In Memory of Michelle A. Mendez
Michelle Annette Mendez was born November 15, 1961 in Clarksburg, West Virginia, and passed away April 25, 2014, in Dallas, Texas from complications of a sudden illness.
Michelle lived life to the fullest and will be dearly missed by her family, close friends, colleagues in the legal community, and the many people whose lives she touched. Michelle is survived by the true joys of her life, her loving husband of 26 years, Luis R. Atiles, M.D., and their two daughters, Amelia Nicole and Elena Marie.
Michelle had a true passion for life. She was a devoted wife and mother and was dedicated to her many charities, including, among others, St. Monica Catholic School, North Dallas Shared Ministries, Sammons Center for the Arts, and Ursuline Academy. Of the numerous activities at St. Monica to which Michelle devoted her energies, she is perhaps best known for her love, and leadership, of the PTO Autumnfest.
For over 25 years, Michelle concentrated her law practice in corporate restructurings, bankruptcy and commercial litigation.
Michelle had assisted in the reorganization efforts of hospitals, manufacturers, restaurants, airlines, telecom companies, healthcare providers, and clients in many other industries. She was the chair-elect of the State Bar of Texas Bankruptcy Section and taught Labor and Employment Law classes at the Center for Non-Profit Management. Michelle also chaired the Research Fellows of the Center for American and International Law and was a long-standing member of the President’s Research Council of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
Michelle was admitted to practice in Texas and before numerous US District Courts, including the District of Delaware, Central and Northern Districts of Illinois, Eastern District of Louisiana, Western District of Michigan, Districts of Minnesota, New Jersey and New Mexico, Southern District of New York, Northern and Western Districts of Oklahoma and Eastern, Northern, Southern and Western Districts of Texas as well as the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Represented parties in distressed financial situations, including corporate boards, debtors, creditors, DIP lenders, committees, equity holders, trustees, examiners, financial advisors, liquidators, and purchasers of assets.
- Litigated directors’ and officers’ fiduciary duty, subordination and re-characterization claims, discharge and discharge-ability cases, preference and fraudulent conveyance actions, franchise disputes and various types of fraud claims.
- Represented creditor committees and debtors involved in a myriad of industries, including manufacturing, financial services, hospitals, nursing homes, psychiatric institutions, physician management companies, restaurants, distribution businesses, technology companies, airlines and telecoms.
- Represented creditors, such as key suppliers in the construction, healthcare, retail and telecom industries both in state and federal courts and in collection and management matters.
Professional Associations and Memberships
- American Bar Association
- State Bar of Texas, Bankruptcy Law Section, Treasurer, 2009 – 2012
- State Bar of Texas, Bankruptcy Law Section, Chair Elect, 2012 – 2013
- Dallas Bar Association, Commercial Law and Bankruptcy Section, Chair, 2004 – 2005
- Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts, 1988 – 1992
- Dallas Association of Young Lawyers, Chair, International Law Academy Liaison Committee, 1989 – 1997
- American Bankruptcy Institute
- Turnaround Management Association
- International Women’s Insolvency and Restructuring Congress
- Women’s Finance Exchange
- American Inns of Court – John C. Ford Bankruptcy Inn, Master of the Inn, 2004 – 2006
- University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, President’s Council
- Sammons Center for the Arts, Board of Directors and Vice President, 2007 – 2010
- The Center for American & International, Research Fellow, Chair, 2010 – 2011
Areas of Practice
- Bankruptcy, Restructuring
- Creditors’ Rights
- Commercial Litigation
- 10% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
Honors and Awards
- Dallas Bar Foundation, Fellow
- Robert B. Wilson Distinguished Service Award, State Bar of Texas Bankruptcy Law Section, 2009 – Present
- Texas, 1987
- U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court Western District of Texas
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court Central District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana
- U.S. District Court Western District of Michigan
- U.S. District Court District of Minnesota
- U.S. District Court District of New Jersey
- U.S. District Court District of New Mexico
- U.S. District Court Southern District of New York
- U.S. District Court Northern District of Oklahoma
- U.S. District Court Western District of Oklahoma
- U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, 1993
- George Washington University National Law Center, Washington, District of Columbia
- J.D. – 1987
- University of Charleston, Charleston, West Virginia
- B.A. magna cum laude – 1983
- Major: Political Science
- Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan – 1982
- Major: International Relations
- Major: Economics