Richard T. Klingler

Photo of Richard T. Klingler

Bankruptcy & Personal Injury Law, Commerical Litigation

Richard T. Klingler is a partner with the firm of Kennedy, Koontz and Klingler. Born on July 30, 1953, in Chicago, Illinois and originally a native of Kankakee, Illinois, he graduated magna cum laude with highest distinction in Political Science with a from the University of Illinois in 1975. He was a member of Sigma Iota Lambda (Pre-Law Honor Society) and was on the University of Illinois Deans List 1973-1976.

He graduated magna cum laude with a J. D. from Southern Illinois University in 1978 where he served on the Board of Editors of the Southern Illinois University Law Journal. He was appointed as a Faculty Research Assistant (1977-1978) and assisted Dean Hiram Lasar update a portion of the American Law of Property. He won the American Jurisprudence Award in Criminal Law in 1978 and was on the S.I.U School of Law Deans List 1976-1978. In 1976 he won the S.I.U. School of Law Deans Club Award.

He has practiced law in Chattanooga, Tennessee, from 1979 to the present. He became a member of the Tennessee Bar in 1979 and the State Bar of Georgia in 1982. Besides all State Courts in Tennessee and Georgia, he is admitted to appear before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee 1980, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee 1980, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia 1983, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia 1983, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit 1985. He is a member of the Tennessee Bar Association, the State Bar of Georgia, the Chattanooga Bar Association, and the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Bar Association.

He began his practice, with the firm, Weill, Ellis, Weems & Copeland, a firm that represented many consumer debtors in the Eastern District of Tennessee, Southern Division, while at the same time representing Chapter 11 debtors and the Trustee for one of the largest bank failures to have occurred as of that time. He became a partner in that firm in 1983. During the first eight (8) years of practice, the majority of his time was spent as a trial lawyer however he was also involved in the firms bankruptcy practice. These trial representations predominantly involved product liability and personal injury but also included employment discrimination matters as well. He represented or assisted in the representation of individuals of modest means, as well as, Fortune 500 companies and insurance carriers.

Since joining Kennedy, Koontz & Farinash in 1991, he has assisted in the representation of many individuals with both consumer and business debts, no less than 25 Chapter 11 debtors reflecting both individuals and multi-million dollar companies, business asset purchasers in Chapter 11, Chapter 7 trustees, the Chapter 13 trustee, Unsecured Creditors Committees, secured lenders, mortgage lenders, a hotel franchiser with cases across the country, and unsecured creditors. He assisted in the representation of what is believed to be the first Residents Committee in the southeast in a Chapter 11 proceeding for a continuing care residential community in Huntsville, Alabama. He devotes approximately 75% of his time to bankruptcy and workout related matters. The remainder of his time is devoted to the firms other practice areas, particularly commercial litigation and healthcare collections.

The following is a partial listing of decisions where he was involved in the representation and/or briefing on the matter at issue:


In re McKenzie, 2012WL 1115981 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 2012) In re McKenzie, 2012 WL 55331255 (E.D. Tenn. 2012) In re Trinity Communications, LLC, 2012 WL 1067673 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 2012) In re Senior Housing Alternatives, Inc., 444 B.R. 387 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 2011) In re Prebul Jeep, Inc., 2010 WL 3304608 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 2010) In re U.S. Insurance Group, LLC, 429 B.R. 903 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 2010) In re Martin, 419 B.R. 772 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 2009) In re TI Acquisition, LLC, 410 B.R. 742 (Bankr. N.D. Ga. 2009) In re Silvey, 2009 WL 792561 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 2009) Freightliner Chattanooga, LLC v. Whitmire, 584 S.E.2d 724 (Ga. App. 2003) Beal Bank, S.S.B. v. RBM Co., 2002 WL 43604 (Tenn. App. 2002) In re Bivins, 216 B.R. 622 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 1997) In re Yarn Liquidation, Inc., 217 B.R. 544 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn.1997) In re Bumpass, 196 B.R. 780 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 1996) Rowe v. Board of Education, 938 S.W.2d 351 (Tenn. 1996) Rowe v. Board of Education, 1995 W.L. 635751(Tenn. App. 1995) Boddy v. Dean, 821 F.2d 346 (Cir. 6 th 1987) Sakamoto v. N.A.B. Trucking Co., Inc., 717 F.2d 1000 (Cir. 6 th 1983) In re Lafollette Sheet Metal, Inc., 35 B.R. 634 (Bankr E.D. Tenn.1983) In re Rivers, 19 B.R. 438 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 1982) In re Nixon Machinery Co., 15 B.R. 131 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 1981) Headrick v. American Dist. Tel. Co., 526 F. Supp. 604 (E.D. Tenn. 1980).

He has lived in Northwest Georgia since 1985 with his wife and family and prior to that lived in Chattanooga, Tennessee since 1978. They raised three children and attend St. Gerard Majella Catholic Church in Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia. Other organization with which he has been involved are the Knights of Columbus, Council 6099 (1995 – Present), Notre Dame High School Board (1994-2008), Boy Scouts of America, Troop 55, Troop Committee (1995-2002), and Our Lady of Perpetual Help School Board (1989-1991).