Dallas Attorney John Shackelford Discusses Impact of High Court Housing Case on Financial Institutions

Published 1/22/2015

DALLAS – Law360 recently published an article regarding the Supreme Court of the United States hearing arguments on a Texas housing case. Dallas attorney John Shackelford commented on the case in the Law360 piece and on an interview with KERA-FM Dallas.

Click the music player below to hear the interview:

Read an excerpt from the Law360 piece below:

From Law360

Dallas attorney John C. Shackelford of Shackelford Melton McKinley & Norton LLP said around Texas and particularly in Dallas, developers want to make deals and put affordable housing wherever it needs to be — that is, wherever the market is demanding it, regardless of what the project’s ZIP code is.

He said if the court does allow disparate impact claims under the FHA, he would expect to see government agencies immediately step up their regulatory enforcement and be more aggressive in trying to correct what they think is an injustice to certain groups of people.

“If the court rules against the Inclusive Communities Project, that won’t stop groups in the future from trying to find another theory to try to prevail so that they get to the means they’re trying to get to,” Shackelford said. “People are creative and lawyers will try to find a way to correct what they perceive as injustice.”

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Dallas Attorneys Joshua Northam, Benjamin Sparks Join Shackelford, Melton, McKinley & Norton

Published 1/5/2015

DALLAS – The business and entertainment law firm Shackelford, Melton, McKinley & Norton, LLP is pleased to announce that civil litigator and family law attorney Joshua Northam and tax and financial services attorney Benjamin Sparks are joining the firm’s Dallas office. Mr. Northam joins as partner, and Mr. Sparks as of counsel.

“Josh and Ben are exceptional attorneys with expertise that will complement the firm’s existing practices to better serve the needs of our clients,” says founding partner John Shackelford.

Mr. Northam is a certified mediator in civil and family law. He also serves as a part-time Dallas County Truancy Courts magistrate, presiding over the Grand Prairie Truancy Court. He is a member of the Dallas Bar Association’s Law in the Schools and Community Committee, and he frequently has served as a judge for the Texas High School Mock Trial competition. He joins Shackelford from Blume, Faulkner, Skeen & Northam, PLLC.

Mr. Northam earned his law degree from the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law in 2000, after completing his undergraduate degree in management with an emphasis on government at The University of Texas in 1997. He was selected to the 2014 Texas Rising Stars listing.

Mr. Sparks joins Shackelford from Ernst & Young, where he was a senior manager in the Financial Services Group. While there, he worked with clients on a variety of banking and asset management matters, including international tax planning and structuring. He is a former international tax planning manager at Celanese Corp. and previously worked as a tax associate with Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP.

Licensed to practice in Texas and New York, Mr. Sparks earned his law degree from Fordham University School of Law in 2002 and his LL.M. in taxation from the New York University School of Law in 2007. He earned his undergraduate degree in accounting in 1999 from The University of Texas at Arlington.

Shackelford, Melton, McKinley & Norton, LLP is a business and entertainment law firm representing financial institutions, recording artists, real estate owners and developers, automobile dealerships, record labels, and other businesses in legal matters across the country. Learn more about the firm at

Rakhee Patel featured in Texas Lawyer 2014 Year in Review

Published 12/12/2014

Texas Lawyer recently released their ‘2014 Year in Review’ and Rakhee Patel‘s bankruptcy article was featured as one of the highlights of 2014. We’ve included an excerpt from Texas Lawyer.

From Texas Lawyer:

“Constitutional turmoil continued throughout 2014 for bankruptcy courts and practitioners alike, and may ultimately have a broader impact on other areas, including magistrate courts. Under 28 U.S.C. § 157 bankruptcy courts have long held jurisdiction over certain “core matters” in which they are expressly authorized to enter final orders or judgments.

But in 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Stern v. Marshall that bankruptcy courts, as Article I courts, lacked constitutional authority to finally adjudicate state law-based counterclaims against creditors of the bankruptcy estate—claims designated as core matters, therefore statutorily finally judicable by the bankruptcy court, but constitutionally reserved solely for final adjudication by Article III courts.”

Click here to read the full article from Texas Lawyer.

Shackelford, Melton & McKinley Bolsters Dallas Bankruptcy Group

Published 11/06/13

DALLAS – The business and entertainment law firm Shackelford, Melton & McKinley, LLP, is pleased to announce the addition of former Pronske & Patel, P.C., attorneys Rakhee Patel and Wande Elam to the firm’s Dallas bankruptcy group.

“Our firm is dedicated to protecting the interests of our clients in all issues that impact their businesses. When that includes matters involving bankruptcy, our attorneys have provided exceptional results,” says John Shackelford, a founding partner of Shackelford, Melton & McKinley. “The addition of Rakhee and Wande will strengthen our expertise, greatly benefiting our clients.”

Ms. Patel, a founding partner in the Dallas bankruptcy boutique of Pronske & Patel, represents debtors, secured and unsecured creditors, landlords, equity holders, trustees and committees in Chapter 7 bankruptcy and chapter 11 reorganization and restructuring proceedings. She also represents clients in out-of-court restructuring and liquidations and serves as counsel in bankruptcy-related litigation.

A 1996 cum laude graduate of Tulane University Law School, Ms. Patel previously clerked for Judge Harlin D. “Cooter” Hale of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas and for former Northern District Chief Bankruptcy Judge Robert C. McGuire. She is recognized in the 2013 Texas Super Lawyers listing of the state’s top lawyers and previously was named to the Texas Rising Stars list eight times for her bankruptcy work.

Ms. Elam represents business clients in corporate restructuring, asset protection and other business-related issues, with an emphasis in hotel restructurings, bankruptcy litigation, the acquisition and divestiture of distressed assets both in and out of court, and bank representation in Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 cases. She earned her law degree in 2006 from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. Ms. Elam serves as the 2013 Scholarship Committee Co-Chair of the J.L. Turner Legal Association.

Shackelford, Melton & McKinley is a business and entertainment law firm representing financial institutions, recording artists, real estate owners and developers, automobile dealerships, record labels, and other businesses in legal matters across the country. Learn more about the firm at