Ms. Szczechowicz regularly represents surety clients in the defense of complex construction surety bond claims. Her experience includes litigating public and private construction disputes involving sureties, such as negotiating completion obligations in bond default situations, analyzing and defending against public works wage claims, enforcing payment defenses, securing collateral, and pursuing indemnity rights. Ms. Szczechowicz successfully enforced the surety’s rights under a set-aside letter against a bank and obtained a $2.1 million dollar judgment in favor of the surety. Gulf Insurance Company v. First Bank, 2010 WL 4069086 (9th Cir. 2010).
Ms. Szczechowicz has significant experience with commercial bonds involving probate estates, trusts, conservatorships and guardianships. She has represented sureties throughout California in a variety of probate matters, including defending against surcharge actions, locating and securing assets, preparing inventories and accountings, and obtaining orders discharging the bond.
Ms. Szczechowicz’s practice also includes bankruptcy experience representing sureties in pursuing secured claims, lifting the automatic stay and protecting cash collateral, and litigating adversary proceedings, including objections to debtor’s discharge.
Ms. Szczechowicz earned her Juris Doctor from Loyola University in New Orleans, Louisiana in 2003. At Loyola, Ms. Szczechowicz was a member of the Loyola Law Review.While studying at Loyola, she also served as an extern for the Honorable Carl J. Barbier at the United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana. Ms. Szczechowicz completed her undergraduate degrees at Florida State University, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology.
Besides the California State Bar, Ms. Szczechowicz is admitted to the U.S. District Courts of California and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
J.D., Loyola University New Orleans,
Bachelor of Arts, Florida State University
Bankruptcy and Creditor’s Rights
Chapter Co-Author – “Louisiana,” PERFORMANCE BOND MANUAL (Lawrence Lerner and Theodore M. Baum (1st ed. 2006) TORT TRIAL AND INSURANCE PRACTICE SECTION, AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION.
Co-Author: “Dealing with the Insured’s Proof of Loss,” (unpublished paper submitted at the Seventeenth Annual Southern Surety & Fidelity Claims Conference, May 2006).
Co-Author: “When the Principal Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade: Turning the Principal’s Bankruptcy to the Surety’s Advantage,” (unpublished paper submitted at the Fifteenth Annual Southern Surety & Fidelity Claims Conference, April 2004 and Gulf Coast Fidelity & Surety Conference, May 2004).
Author: “State v. Edwards: A Just Punishment for Drunk Driving – The Louisiana Legislature’s Response to Habitual Offenses of Driving While Intoxicated,” 48 Loy. L. Rev. 187 (2002).