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(949) 759-3810 x23


Jesse S. Finlayson is one of the original founding partners of Finlayson Toffer Roosevelt & Lilly LLP. His practice focuses primarily on business litigation, bankruptcy, and creditors’ rights.


Jesse has extensive experience in bankruptcy-related matters, receiverships, secured transactions under the Uniform Commercial Code, and assignments for the benefit of creditors.

He represents bankruptcy trustees, secured and unsecured creditors, and real property lessors in all types of bankruptcy matters. Several of his cases have involved claims brought against former directors and officers by chapter 11 debtors and/or bankruptcy trustees.  Jesse has extensive experience in asset acquisition transactions in bankruptcy, representing both buyers and sellers. He has also represented creditors and trustees in numerous preference cases, fraudulent transfer cases, non-dischargeability cases, and claims litigation.

Jesse represents bankruptcy trustees in the Central and Southern Districts of California.  In 2019, Jesse served as a Court-appointed examiner in the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of California, conducting an investigation that uncovered rampant fraud by the debtor and his advisors that led to the appointment of a chapter 11 trustee.  Jesse has also handled numerous appeals to the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Ninth Circuit, the District Court, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.


Jesse was named one of the top 20 bankruptcy lawyers in the country in an article published in the August 11, 2003 edition of The Daily Deal. He was also named a “Rising Star” by Southern California Super Lawyers (published by Los Angeles Magazine) every year from 2004 through 2010.


Jesse also has experience in all types of civil and commercial litigation in both federal and state court.

Over his career, Jesse has handled breach of lease disputes, breach of real estate contract disputes, other breach of contract disputes, interpleader actions, trademark infringement matters, unfair business practices matters, deceptive advertising matters, and complex multidistrict federal litigation. He has particular experience in various forms of pre-judgment remedies, including lis pendens, writs of attachment, temporary protective orders, temporary restraining orders, and preliminary injunctions. His litigation experience includes appellate matters in both federal and state appellate courts. In 2017, Jesse argued before the California Supreme Court in the Carmack v. Reynolds matter dealing with spendthrift trusts.  The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Jesse's client, greatly expanding the rights of bankruptcy trustees and other creditors to reach assets held in a spendthrift trust under the California Probate Code. 

Jesse S. Finlayson

Practices               Commercial Litigation
                             Bankruptcy, Corporate
                              Restructuring Matters
                                      Creditors' Rights


University of San Diego                     1995
School of Law                       Juris Doctor

Arizona State                                    1992  University                       Bachelor of Arts



U.S. District Court
Central District of California

U.S. District Court
Northern District of California

U.S. Court of Appeals
Ninth Circuit

U.S. District Court
Southern District of California


Between 1996 and 2004, Jesse was an Associate Attorney in the Irvine office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. While at Gibson Dunn, Jesse was a member of the firm’s national Business Restructuring and Reorganization Practice Group and worked on several significant chapter 11 cases, including cases in Delaware and New York.

From 1995 to 1996, Jesse was an Associate Attorney with Reid & Hellyer APC in Riverside, California. While at Reid & Hellyer, Jesse obtained significant experience in real estate-related litigation and administrative proceedings.


Jesse graduated magna cum laude from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1995, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif and the Moot Court Honors Board. Prior to law school, Jesse received his Bachelor of Arts from Arizona State University, graduating cum laude in 1992.


Jesse is a member of the State Bar of California. He is admitted to practice in all state courts in California and the United States District and Bankruptcy Courts for the Northern, Central, and Southern Districts of California. Jesse is also admitted to practice before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

  • In recent years, Jesse has been a panelist at a Strafford Publications webinar on “Fraudulent Transfers: Ponzi Scheme Clawback Litigation in Bankruptcy.” Jesse participated in a panel entitled “Strategies for Bringing or Defending Trustee Clawback Claims.”

  • On May 16, 2009, Jesse was a panelist at the 21st Annual Insolvency Conference presented by the California Bankruptcy Forum. Jesse and a panel of judges and other attorneys discussed ethical issues with respect to the representation of trustees, debtors in possession, and creditors’ committees in bankruptcy cases. In connection with his involvement with this panel, Jesse authored materials entitled “Use of ‘Conflicts Counsel’ in Chapter 11 Cases.”

  • Jesse authored an article entitled “How Reclamation Rights Will be Effected: Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005,” which was published in the June 16, 2005 Credit Managers Association Newsletter.

  • Jesse co-authored an article published in Volume 28 of the California Bankruptcy Journal No. 1, entitled “Rethinking The Scope Of The O’Brien Decision: Why The Third Circuit’s Administrative Claims Analysis Should Not Be Applied To The Debtor’s Request For Approval Of A Break-Up Fee In Connection With Bankruptcy Sales In Chapter 11 Cases."

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