James L. Ugalde


Areas Of Practice

  • Bankruptcy, Restructuring, and Creditor's Rights
  • Banking & Financial Institutions
  • Bankruptcy and Creditors' Rights for Financial Institutions
Bar Admissions
Honors and Awards
Professional Associations and Memberships

James L. Ugalde provides a variety of legal services to banks, other lenders, lessors, secured creditors and investors with respect to the perfection and enforcement of their rights under security documents and the Uniform Commercial Code, including asset-based financing and leasing. He represents creditors involving collection and the foreclosure of security interests under state law and provides representation in Chapters 7, 11 and 13 bankruptcy cases.

Mr. Ugalde also routinely advises commercial landlords regarding their contractual and statutory rights, including enforcing such rights through eviction actions and lockouts.

Representative cases include the following: 


  •  Assisted lender with enforcement of lien and security interests in real property and FF&E with multiple franchise operations of national restaurant/hotel chain.
  • Assisted equipment leasing & finance company with enforcement and recovery of car washing equipment at multiple locations of national gas station operation.
  • Represented equipment leasing company’s interest in bankruptcy regarding assumption/rejection issues and lease recharacterization.
  • Assisted lender that foreclosed on commercial property with forcible detainer action to remove a national retail boat dealership, involving bankruptcy court litigation and requiring numerous sheriff's deputies to assist with takeover of commercial property.
  • Assisted landlord with trial to evict operating fitness gym from multiple locations.
  • Representation of licensee holder of F.C.C. licenses in contested bankruptcy proceedings to protect licensee holder's interests and the purchase of assets through Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code.
  • Successfully litigated stay relief and plan confirmation issues in Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases involving operating businesses and commercial real estate projects.

Bar Admissions

  • Arizona
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court District of Arizona, 2003


  • Arizona State University, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Tempe, Arizona
    • J.D. - 2003
    • Honors: cum laude
    • Honors: Pedrick Scholar
    • Honors: Dean's List
  • Arizona State University
    • B.S. - 1999
    • Honors: magna cum laude
    • Honors: Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society Collegiate Schools of Business
    • Major: International/Global Business
  • Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management
    • Certificate
    • Honors: Quarles & Brady Leadership Program (2018)

Honors and Awards

  • Selected for inclusion in Southwest Super Lawyers® – Rising Stars (2012–2014: Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights); (2015-2016: Creditor Debtor Rights)

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • State Bar of Arizona (Member)
  • City of Chandler, Arizona (Chairman of Board of Adjustment)
  • Habitat for Humanity – Central Arizona (Member of Public Relations & Marketing Committee)
  • Volunteer Lawyers Program of Maricopa County (Volunteer)
  • Turnaround Management Association (Member)