Robert E. Gerber retired from the federal bench in January 2016, having served, for 15 years, as a United States Bankruptcy Judge in the Southern District of New York. During his tenure as a federal bankruptcy judge, he presided over a wide variety of chapter 11, chapter 7, chapter 15, section 304 and SIPA cases—including Ames Department Stores, PSINet, Global Crossing, Adelphia, ABIZ, Basis Yield Alpha Fund, Lyondell Chemical, BearingPoint, DBSD North America, Chemtura, Pinnacle Airlines, Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt and General Motors.
He was appointed to the bankruptcy bench in 2000; reappointed in 2014; and appointed for “recall”—akin to “Senior Judge” Status—in 2015. During his judicial tenure in the Southern District of New York, he presided over more than 20 cases with over $100 million in debt, including 10 with over $1 billion in debt. Over the course of that time, he issued about 200 published opinions, principally in the business bankruptcy and corporate governance areas. He was named as one of the nation’s outstanding bankruptcy judges six times.
In February 2016, he became Of Counsel to the law firm of Joseph Hage Aaronson. He now offers services in bankruptcy and commercial expert testimony, fiduciary work, arbitration, mediation, and consulting.
He is also is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Columbia Law School (where he teaches Columbia’s Advanced Bankruptcy Seminar); a contributing author to Collier on Bankruptcy; and a Fellow (and former director) of the American College of Bankruptcy.
He earned a B.S. degree in Industrial Engineering, with high honors, from Rutgers University (from which he graduated in 1967), and a J.D. degree, magna cum laude, from Columbia Law School, from which he graduated in 1970, and where, among other things, he was a James Kent Scholar. Before going on the bench, he practiced with the firm of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, in New York City, specializing in securities and commercial litigation and, thereafter, bankruptcy litigation and counseling. He served in the United States Air Force from 1971 to 1972, as a First Lieutenant, serving in the areas of aircraft procurement and production and legal assistance to Air Force personnel and their families.
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