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Full-Text Articles in Law

Stakeholderism Silo Busting, Aneil Kovvali Jan 2023

Stakeholderism Silo Busting, Aneil Kovvali

Articles by Maurer Faculty

The fields of antitrust, bankruptcy, corporate, and securities law are undergoing tumultuous debates. On one side in each field is the dominant view that each field should focus exclusively on a specific constituency—antitrust on consumers, bankruptcy on creditors, corporate law on shareholders, and securities regulation on financial investors. On the other side is a growing insurgency that seeks to broaden the focus to a larger set of stakeholders, including workers, the environment, and political communities. But these conversations have largely proceeded in parallel, with each debate unfolding within the framework and literature of a single field. Studying these debates together …


The Future Of Insolvency Law In A Post-Pandemic World, Aurelio Gurrea-Martinez Sep 2021

The Future Of Insolvency Law In A Post-Pandemic World, Aurelio Gurrea-Martinez

Research Collection Yong Pung How School Of Law

The COVID-19 crisis has encouraged many countries to amend their insolvency laws. In most cases, these amendments took place temporarily – especially during the hibernation phase of the pandemic. In other countries, however, the pandemic has led to permanent changes in the insolvency legislation. More importantly, the COVID-19 crisis has accelerated the insolvency reforms already existing in the political agenda of many countries, and it has encouraged other jurisdictions to reassess the desirability of their insolvency and restructuring frameworks. This article analyzes the current trends, reforms and policy discussions that are expected to reshape the future of insolvency law in …


Changemakers: Finding The Perfect Niche, Michael Bowden May 2021

Changemakers: Finding The Perfect Niche, Michael Bowden

Life of the Law School (1993- )

No abstract provided.


Restructuring Vs. Bankruptcy, Jason Roderick Donaldson, Edward R. Morrison, Giorgia Piacentino, Xiaobo Yu Jan 2020

Restructuring Vs. Bankruptcy, Jason Roderick Donaldson, Edward R. Morrison, Giorgia Piacentino, Xiaobo Yu

Faculty Scholarship

We develop a model of a firm in financial distress. Distress can be mitigated by filing for bankruptcy, which is costly, or preempted by restructuring, which is impeded by a collective action problem. We find that bankruptcy and restructuring are complements, not substitutes: Reducing bankruptcy costs facilitates restructuring, rather than crowding it out. And so does making bankruptcy more debtor-friendly, under a condition that seems likely to hold now in the United States. The model gives new perspectives on current relief policies (e.g., subsidized loans to firms in bankruptcy) and on long-standing legal debates (e.g., the efficiency of the absolute …


Bankruptcy’S Role In The Covid-19 Crisis, Edward R. Morrison, Andrea C. Saavedra Jan 2020

Bankruptcy’S Role In The Covid-19 Crisis, Edward R. Morrison, Andrea C. Saavedra

Faculty Scholarship

Policymakers have minimized the role of bankruptcy law in mitigating the financial fallout from COVID-19. Scholars too are unsure about the merits of bankruptcy, especially Chapter 11, in resolving business distress. We argue that Chapter 11 complements current stimulus policies for large corporations, such as the airlines, and that Treasury should consider making it a precondition for receiving government-backed financing. Chapter 11 offers a flexible, speedy, and crisis-tested tool for preserving businesses, financing them with government funds (if necessary), and ensuring that the costs of distress are borne primarily by investors, not taxpayers. Chapter 11 saves businesses and employment, not …


Asset Partitioning And Financial Innovation, Christopher Bruner Jan 2019

Asset Partitioning And Financial Innovation, Christopher Bruner

Scholarly Works

Review of the article by Ofer Eldar and Andrew Verstein titled “The Enduring Distinction between Business Entities and Security Interests”, 92 Southern California Law Review, no. 2 (2019).


The Future Of Reorganization Procedures In The Era Of Pre-Insolvency Law, Aurelio Gurrea-Martinez Jan 2019

The Future Of Reorganization Procedures In The Era Of Pre-Insolvency Law, Aurelio Gurrea-Martinez

Research Collection Yong Pung How School Of Law

Several countries and regions around the world, including Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the European Union are amending their restructuring framework to implement a pre-insolvency mechanism that looks like a US Chapter 11 reorganization. However, unlike what happens in the United States, where unsuccessful reorganizations lead to Chapter 7 liquidations, companies using this ‘de facto Chapter 11’ (DFCH11) are still allowed to use the formal reorganization procedures existing in their insolvency jurisdictions if the DFCH11 fails.


The New Bond Workouts, William W. Bratton, Adam J. Levitin Jan 2018

The New Bond Workouts, William W. Bratton, Adam J. Levitin

All Faculty Scholarship

Bond workouts are a famously dysfunctional method of debt restructuring, ridden with opportunistic and coercive behavior by bondholders and bond issuers. Yet since 2008 bond workouts have quietly started to work. A cognizable portion of the restructuring market has shifted from bankruptcy court to out-of-court workouts by way of exchange offers made only to large institutional investors. The new workouts feature a battery of strong-arm tactics by bond issuers, and aggrieved bondholders have complained in court. The result has been a new, broad reading of the primary law governing workouts, section 316(b) of the Trust Indenture Act of 1939 (“TIA”), …


Bankruptcy’S Uneasy Shift To A Contract Paradigm, David A. Skeel Jr., George Triantis Jan 2018

Bankruptcy’S Uneasy Shift To A Contract Paradigm, David A. Skeel Jr., George Triantis

All Faculty Scholarship

The most dramatic development in twenty-first century bankruptcy practice has been the increasing use of contracts to shape the bankruptcy process. To explain the new contract paradigm—our principal objective in this Article-- we begin by examining the structure of current bankruptcy law. Although the Bankruptcy Code of 1978 has long been viewed as mandatory, its voting and cramdown rules, among others, invite considerable contracting. The emerging paradigm is asymmetric, however. While the Code and bankruptcy practice allow for ex post contracting, ex ante contracts are viewed with suspicion.

We next use contract theory to assess the two modes of contracting. …


Valuation Disputes In Corporate Bankruptcy, Kenneth M. Ayotte, Edward R. Morrison Jan 2018

Valuation Disputes In Corporate Bankruptcy, Kenneth M. Ayotte, Edward R. Morrison

Faculty Scholarship

Prior scholarship points to disagreements about valuation and judicial valuation error as key drivers of Chapter 11 outcomes. Avoiding valuation disputes and valuation errors is also the underlying driver of most proposed reforms, from Baird’s auctions to Bebchuk’s options. In this paper, we undertake a detailed examination of bankruptcy court opinions involving valuation disputes. Our paper has two goals. The first is to understand how parties and their expert witnesses justify their opposing views to the judge, and how judges decide between them. The second is to provide practical guidance to judges in resolving valuation disputes. We document surprisingly pervasive …


When Social Enterprises Fail, Jonathan Brown Jan 2017

When Social Enterprises Fail, Jonathan Brown

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

This Article identifies the conflicts between social enterprise legislation and bankruptcy law and presents a normative argument for a legal regime that would harmonize the two. Focusing on benefit corporations, the most widely adopted social enterprise form, this Article observes that existing law leaves uncertainty as to the role of directors at a time of financial distress and will produce outcomes that are at odds with the core goals of social enterprise legislation. Then, drawing on academic proposals for contract-based systems of bankruptcy, this Article argues that just as a firm may opt out of a corporate governance norm of …


Becker V. Becker, 131 Nev. Adv. Op. 85 (Oct. 29, 2015), Paul George Oct 2015

Becker V. Becker, 131 Nev. Adv. Op. 85 (Oct. 29, 2015), Paul George

Nevada Supreme Court Summaries

In response to a certified question by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nevada, the Court concluded that under NRS 21.090(1)(bb) a debtor can exempt his stock in the corporations described in NRS 78.746(2), but his economic interest in that stock is still subject to the charging order remedy in NRS 78.746(1).


Rediscovering Corporate Governance In Bankruptcy, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2015

Rediscovering Corporate Governance In Bankruptcy, David A. Skeel Jr.

All Faculty Scholarship

In this Essay on Lynn LoPucki and Bill Whitford’s corporate reorganization project, written for a symposium honoring Bill Whitford, I begin by very briefly describing its historical antecedents. The project draws on the insights and perspectives of two closely intertwined traditions: the legal realism of 1930s, whose exemplars included William Douglas and other participants in the SEC study; and the law in action movement at the University of Wisconsin. In Section II, I briefly survey the key contributions of the corporate governance project, which punctured the then-conventional wisdom about the treatment of shareholders in bankruptcy, managers’ principal allegiance, and many …


Introduction To Institutional Investor Activism: Hedge Funds And Private Equity, Economics And Regulation, William W. Bratton, Joseph A. Mccahery Jan 2015

Introduction To Institutional Investor Activism: Hedge Funds And Private Equity, Economics And Regulation, William W. Bratton, Joseph A. Mccahery

All Faculty Scholarship

The increase in institutional ownership of recent decades has been accompanied by an enhanced role played by institutions in monitoring companies’ corporate governance behaviour. Activist hedge funds and private equity firms have achieved a degree of success in actively shaping the business plans of target firms. They may be characterized as pursuing a common goal – in the words used in the OECD Steering Group on Corporate Governance, both seek ‘to increase the market value of their pooled capital through active engagement with individual public companies. This engagement may include demands for changes in management, the composition of the board, …


When Should Bankruptcy Be An Option (For People, Places Or Things)?, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2014

When Should Bankruptcy Be An Option (For People, Places Or Things)?, David A. Skeel Jr.

All Faculty Scholarship

When many people think about bankruptcy, they have a simple left-to-right spectrum of possibilities in mind. The spectrum starts with personal bankruptcy, moves next to corporations and other businesses, and then to municipalities, states, and finally countries. We assume that bankruptcy makes the most sense for individuals; that it makes a great deal of sense for corporations; that it is plausible but a little more suspect for cities; that it would be quite odd for states; and that bankruptcy is unimaginable for a country.

In this Article, I argue that the left-to-right spectrum is sensible but mistaken. After defining “bankruptcy,” …


Economics Of Bankruptcy – Introduction, Edward R. Morrison Jan 2013

Economics Of Bankruptcy – Introduction, Edward R. Morrison

Faculty Scholarship

This essay surveys important contributions to the economics of bankruptcy. It is an introductory chapter for a forthcoming volume (from Edward Elgar Press) that compiles the work of legal scholars as well as economists working in the field of corporate finance. The essay begins with the foundational theories of Baird, Jackson, and Rea and then collects scholarly work extending, testing, or revising those theories. At various points I identify questions that merit further study, particularly empirical testing.


Bankruptcy Law As A Liquidity Provider, Kenneth M. Ayotte, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2013

Bankruptcy Law As A Liquidity Provider, Kenneth M. Ayotte, David A. Skeel Jr.

All Faculty Scholarship

Since the outset of the recent financial crisis, liquidity problems have been cited as the cause behind the bankruptcies and near bankruptcies of numerous firms, ranging from Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers in 2008 to Kodak more recently. This paper expands the prevailing normative theory of corporate bankruptcy — the Creditors’ Bargain theory — to include a role for bankruptcy as a provider of liquidity. The Creditors’ Bargain theory argues that bankruptcy law should be limited to solving problems caused by multiple, uncoordinated creditors, but focuses almost exclusively on the problem of creditor runs. We argue that two well-known problems …


Collective Bargaining Agreements In Corporate Reorganizations, Andrew B. Dawson Jan 2010

Collective Bargaining Agreements In Corporate Reorganizations, Andrew B. Dawson

Articles

Congress enacted § 1113 to the Bankruptcy Code in 1984 in order to establish a standard for the rejection of Collective Bargaining Agreements. But the statute's ambiguous language has caused a split between the Second and Third Circuits, and has precipitated a lengthy academic debate largely centered on the interpretation of one word: "necessary." This debate has focused on proper statutory interpretation as well as deeper concerns regarding the policy goals behind the Bankruptcy Code. The present study reports data that indicate that the different interpretations are irrelevant in practice. No matter how "necessary" is defined, the result is always …


Chrysler, Gm And The Future Of Chapter 11, Edward R. Morrison Jan 2009

Chrysler, Gm And The Future Of Chapter 11, Edward R. Morrison

Faculty Scholarship

Although they caused great controversy, the Chrysler and GM bankruptcies broke no new ground. They invoked procedures that are commonly observed in modern Chapter 11 reorganization cases. Government involvement did not distort the bankruptcy process; it instead exposed the reality that Chapter 11 offers secured creditors – especially those that supply financing during the bankruptcy case – control over the fate of distressed firms. Because the federal government supplied financing in the Chrysler and GM cases, it possessed the creditor control normally exercised by private lenders. The Treasury Department found itself with virtually the same, unchecked power that the FDIC …


Creditor Control And Conflict In Chapter 11, Kenneth M. Ayotte, Edward R. Morrison Jan 2009

Creditor Control And Conflict In Chapter 11, Kenneth M. Ayotte, Edward R. Morrison

Faculty Scholarship

We analyze a sample of large privately and publicly held businesses that filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy petitions during 2001. We find pervasive creditor control. In contrast to traditional views of Chapter 11, equity holders and managers exercise little or no leverage during the reorganization process. 70 percent of CEOs are replaced in the two years before a bankruptcy filing, and few reorganization plans (at most 12 percent) deviate from the absolute priority rule to distribute value to equity holders. Senior lenders exercise significant control through stringent covenants, such as line-item budgets, in loans extended to firms in bankruptcy. Unsecured creditors …


Bankruptcy's Rarity: An Essay On Small Business Bankruptcy In The United States, Edward R. Morrison Jan 2008

Bankruptcy's Rarity: An Essay On Small Business Bankruptcy In The United States, Edward R. Morrison

Faculty Scholarship

Most nations have enacted statutes governing business liquidation and reorganization. These statutes are the primary focus when policymakers and scholars discuss ways to improve laws governing business failure. This focus is misplaced, at least for distressed small businesses in the United States.

Evidence from a major credit bureau shows that over eighty percent of these businesses liquidate or reorganize without invoking the formal Bankruptcy Code.

The businesses instead invoke procedures derived from the laws of contracts, secured lending, and trusts. These procedures can be cheaper and speedier than a formal bankruptcy filing, but they typically require unanimous consent of senior, …


Bankruptcy Noir, James J. White Jan 2008

Bankruptcy Noir, James J. White

Articles

In Bankruptcy Fire Sales, Professor LoPucki and Dr. Doherty do two things. First, they present provocative data about the relative payoff to be had in Chapter 11 by a full reorganization compared with the payoff from a section 363 sale without a full reorganization. Second, they give a yet more provocative explanation for their data. Taking a page from Professor LoPucki's recent book, they blame the meager return that they observe on 363 sales on the unprincipled behavior of the lawyers, managers, creditors, investment bankers, and even judges involved in the sales. Messrs. LoPucki and Doherty's data appear to …


Managers’ Fiduciary Duties In Financially Distressed Corporations: Chaos In Delaware (And Elsewhere), Rutheford B. Campbell Jr., Christopher W. Frost Apr 2007

Managers’ Fiduciary Duties In Financially Distressed Corporations: Chaos In Delaware (And Elsewhere), Rutheford B. Campbell Jr., Christopher W. Frost

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

The inherent conflict between creditors and shareholders has long occupied courts and commentators interested in corporate governance. Creditors holding fixed claims to the corporation's assets generally prefer corporate decision making that minimizes the risk of firm failure. Shareholders, in contrast, have a greater appetite for risk, because, as residual owners, they reap the rewards of firm success while sharing the risk of loss with creditors.

Traditionally, this conflict is mediated by a governance structure that imposes a fiduciary duty on the corporation's managers-its officers and directors-to maximize the value of the shareholders' interests in the firm. In this traditional view, …


Bankruptcy Decision Making: An Empirical Study Of Continuation, Edward R. Morrison Jan 2007

Bankruptcy Decision Making: An Empirical Study Of Continuation, Edward R. Morrison

Faculty Scholarship

Many small businesses attempt to reorganize under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, but most are ultimately liquidated instead. Little is known about this shutdown decision. It is widely suspected that the bankruptcy process exhibits a continuation bias, allowing failing businesses to linger under the protection of the court, which resists liquidation even when it is optimal. This paper examines the shutdown decision in a sample of Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases filed in a typical bankruptcy court over the course of a year. The presence of continuation bias is tested along several dimensions – the extent of managerial control …


Corporate Complicity Claims: Why There Is No Innocent Decison-Maker Exception To Imputing An Officer's Wrongdoing To A Bankrupt Corporation, Jonathan Witmer-Rich Jan 2006

Corporate Complicity Claims: Why There Is No Innocent Decison-Maker Exception To Imputing An Officer's Wrongdoing To A Bankrupt Corporation, Jonathan Witmer-Rich

Law Faculty Articles and Essays

This Article evaluates the innocent decision-maker exception in light of the doctrinal foundations of the in pari delicto defense and the Wagoner rule, general principles of agency law, and the lower court decisions that address these issues. It concludes that the innocent decision-maker exception is a doctrinal error, traceable to the logical misstep of a single lower court whose decision continues to be mistakenly followed. The innocent decision-maker exception is inconsistent with the basic principles of agency law that underlie imputation in the context of in pari delicto and the Wagoner rule. No court of appeals has explicitly addressed the …


Law And The Rise Of The Firm , Henry Hansmann, Reiner Kraakman, Richard Squire Jan 2005

Law And The Rise Of The Firm , Henry Hansmann, Reiner Kraakman, Richard Squire

Faculty Scholarship

Organizational law empowers firms to hold assets and enter contracts as entities that are legally distinct from their owners and managers. Legal scholars and economists have commented extensively on one form of this partitioning between firms and owners: namely, the rule of limited liability that insulates firm owners from business debts. But a less-noticed form of legal partitioning, which we call "entity shielding," is both economically and historically more significant than limited liability. While limited liability shields owners' personal assets from a firm's creditors, entity shielding protects firm assets from the owners' personal creditors (and from creditors of other business …


The Past, Present And Future Of Debtor-In-Possession Financing, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2004

The Past, Present And Future Of Debtor-In-Possession Financing, David A. Skeel Jr.

All Faculty Scholarship

Chapter 11's distinctive post-petition financing rules trace their ancestry back to the origins of large scale corporate reorganization in America in the nineteenth century. In this sense, post-petition financing has always been with us. But in the past decade, the role of the financers has changed. After a century in the shadows, post-petition lenders have stepped onto center stage. The DIP loan agreement has become the single most important governance lever in many large Chapter 11 cases. Why have these formerly bashful financers suddenly started hogging the spotlight? I argue in this article that the generous terms offered to DIP …


Editor's Observations: The Sarbanes-Oxley Act And What Came After, Frank O. Bowman Iii Apr 2003

Editor's Observations: The Sarbanes-Oxley Act And What Came After, Frank O. Bowman Iii

Faculty Publications

On December 2, 2001, the Enron Corporation filed the largest bankruptcy petition in U.S. history. Losses to investors, creditors, employees, and pensioners were in the billions. Criminal investigations are ongoing. On May 1, 2003, the U.S. Sentencing Commission passed a set of amendments to the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines that will, among other things, prevent a federal district judge from awarding a sentence of straight probation to a defendant convicted at trial of an $11,000 mail fraud. This Issue of FSR tells the story of how the first of these apparently unrelated events led to the second. Put another way, this …


Avoiding Moral Bankruptcy, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2003

Avoiding Moral Bankruptcy, David A. Skeel Jr.

All Faculty Scholarship

Faced with hundreds of clergy sexual misconduct cases last year, the Archdiocese of Boston hinted that it was considering filing for bankruptcy. Although it is hard to imagine an archdiocese or church filing for bankruptcy, bankruptcy has become an important forum for many social issues that cannot be easily resolved elsewhere. This Article explores the implications of a religious organization bankruptcy filing by focusing on four problems with the bankruptcy alternative: the possibility of dismissal for being filed in bad faith; the question of what church assets are subject to the process; the fact that the church might be subject …


Multidisciplinary Practice After In Re Enron: Should The Debate On Mdp Change At All?, Nancy B. Rapoport Jan 2002

Multidisciplinary Practice After In Re Enron: Should The Debate On Mdp Change At All?, Nancy B. Rapoport

Scholarly Works

No abstract provided.