Dawn M. Cica, Esq.

Partner

Dawn Cica has more than 25 years of experience working on transactions of all types, including transactional aspects of bankruptcy and creditor’s rights such as strategic resolutions, workouts, restructurings, settlements, debtor-in-possession financings and asset sales. Her transactional experience also extends to a variety of other industries, particularly the complex details surrounding the gaming and real estate fields.

Notably, on behalf of the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection, Dawn Cica was part of a team that handled the negotiation of a settlement among various state and federal government agencies allowing for the confirmation of a reorganization plan in the Tronox bankruptcy that ultimately resulted in a recently approved litigation settlement of more than $5 billion, with almost a quarter being distributed to the State of Nevada for environmental remediation.

In addition to her transactional experience, Dawn has built a renowned bankruptcy practice in the State of Nevada representing creditors, committees, affiliated parties and debtors. She has been involved in many influential Nevada bankruptcies in various industries, including the Aladdin Resort, Station Casinos, Riviera Hotel & Casino, Jerry’s Nugget, Las Vegas Monorail, Lake Las Vegas, South Edge, Consolidated Resorts, Viansa Winery, Tower Homes, Village at Centennial Springs, CommPartners, Global Axcess, MEGO Financial, Integrated Financial Associates, USA Capital, Rodeo Creek Gold, Martifer Solar USA and the Nevada Cancer Institute. She has also participated in bankruptcies in other states where she is licensed, as well as in Delaware.

From the negotiation and execution of initial lending agreements, through modifications and forbearances, foreclosures,
guarantor lawsuits and bankruptcy matters, Dawn has counseled lender, guarantor and borrower clients on the full scope of their legal issues in major commercial and real estate matters and in commercial bankruptcy cases and workouts. She has advised banks in connection with large corporate, middle market, and retail lending disputes and she has extensive experience representing secured lenders in creditors’ rights matters.

Dawn has also earned a reputation in the gaming industry for her sound judgment and strategic counseling on a range of matters, including lending, leasing, management agreements, acquisitions and sales, as well as restructuring issues. She has an acute understanding of the regulations surrounding the industry and uses that knowledge to help her clients overcome various transactional and restructuring challenges, particularly those surrounding gaming collateral. She is the author of a comprehensive law review article on gaming issues arising in bankruptcy published in the UNLV Law Review.

In the real estate field, Dawn has a depth of knowledge surrounding real estate and finance transactions from the cradle to the grave. She is well versed in public and private financings, including indenture trustee work, secured lending, note purchases, asset sales and acquisitions, leasing, joint ventures, land development, construction lending and negotiation of construction contracts – as both initial transactions and in the context of workouts and restructurings.

As its general counsel, Dawn was instrumental in the purchase, redevelopment and real estate development of the “new” Aladdin Hotel and Casino (now Planet Hollywood). As part of that redevelopment, Dawn advised as to the various financings and refinancings (secured, mezzanine and public debt), worked with joint venture partners to structure other components of the project, including the mall, a separate tower and a parking garage, negotiated various development agreements and construction arrangements and oversaw all of the other aspects of the development, including mechanics lien litigation. As general counsel she was also responsible for the seminal case regarding the function of an individual lender as part of a syndicate (Beal Savings Bank. v. Sommer). During that time, Dawn also began working with an affiliate to the owners of the Aladdin to assemble and develop a 680-acre master planned community in the Northwest, including all real estate and development matters, financing arrangements and joint venture agreements for 2200 homes, a 27-hole golf course and a stand-alone casino. Dawn was responsible for the agreements between the owners and the hotel and casino operators including the gaming lease, the operating agreements and the joint easement agreements among all of the components, including the complex regulatory overlay.

Her transactional and bankruptcy experience extends to a variety of industries. In addition to her extensive experience with the gaming industry, she is well versed in the complex details surrounding the fields of real estate development, hospitality and golf course operations. She is the past president of the Las Vegas Country Club Homeowners Association and has testified before the legislature on HOA issues.

Before Black & LoBello

Prior to joining Black & LoBello, Dawn Cica was a partner at Fox Rothschild, LLP, a national firm based in Philadelphia. She also previously served as general counsel of Mountain Spa Development and the Sommer Family Trust, which purchased and redeveloped the Aladdin Hotel and Casino. Prior to that, she practiced in the bank finance and mergers and acquisitions groups in the New York and San Francisco offices of Shearman and Sterling LLP, an international law firm.

Beyond Black & LoBello

A respected voice in the industry, Dawn often presents on bankruptcy and gaming topics surrounding the state of Nevada. In addition, she is actively involved in several State and national business and bankruptcy-related organizations including the general subcommittee of the executive committee for the Real Estate Section of the Nevada Bar. In addition she is the past chair of the Bankruptcy Section of the State Bar of Nevada; she is active in the Turnaround Management Association, where she serves on the board of directors for the Nevada Chapter and the advisory board for both the national Annual Conference and the national Distressed Investing Conference; the American Bankruptcy Institute, where she serves on the Planning Committee for its Southwest Conference and its Bankruptcy Battleground West Conference; and the Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors. She is also a member of IAGA and IML.

Practice Areas

  • Financial Services
  • Gaming
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Real Estate
  • Restructuring
  • Securities

Associations

  • ABI Southwest, Planning Committee
  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • Bankruptcy Battleground West 2015 Advisory Board
  • Bankruptcy Battleground West, Planning Committee
  • State Bar of Nevada, Business Law Section and Gaming Law Section
  • Turnaround Management Association
  • CE Instructor of Nevada Real Estate Division, Department of Business and Industry

Board of Directors

  • ABI Asset Sale Committee
  • Nevada State Bar, Executive Committee of the Real Estate Section
  • Nevada State Bar, Member and Past Chair Executive Committee of the Bankruptcy Section
  • TMA, Nevada Chapter

Recognitions

  • Legal Elite attorneys in Southern Nevada (2013, 2014, 2015)
  • National M&A Advisory Award for Real Estate Deal of the Year – Chapter 15 Sale of the Veris Gold Mine (2015)
  • Super Lawyers” by Super Lawyers magazine (2013, 2014, 2015)
  • Top 50 Women Mountain States Super Lawyers by Super Lawyers magazine (2014, 2015)
  • Top 150 Legal Elite attorneys in Southern Nevada (2012)

Publications

  • September 2015
    Update, When Gaming Goes Heads Up With the Bankruptcy Code: Unique Restructuring Issues for Gaming Businesses in Difficult Economic Times
    American Bankruptcy Institute Annual Southwest Bankruptcy Conference
  • February 2015
    Confirmation Issues in Individual Chapter 11 Cases
    American Bankruptcy Institute Bankruptcy Battleground West
  • September 2014
    Financing Strategies in Bankruptcy
    American Bankruptcy Institute Annual Southwest Bankruptcy Conference
  • February 2014
    Recent Developments in Business and Municipal Bankruptcies
    American Bankruptcy Institute Bankruptcy Battleground West
  • January 2014
    Recent Developments in Real Estate and Bankruptcy
    IMN Winter Forum on Real Estate Opportunity and Private Fund Investing
  • September 2013
    Deeds In Lieu of Foreclosure
    National Business Institute: BOOT CAMP – Foreclosure and Loan Workout Proceedings
  • September 2012
    Secrets of a Transactional Attorney: Pre-Petition Workout Tips, Bad-Boy Guaranties and DIP Loans
    American Bankruptcy Institute Annual Southwest Bankruptcy Conference
  • Spring 2012
    When Gaming Goes Heads Up With the Bankruptcy Code: Unique Restructuring Issues for Gaming Businesses in Difficult Economic Times
    UNLV Gaming Law Journal
  • March 2012
    Don’t Bet on It: Quirky Interest Enforcement Problems in Bankruptcy Cases
    ABA Business Law Section Spring Meeting
  • March 2012
    When Landlord-Tenant Law Meets Bankruptcy 11th Annual Landlord-Tenant Law Conference