Professor G. Ray Warner
Resident Scholar Final Report
Fall of 2002
It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve ABI as the Robert M.
Zinman Scholar from September through December 2002. The fall term as
scholar was unusually hectic because of the combination of legislative
activity and record bankruptcy filings. I am very proud of all that we
were able to achieve and would not have been able to accomplish so much
without the support and assistance of ABI’s professional
headquarter’s staff and the energy and vision of its executive
director, Sam Gerdano. It is clear that ABI has succeeded in building a
reputation with Congress and the media as the premier source for
unbiased bankruptcy information.
In addition to the perennial battle over the bankruptcy reform
legislation, which culmin-ated in an “edge-of-the-seat”
House vote in November, the Enron and WorldCom filings generated a spate
of proposed bills addressing concerns about employee issues in
bankruptcy and excessive executive compensation. As scholar, I prepared
summaries of each proposed bill and analyses of particular aspects of
the reform legislation and the Sarbanes–Oxley Act for the ABI
Journal, the ABI World web site and e-mail membership alerts. As a
testament to ABI’s status on the Hill, I was consulted by both
Republican and Democratic staffers for technical advice on a variety of
proposed bankruptcy legislative initiatives.
The legislative activity, record level of consumer filings and record
corporate cases both in size and complexity generated several hundred
press inquires about the bankruptcy system. It was not unusual to
conduct several interviews in a single day, ranging from media
organizations like The Wall Street Journal, NBC and National Public
Radio to small-town newspapers and radio stations.
During my four months as scholar, I attended numerous conferences as
ABI’s representative and delivered eight speeches or panel
presentations on a range of bankruptcy issues. I also assisted ABI staff
on a number of ABI projects and conferences, including numerous current
development alerts, the forthcoming First Day Orders Manual, and a
reception for bankruptcy law professors at the annual convention of the
Association of American Law Schools. I worked closely with Sam Gerdano
and former ABI Scholar Margaret Howard to complete the planning for
ABI’s upcoming academic symposium commemorating the 25th
anniversary of the Bankruptcy Code. The symposium, scheduled for
October, promises to be the decade’s most significant academic
bankruptcy conference, with papers and presentations from more than a
dozen leading bankruptcy scholars.
I followed in the footsteps of the first two scholars—Prof.
Jack Williams and Prof. Howard—and tried to build upon the solid
foundation they established for the program. I am pleased to leave the
scholar position in the extremely capable hands of Prof. David Epstein,
who is the spring 2003 scholar, and Prof. Marianne Culhane, who will
join the program next fall. n
Prof. G. Ray Warner
William P. Boreland Distinguished Scholar and Professor of Law
University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law; Kansas City, Mo.