Professor Jack F. Williams, Resident Scholar, Fall 2001

Jack F. Williams is a tenured professor at Georgia State University College of Law and the Middle East Institute in Atlanta, where he teaches and/or conducts research in the areas of bankruptcy and business reorganizations, mergers and acquisitions, commercial law and damages models, corporate finance, financial markets, fraud and anti-corruption, Islamic markets and finance, taxation, public finance and law and statistics. He is also the national co-director of the Litigation, Investigation and Intelligence Services practice and senior managing director at Mesirow Financial Consulting, LLC in Atlanta and New York, where he provides consulting and expert witness services in the areas of business restructuring, bankruptcy and insolvency taxation, distressed banking, fraud and fraudulent transfers, Ponzi schemes, distressed business valuations, forensic investigations, claims estimations, capital markets, avoidable actions, plan confirmation and cramdown issues, and governance matters. Mr. Williams is the Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors Scholar in Residence and also served as the inaugural Robert M. Zinman ABI Scholar in Residence in 2001, returning to that post in 2008. He is also a Fellow in the American College of Bankruptcy. Mr. Williams has a B.A. in economics from the University of Oklahoma, a J.D. with high honors from the George Washington University National Law Center, and a Ph.D. in archaeology from the University of Leicester.

Resident Scholar's Letter

My tenure as scholar-in-residence ran from April 2001 to Dec. 31, 2001. My duties included preparing materials for conferences and classes, presenting at conferences and seminars, responding to media requests, making television and radio appearances, appearing before the Congress, preparing white papers for Congressional staffers, responding to ABI members on legislative status and miscellaneous questions, responding to the general public with bankruptcy issues and concerns, writing/editing ABI publications, assisting the Endowment Committee on the review of research grant applications, and coordinating ABI efforts with other nonprofit organizations.

During my tenure at ABI, my tasks included:

  • Authored two articles for the ABI Law Review. The first article is an empirical piece on collateral dispositions under Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code. The second piece is on the treatment of certain tax claims under a chapter 11 plan of reorganization.
  • Authored one article on directors' and officers' duties within the zone of insolvency for the Journal of Corporate Renewal.
  • Authored the 2001 Cumulative Supplement to Kennedy, Countryman and Williams on Partnerships, Limited Liability Entities and S Corporations in Bankruptcy, published by Aspen Publishers (formerly Little, Brown & Co.).
  • Authored the 2001 Cumulative Supplement to McQueen and Williams on Tax Aspects of Bankruptcy Law and Procedure, published by the West Group.
  • Authored four articles for the ABI Journal on legislation.
  • Prepared six Powerpoint presentations that cover key provisions of the proposed bankruptcy legislation to be used on the ABI web site.
  • Authored five "Cracking the Code" articles for posting on the ABI web site.
  • Responded to more than 200 media requests for information and appeared on radio and television, including NBC Nightly News, ABC Evening News, MSNBC, Dateline, The Today Show, CNN, 60 Minutes II, FoxNews and C-Span.
  • Appeared before the House and Senate committees and staff meetings on bankruptcy, bankruptcy taxation, and terrorism and homeland defense.
  • Prepared materials for talks given to the Internal Revenue Service, the Small Business Administration, the PBGC, the EPA, HUD, and the Department of Justice.
  • Prepared materials for talks given to ABI, the TMA, State and Local Bar Associations, State CPA Societies, the American Association of Law Schools, and the AICPA.
  • Coordinated with JumpStart Coalition to prepare bankruptcy lesson plans for use in elementary, junior high school, and high school.
  • Edited manuscript by Prof. Jack Ayer and Michael Bernstein.

I joined ABI as a newly minted bankruptcy practitioner more than 15 years ago. I continued my membership when I joined the academic ranks some 10 years ago. I have been involved with ABI most of my membership and have found the organization and the people first-rate. So for me, becoming the inaugural ABI Robert M. Zinman Scholar-in-Residence was a profound honor. Upon accepting the position, I had but one goal-to make ABI and the position's namesake (my mentor) proud of their selection. I hope that I have not let you down.

When I began my tenure, my wife and I thought that the ABI Endowment Fund served many worthwhile causes, including funding, in part, the scholar-in-residence program. Based on our prior experience with ABI and the new position as the ABI scholar-in-residence, we believed that we should begin giving back to the organization that has given so much to us. With that, we donated 5 percent of my gross pay from ABI to the Endowment Fund. It is, without doubt, one of the best decisions we have ever made.

Thank you for the grand opportunity to serve you as your scholar-in-residence. It was a great honor and privilege. May the position go from strength to strength.

Prof. Jack F. Williams