Harley E. Riedel joined Stichter, Riedel, Blain & Postler, P.A. at its inception in 1974 after graduating from the University of Florida College of Law (with high honors), where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the University of Florida Law Review and was a member of the Order of the Coif. Mentored by the late Don M. Stichter, Harley tried his first state court case in Polk County Circuit Court only weeks after his admission to the bar and, in his early years, handled virtually every type of case and transaction. Insolvency law, however, with its unique combination of litigation and negotiation over a wide range of legal and business areas, particularly interested him. Over his career, he has served as lead counsel for debtors in possession and other key constituencies in many of the largest Chapter 11 cases ever filed in the State of Florida. He was appointed by the United States District Court to serve as the Special Master in litigation involving extensive farming appointed in Florida and Michigan. He also has an active bankruptcy, state, and federal court mediation practice and has achieved a high rate of successful settlements for parties in those matters.
Few lawyers in Florida have achieved the rankings in independent peer review surveys that Harley has. He has been ranked by Super Lawyers as the best lawyer in the entire State of Florida in four different years and has been in its Top Ten list for 13 consecutive years. He is in the Florida Legal Elite “Hall of Fame,” and is rated as one of only three “Star Performers” in insolvency law in the state by Chambers USA. In 1994, at age forty-four, he was inducted as a Fellow into The American College of Bankruptcy. In 2007, he was honored by the Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association for “outstanding effectiveness, thorough preparation, civility, courtesy, and professionalism at the highest level.” He was recognized in 2021 by Tampa Magazine as one of the best mediators in Tampa.
Harley is active in bar activities. He was a founder of the Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association and served as its president. He has spoken and written on bankruptcy-related topics for the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, the American Bar Association, the American Bankruptcy Institute, The Florida Bar, and numerous other legal and business groups.
In addition to his active representation of clients and mediation practice, Harley has served as the managing or co-managing shareholder of the firm for more than 40 years. But it has not been a hard task. Often named one of the best places to work, SRBP enjoys extraordinary loyalty from its professionals and staff, almost all of whom have worked at the firm for more than ten years – and many of whom have celebrated their twenty, thirty and even forty-year anniversaries with the firm.
• Baylor University, B.A., 1971
• University of Florida, J.D., 1974, with high honors
• Editor-in-Chief, University of Florida Law Review
• Order of the Coif
• Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society
• The Florida Bar (all State courts)
• United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida
• United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
• Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals
• Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
• Supreme Court of the United States
HONORS AND DISTINCTIONS
• Recipient, Douglas P. McClurg Professionalism Award, presented by the Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association in May 2007
• Fellow, American College of Bankruptcy (inducted 1995); member of the Circuit Council for the Eleventh Circuit (2005-2009)
• Listed since 1989 in "Best Lawyers in America," in the area of Bankruptcy and Business Reorganization; named by Best Lawyers as the first “Bankruptcy Lawyer of the Year” in 2010 for the Tampa Bay area
• Listed as a Florida “Super Lawyer” in the area of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Practice in all editions of "Florida Super Lawyers." Also listed as the top lawyer in the State of Florida in all practice areas in 2011, 2021, and 2022 as one of the top three lawyers in the State in 2010 (third) and 2012,2018-2019 (second), and as one of the top ten lawyers 2008-2009, and 2013-2017
• Listed, Tier One or “Star Performer” Tier, all editions of Chambers & Partners, "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" in the area of Insolvency Practice in Florida (2003 to date). One of only three “star performers” in the bankruptcy practice area listed in the State of Florida in any edition
• Listed, all editions of Florida Trend's “Florida Legal Elite”
• Named, Florida Trend's "Legal Elite Hall of Fame" in 2013
• Listed, Tampa Bay's Best Lawyers
• Listed, “Who's Who Legal U.S.A. – Insolvency” (one of only six Tampa based lawyers, including Don Stichter and Russ Blain, listed)
• Listed, outstanding Insolvency and Restructuring lawyer by Expert Guides (one of only four lawyers listed from the Middle District of Florida, including Don Stichter)
• Rated “AV” in Martindale-Hubbell for more than thirty years
• Guest Lecturer, Advanced Bankruptcy Course University of Florida College of Law (2003-date)
• Guest Lecturer, Advanced Bankruptcy Course, Stetson University College of Law (2007- 2011);(2017-2021)
• Fellow, Florida Bar Foundation
• Fellow, American Bar Association
• Past Chairman of the Hillsborough County Law Library
• Book Awards: Highest academic score in seven law courses as a law student at the University of Florida (1972-1974)
• While at the University of Florida Law School, each of his three student works was selected for publication in the Law Review and was selected the outstanding student work for that quarter, earning the Gertrude Brick Case Comment Award, the George W. Milam Note Award, and the Alumni Association Commentary Award
• Who’s Who among Students in American Colleges and Universities
• Global Law Experts Practice Award winner – Chapter 11 Attorney of the Year in Florida (2014)
MEMBERSHIPS AND COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
• Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association (founder, past director, President and Chairman)
• Federal Bar Association (Past officer and director, Tampa Bay Chapter)
• Member, Florida Bar Grievance Committee for the 13th Judicial Circuit
• Member, Committee on Local Bankruptcy Rules for the Middle District of Florida (1985 to 1998)
• Hillsborough County Bar Association
• American Bar Association
• American Bankruptcy Institute
• Turnaround Management Association
• "Dirt for Debt Plans" - American Bankruptcy Institute 39th Annual Alexander L. Paskay Seminar - March 6, 2015
• "Involuntary Bankruptcy: Warning Bells Sound" - 41st Annual Southeastern Bankruptcy Law Institute in Atlanta, Georgia - March 26, 2015
• Property of the Estate: Some Close Questions" - 41st Annual Southeastern Bankruptcy Law Institute in Atlanta, Georgia - March 27, 2015
• “Anything but Absolute: The Evolution of the Absolute Priority Rule in Individual and Corporate Cases” – American Bankruptcy Institute -Caribbean Seminar – February 2014
• “Effectiveness, Civility, Courtesy & Professionalism” – United States Bankruptcy Court Young Lawyers Mentoring Program – August 2013
• "Please Release Me, Let Me Go: Releases, Channeling Injunctions, and Bar Orders" – Central Florida Bankruptcy Law Association Seminar - May 2013
• "Marital Obligations and Property Rights in Bankruptcy" – Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association - January 2013
• "High Rollers - 7 or 11: Individual Chapter 11 Cases" - National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges – October 2012
• “Directors and Officers Insurance in Bankruptcy" - 38th Annual Southeastern Bankruptcy Law Institute - March 2012
• “Drafting Disclosure Statements and Chapter 11 Plans " - 38th Annual Southeastern Bankruptcy Law Institute" - March 2012
• “Ethical Issues in Dealing With Unrepresented Parties in Bankruptcy Proceedings" - Central Florida Bankruptcy Law Association - October 2011
• “Individual Chapter 11 Cases" – 37th Annual Southeastern Bankruptcy Law Institute Conference – April 2011
• “Real Estate Chapter 11 Cases - Are They Yet to Come?" - Southeastern Bankruptcy Law Institute Conference – April 2011
• “Alternatives to Bankruptcy from the Business Debtor’s Standpoint” - Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association – April 2010
• “Restructuring Real Estate” - CLE International – December 2009
• “Greatest Lessons Learned” – Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association – August 2009
• “Restructuring Real Estate”- CLE International - March 2009
• "Coping With Financial Distress: an Update Two Years into the Recession" - The National Association of Homebuilders Annual Convention -January 2009
• "Alternate Sources of Funding: Ideas & Perspectives to Keep Your Business on Track" - The National Association of Homebuilders – November 2008
• “Coping with Financial Distress” – National Association of Homebuilders – August 2008
• “Venue Choices for Debtors” - Turnaround Management Association - August 2007
• "Is There Life After BAPCPA 2005 or (BAPCPA Survival Guide)” - Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association – March 2006
• “Fiduciary Duties and Other Issues Affecting Officers and Directors” – Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association – January 2006
• “Priorities Among Secured Claims," Secured Transactions in Florida (2nd Ed., The Florida Bar 1991)
• “The Effect of Bankruptcy on Real Estate Mortgage Foreclosures," Florida Mortgage Foreclosures (Professional Education Systems, Inc. 1987)
• “Priorities Among Secured Claims," Secured Transactions in Florida (1st Ed., The Florida Bar 1982)
• “Chapter 11 Arrangements," Debtors' and Creditors' Rights in Florida (The Florida Bar 1978)
PUBLICATIONS AND SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
Mr. Riedel has spoken at the annual meetings of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges and the Southeastern Bankruptcy Law Institute and has spoken and written on bankruptcy-related topics for the American Bar Association, the American Bankruptcy Institute, The Florida Bar, the Turnaround Management Association, the Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association, and numerous other legal and business groups. He is the principal author of the section on Chapter 11 Practice in the first and second editions of the West Publishing Company publication, "Norton Handbook for Bankruptcy Trustees, Debtors-in-Possession, and Committees." He co-authored the article “Practical Issues Surrounding Section 363 Sales,” 19 U. Fla. J. of Law & Public Policy 75, April 2008.
Harley E. Riedel has headed up or had significant involvement in the firm's representation of the debtor in possession or other party (as indicated) in numerous cases, including the following:
• ABC Fabrics, Inc.
• Abraham Gosman
• Affiliated of Florida
• Alessi's Bakery and Phil's Cake Box
• Allpoints Warehousing Equipment, Co.
• American Ship Building Company
• Anchor Glass (Official Creditors' Committee)
• Arlington Ridge, LLC, et al.
• Automotive Service Centers
• Avantair – representing Piaggio America, Inc.
• Bel-Aire Investments, Inc.
• Bicoastal Corporation
• Boardwalk and Baseball, Inc., et al.
• Central Beef, Inc.
• Chamax, LLC
• Chi Chi's (representing successful purchaser)
• Family Group
• Fiddler’s Creek, et al (DIP Lender)
• Fundamental Long term Care, Inc. (petitioning creditor and other claimants)
• John F. Bassett Enterprises, Inc.
• JumboSports Inc.
• Koger Properties
• Laser Spine Institute, LLC., et al.
• LincNet, Inc.
• Lindsay Phillips, Inc.
• Lykes Bros. Steamship
• Morgan Yacht, Inc.
• Odyssey Properties, III, LLC, et al
• Petracom Media, LLC
• Poe Financial Group, Inc., et al
• Provincetown-Boston Airlines
• Retail Networks
• Robert C. Nucci
• Scrub Island Development Group, Limited, et al.
• Tampa Shipyards, Inc.
• The Cove Apartments, LLC
• The Koger Partnership
• The Towers of Channelside, LLC
• Universal Health Care Group, Inc.
• Viasource Communications, Inc.
• West Charlotte Utilities
• Zephyr Rock
Mr. Riedel has served as a mediator in scores of cases involving complicated bankruptcy and commercial disputes, most of which have resulted in a resolution of matter mediated. He was appointed in 2003 by the United States District Court to be a Special Master in connection with litigation involving more than 20,000 acres of agricultural operations in Florida and Michigan.
Mr. Riedel has been involved in more than 100 reported decisions, some of which appear below.
• In re Fundamental Long Term Care, Inc., 512 B.R. 690 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 2014)
• Estate of Jackson v. General Electric Credit Corp. (In re Fundamental Long Term Care Holdings, Inc.), 507 B.R. 359 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 2014)
• Scharrer v. Fundamental Long Term Care Holdings, LLC (In re Fundamental Long Term Care Holdings, Inc.), 500 B.R. 147 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 2013)
• GTCR Golden Rainer, LLC v. Scharrer (In re Fundamental Long Term Care, Inc.). 501 B.R. 770 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 2013)
• In re Kidron, Inc., 278 B.R. 626 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 2002)
• Christo v. Padgett, 223 F.3d 1324 cert denied, 121 S. Ct. 1190, 531 US 1191, 141 L Ed 2d 106 (2001)
• In re Container Applications International., Inc., 233 F.3d 1361 (11th Cir. 2000)
• In re Bicoastal Corp., 242 B.R. 43 (M.D. Fla. 1998)
• In re Lykes Bros. Steamship Co., Inc., 233 B.R. 546 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 1997)
• In re Lykes Bros S.S. Co., Inc., 217 B.R. 304 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 1997)
• In re Lykes Bros. Steamship Co., Inc., 196 B.R. 574 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 1996)
• In re Koger Properties, Inc., 172 B.R. 351 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 1994)
• In re Bicoastal Corp., 164 B.R. 1009 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 1993)
• Matter of American Ship Building Co., Inc., 164 B.R. 358 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 1994)
• In re Bicoastal Corp., 146 B.R. 492 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 1992)
• In re Bel-Aire Investments, Inc., 142 B.R. 992 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 1992)
• In re Bicoastal Corp., 136 B.R. 290 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 1992)
• In re Bicoastal Corp., 134 B.R. 50 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 1991)
• In re Bicoastal Corp., 133 B.R. 252 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 1991)
• In re Sea Span Publications, Inc., 126 B.R. 622 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 1991)
• In re Provincetown-Boston Airlines, Inc., 72 B.R. 307 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 1987)
• Matter of Providencetown-Boston Airlines, Inc., 66 B.R. 632 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 1986)