Stella Havkin - Partner

From 1987, Stella Havkin has been practicing primarily in commercial,  business, securities and bankruptcy law.   She has represented landlords, financial institutions, creditors in Chapter 7, 11 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases, debtors in Chapter 7, 11 and 13 cases as well Chapter 7 Trustees.  Ms. Havkin has handled complex litigation matters on behalf of creditors and financial institutions in California, Texas and Florida.  She has prosecuted and defended numerous nondischargeability, claim objections and preference/fraudulent transfer actions in Bankruptcy Courts.  The subject matter of her cases have involved real estate, business, insurance, securities violations, tax controversies, among others.

Selected as 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 Consumer Bankruptcy Super Lawyer by Southern California Super Lawyers Magazine.



San Francisco, California – J.D. May 1987.

HONORS: Hastings International and Comparative Law Review:

Member, 1985-1986; Associate Note Editor, 1986-1987.

YORK UNIVERSITY – Toronto, Canada – B.A. May 1984.

HONORS: Magna Cum Laude, Dean’s List and Dean’s Honor Roll, 1980-1984; Vingt-Deux Club (the top twenty-two graduating students).



  • Certified Specialist in Bankruptcy Law by the California State Bar Board of Specialization.
  • Certified Consumer Bankruptcy Specialist by the American Board of Specialization.

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  • Obtained hundreds of discharges for Chapter 7 and 13 debtors.
  • Resolved numerous tax debts for individuals and businesses.
  • Represented buyer in a $24 million dollar purchase from a bankruptcy estate.
  • Prevailed on summary judgment in a nondischargeability proceeding for breach of fiduciary duty arising out of a defalcation.
  • Represented Chapter 7 Trustees in highly contested cases requiring the litigation of several adversary proceedings and numerous motions including motion to withdraw reference.
  • Represented twenty five preference and fraudulent transfer defendants in a medical Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
  • Represented creditors who obtained the permanent bar of a debtor from the filing of a bankruptcy proceeding before the Bankruptcy Court.
  • Represented petitioning creditors in the defense of attorneys’ fees trial following the dismissal of the involuntary bankruptcy followed by two appeals to the Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Represented a creditor who successfully removed his interest from a sale of assets by a Chapter 11 trustee to a buyer of those assets of the Debtor.
  • Represented debtors in highly contested Chapter 11 cases.
  • Represented debtors and Chapter 7 Trustees before the Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel and the Ninth Circuit of Appeals
  • Represented creditors in complex collection matters


  • State Bar of California
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit of Appeals
  • Western Texas District Court and Western Texas Bankruptcy Court
  • Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Middle District of Florida Bankruptcy Court
  • San Fernando Valley Bar Association
  • Central District of California Consumer Bankruptcy Lawyers Association
  • James T. King Bankruptcy Inn of the Court


Author of the Law Review Note, “The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act: The Relationship Between the Commercial Activity Exception and the Noncommercial Tort Exception in Light of De Sanchez v. Banco Central de Nicaragua“, published in Volume 10:2, September, 1987 selected for publication on Westlaw.

Author of the Article, “Because of California’s Expansive Definition of Securities Law Violations, your clients may have violated securities laws and created nondischargeable debts all without knowledge,“ published in Central District of California Consumer Bankruptcy Lawyers Association Newsletter in 2013.

Author of the Article, “Give Motions to Dismiss in Bankruptcy Court a Second Thought.  They are no Longer a Longshot!” published in San Fernando Valley Bar Association Journal.

C0-Author of the Article, “Attorney Client and Attorney Work Product Privileges: How to Protect Them and Not to Lose Them,” published in Central District of California Consumer Bankruptcy Lawyers Association Newsletter in 2015.


Member of the Chief Bankruptcy Judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California’s Bar Advisory Panel from May, 2008 – May, 2010.
Member of the Board of Directors of the Central District of California Consumer Bankruptcy Lawyers Association.
Editor of Central District of California Consumer Bankruptcy Lawyers Association’s Newsletter.

Vice Chair of the Commission with State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization for Bankruptcy.


Member of Panel with Howard M. Ehrenberg and Honorable Barry Russell on Motions to Dismiss before the San Fernando Valley Bar Association, February, 2013.

Member of Panel with Alan Broidy and Honorable Alan M. Ahart on Attacks on the Homestead Exemption before the Central District of California Consumer Bankruptcy Lawyers Association, July, 2013

Member of Panel with David Tilem, Eric Clark and Honorable Ernest M. Robles on Pre-Bankruptcy Planning: 20 Shades of Grey – December, 2013.

Member of Panel with Wesley H. Avery and Michael S. Kogan on Settling with the Trustee – February, 2014 and June, 2015.

Member of Panel with Honorable Margaret Mann, Larry Simons and Laurel Zaeske on Is the Fight Over: Claim and Issue Preclusion in 523 Cases – May, 2014.

Member of Panel with Honorable Maureen Tighe, R. Grace Rodriquez and Michael D. Kwasigroch on Completing Chapter 13 cases in November, 2014.

Member of Panel with Honorable Thomas Donovan and Ray Aver on Settlement Agreements – November, 2014.

Member of Panel with Eric Clark and Ariel Leichter-Maroko on Representing Spouses in Bankruptcy: Beware of Ethical Land Mines and Conflicts in November, 2014.

Member of Panel with Honorable Scott Clarkson, Ray Aver and Cassandra Richey – The Unscheduled Lawsuit in March, 2015.

Member of Panel with Nancy Zamora, Michael Kogan and David R. Hagen on settling matters with Trustees.


  • Michael Jones v. Wells Fargo Bank et. al., 5 Cal.Rptr.3d 835 (2003)
  • In re: Southern California Sunbelt Developers, 608 F. 3d 456 (9th Cir. 2010)


Provided expert testimony at both mediation and trial of bankruptcy legal  malpractice cases.


  • English
  • Russian
  • French

Phone: 1 ( 818) 999-1568

Email: stella (AT)