Steve Burnell


Steve represents debtors, trustees, creditors, and committee in all aspects of bankruptcy litigation, including appeals.

Chapter 7 Trustees

Steve’s work on behalf of bankruptcy trustees has included the following examples:

  • Enforced trustee’s recovery efforts of $1.4 million fraudulently transferred out of the bankruptcy estate, including through contempt proceedings, and successfully defended the contempt orders on appeal to the Ninth Circuit.
  • Successfully represented trustee in adversary proceeding to void a family court judgment and recover unauthorized post-petition transfer.
  • Prosecuted trustee’s objection to secured claim filed by the Employment Development Department for unpaid, prepetition payroll taxes and negotiated reduction of claim from $315,000 to $28,000 during mediation and release of liens.

Secured Creditors

Matters in which Steve has represented secured creditors include:

  • Represented major banks as secured creditors in Chapter 11 proceedings, in relation to loans against commercial real estate valued at $1-10 million. Handled cash collateral issues, disclosure statements, and forbearance agreements.

Prior to joining SulmeyerKupetz, Steve served as term law clerk for three years for the Honorable Erithe A. Smith, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Central District of California, and as an associate at a boutique bankruptcy law firm in Orange County. He is a member of the Commercial Law and Bankruptcy Section of the Orange County Bar Association and the Orange County Bankruptcy Forum, as well as a former participant in the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges’ Honorable Cornelius Blackshear Fellowship Program and the Next Generation Program.

Steve is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps having served honorably for four years.

  • Admissions

    State Bar of California
    Central District of California
    Southern District of California
    U.S. Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the Ninth Circuit
    U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

  • Education

    Chapman University School of Law – Juris Doctor (2012)
    University of Michigan – Bachelor of Arts, History and Political Science (2007)

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