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Hon. Harlin DeWayne Hale

Hon. Harlin DeWayne Hale (Ret.)

Latest Insights
Upcoming Events
General Biography
Practice Areas
Business Commercial
Federal Law
Real Estate & Real Property
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Judge Harlin D. Hale joins JAMS after serving on the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas for almost 20 years, including a two-year term as chief judge. He presided over thousands of cases, authored over 160 opinions and was cited favorably by the U.S. Supreme Court in Czyzewski v. Jevic Holding Corp., 137 S.Ct. 973 (2017). Prior to his time on the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Judge Hale had a distinguished career in private practice in the areas of bankruptcy, banking, real estate and business/commercial work. Prior to his appointment to the bench, he served as regional partner in charge of the bankruptcy practice at Baker & McKenzie in Dallas, overseeing a range of matters involving complex chapter 11, health care insolvency and the bankruptcy of one of the country’s largest poultry producers.

Judge Hale has received numerous awards and recognitions connected to his legal career, including the prestigious 2021 American Inns of Court Bankruptcy Inn Alliance Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes a judge or attorney specializing in bankruptcy law who has exhibited ongoing dedication to the highest standards of the legal profession, the rule of law, and personal ethics and integrity. He received the William L. Norton Jr. Judicial Excellence Award from the American Bankruptcy institute in 2019. Judge Hale is a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, a member of the American Law Institute and a member of the Honorable John C. Ford American Inn of Court. Judge Hale is also a visiting professor at Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law, where he teaches creditors’ rights.

Judge Hale developed experience in the following matters both on the bench and in private practice.

Representative Matters

  • Banking
      • Intercreditor disputes
      • Lien priorities
      • Lender liability claims
  • Bankruptcy
      • Plan issues in chapters 9, 11, 12 and 13
      • International insolvency issues under chapter 15
      • Adversary proceedings
      • Discharge and dischargeability actions
      • Trustee litigation
  • Business Commercial
      • Contract disputes
      • Lease issues
      • Validity of notes and mortgages
      • Foreclosure issues
      • Disputes under the Uniform Commercial Code
  • Federal Law
      • S. Bankruptcy Code
      • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
      • Fair Credit Reporting Act
  • Real Estate & Real Property
      • Lien validity and priority
      • Foreclosure litigation
      • Leases

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Member, American Bankruptcy Institute, 2003–present
  • Fellow, American College of Bankruptcy, 2015–present
  • Member, American Law Institute, 2007–present
  • Member, Commercial Law League, 2003–present
  • Member, Dallas Bar Association, 1983–present
    • Bankruptcy Section, 1984–present
  • Member, Federal Bar Association, 2002–present
  • Member, John C. Ford American Inn of Court, 2000–present
  • Member, State Bar of Texas, 1984–present
  • Member, Louisiana State Bar Association, 1982–2022
  • Member, American Bar Association, 1983–2022
  • Fifth Circuit Governor, National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, 2011–2014
  • Chairman, Bankruptcy Section, State Bar of Texas, 2011–2012

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Bankruptcy Inn Alliance Distinguished Service Award, American Inns of Court, 2021
  • Judge William L. Norton Jr. Judicial Excellence Award, American Bankruptcy Institute, 2019
  • Outstanding Mentor Award, Dallas Bar Association, 2013
  • Outstanding Mentor Award, State Bar of Texas, 2013
  • LSU Law Hall of Fame, 1987

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • Participated in approximately 120 seminars as a speaker sponsored by such organizations as the Federal Bar Association, Center for American and International Law, American Bankruptcy Institute, Commercial Law League, Texas State Bar, Mississippi Bankruptcy Conference, LSU Law School, University of Texas School of Law, and American College of Bankruptcy
  • Author of numerous articles for legal periodicals, including The Federal Lawyer, the ABI Journal and the Commercial Law World magazine
  • Co-author of the bankruptcy section of the SMU Annual Texas Survey of the SMU Law Review, 2018–present

Background and Education

  • United States Bankruptcy Judge, Northern District of Texas – Dallas Division, 2002–2022
    • Chief Judge, 2020–2022
    • Judge, 2002–2020
  • Private Practice, Dallas, 1983–2002
    • National Partner, Baker & McKenzie, 2000–2002
    • Partner; McGuire, Craddock, Strother & Hale; 1998–2000
    • Partner, Hale Spencer, 1986–1998
    • Associate, Strasburger & Price, 1983–1986
  • Law Clerk to the Honorable James Dennis, Associate Justice, Louisiana Supreme Court (now judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit), 1982–1983
  • J.D., Paul M. Hebert School of Law (LSU), 1982
    • Order of the Coif
    • Associate Editor, Louisiana Law Review
  • B.S., Louisiana State University, 1979


This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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