Chicago
111 West Monroe Street
Chicago, Illinois 60603

Education

University of Chicago Law School, J.D., 1972

St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, B.A., 1968

James E. Spiotto is a Managing Director of Chapman Strategic Advisors LLC, a consultancy providing educational and strategic insights to market participants concerning municipal finance topics of interest. He is also the co-owner and co-publisher of MuniNetGuide.com, an online resource specializing in municipal-related research and information concerning state and local government, including public finance, infrastructure, job market data, and economic statistics and analysis.

Prior to joining Chapman Strategic Advisors LLC, Jim was a partner in the law firm of Chapman and Cutler LLP where he represented issuers, indenture trustees or bondholders in litigation, bankruptcy or workouts of over 400 troubled debt financings in over 35 different states and in foreign countries as well. During the course of his law practice, Jim represented clients in the Sierra Kings Health Care District, Jefferson County, Alabama and Mendocino Coast Health Care District Chapter 9 cases and testified before the United States Senate and House Judiciary Committees in conjunction with the amendments to the Bankruptcy Code involving Municipal Bankruptcy. 

Jim has contributed significantly to thought leadership around municipal defaults and bankruptcy, including co-authoring the volume The Law of State and Local Government Debt Financing (Thompson West), authoring chapters on municipal defaults and bankruptcy in The Handbook of Municipal Bonds (Sylvan Feldstein and Frank Fabozzi, editors, published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.), and authoring a chapter on financial emergencies: default and bankruptcy in the Oxford Handbook of State and Local Government Finance (Robert D. Ebel and John E. Peterson, editors). Jim is also an author of Municipalities in Distress? published by Chapman and Cutler LLP and available from Amazon.com and Primer on Municipal Debt Adjustment, published by Chapman and Cutler LLP and available upon request from the firm.

In May 2014, the National Federation of Municipal Analysts honored Jim with an award for his contributions as a thought leader within the municipal bond industry. He was recognized for his "prominent voice" on the topic of municipal bankruptcy and his years of groundbreaking research and analysis that have long aided municipal analysts with the intricacies of Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

Testimony Before United States Congress Committees

During his legal career, Jim provided testimony before US Congress committees on a number of important bankruptcy issues:

  • United States House of Representatives, House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, Commercial and Administrative Law, regarding the role of public employee pension in contributing to state's insolvency and the possibility of a state bankruptcy chapter, February 2011.
  • United States House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Securities, and Government Sponsored Enterprises, July 1995, regarding debt issuance and investment practices of state and local government
  • United States House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Economic and Commercial Law Regarding H.R. 3949, August 1992, regarding amendments to the Bankruptcy Code
  • United States House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Monopolies and Commercial Law, September 1988, regarding the amendments to the Bankruptcy Code
  • United States Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Courts and Administrative Practice, June 1988, regarding the amendments to the Bankruptcy Code
  • United States House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Energy Conservation and Power of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, September 1983, regarding the Washington Public Power Supply System
  • United States House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Mining, Forest Management and the Bonneville Power Administration, June 1983, regarding the Washington Public Power Supply System

Professional Affiliations

American Bar Association

Civic Federation (Member, Board of Directors, and Executive Committee)

Economic Club of Chicago

Law Club of Chicago

Retirement Security Initiative (Member, Board of Directors)

Society of Municipal Analysts (Past President)

Honors & Awards

  • Recipient of the National Federation of Municipal Analysts’ Municipal Industry Contribution Award
  • Recipient of the National Association of Bond Lawyers' Carlson Prize for the best Scholarly Article for his presentation on Municipal Defaults and Bankruptcy to the United States House of Representatives Subcommittee Hearing on the Orange County Crisis

Publications

Presentations

Interviews