Robert S. Marticello


ROBERT S. MARTICELLO is a founding partner of Smiley Wang‑Ekvall, LLP.  He concentrates his practice on business bankruptcy matters and related litigation.  Mr. Marticello represents virtually all parties in chapter 11 bankruptcy cases and out-of-court restructurings, i.e., debtors, committees, secured and unsecured creditors, equity holders, trustees, asset purchasers, and others.  He has represented clients in a broad range of industries, such as real estate, non profit, retail, restaurant, and technology and has represented clients in multiple forums throughout the United States.  Mr. Marticello is also experienced in representing plaintiffs and defendants in bankruptcy avoidance actions and plaintiffs in nondischargeability actions.


Mr. Marticello was selected as an emerging leader by the American Bankruptcy Institute for its inaugural “40 Under 40” award.  The organization recognized him as one of the top insolvency professionals under the age of 40 in the United States.  This was the second time in five years that Mr. Marticello won a Top 40 award recognizing 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 selected as a “Rising Star” in Super Lawyers Magazine and has been recognized by Best Lawyers for multiple years running.


Mr. Marticello served as the law clerk to the Honorable John E. Ryan, United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Central District of California, from August 2005 to February 2007, and to the Honorable Robert N. Kwan, United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Central District of California, from March to August 2007. Prior to serving as a law clerk, Mr. Marticello received his undergraduate degree from California State University Chico and his law degree from Californian Western School of Law in 2005, where he graduated magna cum laude and was a member of the California Western Law Review. Mr. Marticello is currently serving as the President of the California Bankruptcy Forum.  Mr. Marticello was a Director of the Orange County Bankruptcy Forum from 2008-2011, and its President from 2010-2011.

Best Lawyers Award Badge

Professional Activities

  • Co-Chair of the Lawyer Representatives to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, 2018-2020
  • President, California Bankruptcy Forum, 2015-2016
  • Director, California Bankruptcy Forum, 2009-present
  • President, Orange County Bankruptcy Forum, 2010-2011
  • Director, Orange County Bankruptcy Forum, 2008-2011

Speaking Engagements

  • 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, 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