Charles M. Tatelbaum
For more than 55 years, Mr. Tatelbaum has focused his practice on bankruptcy and creditors’ rights issues, complex business litigation, Uniform Commercial Code transactions and lender liability litigation, and other types of secured transactions, as well as domestic and international letters of credit. For the last eight years, he has been a Director of the Fort Lauderdale law firm Tripp Scott Mr. Tatelbaum where he also serves as Chairman of the creditors’ rights and bankruptcy practice group.
Following his graduation from the University of Maryland Law School in 1966 where he served as a member of the Editorial Board of the Maryland Law Review and as Vice-President of the Student Bar Association, Mr. Tatelbaum served in the US Army and was honorably discharged in 1968.
He regularly represents secured and unsecured creditors in transactions and insolvency situations, creditors’ committees, and throughout the United States and in Europe, he represents business clients in complex business litigation, the defense of lender liability claims, all types of bankruptcy proceedings, and products liability defenses based on warranties. He also represents secured and unsecured creditors in distressed business transactions and litigation. He has also has represented clients in Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy proceedings and Chapter 15 foreign bankruptcy proceedings.
As an example, he represented the major motor vehicle floor plan lender in the largest motor vehicle dealer bankruptcy in U.S. history, recovering more than $150 million for the client, which constituted payment in full of principal, interest, attorneys’ fees and costs. In that case, the court awarded a $300,000 substantial contribution fee to the represented lender. As another example, he represented the lender in the worldwide bankruptcy proceeding of Saab Automobiles and was able to obtain payment in full to the lender client of all principal, interest, and attorneys’ fees. As a result of his prior work with the U.S. State Department in Eastern Europe to develop business laws in Croatia and Slovakia immediately after the fall of Communism, Mr. Tatelbaum has regularly handled business and insolvency issues that develop in foreign countries, including recovering nearly $75 million for a US lender in a Turkish loan and highway development transaction.
Early in his career, Mr. Tatelbaum represented Jerry Wolman in what was then the largest individual Chapter 11 case in US history. As part of that case, he arranged the sale of the NFL Philadelphia Eagles to Leonard Tose for $16.5 million as part of the bankruptcy reorganization.
Recently, he completed a total revision of the purchase order terms and conditions and purchase agreement terms and conditions for one of the largest retailers in the United States utilizing provisions of Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code in order to provide maximum rights, remedies, and benefits to the retailer as both a purchaser and seller of goods.
He is well versed in dealing with all aspects of domestic and international letters of credit from the transactional stage through litigation.
Mr. Tatelbaum regularly represents commercial lenders and multi-national companies in complex business litigation cases. He has successfully handled multi-week state and federal court trials in Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Alabama, Arizona, California, and Puerto Rico, with four of the cases each having jury trials of more than five weeks in duration.
Besides being the author of numerous periodical publications over the last 50+ years dealing with bankruptcy and complex litigation, Mr. Tatelbaum is the author of "New Balance in the Rights of Creditors and Debtors: The Effect on Maryland Law," University of Baltimore Law Review, Spring, 1973; "The New Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure," Maryland Bar Journal, January and April 1974; "The Proposed Bankruptcy Re-Organizations," The Florida Bar Journal, August 1974; "The New Bankruptcy Code," Maryland Bar Journal Spring, 1979; Volumes on: Consumer Bankruptcies, 1974, Bankruptcy Code of 1978, 1979, 1980, Exercising a Judgment 1980, Maryland Institute for Continuing Professional Education, 1974-1986; National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, 1989. Contributing Author: Collier's Practice Guide on Bankruptcy, 1981; Bankruptcy Practice and Strategy, Warren, Gorman & Lamont, 1987; Bankruptcy Code Manual, Commercial Law League of America, 1980, 1987 and 1995. Co-Author: NACM Bankruptcy Reorganization Guide, National Association of Credit Management, 1991; Bankruptcy Rules and Forms Handbook, 2 vols. Wiley Publishing, 1992. Columnist: "Business Credit," National Association of Credit Management, 1990-1999. Co-Editor, Credit Manual of Commercial Laws, National Association of Credit Management, 1993-2000 and is co-author of Creditors' Rights In Chapter 11 Cases - The Current State of Chapter 11 Cases: Trends in Pre-Bankruptcy Resolution and Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and Restructuring Strategies -The Past, Present, and Future of Chapter 11 Filings, published in 2016 by Aspatore. Mr. Tatelbaum regularly has commentary published on bankruptcy and creditors’ rights topics in LAW.COM’s Daily Business Review as a member of its Board of Contributors.
Mr. Tatelbaum regularly represents Fortune 150 companies and has been featured as a consultant and interviewed by Lesley Stahl on 60 Minutes and interviewed on Good Morning America, as well as on NPR’s All Things Considered and Morning Edition. Additionally, he is a frequent guest on news radio programs throughout the United States speaking on current developments involving bankruptcy and creditors’ rights.
As a founding member of the American Bankruptcy Institute in 1984, Mr. Tatelbaum has served in such capacities as Member, Board of Directors, 1985-1998; Executive Committee, 1989-1998; Secretary, 1989-1991; Vice President, 1991-1998; Editor, American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, 1985-1991; Chairman, Task Force on Mass Torts, 1991-1994; Co-Chairman, Advisory Board, American Bankruptcy Institute Law Review. 1992-1997.
For seven years, Mr. Tatelbaum was an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland School of Law teaching courses in creditors’ rights and the Uniform Commercial Code and now serves as an Emeritus member on the Board of Visitors of the Francis King Carey School of Law at the University of Maryland where for five years he was also Chair of the Maryland Law School Club. He currently also is a Board and Executive Committee member of the Board of Governors of The Shepard Broad School of Law and Nova Southeastern University where he co-chairs the Board’s Outreach Committee. For several years, he was hired by the Federal Judicial Center to provide training to bankruptcy judges throughout the country at their annual educational retreats. Mr. Tatelbaum, as counsel to the National Association of Credit Management (NACM) and Vice President of Research for the American Bankruptcy Institute, authored a number of the provisions of the bankruptcy law changes that were signed into law in April 2005 and has testified before US Senate and House committees six times.
Mr. Tatelbaum is active in the community and civic affairs having served for six years as a member of the Board of Friends of WLRN (NPR and PBS for South Florida), and also has served as Treasurer for one year and Chair of the Board for two years. As a result of that service, in 2012 he received the Arts Hero Award Issued by the Arts & Business Council of Miami, and in 2013 he received the Best of Miami 2013 award by "Miami Today" for service to the arts in South Florida. Mr. Tatelbaum currently serves on the Board and Executive Committee of South Florida PBS (WPBT, WXEL, and the Health Channel) while also serving as the Board’s Budget and Finance Committee chair. Mr. Tatelbaum also is a Board member emeritus of Hispanic Unity of Florida, where he was a past Board Chair. He is pro bono counsel for the Rio Vista Civic Association. Until its merger, Mr. Tatelbaum was a Board member and pro bono legal counsel for the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting.
Mr. Tatelbaum served for two years as President of Temple Beth El in St. Petersburg and has served as Treasurer for synagogues in Naples and Fort Lauderdale.
Mr. Tatelbaum served for three years as a guardian ad litem for Broward County, and since 2016 he has served as a member of the Fort Lauderdale Fire-Rescue Facilities Bond Issue Blue Ribbon Committee for the development and construction of fire and EMS facilities in Fort Lauderdale.
Mr. Tatelbaum is an active member of the Stephen R Booher American Inn of Court where he regularly serves as a Board member, mentor and served as Inn Secretary from 2020 to 2021.
Outside of the practice of law, after having completed the requisite courses at Clown U. in New York, Mr. Tatelbaum has each year since 2011 participated as a clown in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and on weekends, enjoys golf and motorcycle riding.
Member, Editorial Board, Maryland Law Review (1965-1966)
Vice President, Student Bar Association (1965-1966)