Leyza F.  Blanco - Attorney at Law

333 S.E. 2nd Avenue
Suite 3200
Miami, Florida 33131

P 305-416-6880
F 305-416-6887

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Biography

Leyza has devoted her practice to a wide range of litigation and insolvency matters, including out-of-court workouts; debt restructuring; and representation of creditors, receivers, assignees, trustees and debtors in bankruptcy and complex commercial real estate matters in state and federal courts. She has also been involved in bankruptcy appeals at the district court and circuit court of appeals levels. Her practice in the area of restructuring and creditors' rights is currently focused on complex business bankruptcy and commercial litigation matters in which she represents various parties, including institutional lenders and receivers in all aspects of bankruptcy and workouts. Leyza has also been appointed receiver, custodian, trustee and special master in cases in both federal and state courts throughout the state of Florida and has served as a neutral arbiter in an arbitration proceeding. Leyza is also a Florida Supreme Court Certified Civil Mediator. 

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Background

Leyza received her juris doctor magna cum laude from the University of Miami Law School. She currently serves as the vice chair of the Legislation Committee of The Florida Bar’s Business Law Section. She is past chair of the Bankruptcy/UCC and Diversity Committees of The Florida Bar’s Business Law Section. She also serves as vice chair of Finance of the International Women's Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation. Leyza is a past president of the Bankruptcy Bar of the Southern District of Florida. She launched a bankruptcy clinical program at Florida International University College of Law, where she served as lead adjunct professor. 

Education
  • University of Miami School of Law, J.D. (magna cum laude, 1996)
    • Inter-American Law Review, Articles and Comments Editor
    • Order of the Coif
  • University of Miami College of Arts & Sciences, B.A. (1992) 
Admissions
  • Florida, 1997
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit, 1999
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida, 1997
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, 1997
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, 1997
     
Representative Experience
  • Lead U.S. counsel to various court-appointed fiduciaries named in various jurisdictions throughout the Caribbean for British American Insurance Co., Ltd., in Chapter 15 proceedings, district court proceedings and pending state court proceedings in counties throughout the state of Florida
  • Counsel to institutional lenders in pending foreclosure cases of undeveloped land in Collier and Manatee counties, Florida, and counsel to lender in pending single-asset real estate Chapter 11 case involving undeveloped commercial real estate in Miami-Dade County, Florida
  • Lead counsel to receiver over office condominium in matter pending in Miami-Dade County, Florida, and counsel to receiver/monitor over business regulated by Office of Insurance Regulation of the state of Florida
  • Lead counsel to borrower in restructuring involving construction loan and storage facility located in St. Lucie County, Florida
  • Receiver appointed by the District Court in the Middle District of Florida in a proceeding involved a multinational fund and the Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Served as counsel to assignee for assignment for the benefit of creditors' proceeding for a national real estate advertising company
  • Lead attorney for liquidating trustee and Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in Chapter 11 bankruptcy case of Peninsula Mortgage Bankers Corp. and Pan American Hospital Corp. and counsel to Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in proceedings filed by Tiles & Stones, Inc.
Professional Associations & Memberships
  • The Florida Bar
    • Business Law Section
      • Secretary, 2017
      • Legislation Committee, Co Vice-Chair
    • Diversity & Inclusion Committee, 2014, 2016
    • Inclusion/Mentoring/Fellowships Committee, Chair, 2012-present
    • Judicial Liaison Committee, Past Chair, 2011-2012
    • Bankruptcy/UCC Committee, Past Chair, 2010-2011
    • Executive Council, Member, 2007-present
  • Bankruptcy Bar Association of the Southern District of Florida
    • Past President, 2006-2007
  • Florida Supreme Court
    • Certified Civil Mediator, 2015-present
  • International Women's Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation
    • Vice Finance Director of the Executive Board, 2016-2017
    • At Large Director, 2010-2016
    • Florida Network Co-Chair, 2008-2010
    • Member, 2001-present
  • American Bankruptcy Institute
    • Asset Sales Committee, Special Projects Leader
    • Caribbean Insolvency Symposium, Steering Committee Member
  • FIU Bankruptcy Clinical Program, Lead Adjunct Professor
  • Dade County Bar Association, Member
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • Hispanic National Bar Association, Member
  • Cuban American Bar Association, Member
  • Florida Fiduciary Forum, Member 
  • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, Fellow, 2014
  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers, Fellow
Civic
  • University of Miami Law Alumni Association
    • Board of Directors, 2014-2016
    • Dean's Circle Committee
  • Leadership Florida, Class XXXII
Awards & Recognitions
  • AV Preeminentrated by Martindale-Hubbell 
  • Chambers USA, Bankruptcy/Restructuring, 2011-2017
  • Florida Super Lawyers, 2010-2017
    • Top 50 Women Florida, 2013-2016
    • Top 100 Miami, Florida, 2013-2016
    • Rising Star, 2009
  • Florida Trend, Legal Elite, 2008-2016
    • Up and Comer, 2007
  • The Florida Bar Business Law Section, Outstanding Member of the Year, 2014
  • Business Leader magazine, 2011 Women Extraordinaire Award
  • Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Outstanding Lawyers of Miami-Dade County, "40 Under 40," 2010
  • South Florida Legal Guide, "Top Lawyers," 2009-2017, and "Up and Comer", 2004-2008
  • South Florida Business Journal, Key Partner Award, 2012 
  • Cuban American Bar Association, Member of the Year, 2013
Articles & Publications
  • Co-author, "Liquidating Liquor Licenses in Bankruptcy," Asset Sales Committee Newsletter, November 2017
  • "The Power of Women Working Together," The Woman Advocate, American Bar Association, June 12, 2015
  • “Challenging Aspects and Issues of Cross Border Chapter 15 Filings,” Chapter 15 Bankruptcy Strategies, Thomson Reuters/Aspatore, 2012
  • “Women Take the Lead and Lean In,” guest commentary, Daily Business Review, August 21, 2013
Presentations & Seminars
  • Moderator, “Jevic’s Potential Effects on Asset Sales & Plan Confirmation,” American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) Webinar, August 18, 2016
  • “Whatever Happened to Pre-Packs/Structured Dismissal? Staying Out of Bankruptcy Court: How to Negotiate a Workout Agreement; Pros and Cons of ABC’s and In & Out Quick,” 40th Annual Alexander L. Paskay Memorial Bankruptcy Seminar, March 31-April 2, 2016
  • “State of Diversity in the Legal Profession,” 5th Annual Bench & Bar Conference, Dade County Bar Association (DCBA), February 26, 2016
  • "UNetworking: Evening with Esquires,” The University of Miami (UM) School of Law’s Networking Program, February 10, 2016
  • Moderator, “The Intersection of Cross-Border Insolvency Proceedings, Receiverships and U.S. Bankruptcy Proceedings,” 2016 Caribbean Insolvency Symposium, American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), February 4-6, 2016
  • Panel Speaker, "Vaccinations! Helping Clients Enhance Rights and Minimize Risk During the Bankruptcy Lull," 89th Annual Meeting, National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges' (NCBJ) Commercial Law League of America (CLLA), August 5, 2015
  • Panel Speaker, "Receiverships and Bankruptcy: Between Scylla and Charybdis," 20th Annual Southeast Bankruptcy Workshop, American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), July 23-26, 2015
  • “Getting Paid: Alternative Fee Structures,” 2015 Bench & Bar Conference, February 20, 2015
  • Moderator, “Receivership Basics” panel, Professional Fiduciary: Responsibilities and Duties seminar, The Florida Bar Continuing Legal Educating Committee and the Business Law section, May 2, 2014
  • “Chapter 15 Update,” Caribbean Insolvency Symposium, American Bankruptcy Institute, February 2014
  • "Converging Issues Between Receiverships and Bankruptcy," Dade County Bar Association Seminar, Miami, Florida, January 24, 2014
  • “Overcoming Gender Bias: Getting into the Courtroom and Succeeding There”  Florida Association of Women Lawyers, October 2013 
  • "Assignments for the Benefit of Creditors: An Alternative to Bankruptcy in Alabama & Florida," International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation Seminar, May 30, 2013
  • “¿Qué está pasando/O que está acontecendo? – Going South: Recent Developments in Latin American Insolvencies” Caribbean Insolvency Symposium, American Bankruptcy Institute, February 2013 
  • "Ethics and Professionalism," Northern District Bankruptcy Bar's Annual Seminar, San Destin, Florida, 2012
  • Judicial Panel Moderator, "Business Bankruptcy," Daily Business Review and Dade County Bar Association's Annual View Bankruptcy Bench Seminar, September 14, 2012
  • "Ethics and Technology," Annual Bankruptcy Seminar, Northern District Bankruptcy Bar Association, September 2011
  • Panel Moderator, "Chapter 15 - Emerging Trends From New Cases," Caribbean Insolvency Symposium, American Bankruptcy Institute, February 2011
  • Panel Speaker, "Cuba: The Ultimate Turnaround," Caribbean Insolvency Symposium, American Bankruptcy Institute, February 2011
  • The Foreclosure & Housing Crisis; The State of the Economy & How We Got There, Panel Speaker, "Developer, Lender, Receiver Panel," September 2010
  • Bankruptcy Law Panel, Florida International University Law School, September 2010
  • Panel Speaker, "What Every Lawyer Should Know During an Economic Downturn," Bankruptcy Law Basics and Beyond, Nova Southeastern University Law Alumni Association, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, April 2009
  • "The Business Case for Diversity: Why Is It Top-of-Mind to Corporate America and Beyond?" AIRA's 25th Annual Bankruptcy and Restructuring Conference, June 2009
Reported Cases
  • In re: Jaffe, 235 BR. 490 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. 1999)
  • In re: British American Insurance Co. Ltd., 425 B.R. 883 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. 2010)
  • In re: British American Isle of Venice (BVI) Ltd., 2010 WL 5209232 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. 2010)
  • Bombart v. The Family Center at Sunrise, LLC, 520 B.R. 300 (S.D. Fla 2014) 
Languages
  • Fluent in Spanish 
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