.
- Represented the chapter 7 trustee in the involuntary bankruptcy of John E. Shavers in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, Gulfport Division, Case No. 03-55729. Successfully obtained an order denying the debtor's discharge, which impacted over $10 million in secured and unsecured claims and successfully prosecuted multiple fraud claims and liquidated real properties arising out of the debtor's ownership of a construction/dredging business in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi.
- Lead counsel for the debtor in possession in the chapter 11 bankruptcy of Peter Raymond LaFuria, M.D., United States Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Louisiana, Lake Charles Division, Case No. 07-20346. Successfully negotiated a complex, multi-million dollar settlement of class action personal injury litigation through a confirmed chapter 11 plan.
- Co-counsel, Creditors’ Committee, Harrah’s land-based casino chapter 11 in New Orleans filed in 1995; (unsecured claims approximating $65 million paid in full).
- Co-counsel, Creditors’ Committee, Cajun Electric Cooperative chapter 11 in Baton Rouge filed in 1994 (unsecured trade claims paid in full with interest).
In 2014, Mike successfully completed the St. John’s University (with the American Bankruptcy Institute), 40-Hour Bankruptcy Mediation Course. Following graduation from law school in 1993, Mike served a one-year judicial clerkship with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Louisiana, the Honorable Gerald H. Schiff.
In the community, Mike serves as secretary on the board of directors and executive committee of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. Mike had the honor of being inducted into the Special Olympics Louisiana Hall of Fame in 2009, following his 15 years of service, first as a volunteer and then nine years as a board member and former board chair.