Justin Ristau

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.


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
Outdoor Adventure
Outdoor Adventure

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.

Farm Life
Farm Life

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.