Representative Cases

Rabobank, NA v. Aldercreek Vineyards, Inc. and Windy Ridge Vineyards, Inc. – When Shelly Crocker was initially appointed as receiver over these two vineyards, there was a tenant farmer running the entire operation. The plaintiff bank was the primary secured creditor, but multiple boundary disputes and significant questions about the water rights on the properties clouded the title, requiring complex litigation before the assets could be sold. The former owner had died suddenly, and when the tenant was found to be misappropriating funds of the receivership, the Receiver had to step in to assume direct management of the farm. Over three growing seasons, the Receiver not only operated the existing 280 acres of production vineyards at a profit, she secured the bank’s support and financing to cultivate a new 80-acre planting – necessary to secure the expiring water rights. Finally, in the third year of the receivership, the vineyards were sold to a single buyer at auction. After repayment of the DIP lending and all the expenses of the litigation and the receivership, the bank recovered its principle plus default interest and all of its expenses, leaving a modest amount to distribute on outstanding tax debt.

In re J.S. Wright Sales Co., Inc. – All the assets of this second generation family owned food distribution business were assigned to the Receiver Shelly Crocker in this “ABC” (assignment for the benefit of creditors). Formerly operating at $40 million annual revenues, the remaining assets were liquidated for 25 percent more than their scheduled value through private sale of the intellectual property, settlement with lienholders, and public auction of remaining equipment. Collection of accounts was a difficult but necessary part of the Receiver’s role. The former owners were free to move forward with their new business endeavors, while the Receiver was able to return a substantial amount to creditors.

Papa John’s International v. PJ Sound Pizza, LLC – Shelly Crocker LLC was appointed as Receiver for a 20-unit franchisee of this the Papa John’s pizza delivery chain on an emergency basis. Some 400 employees were behind a full paycheck, and another payroll was due the day following entry of the appointment order. One store went dark when the employees walked off the job, and two weeks before Christmas, it looked like the remaining stores would soon be following suit. The entire senior management team had to be released, as there were serious questions about the financial practices of the owners. A state tax levy had frozen every bank account and caused disruptions to rent and utility payments. With support from the plaintiff and franchisor Papa John’s, the Receiver stabilized the stores, caught up all the payroll, and got all 20 stores operational. An initial buyer failed to perform after executing a letter of intent, and the Receiver took the assets to a public auction with a stalking horse bid in place. Six months after commencement of the case, the assets were sold to a single bidder for double the stalking horse, and the sale closed two months later. Secured creditors will be paid in full, with substantial returns to the franchisor, landlords and taxing authorities. The stores continue to operate.

In re the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) – After years of financial instability, IDRI’s board of directors placed it into receivership and and resigned. Shelly Crocker LLC was appointed receiver on January 2, 2020, weeks before the onset on the SARS-CoV2 pandemic. For more than 20 years prior to the receivership, IDRI was engaged in scientific research related to the modern vaccine technologies of adjuvants and RNA vaccines; clinical trial management for emerging vaccines and immunotherapies; manufacturing and consulting services for small molecule products; and operating a large vivarium (animal research facility). The Receiver’s immediate concerns were caring for the animals and ensuring that the Biosafety hazard level 3 labs were properly decommissioned. Even prior to the pandemic, the Receiver believed the assets could be saved, and that it would be a tragedy to lose the decades of scientific advancement IDRI possessed. With the assistance of a team of lawyers, the Receiver negotiated with the secured creditor and landlord to keep IDRI open, pursued departing employees who took valuable assets and recovered under a D&O policy, transferred various scientific programs to other nonprofit institutions to refocus IDRI’s efforts on viable segments of the business, and entered into multiple new license and research agreements and grants worth almost $100 million. Finally, a new board was constituted and a new philanthropic partner came forward, agreeing to fund and operate IDRI into the future. The Receiver settled claims representing over 90% of the $58 million filed, and paid the remainder in full, plus all outstanding accounts payable pre and post petition. Upon completion, the Receiver returned all assets to the nonprofit corporation, and IDRI changed its name to the Access to Advanced Health Institute, which is thriving to this day. In 2022, IDRI and the entire professional team led by the Receiver was recognized for Turnaround of the Year by the Turnaround Management Association, the national leading corporate restructuring organization.

Representative Transactions

Southbank Dairies LLC, Manager, agriculture

Northwest Brewing Company LLC, Receiver, brewpub

Six Prong Irrigation, LLC, Manager, agribusiness

South I-90 LP, Receiver, real estate development

SustainableWorks NW, Consultant, nonprofit

Red Dog Interactive, Consultant, Strategic planning, tech

Paneltech Industries, Inc., Consultant, bidder group, manufacturing

Statewide Inc, dba Penguin Windows, Chapter 11 debtor

GM Pine Street Garage, Chapter 11 Debtor

In re Escrow Visions, Inc., Receiver for Washington state DFI

DFI v. Exceptional Escrow Corp., represented state court receiver for DFI

Industry Experience

  • Nonprofit
  • Restaurant
  • Retail
  • Hospitality
  • Food production
  • Agriculture
  • Viticulture
  • Financial services
  • Mortgage lending
  • Printing
  • Apparel
  • Energy
  • Railroad
  • Real estate development
  • Construction
  • Building supply
  • Condominium
  • Shopping centers
  • Parking garage
  • Manufacturing
  • Auto dealership
  • Equipment dealership
  • Medical and Dental
  • Telecommunications
  • Government
  • Aerospace