Justin loves outdoor adventures. He has been ice climbing in Ouray, Colorado, summited Mt. Rainier (2008) and Mt. Baker (pictured, with son Alex in 2019), and loves skiing, camping and hiking with his family.
Justin Ristau is a partner and chair of Bricker & Eckler's Creditors' Rights, Restructuring & Bankruptcy group. Justin is a creditors' rights litigator, who focuses on efficiently pursuing a broad spectrum of default remedies to accomplish the unique goals of his clients. He represents lenders on commercial loan defaults, including commercial foreclosure, replevin and state-court receiverships. Justin also represents clients in cases involving bankruptcy, bankruptcy litigation and reorganization, usually on behalf of secured and unsecured creditors in bankruptcy cases or adversary proceedings involving preference and fraudulent transfer proceedings, nondischargeability proceedings, and proceedings to determine the validity and priority of various claims or interests. In addition, Justin represents residential lenders in complex contested foreclosure actions, as well as against affirmative claims brought in state court, bankruptcy court, district court or on appeal.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Justin has also helped lead firm’s COVID-19 Response Team, created to assist clients in responding to the new realities of the economic and business landscape. Justin’s COVID-19-specific experience involves assisting with lender/borrower forbearance negotiations, advising clients regarding landlord/tenant leasing issues, providing guidance on crisis management and business continuity, navigating garnishment issues, and other business-related matters that have arisen out of the coronavirus pandemic. For additional information, visit the firm’s Banking & Financial Services COVID-19 Resource Center.
Secured creditor representation in a warehouse line of credit default
Represented a secured creditor to obtain judgment following payment default on a warehouse line of credit and pursued various execution remedies across state lines to collect the amount due.
Receivers’ counsel and advisor
Represented and advised court-appointed receivers in state court proceedings to manage and liquidate real property and/or businesses.
Revenue bond default litigation
Represented a community development authority in a priority dispute following default in payment of service payments and community development charges.
Represented commercial landlords in state court to recover the possession of premises and collect unpaid rent.
Leases in bankruptcy
Advised commercial landlords regarding their rights and remedies when a tenant files bankruptcy.
Springing recourse guaranty litigation
Represented a creditor in state court litigation to enforce the terms of a springing recourse guaranty agreement, also known as a “bad boy” guaranty.
Customers and suppliers in bankruptcy
Helped navigate various vendors, suppliers and customers through all phases of the bankruptcy process.
Complex judgment execution and collection remedies
Represented a judgment creditor in a complex garnishment proceeding involving more than $1 million.
Foreclosure and receivership of golf courses
Represented a secured creditor to foreclose two separate golf courses and obtained appointment of a receiver to manage the business and preserve cash flow during contested foreclosure.
Foreclosure and receivership of ground lease
Represented a secured creditor to foreclose a complex ground lease located at an airport and obtained the appointment of a receiver to manage the collateral and market for sale. Obtained a negotiated settlement prior to the sale of the collateral.
Professional & Community Activities
- Member, American Bankruptcy Institute
Bar Admissions & Activities
- Admitted, U.S. Supreme Court
- Admitted, State of Ohio
- Admitted, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit
- Admitted, U.S. District Court for the Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio
- Member, Ohio State Bar Association
- Member, Columbus Bar Association Bankruptcy Committee
- Past Chair, Banking, Commercial and Bankruptcy Law Committee; Ohio State Bar Association
Awards & Recognition
- Listed, Best Lawyers in America (Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law; Litigation - Bankruptcy; Mortgage Banking Foreclosure Law), 2016–2023
- University of Cincinnati College of Law (J.D.), 2002; Student Articles Editor and associate member, University of Cincinnati Law Review
- Hobart College (B.A.), 1999
Justin lives with his wife and four kids on a farm, raising a menagerie of horses, cows, pigs, goats, chickens and ducks. He loves springtime on the farm, as pastures turn green, new babies are born and seeds start to grow.
Bricker attorneys named 2017 Ohio Super Lawyers
Continuing the firm’s trend of excellence and distinction, 43 Bricker & Eckler attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2017 Ohio Super Lawyers list. Notably, this year’s list includes four newly-listed attorneys. Additionally, four attorneys were named to “Top Lists” in Ohio.More Dec 15, 2016
Bricker & Eckler attorneys earn Best Lawyers 2017 recognition
A total of 66 attorneys from Bricker & Eckler LLP, representing 47.5 percent of the firm’s lawyers, were chosen by their peers for recognition in this year’s edition of The Best Lawyers in America® 2017 (copyright 2016 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC).More Aug 15, 2016