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April 6, 2006

Press Contact:
Jodi Bart, UT Law, (512) 232-1408 or
Conference Contact:Jay Westbrook, UT Law, (512) 232-1303 or

Second Annual UT-Harvard Bankruptcy Conference, April 28-29

AUSTIN, Texas — The second annual “Joint Conference on Commercial Realities” will be held April 28-29 in Cambridge, MA to provide a forum for emerging commercial-law scholars to meet and discuss their research.

This conference was created by Jay Westbrook of The University of Texas School of Law and Elizabeth Warren of Harvard Law School. It is intended to develop a generation of legal scholars who use the tools of empirical studies and research into other legal systems to help find solutions to the problems attendant upon the rapidly changing world of commerce.

The first conference, held in Austin in April 2005, brought together five senior scholars to comment on papers by 13 emerging scholars. The process helped the junior scholars meet potential mentors, exchange ideas, and investigate empirical and comparative methods of research. Senior professors who took part in this conference included Lynn LoPucki of UCLA, Robert Lawless of UNLV, and Teresa Sullivan and Ronald Mann of UT Law.

Papers accepted for this year’s conference include a study of the elderly as an expanding group of bankrupt consumers, the use of arbitration in credit card disputes, two studies of the use of formal lawsuits to collect debts, the actual roles played by “examiners” under the Bankruptcy Code, two studies comparing small businesses and consumers in financial distress who file for bankruptcy and those who do not, a study of the effect of competition on the strictness or leniency of terms offered in consumer contracts over the Internet, and an analysis of professional fees in Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases.

Related Links:
About Professor Westbrook:
About Professor Sullivan:
Empirical Studies on Bankruptcy by Westbrook and Sullivan: