James D. Sweet

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Mr. Sweet represents businesses and other interested parties in formal bankruptcy reorganization cases, state court receivership proceedings, in the purchase and sale of business assets (both in and out of court), and in out-of-court business reorganizations.  Jim has extensive experience representing debtors, banks and other creditors, creditor committees, bankruptcy trustees, court-appointed receivers, and purchasers of assets and businesses in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings and in informal workouts.

Jim works tirelessly to respond to his clients’ needs and to coordinate with other professionals employed by clients.  His nearly 38 years of experience addressing all aspects of a troubled company’s legal problems makes him uniquely suited to identify and achieve superior solutions that are both cost-effective and that make solid business sense.

Jim brings a depth of experience and polished work in a streamlined, lean and efficient boutique practice, that has a bench—but not burdensome overhead. His familiarity with courts in multiple jurisdictions and his familiarity with the various legal counsel who practice in them is an additional advantage Jim affords his clients.

Jim’s skills, knowledge, and experience have earned him inclusion in a myriad of professional associations and have garnered multiple awards. He is rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell peer Review Ratings.  In 2013, Jim was nationally recognized by his peers and colleagues by being chosen as a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, the profession’s highest honor.  The College chooses Fellows who have demonstrated a career of excellence and effective representation in their profession, dedication to community service and consistent charity.

In 2014, Jim was a co-winner of the 8th Annual M & A Advisor Turnaround Awards for the Anchor BanCorp, Inc., Chapter 11 bankruptcy case.  And, in 2015 he was a co-winner of the Turnaround Management Association National and Midwest Small Company Transaction awards for his service in the LongVans and Related Entities case.

The following is a list of various awards received by Mr. Sweet and some selected publications and teaching from his background. In addition, Jim is active in numerous professional organizations serving in leadership roles in each, and these are listed below as well.

Contact Jim Sweet
Via E-mail
Direct Line:  608-310-5501

Honors and Awards

  • Best Lawyers in America
  • Wisconsin SuperLawyers
  • Wisconsin SuperLawyers Top 25 Madison
  • Turnaround Award – M&A Advisors Award 2011
  • Top Lawyer by Madison Magazine
  • Ranked as One of Top Financial Services/Commercial Lending Law and Bankruptcy Lawyers, Dane County, Madison Magazine

Bar Admissions

  • Wisconsin, 1978
  • United States District Court Western District of Wisconsin, 1978
  • United States District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1981
  • United States Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 1983
  • United States District Court Northern District of Illinois, 2009
  • United States Supreme Court, 2009


  • University of Wisconsin, Madison, J.D., cum laude, 1978
  • University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, B.A., magna cum laude, Political Science and Philosophy, 1975

Selected Published Works and Teaching

  • ABI Central States Bankruptcy Workshop, 2017: “Exit Strategies in Chapter 11: An Introduction.”
  • Co-Author, Collection Remedies and Workers Non-Bankruptcy Alternatives & Bankruptcy, Business Law Advisory Series Wisconsin CLE Books, 2006; revised 2015.
  • Author, Getting Paid: Retention and Compensation in Bankruptcy Cases – A Guide for Non-Professionals and Attorneys Who Represent Them, 1st Ed., ABI, 2005.
  • University of Wisconsin Law School, General Practice/Lawyering Skills – Bankruptcy Instructor.
  • ABI Winter Leadership Meeting, 2001 and 2004, Carlsbad, CA, Moderator, Professional Compensation Committee, Tri-Committee educational panel presentation on Ethics and Mass Torts.
  • ABI Spring Conference, 2000, Washington, DC: “E-Commerce and E-Resources Presentation.”
  • ABI Spring Conference, 2004: “Who is Your Client?:  Counseling Officers and Directors When You Represent Debtors – Insurance, Liability, Fiduciary Duties, Stock Loans, KERPS, Employment Agreements” – with Andrew Silfen, Nancy Peterman and Carl Young.
  • ABI Rocky Mountain Conference 2004: “Fair Pay for Honest Work:  Bankruptcy Compensation and Ethics” – with Hon, Bruce Campbell, Craig Christensen and Deborah Williamson.
  • Barbara Everly Iowa State Bankruptcy Seminar, 2007: “Supply Agreements in the Context of a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Proceeding” – with co-author Hon. Catherine J. Furay.

Representative Matters:

  • In re Anchor Bancorp Wisconsin Inc., (WD Wis. Bankr. 2013) (debtor counsel).
  • In re: Quantum Leap Restaurants, Inc., (WD Wis. Bankr. 2013)(debtor counsel).
  • In re: Community Health Systems, Inc., (WD Wis. Bankr. 2014)(debtor counsel)
  • Sale of assets of Great Big Pictures, Inc., 2015
  • In re Wick Building Systems, Inc., (WD Wis. Bankr. 2009)(debtor counsel and plaintiff counsel in multiple preference actions).
  • Gross Common Carrier, Inc. (WD Wis. Bankr. 1991)
    [debtor counsel]
  • G. Heileman Brewing Company v. MPC Acquisition, Inc. (WD Wis. 1992)[representing a purchaser]
  • Fore Way Express, Inc. v. Liberty Mutual Ins. et al (WD Wis. 1996)[represented insured]
  • Fore Way Express Inc. (WD Wis. Bankr. 1996)[debtor counsel]
  • Marplex Inc. (WD Wis. Bankr. 1999)[debtor counsel]
  • Arbor Freight Inc. (WD Wis. Bankr. 2001)[debtor counsel]
  • Valley Pride Pack, Inc. (WD Wis. Bankr. 2001)[debtor counsel]
  • Eau Claire Mattress Manufacturing (WD Wis. Bankr. 2003)[debtor counsel]
  • Triton Operations LLC (WD Wis. Bankr 2007 thru 2008)[debtor counsel and plaintiff counsel in various preference actions]
  • Jacque and Sandra Lamson and companion case ICC Corporation
    (WD Wis. Bankr. 1992)[counsel for secured creditor and filed a competing Chapter 11 plan]
  • In re Marquip, (WD Wis. Bankr. 2000)(debtor counsel and plaintiff’s counsel in multiple preference actions).
  • Airadigm Communications, Inc.(WD Wis. Bankr. 1999)[representing purchaser)
  • Airadigm Communications, Inc.(WD Wis. Bankr. 2006)[representing secured creditor and purchaser]
  • DeWalt (WD Wis. Bankr. 2009)[committee counsel]
  • Ace Baking (ED Wis. Bankr. 2008)[represented unsecured creditor committee].
  • In re: Party Concepts, Inc. (WD Wis. Bankr. 2001) (represented secured creditor and confirmed a secured creditor chapter 11 plan).

Professional Associations and Memberships:

  • American College of Bankruptcy, Fellow
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • State Bar of Wisconsin, Board of Governors, 1988-1991
  • State Bar of Wisconsin, Chairman, CLE Committee (ATS-CLE), 1989-1991
  • State Bar of Wisconsin, Chairman, CLE Committee (ATS-CLE), 1996-2000
  • State Bar of Wisconsin, Member, CLE Committee, 1991-2000
  • State Bar of Wisconsin, Bankruptcy Section, Chairman and Past Program Chairman, 1991-1995
  • Dane County Bar Association, Member
  • Western District of Wisconsin Bankruptcy Bar Association, Past President and Founding Member
  • American Bankruptcy Institute, Chairman, Western District Membership Committee, 1991-present
  • American Bankruptcy Institute, Co-Chair, Professional Compensation Committee, 1995-2000
  • American Bankruptcy Institute, Member of ABI Special Fee Study Committee, 2005-2010
  • American Board of Certification, Chairman of the Board, 1998-1999
  • American Board of Certification, President, 1997-1998
  • American Board of Certification, Board of Directors, 1991-2001
  • American Board of Certification, Member, Standards Committee, 1992-1997
  • American Board of Certification, Chairman, Standards Committee, 1995-1996
  • American Board of Certification, Treasurer, 1993-1997
  • Commercial Law League of America, Member
  • Bishops Bay Country Club, Board of Directors, 2003-2014
  • Bishops Bay Country Club, President, 2003-2010
  • Duberstein National Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition,
    Steering Committee Member and Judge
  • St. John’s School of Law, Advisory Committee to LLM in Bankruptcy Program

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