Judith K. Fitzgerald Joins Tucker Arensberg

Contributed by Judith K. Fitzgerald

Former U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Judith K. Fitzgerald has joined Tucker Arensberg’s Insolvency and Creditors’ Rights practice area. She will support the firm in an Of Counsel position.

Judge Fitzgerald has more than 26 years of experience as a Bankruptcy Judge, having presided over matters in the Western District of Pennsylvania (where she was chief judge for five years) as well as in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the District of Delaware and in the U.S. Virgin Islands.   During her tenure as a bankruptcy judge, Fitzgerald presided over many significant corporate cases including: Flintkote, Kaiser Aluminum, Corp., Owens Corning, W.R. Grace, Pittsburgh Corning Corporation, Armstrong World Industries, United States Mineral Products, U.S.G., Specialty Products Holding Corp.,  Maronda Homes, Fleming Steel Company, Federal-Mogul Global, Innovative Communications Corp.,  Just For Feet, Inc., WorldClass Processing, Inc.,  Combustion Engineering, Inc., Peregrine Systems, American Pad & Paper Co., PHP Healthcare Corporation,  Color Tile, Inc., Italian Oven, Shannopin Mining,  Busy Beaver Bldg. Centers, and Papercraft Corporation.

Judi has unique experience in mass tort bankruptcies, having adjudicated more such cases than any other bankruptcy judge in the country. She has an extensive trial background and frequently served as a settlement judge and mediator.

Thomas Peterson, Managing Shareholder says “we are delighted that Judi is joining our firm and bringing her significant experience in all aspects of bankruptcy and insolvency law to our clients.”

In addition to practicing law, Judge Fitzgerald teaches contracts, commercial law and bankruptcy courses at the Indiana Tech Law School as a tenured faculty member. She also has taught and teaches bankruptcy law and advanced bankruptcy law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.  Before being appointed as a bankruptcy judge in 1987, Judi was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Western District of Pennsylvania, with a concentration in complex frauds and criminal tax cases.

She is a regular national speaker, moderator and panel member on bankruptcy, evidence and litigation topics.  Judge Fitzgerald is an author on bankruptcy law.  Among her publications are The Rutter Group National Practice Guide – Bankruptcy (ThomsonReuters) which she co-edits, and Bankruptcy and Divorce, Support and Property Division (Aspen) which she co-authored.  She also  served as an associate editor of The American Bankruptcy Law Journal.

Judge Fitzgerald has served many professional organizations with distinction, including as:

  • An elected member of the American Law Institute
  •  A Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy
  • A member of the Bankruptcy Section Executive Council of the commercial Law League of America
  • President of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges
  • Board member of the American Bankruptcy Institute and co-chair of ABI Mass Tort Committee
  • Founder of the Law Student Writing Competition and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference for the ABI
  • Founder and member of the Western District of Pennsylvania Bankruptcy American Inn of Court, which now bears her name
  • Chair of the Audit Committee of the Allegheny County Bar Association
  • Member of the Bankruptcy Judges’ Advisory Committee of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, which she chaired for two years
  • Member of the Education Committee for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit


Among her honors, Fitzgerald was awarded the prestigious Lawrence P. King Award for her professionalism and actions to expand the scope of educational opportunities for bankruptcy professionals.

Judi may be reached at jfitzgerald@tuckerlaw.com

Tucker Arensberg is an 85 attorney law firm headquartered in Pittsburgh with an office in Harrisburg.  It is a full service regional firm providing service to its clients in the areas of  general business law, banking, insolvency and creditors’ rights, estates and trusts, school and municipal law, health care, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, energy, technology and intellectual property, environmental, labor and employment, immigration, real estate, workers’ compensation, employee benefits, and investment management and fiduciary services.  For more information on the firm, please visit www.tuckerlaw.com