A Spotlight on the Firm’s Bankruptcy Practice

Long recognized for the strength and breadth of its oil and gas practice, the firm’s bankruptcy practice is equally notable.  We highlight several of the attorneys who make up the practice today:

Core Team

schiffGerald (Jerry) Schiff served over a decade as U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Western District of Louisiana while occasionally sitting in the Shreveport and Alexandria Divisions as well as the Eastern and Middle Districts of Louisiana.  During his tenure on the bench, he presided over the Chapter 11 case of Cajun Electric Power Cooperative, Inc., which at the time was one of the largest reorganization cases ever filed in the United States.  He also completed the mediation course offered by the Federal Judicial Center, which allowed him to assist other Bankruptcy and District Judges by mediating cases in the Western District and Bankruptcy Courts in New Orleans, Houston, and New Jersey.  Following his post as Bankruptcy Judge, he joined Gordon Arata in 2006, where he continues to work on Chapter 11 cases and often serves as a court-appointed trustee.  Most recently, Jerry served as the court-appointed chapter 11 trustee in an involuntary case filed against the debtor, an operator of oil and gas properties; in his role as trustee, Jerry oversaw all aspects of the debtor’s bankruptcy case, including implementing financial supervision and accounting control procedures, assessing the existence and validity of numerous lien claims asserted against the debtor’s ownership interests in certain leases, pursuing claims on behalf of the estate against former officers and directors, and addressing the debtor’s substantial plug-and-abandonment responsibilities.  Jerry has spoken on various aspects of bankruptcy law at numerous seminars including the Annual Bankruptcy Law Seminar sponsored by the Louisiana State University Center for Continuing Professional Development.  Jerry is recognized consistently by leading legal and local publications including Chambers U.S.A., Best Lawyers in America and Acadiana Profile Magazine for his work in Bankruptcy Law.  In both 2013 and 2015, Best Lawyers named him Lawyer of the Year in Baton Rouge for his work in Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law.  He is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell and is licensed to practice in Louisiana.


long.b&wArmistead (Army) Long concentrates his practice on bankruptcy matters for oil, gas, and energy clients in Louisiana and Texas.  He is a skilled and diplomatic contract negotiator and has led small businesses through corporate mergers, acquisitions, and sales.  Armistead has drafted numerous mineral and equipment lease agreements and licensed manufacturing and distribution agreements.  Following his graduation from law school in 2005, he served as law clerk to The Honorable Ronald B. King, Chief Judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas and subsequently served as a member of the bankruptcy & creditors’ rights practice group of a regional law firm in North Carolina.  His business experience is unique.  In the 1980’s, he was a principal and Vice President of an independent eastern U.S. coal mining company.  From the late 1980s until 2001, he served as CEO of a major North American manufacturer of bulk materials sampling systems and mine safety equipment for a company that he co-founded.  In addition to his Law degree, he has a degree in Geology, a Master’s degree in business administration, and is the co-inventor of three patents on bulk material sampling equipment.  Acadiana Profile Magazine has rated him as a Top Lawyer for the last two years for his work both in Oil & Gas and Bankruptcy law.  He is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell and admitted to practice in Louisiana, Texas, and North Carolina.


simon.b&wPaul Simon practices in the areas of oil and gas litigation and bankruptcy law.  With the other members of the Gordon Arata team, he has represented clients in oil and gas and other industries in numerous matters before the bankruptcy courts of the Western District of Louisiana, including in Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 proceedings.  Prior to joining the Firm, Paul served as a law clerk to two judges on the federal bench, the Honorable W. Eugene Davis of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the Honorable Dee D. Drell, Chief Judge for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, for whom he assisted in writing multiple bankruptcy opinions.  Paul frequently uses this experience to assist in matters in federal court, including in bankruptcy and appellate matters.  Before law school, Paul worked as a strategy and management consultant for the consulting firm McKinsey & Company in its Amsterdam office.  He learned the Dutch language for the posting, adding to the French and Spanish languages which he previously spoke, and to this day Paul maintains a rich network of contacts and knowledge regarding European business.  For the past two years, Acadiana Profile Magazine has recognized Paul as a Top Lawyer for his work in Energy Law and Commercial Litigation.  He is licensed to practice in Louisiana and New York.


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