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Bruce C. Dopke
Bruce C. Dopke
Of Counsel
312.377.7870   |   bdopke@stahlcowen.com   |   vCard   |  Download Bio  |  

Bruce Dopke successfully guides debtors, creditors, creditors’ committees, financial institutions, trustees, and other parties with a financial interest through the lengthy and intricate process of complex chapter 11 bankruptcy cases in Chicago and around the country.

Certified as a commercial bankruptcy practitioner since 1994, Bruce has handled virtually every type and element of corporate bankruptcies over the course of his career. That experience has given him a vast understanding of bankruptcy law that translates to effective and efficient legal work: he knows exactly what to do, and he knows how to do it quickly, which saves his clients both significant time and money. For example, in the recent reorganization of a leading retirement community with tax-exempt bond debt in excess of $100 million, Bruce restructured the debt (with a substantial reduction in principal) through a successful sponsor bid from the parent organization, in a case which was completed in approximately nine months from the petition date to the date of entry of the final decree.

Bruce also advises regional banks and other financial institutions in chapter 11, 7, and 13 bankruptcy cases and workouts. Bruce's clients value his even-keeled demeanor and ability to handle even the most stressful situations, including active litigation in court.

In addition to his corporate work, Bruce has regularly assisted debtors in small business chapter 11 cases and, on a selective basis, individual chapter 7 and 13 cases (he concentrates on cases which have greater than typical complexity). His clients in these matters appreciate both his compassion and his vast knowledge of bankruptcy law, particularly when, more often than not, he successfully guides them to alternatives to costly and time-consuming bankruptcy filings.

In addition to his legal work, Bruce is an active member of his community. He is a past president of his Rotary Club, and a past chair of the Rotary Club’s charitable foundation, through which Bruce and his fellow Rotarians have contributed their time as well as a considerable amount of treasure to area projects, including $250,000 for a pediatric wing of an area hospital, more than $300,000 to fund a unique scholarship program at an area junior college, and approximately $50,000 of annual grants to local not-for-profits and other scholarship recipients.

Bruce has been very proud to be a member of the “Too Hot To Handel” volunteer chorus, a group of about 80 voices which, in January of each year, performs a Jazz/Gospel version of Handel’s Messiah on the stage of the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, accompanied by a full professional orchestra, soloists, and conductor.


Bar Admissions

  • State of Illinois (1980)
  • United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit (1987)
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (1980)
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin (1996)
  • John Marshall Law School, Chicago - JD, with distinction, 1980
  • Bradley University, Peoria, IL - BS, 1977
  • DePaul University - Certificate Holder, 2000 Bankruptcy Mediation
  • Chicago Bar Association, Member
  • American Bankruptcy Institute, Member
  • American Board of Certification, Business Bankruptcy
  • Lawyer's Club of Chicago, Member
  • National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, Member
  • Schaumburg/Hoffman Estates Rotary Club Past President, Schaumburg/Hoffman Estates Rotary Club Charitable Foundation, Past Chair.
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