Thomas M. Messana

Thomas M. Messana

Phone: (954) 712-7415
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Professional Profile:

Thomas M. Messana concentrates his practice in bankruptcy, receiverships, assignments for the benefit of creditors, insolvency and financial restructuring, bankruptcy-related litigation, creditors' rights, corporate reorganization, out-of-court workouts, and bankruptcy acquisitions. He represents a wide range of clients with diverse interests including corporations, financial institutions, individual and business debtors, secured, unsecured and priority creditors, creditors’ committees, trustees and entities seeking to acquire assets out of distressed situations.

Among Mr. Messana’s more significant representations, he served as counsel for the bankruptcy trustee of the Venezuelan national shipping line, where his client received one of the first nationwide injunctions against creditor action in a proceeding ancillary to a foreign bankruptcy.  He has represented the Federal Trade Commission and eleven State Attorney Generals in a bankruptcy case where the consumers were repaid $8.3 million.  Additionally, he represented a Chapter 7 trustee in the first Florida case under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, where he successfully limited, in bankruptcy, Florida’s heretofore unlimited homestead exemption.

Mr. Messana serves on the Executive Council of the Florida Bar’s Business Law Section.  He is currently the Treasurer and Director of the Bankruptcy Bar Foundation, a non-profit corporation which funds the pro bono legal effort of the local bankruptcy association and co-chair of the Bankruptcy/UCC Section’s Receivership Study Group.  He is past president of the Bankruptcy Bar Association of the Southern District of Florida; former chairperson of the Florida Bar Bankruptcy/UCC Committee; former co-chairperson of the Bankruptcy Judicial Liaison Committee of the Business Law Section of the Florida Bar. 

Mr. Messana has been named a Best Lawyer in America, a Super Lawyer, a member of Florida’s Elite lawyers by Florida Trend, and by his peers with an “AV” rating by Martindale-Hubbell.  Chamber & Partners, USA describes him as “highly effective, dogged and resourceful but never flashy.” He regularly lectures and publishes on bankruptcy related subjects in national, regional and local forums.

Mr. Messana has lectured at the University of Miami, the American Bankruptcy Institute, and the Florida Bar. He is a past Adjunct Professor of Law for St. Thomas University School of Law.  In addition, he has authored articles for the ABI Bankruptcy Journal, Cracking the Code, The Maryland Law Review, the American Bankruptcy Institute Health Care Insolvency Manual and Wiley Bankruptcy Law Update.

Mr. Messana earned his Juris Doctor, with honors, from the University of Maryland in 1990 and is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University with a Bachelor of Arts in 1980.

Practice Areas:

  • Business Reorganization/ Restructuring
  • Representation of Receivers, Assignees, and Trustees
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Mediator


  • J.D. with Honors, University of Maryland School of Law
    (Evening Division), Baltimore, Maryland, May 1990.
  • B.A. in Political Science, Johns Hopkins University,
    Baltimore, Maryland, May 1980
  • Dean’s List
  • Senior Class President


  • Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals 1998
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida 1994
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida 1994
  • Florida Bar 1993
  • District of Columbia Bar 1993
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia 1992
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland 1991
  • Maryland Bar 1990


  • Recognized as a Best Lawyer in America
  • Recognized as a Super Lawyer
  • Member of Florida’s Elite Lawyers by Florida Trend
  • “AV” Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Recognized by Chambers & Partners, USA
  • Order of the Coif
  • Maryland Law Review – Articles Editor (1989-90); Staff Member (1988-89)
  • American Jurisprudence Award – Counseling and Negotiations
  • Best Article –The Maryland Law Review Writing Competition (1988)

Selected Publications:

  • Contributing Author, Business Law Section of the Florida Bar - The Journal: An Update of Florida Case Law Relevant to Business Law in the State of Florida (Receivership Chapter) 2008.
  • Contributing Author, Wiley Bankruptcy Law Update (1998-2001).
  • T. Messana and Z. Shelomith, Adjustment of Prepetition Medicare Overpayments in Bankruptcy—Recoupment or Illegal Set-off; Another View, Cracking the Code, (October 1998).
  • T. Messana, The Lincoln Law Meets Health Care, Cracking the Code, (October 1997).
  • Contributing Author, American Bankruptcy Institute’s Health Care Insolvency Manual (1997).
  • T. Messana and P. Avron, How To Dismiss An Ancillary Case, Cracking the Code, (July1996).
  • P. Redmond and T. Messana, Fraudulent Transfer and Bankruptcy, Prentice Hall (1994).
  • Note, Survey of Developments in Maryland Constitutional Law; Armacost v. State.
  • Note, Ricks v. State: Big Brother is Watching, 48 Md. L. Rev. 435 (1989).

Selected Reported Decisions:

  • In re Maison Grande Condominium Association, Inc, 425 B.R. 684 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. Jan. 13, 2010).
  • In re SFD @ Hollywood, LLC, 411 B.R. 453 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. 2009).
  • Stuart Weitzman, LLC v. Microcomputer Resources, Inc., 542 F.3d 859 (11th Cir. 2008).
  • In re Mazon, 395 B.R. 742, (M.D. Fla. 2008).
  • In re Mazon, 387 B.R. 641 (M.D. Fla. 2008).
  • Stuart Weitzman, LLC v. MicroComputer Resources, Inc., 510 F.Supp.2d 1098 (S.D. Fla. 2007).
  • In re Aqua Clear Technologies, Inc., 361 B.R. 567 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. 2007).
  • In re Farber, 355 B.R. 362 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. 2006).
  • In re V.O.C. Analytical Laboratories, Inc., 263 B.R. 156 (S.D. Fla. 2001).
  • In re Tippy Togs of Miami, Inc., 237 B.R. 236 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. 1999).
  • Marine Midland Business Loans, Inc. v. Miami Trucolor Offset Service Co., 217 B.R. 341 (S.D. Fla. 1998).
  • In re S.E.L. Maduro (Florida), Inc., 205 B.R. 987 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. 1997).
  • In re Miami Trucolor Offset Service Co., 187 B.R. 767 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. 1995).
  • In re CAVN, 175 B.R. 422 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. 1994).


  • Bankruptcy Bar Association, Past President
  • Florida Bar Business Law Section, Executive Counsel
  • Bankruptcy Bar Foundation, Treasurer
  • Florida Bar Bankruptcy/UCC Committee, Former Chairperson
  • Bankruptcy Judicial Liaison Committee of the Business Law Section of the Florida Bar, Former Co-Chairperson
  • Business Law Section, Bankruptcy/UCC Sectionís Receivership Study Group, Co-Chair