Robert S. Marticello


Robert S. Marticello is a partner of Smiley Wang-Ekvall, LLP and focuses his practice on business bankruptcy matters and related litigation. He has extensive experience representing a wide range of parties in chapter 11 bankruptcy cases and out-of-court restructurings, including debtors, committees, secured and unsecured creditors, equity holders, trustees, asset purchasers, and others. Mr. Marticello has worked with clients in a variety of industries, including real estate, non-profit, retail, restaurant, and technology, and has represented clients in multiple forums across the United States. He is also skilled in representing plaintiffs and defendants in bankruptcy avoidance actions and plaintiffs in nondischargeability actions.

Mr. Marticello has been recognized as an emerging leader in the field of insolvency. The American Bankruptcy Institute honored him with its inaugural “40 Under 40” award, recognizing him as one of the top insolvency professionals under the age of 40 in the United States. This marks the second time in five years that Mr. Marticello has received a Top 40 award for his emerging talent. In 2012, he was selected to participate in the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges’ Next Generation Program, which is designed for 40 up-and-coming bankruptcy attorneys in the country. Mr. Marticello has also been consistently named a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers Magazine and has received recognition from Best Lawyers for multiple years in a row.

Mr. Marticello is a well-respected speaker and author on insolvency issues, frequently presenting on topics such as current and expected trends in real estate-related bankruptcies and the hospitality industry. His expertise in these areas makes him a valuable resource for clients and colleagues alike.

Mr. Marticello has held leadership roles in a number of professional organizations. He currently serves as Co-Chair of the Lawyer Representatives to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, as well as a Director of the Federal Bar Association (Orange County Chapter) and the Turnaround Management Association (Southern California Chapter). Mr. Marticello was President of the California Bankruptcy Forum from 2015-2016 and served as a Director of the Orange County Bankruptcy Forum from 2008-2011, with a term as President from 2010-2011.

Mr. Marticello has a strong foundation in bankruptcy law, having served as a law clerk to the Honorable John E. Ryan and the Honorable Robert N. Kwan, both United States Bankruptcy Judges for the Central District of California. Before his clerkship, Mr. Marticello earned his undergraduate degree from California State University Chico and his law degree from Californian Western School of Law in 2005, graduating magna cum laude and being a member of the California Western Law Review.

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Professional Activities

  • Board Member, Federal Bar Association, Orange County Chapter, 2021-Present
  • Board Member, Turnaround Management Association Southern California Chapter, 2022-2023
  • Co-Chair, American Bankruptcy Institute Business Reorganization Committee
  • Co-Chair of the Lawyer Representatives to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, 2018-Present
  • Director, Orange County Bankruptcy Forum, 2008-2011
  • President, California Bankruptcy Forum, 2015-2016
  • Officer, California Bankruptcy Forum, 2012-2016
  • Director, California Bankruptcy Forum, 2009-2017
  • President, Orange County Bankruptcy Forum, 2010-2011

Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, Third Party Releases
    Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference 2022
  • Speaker, Key Concepts in Post-COVID Real Estate Restructurings
    American Bankruptcy Institute Webinar
  • Speaker, Searching for Dry Land: Real Estate Bankruptcies
    33rd Annual California Bankruptcy Conference
  • Panelist, Commercial Landlord/Tenant Issues in the Era of a Pandemic
    Orange County Bankruptcy Forum
  • Panelist, "Flatten the Curve": A Panel Discussion on the "Novel" Issues Impacting Bankruptcy Cases Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic
    Orange County Bar Association – Commercial Law & Bankruptcy Section
  • Speaker, COVID-19 & the Legal "Vaccine" - Discussion of Contractual Defenses in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
    Orange County Bar Association – Business & Corporate Section and Business Litigation Section
  • Panelist, Current Trends and Issues in Chapter 11 Cases
    Ninth Circuit Conference of Chief Bankruptcy Judges and Lawyer Representatives
  • Speaker, Protecting Your Client: Top Issues Every Corporate Attorney Should Know About Bankruptcy
    Orange County Bar Association
  • Speaker, Bankruptcy Fundamentals for Business Litigators
    Orange County Bar Association
  • Panelist, Crossfire
    ABI Battlegroup West
  • Panelist, Judicial Estoppel and Bankruptcy Cases: Inconsistent Positions, Judicial Integrity, and Unfair Advantage
    Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference
  • Speaker, The Allowance of “Defense Fees” in the Wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision in Baker Botts
    Central District Conference of Judges and Lawyer Representatives, Bankruptcy Breakout Session
  • Panelist, Valuation Issues in Bankruptcy
    Ninth Circuit Conference of Chief Bankruptcy Judges and Lawyer Representatives
  • Speaker, Chapter 11 Recent Developments
    Orange County Bar Association Commercial Law & Bankruptcy Section
  • Moderator, Asset Sales in Bankruptcy
    Orange County Bar Association Commercial Law & Bankruptcy Section
  • Speaker, Rules of the Game: Sports Teams in Bankruptcy
    Peter Elliott American Inn of Court


  • Author, With Bankruptcy Court’s Extraordinary Power Comes Great Responsibility – and Some Negative Publicity
    Los Angeles Daily Journal Top Bankruptcy Lawyers Supplement
  • Author, The New Year Could Be the Hardest One Yet for the Hotel Industry
  • Author, Bankruptcy is a Last Resort: Here Are Some Other Steps to Take During the Coronavirus Pandemic
    Los Angeles Daily Journal
  • Author, Bankruptcy Code Offers Relief to (Very) Small Businesses
    Los Angeles Daily Journal
  • Author, Bankruptcy Can Provide Landlords a Safe Harbor from Retail Storm
    Chain Store Age
  • Author, Sears' Biggest Sale (Itself) Offers Valuable Lessons for Retail
    Law 360
  • Author, Is Consignment Enough?
    Supply Chain World
  • Author, Bankruptcy Can Help Tech Firms Survive an Impending Bubble and Preserve Value
    CEOWORLD Magazine
  • Author, Learn from Sports Authority Bankruptcy
    Los Angeles Daily Journal
  • Author, Retail Bankruptcies on the Rise: How to Avoid Becoming a Statistic
  • Co-Author, Sports Team Bankruptcies: Home Runs or Strikeouts?
    Los Angeles Daily Journal

Practice Areas

Bankruptcy, Workouts and Insolvency Matters, and Commercial Litigation



Judicial Clerkships