Professor David Skeel, Resident Scholar, Summer & Fall, 2006

Prof. David A. Skeel is the S. Samuel Arsht Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School in Philadelphia. He is the author of Icarus in the Boardroom: The Fundamental Flaws in Corporate America and Where They Came From (Oxford University Press, 2005); Debt's Dominion: A History of Bankruptcy Law in America (Princeton University Press, 2001); and numerous articles on bankruptcy, corporate law, Christianity and law among other topics. His recently co-authored articles include "Assessing the Chrysler Bankruptcy," Michigan Law Review (forthcoming in 2010) and "Bankruptcy or Bailouts?," Journal of Corporation Law (forthcoming in 2010). Professor Skeel has also written commentaries for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Weekly Standard, Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Inquirer and other publications.

Resident Scholar Letter

I had the privilege of serving as ABI Robert M. Zinman Scholar in Residence in the summer and early fall of 2006. My principal activities consisted of responding to media inquiries, writing for ABI periodicals, editing an ABItreatise, taping podcast interviews with prominent figures in the bankruptcy world, and writing materials for and making presentations at ABI conferences.


My tenure as Resident Scholar began a little over six months after the full implementation of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 ("BAPCPA") on October 17, 2005. As a result, I did not receive nearly so many media inquiries as Nathalie Martin, the silver tongued scholar who served as Resident Scholar when BAPCPA first went into effect, but I nevertheless received numerous inquiries from reporters and was quoted in a number of different newspapers. I also appeared on cable television- a segment of the Pennsylvania legal talk show Law Journal Television hosted by Christopher Naughton. The TV show, like a large percentage of the media inquiries, concerned the impact of BAPCPA.

Writing and Editing

In addition to fielding media inquiries, I also wrote short commentary pieces on a variety of topics, including an article on the Marrama v. Citizens Bank case (the Supreme Court case concerning a debtor's claim that he had an absolute right to convert from chapter 7 to chapter 13) for ABIJournal; a commentary for ABI/Dow Jones on the increasing use by corporate debtors of state law alternatives to chapter 11, and several short pieces for the Bankruptcy Update newsletter on ABI's website.

My principal editing (really, commenting) project was spending many pleasant hours reading the second edition of Jack Ayer and Michael Bernstein's terrific treatise Bankruptcy in Practice and offering a number of minor comments and suggestions.


I spoke at and attended two ABIRegional conferences in the summer of 2006. At the Northeast Bankruptcy Conference in Newport, Rhode Island, I spoke with Judges Feeney and Queenan about the new value exception to absolute priority on the "Dockside Chat" panel. At the Central States Bankruptcy Workshop in Traverse City, Michigan, I spoke on a plenary panel called "How Reformed is the Reformation?" about the effects of BAPCPA.
In October, I attended the Bankruptcy 2006: Views from the Bench at Georgetown Law Center on the first year of BAPCPA. I also edited some of the introductory material used by panel moderators in their initial remarks.

ABI Podcasts

Perhaps my favorite responsibility of all was interviewing prominent bankruptcy figures as part of the ABI's podcast series. During my tenure (and after), I conducted podcast interviews with Bill Schorling, Harvey Miller, Judge Thomas Ambro, Judge Marjorie Rendell, Henry Sommer, Judge Bruce Markell, Nell Hennessy, Eric Brunstad, Martin Bienenstock, and Don Bernstein.

David A. Skeel, Jr.

S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law

University of Pennsylvania Law School