Russell M. Blain - Shareholder


Since joining Stichter, Riedel, Blain & Postler P.A. as a shareholder in 1985, Mr. Blain has led the firm's representation of clients in numerous large Chapter 11 cases. His practice, which involves out-of-court workouts and consultation with and advice to clients, as well as litigation in bankruptcy courts, is statewide, and he has served as lead counsel in the representation of debtors in possession in the largest cases ever filed in the Northern District of Florida. He is the immediate past chair of the Business Law Section of The Florida Bar and is a past president of the Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association.

Mr. Blain is a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy. He is recognized by Super Lawyers magazine as one of the Top 100 lawyers in the State of Florida. He is also listed in the bankruptcy and insolvency category by "Best Lawyers in America," by Chambers & Partners "America's Leading Lawyers for Business," by Florida Trend magazine's "Florida Legal Elite," and by "Who's Who - Legal." He has spoken on bankruptcy topics for The Florida Bar and various other seminar sponsors.

Mr. Blain was born in Tampa, Florida, and was educated at Vanderbilt University, where he received his B.A. magna cum laude in 1974, and at the University of Florida, where he received his J.D. in 1977. He served as Senior Executive Editor of the University of Florida Law Review, and his law review note was selected for publication and received the Gertrude Brick Law Apprentice Award. He is a member of Phi Delta Phi and Omicron Delta Kappa. Mr. Blain was admitted to The Florida Bar in 1977.

Best Lawyers Award Badge


  • Bachelor of Arts, 1974, Vanderbilt University (magna cum laude)
  • Juris Doctor 1977, University of Florida College of Law
  • Senior Executive Editor of the University of Florida Law Review
  • The Florida Bar (all state courts)
  • United States District Court, Middle District of Florida
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Florida
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Florida
  • Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Recipient, Douglas P. McClurg Professionalism Award, presented by the Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association in May 2018
  • Fellow, American College of Bankruptcy
  • Listed, Best Lawyers in America, 2006-2021
  • Listed, Tampa Bay's Best Lawyers, 2006-2021
  • Listed, Florida's Legal Elite, Florida Trend Magazine
  • Listed, Chambers & Partners, "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" in the area of Insolvency Practice in Florida, 2004-2021
  • Listed, Florida Super Lawyers (Top 100 Lawyers), 2006-2021
  • Listed, Who's Who - Legal
  • Rated "AV" (highest rating) by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
  • Recipient, Gertrude Brick Award presented by the University of Florida Law Review, for the best Law Review case comment
  • Hillsborough County Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Florida Bar/Business Law Section (Chair 2008-09)
    • Florida Bar/Business Law Section (Secretary/Treasurer 2006-07
    • Member, Executive Council (1997 - present)
    • Vice Chair, Publications (1997)
    • Vice Chair, Bankruptcy-UCC Committee (2001)
    • Vice Chair, Legislative Committee (2003)
    • Chair, Bankruptcy Practice and Procedure Seminar (January 1997)
    • Chair, Continuing Legal Education Committee (1998)
    • Chair, Bankruptcy/UCC Committee (2002)
    • Chair, Legislative Committee (2005)
  • Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association
    • Continuing Legal Education/Programs Committee (1998-2002); Chair (2001-2002)
    • Member, Board of Directors (1995 - 2001)
    • Secretary (1997-1998)
    • President (1999 - 2000)
    • Chair (2000-2001)
  • ABA section on Corporation, Banking and Business Law
  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • Commercial Law League of America
  • Bankruptcy Court, Middle District of Florida Mediation Committee
  • Ferguson White Inn, American Inns of Court - Treasurer (1995 - present)
  • Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Fraternity
  • Member, Faculty and Steering Committee, Initial Seminar in Florida on the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 ("BAPCPA") held in Tampa in June 2005 and Miami in August 2005, co-sponsored by the Business Law Section of the Florida Bar and Stetson University College of Law
  • Faculty of the Fifth Annual International Bankruptcy Symposium held in Freiburg, German, in June 2005
  • Alumni Council, University of Florida College of Law (1994-present)
  • Board of Counselors, University of Tampa (1985 - present)
  • Board of Fellows, University of Tampa (2001 - present)
  • Board of Trustees, Hillsborough County Bar Foundation (2005-present)
  • Lecturer, Thirty-ninth annual Southeastern Bankruptcy Law Institute in Atlanta on the topics “Single Asset Real Estate Cases” and “Individual Chapter 11 Cases” (March 21-23, 2013)
  • The Florida Bar Business Law Section, " Handling the Über Case in Bankruptcy Court: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Instead Came To Love Organized Chaos" (September 2012)
  • Lecturer, University of Florida College of Law, course in Advanced Bankruptcy Law and Practice (2005-2009)
  • Faculty Member and Steering Committee Member for the Business Law Section of the Florida Bar and Stetson University College of Law initial seminars on the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 held in Tampa in June 2005 and Miami in August 2005. At the Tampa program, Mr. Blain moderated the panel on business bankruptcy and Chapter 11 issues under BAPCPA.
  • Faculty Member, Fifth Annual International Bankruptcy Symposium held in Freiburg, Germany, in June 2005. The faculty comprised lawyers, judges, trustees, and insolvency managers from Germany and the United States. At the symposium, Mr. Blain presented a paper and spoke on the topic of court-to-court communications in insolvency cases, focusing on the Parmalat case as a case study.
  • Guest Lecturer, Advanced Bankruptcy Course, Stetson University College of Law (2008-2009)
  • Published, "Lien Rights and Construction Lending: Responsibilities and Liabilities in Florida," 29 U. Fla. L. Rev. 411 (1977)

Mr. Blain has served as lead or co-counsel for numerous debtors in complicated and successful Chapter 11 cases. Some of these are listed below:

  • In re Barret Home Corp. f/k/a Arthur Rutenburg Corp. (one of Florida's largest home builders and developers during the 1980s; total debts in excess of $40 million; debtor spun off homebuilding entities to non-filing subsidiaries prior to filing to avoid disruption in completion of residential construction contracts; plan of reorganization confirmed)
  • In re Centurion Health of Carrollwood, Inc. (hospital facility; Chapter 11 plan confirmed)
  • In re CHC Industries, Inc. (the largest manufacturer of hangers in the United States; liquidating plan was confirmed which paid creditors in full with interest)
  • In re College Harbor, Inc. (adult congregate living facility; plan of reorganization confirmed)
  • In re Crown Auto Dealerships, Inc., ( a group of five automobile dealerships in Pinellas County Florida; plan of reorganization confirmed)
  • In re Deb-Lyn, Inc. (owner of twelve Burger King restaurants; plan of reorganization confirmed)
  • In re First American Capital Trust (automobile financing business; plan of reorganization confirmed)
  • In re Habana Hospital Pharmacy, Inc., d/b/a Habana Pharmacy (retail pharmaceutical and home health care store; plan confirmed)
  • In re Independent Wholesale, Inc. (distributor of tobacco products and convenience store items; case is ongoing)
  • In re Lykes Bros. Steamship Co., Inc. (in this case, the third largest U.S. flag international liner-carrier with over $400 million in annual revenues and over $300 million in liabilities, Mr. Blain worked closely with Harley Riedel and handled numerous motions, contested matters and adversary proceedings, including proceedings to secure the release of a vessel arrested in Belgium and the sale of the Eco-Box group of vessels)
  • In re Moltech Corp and In re Moltech Power Corp. (related debtors engaged in the business of developing and manufacturing batteries; plan confirmed)
  • In re North American Archery Group, LLC (five debtors in the business of manufacturing components for the archery business; debtors sold as operating entities to a publicly traded company; plan confirmed)
  • In re Oaks of Clearwater, Inc. (office building in Clearwater, Florida with a series of mortgages; cram-down plan confirmed with the support of the second mortgage holder and unsecured creditors)
  • In re RHA/Princeton Hospital, Inc. (150 bed acute care hospital secured by $48 million in bond debt; liquidating plan confirmed)
  • In re Radio Officers Union, Inc. (two related debtors which were maritime unions; plan confirmed in less than six months)
  • In re Riverwood Land Company, L.P. (a real estate project involving the development of a golf course residential community; plan of reorganization confirmed)
  • In re Southern Mill Creek
  • In re Utility Partners, Inc. (technical and system implementation for public utility companies nationwide; plan of reorganization confirmed)
  • Banyon 1030-32 (trustee representation - Ponzi scheme litigation - $39.7 million settlement)

Mr. Blain serves as a neutral third party mediator to assist parties with the consensual resolution of disputes in bankruptcy cases, assignments for the benefit of creditors, and state and federal district court.

In recent years, Mr. Blain has served as a mediator in more than forty cases, including avoidance actions under the Bankruptcy Code, breach of contract and collection actions, business disputes, and fraud cases.

In 2015, Mr. Blain completed the forty-hour ABI/St. John’s Bankruptcy Mediation Training Program hosted by the American Bankruptcy Institute, St. John’s University School of Law Center for Bankruptcy Studies, and St. John’s Hugh L. Carey Center for Dispute Resolution.  The program is the gold standard of bankruptcy mediation training, and is guided by a distinguished faculty of nationally respected bankruptcy judges, practitioners, and mediators.  It requires attendees to participate in a highly interactive four-day program involving lectures, videos, demonstrations, and supervised mediation simulations.


Mr. Blain has argued numerous matters that have resulted in published decisions. Among these published decisions are the following:    

  • In re Deb-Lyn, Inc., 2004 WL 452560 (N.D. Fla. February 20, 2004) (affirming the bankruptcy court's decision denying a secured creditor's motion seeking relief from the automatic stay. The secured creditor's stay relief motion relied on a clause in a pre-petition forbearance agreement in which the debtor agreed not to oppose or object to lender's stay relief motion in the event of a bankruptcy filing. The district court held that a pre-petition waiver of the automatic stay by an operator of an ongoing business was unenforceable.)
  • In re Moltech Power Systems, Inc., 273 B.R. 268 (Bankr. N.D. Fla. 2002) (disallowing an administrative claim which sought to recover amounts due under a pre-petition contract.)
  • In re Venice-Oxford Associates, Ltd. Partnership cases (four published decisions appearing, respectively, at 236 B.R. 791, 236 B.R. 805, 236 B.R. 814, and 236 B.R. 820 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 1999))(dealing, inter alia, with an assignment of rent clause in a mortgage and the preclusive effect of a state court judgment). See also In re Villamont-Oxford Associates, Ltd. Partnership, 236 B.R. 467 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 1999); In re Villamont-Oxford Associates Ltd. Partnership, 230 B.R. 457 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 1998); and In re Villamont-Oxford Associates Ltd. Partnership, 230 B.R. 445 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 1998).
  • In re Lykes Bros. Steamship Co., Inc., 207 B.R. 282 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 1997) (holding that the automatic stay of Section 362 had world-wide effect and granting a mandatory preliminary injunction requiring the release of Chapter 11 debtor's vessel arrested in Antwerp.)
  • In re Crown Auto Dealerships, Inc., 187 B.R. 1009 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 1995) (disallowing claims against an automobile dealership seeking to recover damages for fraud, deceptive trade practices, and unfair trade practices.)
  • In re Barrett Home Corp., 165 B.R. 50 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 1994) (determining that debtor corporation did not violate Florida's antitrust statute or Florida's civil RICO Statutes, and claimant could not recover under Florida law on civil conspiracy claim.)
  • In re Barrett Home Corp., 160 B.R. 387 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 1993) (estimating a claim filed by a homeowner for purposes of voting on a plan.)
  • In re Rentclub, Inc., 149 B.R. 699 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 1993) (ruling that a secured creditor's failure to file a new UCC-1 financing statement reflecting the debtor's changed corporate name rendered the creditor's lien unperfected under the Uniform Commercial Code.) See also In re Rentclub, Inc., 141 B.R. 235 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 1992) (denying creditor's request to dismiss Chapter 11 in "embryonic" stage.)
  • In re Sunrise Restaurants, Inc., 135 B.R. 149 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 1991) (holding that a Burger King franchise agreement was capable of being assumed under §365(c) of the Bankruptcy Code and that the debtor had authority to assume and assign the franchisee agreement notwithstanding the franchisor's objection.)
  • In re Corkscrew Golf Property Land Trust, 93 BR. 277 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 1988) (real estate broker not entitled to quantum meriut recovery against estate.)