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Sarah Cate Hays is a senior associate with Marshack Hays LLP. She represents trustees as well as secured and unsecured creditors – including lenders, landlords, and trade creditors – who have claims against individuals and corporations in bankruptcy. As counsel for bankruptcy estates, Ms. Hays assists trustees in: investigation of pre-petition transfers and transactions; recovery and administration of assets; litigation of claims held by the estate; denial of discharge actions; and all aspects of bankruptcy litigation. She also represents Chapter 11 debtors-in-possession and creditors in Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 cases. Ms. Hays has significant experience with issues arising when family law and bankruptcy collide, including rights of domestic support creditors in Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

Ms. Hays is admitted to practice law in California and Montana, and is admitted to the United States District Courts for the Northern, Central, and Southern Districts of California and the United States District Court for the District of Montana.  She is a staff editor of the California Bankruptcy Journal, and has co-authored three CBJ articles:

  • The Client Without a Remedy and the Windfall Estate – The Case for Debtor Ownership of Malpractice Claims Against Bankruptcy Counsel (32 Cal. Bank. J. 65 (2012));
  • The Same Love – Marriage Equality in Bankruptcy Post-DOMA and the Evolving Rights of Registered Domestic Partners (33 Cal. Bank. J. 49 (2014)); and
  • Good Help Is Hard to Fund: The Problem of Earned Upon Receipt Retainers and Pre-Funded Litigation in Bankruptcy (2016).

Ms. Hays holds both a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and a Master of Fine Arts in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California.  She received her J.D. in 2007 from Tulane University Law School in New Orleans, Louisiana. While in law school Ms. Hays was a regular contributor to Dicta, a student publication, and authored a directed research thesis entitled God in Caesar’s House: the Conflicts of Religious Law in a Secular Context. During her graduate writing program Ms. Hays’s fictional works appeared in the USC student publications Bamiyan and Big Green Bag. Her bankruptcy cases include:

  • In re Rinard, 451 B.R. 12 (Bankr. C.D. Cal. 2011);
  • In re Four Star Financial Services, Inc., 444 B.R. 428 (Bankr. C.D. Cal. 2011)rev’d 469 B.R. 30 (C.D. Cal. 2012);
  • In re Cass, 476 B.R. 602 (Bankr. C.D. Cal. 2012); and
  • In re Cusimano, 2013 WL 9736597 (Bankr. C.D.Cal. 2013).

Ms. Hays is a member of the Orange County Bar Association and the Orange County Lavender Bar Association. She is married to Ed Hays.

(updated 3/2018)

Sarah Cate Hays