Skip to main content
Oliver Max Gardner III

Oliver Max Gardner III

Practice areas:

Bankruptcy & Debt

About Me

Founder, Bankruptcy Bootcamp


O. Max Gardner III, the scion of a legendary North Carolina political dynasty, is the best known consumer bankruptcy lawyer in America. Business Week calls Max the “go to person for all bankruptcy issues” and Gretchen Morgenson, the Pulitzer Prize winning reporter for The New York Times, refers to Max as “Angelo Mozillo’s worst nightmare.” Mozillo is the former founder and CEO of Countrywide Home Loans. Max is fond of saying that if you put the names of all of the current and past mortgage originators and servicers on a board and then threw darts blindfolded you would be “100 percent sure of hitting somebody I have sued!”


 


Gardner received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1969 and graduated with high honors from the UNC School of Law in 1974, where he was a member of the North Carolina Law Review, President of the Student Bar Foundation, named the Outstanding Law School Graduate of 1974, and elected to the Order of the Coif. Following graduation he served as the Senior Law Clerk to the Hon. William H. Bobbitt, the late Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, and as Senior Law Clerk to the Hon. William Copeland, an Associate Justice of that Court. During his work with Justice Copeland, he also worked closely with Chief Justice Susie Sharp, the first female Chief Justice of any state Supreme Court.


 


Following his clerkships, Gardner worked for three years with the Smith Moore law firm in Greensboro, North Carolina. His primary working partner at Smith Moore was the legendary J. McNeill Smith, Jr. Gardner later served as Treasurer in Smith’s 1978 campaign for the United States Senate. Gardner served as General Counsel of North Carolina’s Democratic Party from 1986 to 1992. He was a standing member of the Democratic Leadership Conference during this period of time. During these years, he also managed his law practice in Shelby, which he opened in 1977. He also acted as “Of Counsel” to the Washington, D.C. law firm of Sims Walker & Steinfeld from 1992 to 1996.


 


During his Washington years, Gardner worked on thousands of cases involving the Federal Trade Commission, the Interstate Commerce Commission and the Bankruptcy Code. Gardner was Special Counsel to Chapter 7 Trustees in national ICC litigation and in one emergency case personally filed more than 1,000 adversary proceedings in one week so as to protect the Trustee from statute of limitation issues.


 


During his years of practice, Gardner has tried 102 jury cases to a final verdict. He was successful in all but 2 of those cases and really does not count one of the two losses as a loss since he was granted a new trial due to witness misconduct and won the case the second time around.


 


Gardner currently limits his practice to consumer bankruptcy cases and all consumer claims arising with respect to those cases. He has been widely recognized as one of the leading consumer attorneys in America on “predatory mortgage servicing” in Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases. Gardner has been a featured speaker for years for Bankruptcy bar groups and associations throughout the United States and has personally been a presenter at more than 200 such seminars.


Gardner was named the Outstanding Consumer Lawyer of 2004 by the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) and has been elected five times as a member of the “Legal Elite” of North Carolina lawyers by his fellow attorneys in a state-wide poll conducted by Business North Carolina magazine. He is the only consumer lawyer who has been named as a North Carolina “Super Lawyer” for four consecutive years by Law & Politics and the Charlotte Magazine. His most recent Super Lawyer Designation was awarded on January 1, 2009. He is a long-time member of NACBA, the National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA), the North Carolina Bar Association and the North Carolina State Bar.

More 

Photos and Videos

1739310 1250598749

1739310 1250598857

1739310 1250599153

1739310 1250599234

Practice Areas

Licensed since 1974

  1. Bankruptcy & Debt: 100%

Payment

Payment Types:

Cash, Check, Credit Card

Attorney Endorsements

27 total 

  • Richard Halsey Nemeth

    Max is a national institution in the bankruptcy business. His knowledge, skill and passion are unequaled. He has spearheaded the war against corruption in the mortgage lending industry and personally trained an army of attorneys to fight this battle. I highly endorse Max.

    More 

    Richard Nemeth Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Joseph Arthur Roberts

    I endorse this lawyer. He sets the standard for those in the same practice area.

    More 

    Joseph Roberts Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact Info

MaxGardnerLaw, PLLC

403 South Washington St.
PO Box 1000
Shelby, NC, 28150-5902

Resume

License

StateStatusAcquiredUpdated
NCActive197407/05/2015

Professional Misconduct

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

Avvo Contributions

Legal Answers

Awards

Award NameGrantorDate Granted
Lifetime Consumer Service AwardNational Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys2013
AV Preeminent AwardLexis Nexis2011
20 Year AV Rating AwardMartindale-Hubbell2011
Super Lawyer for NCLaw & Politics Magazine2010
North Carolina Super LawyerLaw & Politics Magazine2009
North Carolina Super LawyerLaw & Politics Magazine2008
North Carolina Legal EliteBusiness North Carolina Magazine2007
North Carolina Super LawyerLaw & Politics Magazine2007
North Carolina Legal EliteBusiness North Carolina Magazine2006
North Carolina Legal EliteBusiness North Carolina Magazine2005
Outstanding Consumer Bankruptcy Lawyer in AmericaNational Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, Inc.2004
North Carolina Legal EliteBusiness North Carolina Magazine2004
Outstanding General CounselDemocratic Party of North Carolina2002
Chief Justice Walter B. Clark AwardUNC School of Law1974
Outstanding Law Graduate of 1974UNC School of Law1974
AV RatingMartindale-HubbellN/A

Work Experience

TitleCompany NameDuration
Law Clerk ot Chief JusticeSupreme Court of North Carolina1974 - 1975

Associations

Association NamePosition NameDuration
American Bankruptcy InstituteMember--Consumer Bankruptcy Committee2008 - 2010
National Association of Consumer AdvocatesMember1993 - Present
Southeastern Bankruptcy Law InstituteMemberN/A
National Organization of Social Security Claims RepresentativesMemberN/A
National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ RepresentativesMemberN/A
North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, Bankruptcy SectionChairN/A
American Bankruptcy Institute, Consumer Rights SectionMemberN/A
North Carolina State BarMemberN/A
North Carolina Bar Association, Bankruptcy SectionMemberN/A
North Carolina Bar Association, Litigation SectionMemberN/A
North Carolina Bar Association, Family Law SectionMemberN/A
North Carolina Bar Association, Criminal Justice SectionMemberN/A
North Carolina Bar Association, Law Office Management SectionMemberN/A
North Carolina Bar Association, General Practice SectionMemberN/A
American Bar Association, Solo Practitioners and Small Firms SectionMemberN/A
National Consumer Law Center, Consumer Bankruptcies SectionMemberN/A
North Carolina Bar Association, Legal Economics CommitteeMemberN/A
North Carolina Bar Association, AIDS Task ForceMemberN/A
North Carolina Academy of Trial LawyersMemberN/A
American Bar Association, Fourth Circuit Committee on Banking and BankruptcyMemberN/A
American Trial Lawyers AssociationMemberN/A
National Association of Criminal Defense LawyersMemberN/A
Southern Trial Lawyers AssociationMemberN/A
National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy AttorneysMemberN/A
Civil Justice FoundationMemberN/A
National Consumer Law CenterMemberN/A
Cleveland County Bar AssociationMemberN/A
Mecklenburg County Bar AssociationMemberN/A
North Carolina Bar Association, CLE CommitteeMemberN/A
North Carolina Bar Association, Practical Training CommitteeMemberN/A
North Carolina Bar Association, Lawyer Referral Service CommitteeMemberN/A
Order of the CoifMemberN/A

Legal Cases

Case NameOutcome
Marjorie White v Duke University Medical CenterSettled case for over One Million Dollars

See all Legal Cases 

Publications

Publication NameTitleDate
New York TimesGet Ready, Get Set, Point Fingers2009

Education

School NameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of North Carolina School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1974
University of North Carolina, Chapel HillPolitical ScienceABN/A

Speaking Engagements

Conference NameTitleDate
National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy AttorneysLitigation of a Mortgage Securitization Case2011
Midwestern Annual Bankurptcy ConferenceMortgage Abuse and Robo Signing2011
Max Gardner's SOS Boot Camp VegasMortgage Securitization2011
Max Gardner's Bankruptcy Boot CampsBankruptcy Litigation2011
National Association of Consumer Advocates Annual MeetingMortgage Notes and Securitization2009
Members Only Fall WorkshopMortgage Servicing and Securitization2009
6th Annual New Deal for Consumer Bankruptcy SeminarChapter 7 and 13 Consumer Law Issues2009