• University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana (B.A., summa cum laude, 1997, Phi Beta Kappa)
  • Law School at the University of Chicago (J.D., with honors, 2000)

Bar and Court Admissions

  • 2001, California
  • 2009, Arizona

Elissa A. Wagner

Photo of Elissa A. Wagner
Los Angeles
Tel: 310.277.6910

Elissa Wagner is a senior trial attorney with over 15 years of litigation experience.  She has represented clients in a variety of litigation matters, including tort, contract, and other commercial disputes.  Her practice focuses primarily on complex litigation in bankruptcy courts and federal district courts.  Ms. Wagner’s experience includes, among other things, conducting claims investigations and analyses in major chapter 11 bankruptcies, managing and conducting full-scale discovery and other pre-trial litigation in complex multi-party disputes, and successfully litigating claims and other contested matters through dispositive motion practice, trial and appeal.

Ms. Wagner is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana (B.A., summa cum laude, 1997, Phi Beta Kappa) and the Law School at the University of Chicago (J.D., with honors, 2000), where she was a recipient of the Joseph Henry Beale Award for Legal Research and Writing. Ms. Wagner was listed in the 2019 and 2020 editions of Best Lawyers in America for her work in Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law.  She is admitted to practice in California and Arizona.


Litigation counsel for a major body armor manufacturer that filed its chapter 11 case in 2010, confirmed its chapter 11 plan in 2015 after years of litigation, and paid its unsecured creditors in full in 2019.  Handled a variety of litigation matters in bankruptcy court, federal district court and state court, including litigation with a class of securities fraud plaintiffs and litigation with the former officers of the debtor, and related appeals in the Third Circuit.  The litigation resulted in settlements with the class action plaintiffs and the U.S. Government, and the receipt of over $90 million in proceeds by the chapter 11 estate.

Litigation counsel for the chapter 11 trustees of a California real estate investor and his privately-owned company.  Handled various litigation matters, including litigation against the real estate investor and his family members.  Obtained an $8 million judgment after trial in federal district court against certain defendants, successfully litigated against other defendants through extensive discovery, dispositive motions and other pre-trial proceedings in bankruptcy court and federal district court, resulting in a more than $15 million settlement on the eve of a jury trial, and litigated a non-dischargeability action that resulted in a $274 million judgment against the real estate investor.

Litigation counsel for the creditors’ committee in the chapter 11 case of a California-based media company.  Conducted an in-depth investigation of the debtor’s claims against its former officers and other parties, and successfully litigated the claims through extensive party and third-party discovery and multiple dispositive motions, resulting in settlements totaling more than $8 million.

Litigation counsel for the creditors’ committee in the chapter 11 bankruptcy of a major retailer.  Conducted a full-scale investigation and analysis of potential claims against the private equity owner of the debtor and the debtor’s pre-petition lenders, which resulted in plan concessions highly favorable to the debtor’s unsecured creditors.

Litigation counsel for the debtor and post-confirmation litigation trust in the chapter 11 case of a premier automotive component manufacturer. Handled the investigation and pre-trial litigation (including discovery and dispositive motions) of various claims against the former owners of the debtor and the numerous recipients of fraudulent transfers from the debtor.  Commenced arbitration proceedings on behalf of a related entity and obtained a multi-million dollar award on cross-motions for summary judgment, resulting in a settlement with the defendant in excess of the amount of the arbitration award.

Litigation counsel for the creditors’ committee in Official Committee v. Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, Inc. (In re Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, Inc.), 432 B.R. 135 (Bankr. D. Del. 2010), a decision in favor of the committee finding investment pool assets worth $120 million to be property of the chapter 11 estate.

Our website uses cookies to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. By continuing to browse this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy.