The course will focus on the process by which a corporate debtor achieves reorganization pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Prior familiarity with bankruptcy principles and debtor-creditor law is not required. These will be incorporated in the course as it unfolds. Some familiarity with business organization is helpful but not necessary.
The subject will be covered primarily from two perspectives: that of supervision of a debtor by the bankruptcy court and that of the underlying business and economic dynamics that lead both to the debtor's financial crisis and to its ability to secure a fresh start through a plan of reorganization.
Topics to be covered include: historical, Constitutional, and policy issues underlying Chapter 11's provisions and goals; overview of basic business structures and transactions bearing on Chapter 11 reorganization; alternatives to avoid Chapter 11; the powers and oversight role of the bankruptcy court and the obligations and governance of a corporate debtor when under the protection of the bankruptcy court; the major phases of a Chapter 11 case from initial filing to consummation of a plan of reorganization (e.g., formulation of a business plan and the plan of reorganization, claims procedures and classification, plan disclosure and voting, plan confirmation, discharge, and consummation); recovery and disposition of assets in Chapter 11, including asset sales, and avoidance remedies; and numerous special topics encountered in Chapter 11 practice.
A casebook will not be used. Course materials will be in Xerox form. However, students will be asked to purchase paperback copies of the Bankruptcy Code and the Bankruptcy Rules. (These will be available in "Mini-Code" and "Mini-Rule" editions.) The exam will be a two-hour, in-class, multiple-choice exam, completely open-book.