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David Lemke


Offers creative solutions to complex problems

Trustees, lenders, creditors' committees and other clients requiring assistance with defaulted bonds or other financial instruments rely on David Lemke to provide sophisticated, practical advice and counsel. For more than 25 years, David has designed creative solutions for clients both inside and outside of formal proceedings. Whether a workout is undertaken within the bankruptcy court setting, a receivership is necessary to enforce the remedies of a trustee or lender, or an out-of-court restructuring is needed, clients can be assured that David has the experience and judgment to craft a resolution.

David enjoys the competitive nature of his work and thrives on bringing a win to the client. He assertively and tenaciously finds leverage within a matter to achieve the client's goal.

In November 2011, Jefferson County, Alabama filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection, making it the largest municipal bankruptcy ever filed at that time. Representing the trustee for certain sewer debt exceeding $3 billion, David and the Waller team were intimately involved in the historic proceedings.  In July 2013, the City of Detroit filed its Chapter 9 bankruptcy petition, thereby eclipsing Jefferson County as the largest municipal bankruptcy ever filed. Drawing on the experience gained in Jefferson County, David and the Waller team was engaged to represent the trustee for Detroit's water and sewer bonds - totaling almost $6 billion - in this historic case.

A former managing partner, David provides sound leadership not only to clients, but also to his peers and colleagues.

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  • Related Services
  • Education
    • J.D., University of Missouri-Columbia, 1985
      • University of Missouri Law Review
    • B.S., Central Methodist College, 1982
      • Omicron Delta Kappa
  • Bar Admissions
    • Tennessee
  • Court Admissions
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • Supreme Court
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth, Sixth and Eleventh Circuits
    • U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan
    • U.S. District Courts for the Middle and Western Districts of Tennessee
    • U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Tennessee
    • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • Recognitions
    • Chambers USA
      • Bankruptcy/Restructuring (Tennessee), 2015-2022
    • The Best Lawyers in America© (BL Rankings)
      • Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law, 2006-2023
    • The Best Lawyers in America© (BL Rankings), 2022
      • Lawyer of the Year, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law (Nashville)
    • Mid-South Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters)
      • Creditor Debtor Rights, 2006-2019
  • Professional Involvement
    • Member, Nashville Bar Association
    • Member, American Bankruptcy Institute
    • Former Board Member and Past President, Mid-South Commercial Law Institute
    • Past Chair, Nashville Bar Association's Bankruptcy Court Committee
    • Former Chair, CLE Subcommittee and the Local Rules Subcommittee, Bankruptcy Court Committee, Nashville Bar Association
    • Former Board Member, Middle Tennessee Chapter, Turnaround Management Association
  • Community Involvement
    • Member, Harpeth Conservancy Advisory Board of Directors

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