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Columbia Law School

Bankruptcy Law

Public law litigation

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Articles 1 - 3 of 3

Full-Text Articles in Law

Reforming Institutions: The Judicial Function In Bankruptcy And Public Law Litigation, William H. Simon, Kathleen G. Noonan, Jonathan C. Lipson Jan 2019

Reforming Institutions: The Judicial Function In Bankruptcy And Public Law Litigation, William H. Simon, Kathleen G. Noonan, Jonathan C. Lipson

Faculty Scholarship

Public law litigation (PLL) is among the most important and controversial types of dispute that courts face. These civil class actions seek to reform public agencies such as police departments, prison systems, and child welfare agencies that have failed to meet basic statutory or constitutional obligations. They are controversial because critics assume that judicial intervention is categorically undemocratic or beyond judicial expertise.

This Article reveals flaws in these criticisms by comparing the judicial function in PLL to that in corporate bankruptcy, where the value and legitimacy of judicial intervention are better understood and more accepted. Our comparison shows that judicial ...


Courts As Institutional Reformers: Bankruptcy And Public Law Litigation, Kathleen G. Noonan, Jonathan C. Lipson, William H. Simon Jan 2017

Courts As Institutional Reformers: Bankruptcy And Public Law Litigation, Kathleen G. Noonan, Jonathan C. Lipson, William H. Simon

Faculty Scholarship

This article compares two spheres in which courts induce and oversee the restructuring of organizations that fail systematically to comply with their legal obligations: bankruptcy reorganization and public law litigation (civil rights or regulatory suits seeking structural remedies). The analogies between bankruptcy and public law litigation (PLL) have grown stronger in recent years as structural decrees have evolved away from highly specific directives to “framework” decrees designed to induce engagement with stakeholders and make performance transparent. We use the comparison with bankruptcy, where the value and legitimacy of judicial intervention are better understood and more accepted, to address prominent criticisms ...


Courts As Institutional Reformers: Bankruptcy And Public Law Litigation, Kathleen G. Noonan, Jonathan C. Lipson, William H. Simon Jan 2017

Courts As Institutional Reformers: Bankruptcy And Public Law Litigation, Kathleen G. Noonan, Jonathan C. Lipson, William H. Simon

Faculty Scholarship

This article compares two spheres in which courts induce and oversee the restructuring of organizations that fail systematically to comply with their legal obligations: bankruptcy reorganization and public law litigation (civil rights or regulatory suits seeking structural remedies). The analogies between bankruptcy and public law litigation (PLL) have grown stronger in recent years as structural decrees have evolved away from highly specific directives to “framework” decrees designed to induce engagement with stakeholders and make performance transparent. We use the comparison with bankruptcy, where the value and legitimacy of judicial intervention are better understood and more accepted, to address prominent criticisms ...