John Orenstein

John Orenstein was in-house at a super-regional broker-dealer for thirteen years, where he managed litigation and counseled internal clients in a wide range of areas, including fixed income, regulatory compliance, crisis management and employment matters. John was also in-house at a hedge fund. He regularly handles the bondholder rights and fraud cases that are a focus of Ross & Orenstein’s practice, as well as a variety of business, bankruptcy, employment and other litigation. John has been selected by his peers as a Super Lawyer for the past four years.

  • Objected to proposed settlement of RMBS mortgage put-back cases.  In re MASTR Asset Backed Sec. Trust 2006-HE3 and MASTR Asset Backed Sec. Trust 2007-WMC1, File No. 62-TR-CV-14-59 (Dist. Ct. Ramsey Co. MN).
  • Accountant malpractice action, settled for 100% of actual damages shortly before trial.
  • Proceeding on behalf of noteholders against reorganized debtor to recover portion of $26.4 million fund in bankruptcy court. Settled for $8.8 million. Law Debenture Trust Company of New York v. Charter Communications, Inc., Adv. Proc. 11-01267-jmp (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.).
  • Change of control put litigation on behalf of institutional investors against company acquired by Nabors Industries. New York Court of Appeals upheld denial of motion to dismiss in Whitebox Concentrated Convertible Arbitrage Partners, LP, et al. v. Superior Well Services, Inc., 20 N.Y.3d 59 (2012).
  • In a 2012 greenmail case, as counsel for the two largest bondholders, together with the indenture trustee, stopped a minority bondholder from blocking an indenture amendment that would benefit all holders in a $520 million CBO. Commerzbank AG v. Deutsche Trustee Co. Ltd., Index No. 650722/2012 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Co.).
  • Successfully defended clawback action against individual in Sun Country bankruptcy and enforced his right to further payments under a contract challenged by other creditors. Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors v. Kohler, Adv. No. 10-3184 (Bankr. D. Minn.).
  • Conversion rate adjustment litigation on behalf of several investors against Fairfax Financial Holdings, settled after defendant’s motion to dismiss was denied and an appellate court affirmed. Whitebox Convertible Arbitrage Partners, L.P., et al. v. Fairfax Financial Holdings, Ltd., 73 A.D.3d 448 (1st Dep’t 2010).
  • Litigation on behalf of indenture trustee to compel Empire Resorts to honor redemption right, settled after winning summary judgment for trustee. Empire Resorts, Inc. v. Bank of New York Mellon, Index No. 2959/09 (Sullivan County, New York).
  • Defeated investment bank’s effort to move FINRA arbitration brought by private placement investors into state court.McMahan Securities Co. L.P. v. Aviator Master Fund, Ltd., et al., 57 A.D.3d 326 (1st Dep’t 2008).
  • Reported to bankruptcy court as special counsel to debtor after conducting fraud investigation; subsequently brought action against officers and directors, which settled in 2010 after lengthy mediation. In re Syntax-Brillian Corp., Case No. 08-11407 (Bankr. D. Del.).


  • Clerkship, Hon. William B. Bryant, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • Columbia Law School, J.D., 1983
  • Oberlin College, B.A. with High Honors in Philosophy, Phi Beta Kappa, 1980
  • Oberlin Conservatory of Music, B. Mus., Pi Kappa Lambda, 1980

Series 7, 24 and 53 licenses (expired August 2008)

Qualified neutral in Minnesota


  • State courts: Minnesota and New York
  • U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second & Eighth Circuits
  • Federal District Courts: Minnesota, Southern & Eastern Districts of New York, Eastern District of Michigan, Central District of Illinois, Tax Court
  • “Representing the Plaintiff in Professional Malpractice Actions (Without Committing Malpractice),” Hennepin County Bar Association Seminar, January 2017.
  • Co-chair, “Litigation at C-Level: Advising Your Business Clients About Litigation,” Hennepin County Bar Association, February 2013.
  • That’s Not Plausible: Iqbal One Year Later, Hennepin Lawyer (June 2010).
  • Panelist, “The Economic Crisis: One Year and Counting,” MN CLE, August 2009.
  • Board Member, Fund for Legal Aid
  • FINRA arbitrator
  • Mediator, Minnesota Department of Human Rights
  • Past President, Beth El Synagogue
  • Occasional jazz and cabaret musical performances
Phone: 612.436.9802
download contact info