Bio

“For over 33 years, I have practiced law with the philosophy that lawyers are in a position of a high privilege and responsibility.  We hold the keys to the places where people go to find justice.

Fife M. Whiteside P.C., Bankruptcy, Commercial and Family Law in Columbus, Georgia.

In a sense, we hold access to those places in trust for our clients, but also for society at large.  When we forget that, we don’t just put our clients at risk, we put our way of life at risk.  We satisfy that responsibility, in part, by offering our clients solutions they can afford to pay for, both in terms of fees and in terms of costs incurred. We also satisfy it by putting the need to bring clients to resolution of their problems ahead of our need to create billable hours and our own egos.”

Fife M. Whiteside graduated from the Mississippi State University in Starksville, Mississippi in 1974, with a B.A. in English.  He attended the University of Mississippi Law School in Oxford, Mississippi, and graduated with a J.D. in 1976.  While in law school, he was on the Editorial Board of the Space Law Journal and was elected treasurer of the law school student body.

He started law practice in December of 1976 in an unfinished basement in another lawyer’s building in a small town in north Mississippi.  He worked behind an army surplus desk and sat in a used chair.  The basement flooded periodically and there was an outside stairwell that vagrants used occasionally as s public restroom.  He inventoried a small drug store the first month of his law practice to get the money to buy gasoline for his 10 year old Dodge Dart.

Within four years he had tried two homicide cases, over a dozen civil cases, and established a practice in commercial collections and bankruptcy, representing two local banks in that area and maintaining an American Lawyers Quarterly listing which he has had for over 25 years (with one lapse).

Continuing his interest in commercial and bankruptcy law, he took a job as the only law clerk that the Hon. Algie M. Moseley (Middle District Bankruptcy Court Judge) ever had.  He moved to Columbus, Georgia in 1981 and was the Judge’s law clerk for two years, resuming practice as a sole practitioner in 1983.

He has been in continuous law practice in Columbus, Georgia since 1983, concentrating in bankruptcy, commercial litigation, and creditor’s rights.  He has represented numerous debtors and committees in Chapter 11 cases and has served as an elected bankruptcy trustee in three different cases, in one of which a creditor recovery where $8,000,000.00 was obtained.  He has represented a number of petitioning creditors and debtors in prosecuting or defending involuntary bankruptcy cases, including one successful defense of one public company and one successful prosecution of another public company.  He has also defended or prosecuted over 200 preference or fraudulent transfer claims.

He has always been active in community and professional service.  He established, with the assistance of the Columbus Bar Association, the second public access public research terminal in the state in the Columbus Lawyers’ Library in the early 80’s.  He was elected as president of the Columbus Bar Association in 1997, and served on the Board of Directors of the Bankruptcy Session of the State Bar for 2 years between 1993 and 1994.

He was elected to the Muscogee County School Board in 1993 and served 15 years acting as the legislative liaison and chair of the construction committee, overseeing over $200,000,000.00 in school construction.

He maintains an interest in public education, serving as a Common Cause representative on education issues from 2009 to 2010. He has also served as director for One Columbus Race Relations Organization from 2009 to 2010.  He teaches Sunday School at First Baptist Church and has served as an alternate or delegate to State Republican Party Convention for last six conventions.

He is an avid fly fisherman and maintains a ham radio license.

Contact

From Columbus Consolidated Government Center Go West on 10th St. toward 1st Ave. Turn right onto 1st Ave. Turn righ Read More →

Practice Interests

Debtor-in-Possession representation in Chapter 11. Chapter 11 provides businesses means by which they can reorganize Read More →