Bankruptcy focuses on the rights of debtors and creditors under the federal Bankruptcy Code. This course aims to give students a coherent understanding of the federal bankruptcy system and the various issues that may arise in a bankruptcy case. Specifically, this course explores the different types of bankruptcy (liquidation and reorganization), the prohibition on collection of debts from debtor during bankruptcy, protection of secured claims in bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee’s powers and duties, and the bankruptcy discharge, among other matters. Professor Jonathan Carlson will teach this course in Fall 2020.

This course is not just for students interested in practicing in the bankruptcy arena. “Bankruptcy knowledge is relevant to the collection of debts and legal judgments, to the structuring of ordinary business transactions, to litigation of domestic relations matters, and to protection of consumers,” Professor Carlson explained. This knowledge has value to almost any lawyer, as “bankruptcy law impacts many aspects of what lawyers do.” 

Professor Carlson observed, “It is a common fact of life: businesses fail, and individuals incur debts beyond their ability to pay. An understanding of the basic principles that apply when that happens will make any lawyer engaged in an office practice a more effective representative of his or her clients.”

last updated May 21, 2020


Course Description

This course studies the rights of individuals and entities under the federal bankruptcy laws from the perspective of both debtors and creditors. There are three types of bankruptcy proceedings: liquidation bankruptcy for both consumers and businesses (Chapter 7), consumer reorganization -- known as “wage earner’s plans” (Chapter 13), and business reorganization (Chapter 11). The course surveys the foundational topics relevant to all these forms of bankruptcy. In general, equal weight will be given to both consumer and business bankruptcies. Attention will be given to some of the intricacies of business reorganizations toward the end of the course.  

Schedule Information

Wed, Thurs, Fri 8:30-9:20am