Personal Photo

Hon. Deborah Lee Thorne

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge

Current Position

U.S. Bankruptcy Court
219 South Dearborn Street
Room 668
Chicago, IL 60604

Tel: 312-706-1805

Class: XXIV (2013)Circuit: Seventh


Macalester College, B.A. (1975)
Duke University, M.A.T. (1976)
IIT Chicago Kent College of Law, J.D. (with honors) (1983)

Professional Career

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, U.S. Bankruptcy Court (2015-)
Partner, Barnes & Thornburg LLP (2002-15)
Partner, Fagel Haber (n/k/a Thompson Colburn) (1997-02)
Partner/Associate, Much Shelist (1988-97)
Associate, Antinow & Fink (1987-88)
Assistant Counsel, City of Chicago (1984-87)


American Bankruptcy Institute, Board of Directors (2007-2019)
American Bankruptcy Institute, Chair CIT Committee and Executive Committee Member
Unsecured Trade Creditors Comm./ABI, Co-Chair (2003-08)
7th Circuit Bar Association, Chair Bankruptcy Committee (2002-09)
Chicago Bar Association, Chair Bankruptcy & Reorganization Committee (1995-96)
Turnaround Management Assoc., Chair Women's Group Committee (2003-04)
IWIRC (2002-)
National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, President (2021-2022)


"To Sell or Not to Sell: Evaluating the Risk of Claim Selling," Business Credit, NACM May 2013 Author
"Reexamining the Ordinary Course of Defense: A Multifactor Approach," ABI Journal, ABI Dec 2013 Author
"Are All Trusts Equal under Section 523(a)(4)?" ABI Journal, ABI Dec/Jan 2012 Co-author
Interrupted! Understanding Bankruptcy's Effects on Manufacturing Supply Chains ABI 2012 Co-author
Preference Defense Handbook: The Circuits Divided ABI 2010 Author
"The TOUSA Moral: Know Where Your Money Comes From," Business Credit, NACM Jul 2012 Author
"Recovery of LBO Fraudulent Transfers: Can Section 546(e) be Circumvented?" ABI Journal, ABI Mar 2012 Author


Best Lawyers in America (2012-14)
Leading Lawyers in Illinois (2007-)
Illinois SuperLawyer (2005-)