WILLIAM A. SMELKO, ESQ. — OF COUNSEL
William A. Smelko brings more than thirty years of experience to his representation of clients in litigation, with an emphasis on business bankruptcy, restructuring and corporate governance disputes. Mr. Smelko has successfully litigated all aspects of bankruptcy matters from both the creditor’s and debtor’s perspective. Mr. Smelko's practice also involves advising credit unions and other financial institutions on approaches to take with respect to a variety of bankruptcy related matters, including plan confirmation objections, asset disposition and use motions, stay relief litigation, lease disputes and the prosecution of discharge objections and nondischargeability complaints.
Mr. Smelko received his Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Michigan Law School, where he was a member of the Jessup Cup Moot Court Team and served as the Chief Justice of the University of Michigan Associated Student Body Court of Student Discipline. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, Speech Communication and English Literature, summa cum laude, from the University of Redlands where he was Associated Student Body President, won the 1972 Novice National Debate Championship and was a finalist at the 1975 National Debate Tournament. He also played three years of NAIA Baseball for the University. Upon graduation from Redlands, Mr. Smelko was selected as a Paul Harris Fellow and received a Rotary Foundation Fellowship for International Study completing an H.D. Litt. in Anglo-Irish Literature, with first honors, at Trinity College the University of Dublin in 1976.
Upon graduation from the University of Michigan law school in 1980, Mr. Smelko served as an associate at Sullivan, Jones & Archer, a boutique litigation San Diego Law Firm specializing in antitrust and complex business litigation. Mr. Smelko subsequently practiced bankruptcy and restructuring litigation with Wied & Smelko, as well as at Schall, Boudreau and Gore in San Diego where he worked extensively for the FDIC and RTC in corporate bankruptcy cases in California and Nevada. In addition to practicing law, Mr. Smelko frequently lecturers on bankruptcy law related topics and has been an adjunct professor at The Thomas Jefferson College of Law, National University Law School and the Western State University College of Law, most recently teaching a course in Bankruptcy Procedure in the LLM Online Program for the Thomas Jefferson Law School.
When not practicing law, Mr. Smelko volunteers as a Member of the Tournament of Champions Policy Debate Advisory Committee and the volunteer debate coach at the University of Redlands and La Costa Canyon High School. Co-Author (with his son) of Debate 101, Mr. Smelko is a Past President of the La Mesa Rotary Club and former District Chair of the Rotary District 5340 4-Way Speech Contest for high school speech and debate participants. A Little League Baseball and Softball Coach for 10 years, Mr. Smelko also served on the Board of Directors of the Cajon de Oro Little League and was a past member of the Board of Adjustment for the City of La Mesa.
Mr. Smelko is admitted to practice in all State and Federal Courts in California as well as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel. He is a member of the State Bar of California and the father of Helen Rebecca Garrett of West Seattle Washington and William A Smelko III, the immediate past President of the Associated Students of the University of California at Berkeley. Happily married, Mr. Smelko’s wife, Robin, is an elementary school teacher in the Cajon Valley Union School District and their granddaughter, Eleanor Fiona Garrett just turned one.
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