n behalf of the American Bankruptcy Institute and the ABI Bankruptcy Reform Study Project, I am honored to welcome you to ABI's National Symposia Series on Bankruptcy Reform. In December 1993, ABI's Board of Directors commissioned the design of a comprehensive study project to examine significant issues affecting the way we approach the resolution of insolvency in this country today with a view to furnishing the results to policymakers charged with reviewing and reforming our nation's bankruptcy laws.

Beginning in May 1995 in Washington, D.C., and continuing for the succeeding 13 months, a diverse group of senior company managers, lawyers, accountants, turnaround consultants, trustees, present and former bankruptcy judges, professors, corporate counsel, national credit managers, investment bankers and others gathered across the country in such places as Arizona, California, Georgia, Montana, Michigan, New Mexico, Washington, D.C. and in the Northeast to debate bankruptcy issues of public interest.

Our major theme focuses on the impact of bankruptcy and insolvency. We propose to look not only at what happens to bankruptcy estates themselves, but also to the ripple effect that is usually set in motion by a bankruptcy filing. The National Symposia Series has been designed to flesh out the debate on important policy controversies. Edited narratives of the nine Symposia and the Symposia papers were presented by ABI to the National Bankruptcy Review Commission.

John Wm. Butler, Jr.
Coordinator, ABI National Symposia Series

The ABI Bankruptcy Reform Study Project was conceived by Robin Phelan, ABI's President at that time. ABI's Chairman and Vice Chairman at the time of the symposia series, Harry Dixon and Ed Creel, together with Bob Fishman, then Vice President—Education, and Sam Gerdano, ABI's Executive Director, have worked long hours with ABI's Management Committee, Board of Directors and the Project Steering Committee to make possible both the Project and this National Symposia Series.

Led by Judges Leif Clark and Lisa Hill Fenning, and by Rick Meth, the Project Steering Committee has worked for more than 18 months to provide vision and leadership to the Bankruptcy Reform Study Project. ABI is also grateful for the contributions of Project Steering Committee members Judges Sam Bufford and Ralph Kelley, Professors Karen Gross, Ray Warner and Bob Zinman, and Jack Butler, Bill Brandt, Bob Feidler and Lou Zircher.

ABI is indebted to our Symposia moderators and panelists who accepted the challenge to contribute in a meaningful way to the public debate on national bankruptcy reform. The opinions and conclusions expressed in the Symposium Papers and in the Symposium Debates do not necessarily represent the views of the American Bankruptcy Institute or any person or entity other than the Symposium participants themselves.