Michael D. CooperAttorney

Wendel Rosen Black & Dean LLP 1111 Broadway, 24th FloorOakland, CA 94607

Michael, who has practiced law since 1969, is a partner in the firm's insolvency and restructuring practice group. He represents parties in insolvency, workouts and bankruptcy matters, including debtors, trustees and creditors. As a recognized expert in the field, he served on the State Bar Consulting Group that established certification procedures for bankruptcy specialists in California. He has been active in committees charged with consulting and drafting several sets of guidelines for rules and procedures related to bankruptcy law for the Northern District of California.

The Bankruptcy Court appointed Michael a resolution advocate in its Bankruptcy Dispute Resolution Program, and he has successfully mediated more than 125 matters through this program.  For many years, Michael has offered pro bono representation to indigent clients in bankruptcy and consumer matters through the AIDS Legal Referral Panel of San Francisco.

Michael is also part of the firm’s Cannabis Practice group. He is vice-chair of the Cannabis Commission for the City of Berkeley, having been a commissioner since 2013. The Commission has been working on the enactment of cannabis ordinances to allow cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, delivery and sales of cannabis in the city.

  • Successfully represented a municipality's port in the IFC Kaiser Engineering chapter 11 bankruptcy involving a large construction project.

  • Represented a chapter 11 plan liquidator in consummating his duties under the plan in which all creditors were paid in full.

  • Represented the ESOP owner in a Chapter 11 case for a major retail pizza franchise that resulted in a court confirmed Chapter 11 plan for a recapitalization that restructured bank debt, revised contract and lease terms, and provided for distribution to creditors in satisfaction of claims.

  • Represented owner of a large commercial building located near Capitol Mall in Sacramento, California, which resulted in a successful recapitalization and refinancing of secured loan to avoid foreclosure and maintain its ownership.

  • Successfully represented various commercial landlords as creditors in bankruptcy cases.

  • Represented an individual debtor in a chapter 11 case, which allowed the client to stop a foreclosure of a multimillion dollar residence.


Available Articles:


Bankruptcy Dispute Resolution Program
  • Resolution advocate since 1995

Cannabis Commission, City of Berkeley
  • Vice-Chair

Bay Area Bankruptcy Forum
  • Board of Directors, 1994 to 2000
  • Member since inception

State Bar of California
  • Personal and Small Business Bankruptcy Law Advisory Commission, chair, 1995 to 1996; vice chair 1994 to 1995
  • Bankruptcy Law Consulting Group, member (determined standards for certification of bankruptcy law specialists in California), 1989 to 1992

Court Appointed Special Committees
  • Committee of Lawyer Representatives of the Northern District of California to the Ninth Circuit; member, 2000 to 2003
  • Lawyer Representatives of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California, Former committee member and chair
  • Drafting committee member for General Order No. 12 - Adoption of Dispute Resolution Procedures for Bankruptcy Cases and Adversary Proceedings, adopted by the Bankruptcy Judges for the Northern District of California, 1993 to 1994
  • Rules subcommittee member to revise bankruptcy rules for the Northern District of California, 1991 to 1992
  • Bankruptcy Committee to Establish Guidelines for the U.S. Trustee in Bankruptcy Cases for Northern California and Nevada, member, 1988 to 1990
  • Bankruptcy Court Automation Committee for the Northern District of California, former member

Alameda County Bar Association
  • Bankruptcy and Commercial Law Section, executive committee member and former chair, 1998 to present
  • Voluntary Legal Services Bureau of Alameda County, pro bono representation of indigent clients in bankruptcy matters
  • Lawyers in the Library Program, counsel indigent clients in consumer matters

Bar Association of San Francisco
  • Commercial Law and Bankruptcy Section
  • AIDS Legal Referral Panel, pro bono representation, 1993 to present

Featured Presentations:

  • Bay Area Bankruptcy Forum Panelist
  • PESI Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Symposium, Panelist, 1993
  • Pacific Bankruptcy Law Institute, Faculty Member, 1991
  • CPA Associations, Lecturer
  • Bay Area Legal Secretaries' Forum, Lecturer
  • Other civic and professional organizations

  • Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® in two practice areas 1) Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law and 2) Bankruptcy Litigation, 2008-2016
  • Selected for inclusion in Northern California Super Lawyers magazine, 2004-2018
  • AV® Preeminent™ rated by Martindale-Hubbell*


*AV is a registered certification mark of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedure's standards and policies. 

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