Wayne State University Law School, J.D.
  • magna cum laude; Order of the Coif; Ira Spoon Award; Corpus Juris Secundum Award; Gold Key Certificate
  • Wayne Law Review, Associate Editor, 1984-1985
University of Illinois, B.A.
  • History and Pre-Law Studies
  • with high honors; James Scholar

Prior Employment

  • Internal Revenue Service

Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

Professional Affiliations

State Bar of Michigan

  • Business Law Section
    • Chairperson, 2016-present
    • Treasurer, 2014-present
    • Secretary, 2013-2014
    • Council Member
    • Creditor/Debtor Rights Committee, Co-chair

Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

  • Advisory Committee to the Bankruptcy Judges, Member
  • Rules Subcommittee of the Advisory Committee, Reporter

Advisory Committee to the Michigan House Committee on Civil Laws and Judiciary relating to amending exemption statutes, Reporter

News & Resources


Judy Calton successfully counsels banks, finance companies, manufacturers, and other business clients in commercial law, corporate reorganization, and transactions.

  • Represents clients in negotiations, disputes, and in insolvency and bankruptcy-related litigation  
  • Possesses extensive preference litigation experience
  • Well versed in forming and leading joint national defense groups for multiple preference or actions in Michigan, New York, and Delaware bankruptcy courts
  • Recognized as having particular knowledge on rules of procedure, testifying twice before the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules, Civil Rules, and Evidence Rules and writing commentary on the proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure on behalf of the Bankruptcy Advisory Committee and other Bar groups
  • Reporter for a subcommittee of the Advisory Committee drafting new local rules for Chapter 11 cases, amending the local rules in 2007 and to be effective December 1, 2009; also served as a reporter for a committee advising the Michigan Legislature on amending the state exemptions, which amendments were adopted into law


  • Represented the Detroit Institute of Arts in In re City of Detroit, Case No. 13-53846 (Bank. E.D. Moch. 2013)
  • Represented Capitol Bancorp Ltd., a bank holding company with a network of banks and bank operations in ten states and total consolidated assets of approximately $2.0 billion, in its Chapter 11, pre-packaged plan of reorganization 
  • Extensive preference litigation experience having prosecuted and defended hundreds of actions. Tried three preference actions, including a nine day trial defending a $3.8 million preference claim, achieving dismissal of action.  Experienced in forming and leading joint national defense groups for multiple preference actions in Michigan, New York and Delaware bankruptcy courts.
  • Served a company whose bank stopped funding and returned payroll in emergency Chapter 11 case, which confirmed a plan in less than six months, selling business as a going concern with payment in full to bank and distribution of approximately 75 cents on the dollar to unsecured creditors
  • Represented a manufacturer with $500 million a year in sales as debtor-in-possession
  • Counseled the bank group in one of the largest bankruptcy cases filed in the United States in 1994, successfully obtaining repayment in full of over $100 million in prepetition indebtedness within a year of the commencement of the case
  • Represented the Chapter 7 trustee of a corporate debtor in litigation, recovering over $15 million from insiders and former professionals of the corporation
  • Represented a Chapter 11 trustee of a timeshare developer with projects in seven states
  • Developed creative procedures to resolve construction lien and trust fund claims when owners of projects, general contractors or major subcontractors become debtors
  • Represented a directors and officers insurer, in bringing an interpleader in a bankruptcy case to determine whether the liquidating trustee or the former officers and directors were entitled to the policy. All of the client's legal fees were reimbursed to it out of the policy proceeds.
  • Represented a Chapter 7 trustee, developed the strategy to obtain a consent judgment against an insolvent former director and then sued a major international insurance company to collect the judgment. Settled case for $750,000
  • Sued a former director who was also the insurance agent for the company for wrongfully canceling the company's excess directors and officers insurance policy without proper corporate authority. Even though he filed a personal bankruptcy, obtained a $2 million judgment against him and collected $1.2 million from his errors and omissions insurance policy
  • Obtained relief from the stay in bankruptcy cases numerous times so claims against a debtor in bankruptcy could be made against the debtor's insurance
  • Prosecuted fraudulent conveyance cases where life insurance in which the debtor had an interest was transferred to the insured, obtaining recoveries from both the insurance companies and the insured
  • Represented clients in the following selected cases:
    • In re Collins & Aikman Corporation, 401 BR 900 (Bankr. E.D. Mich. 2009)
    • In re Connolly North America, 398 B.R. 564 (Bankr. E.D. Mich. 2008)
    • In re The Estate of the Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors of Edward Paul May, 405 BR 443 (Bankr. E.D. Mich. 2008)
    • In re Collins & Aikman Corporation, 368 BR 623 (Bankr. E.D. Mich 2007)
    • Riversideworld Inc. v. National City Corp et al, 366 BR 34 (Bankr. N.D. Iowa 2007)
    • Connolly North America, LLC v. Art Leather, Inc., 340 BR 829 (Bankr. E.D. Mich 2006)
    • In re John Richard Homes Building Co., LLC, 439 F.3d 248 (6th Cir. 2006), cert. denied, 75 U.S.L.W. 3164 (U.S. 2006)
    • Marks Management Services, Inc. v. Reliant Manufacturing, Inc, 7 Fed Appx 493 (6th Cir. 2006); 268 BR 505 (E.D. Mich 2001)
    • In re Quinn, 327 B.R. 818 (W.D. Mich. 2005)
    • Jackson Precision Die Casting, Inc. v. Inrecon, LLC, 291 BR 396 (Bankr. E.D. Mich 2003)
    • In re New Haven Foundry, 285 B.R. 646 (Bankr. E.D. Mich. 2002)
    • North American Royalties, 276 BR 594 (Bankr. E.D. Tennessee 2002)
    • Republic Technologies International, 267 BR 548 (Bankr. N.D. Ohio 2001)
    • General Motors Corporation v. Paramount Metal Products, Co, 90 F.Supp 2d 861 (E.D. Mich. 2000)
    • Allard, Trustee for the Debtor Estate of DeLorean Motor Co. v. Weitzman, 991 F. 2d 1236 (6th Cir. 1993)
    • Allard, Trustee for Debtor Estate of DeLorean Motor Co v. DeLorean, 884 F. 2d 464 (9th Cir. 1989)
    • In re Advanced Professional Home Health Care, Inc., 82 B.R. 837 (Bankr. E.D. Mich. 1988)
  • Certified by Michigan State University and the Turnaround Management Association in Best Practices in Local Government Fiscal Management (2011)


Pro Se Bankruptcy Assistance Project, d/b/a Access to Bankruptcy Court

  • Board Member
  • Immediate Past President

News & Resources


Press Releases


Seminars & Events


  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2010-2018
    • Recognized in practice area of Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law
  • DBusiness, Top Lawyers, 2010-2016 and 2018
  • Michigan Lawyers Weekly, Leader in the Law, 2017
  • Leading Lawyers Magazine Michigan, 2017
    • Recognized in practice areas of:
      • Bankruptcy & Workout Law: Commercial
      • Creditor's Rights/Commercial Collections Law
      • Secured Transactions Law
  • Michigan Super Lawyers, 2007-2016
    • Named as one of the:
      • Top 50 Women Super Lawyers, 2009 and 2012-2015
      • Top 100 Super Lawyers, 2013
  • Elected to the American College of Bankruptcy Lawyers, 2016
  • Turnaround Atlas Award recipient for the role played in the City of Detroit Chapter 9 case, which was named Turnaround of the Year 2015
  • Testified twice before the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure of the Judicial Conference of the United States on Amendments to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedures
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated
  • State Bar of Michigan Unsung Hero Award, 2012