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Professor Kara J. Bruce, Resident Scholar, Fall 2013

Kara J. Bruce is an associate professor at the University of Toledo College of Law, where she teaches Business Bankruptcy, Secured Transactions, Commercial Paper, and Contracts. Her research focuses on bankruptcy law, including bankruptcy reform, bankruptcy jurisdiction, and judicial authority. Before joining the faculty, Professor Bruce worked as an attorney in the Bankruptcy and Restructuring Group of Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell LLP in Chicago, Illinois, where she represented clients in business reorganizations and commercial litigation matters. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Tulane University Law School.

Professor Bruce has been active in a number of professional and civic organizations including the American Bankruptcy Institute, the Turnaround Management Association, the Chicago Community Trust, and the Heartland Alliance's National Immigrant Justice Center. She is a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Lucas County, Ohio.

Resident Scholar Letter

I was honored to serve as the American Bankruptcy Institute’s Resident Scholar for the fall of 2013. Working at the ABI exposed me to cutting edge bankruptcy issues, expanded my knowledge of the field, and provided an opportunity to meet many of my heroes in the bankruptcy world. It was a true pleasure to get to know the people behind the names on those ABI emails, and I am grateful for the efforts of the entire staff to help me feel welcome during my time in Alexandria.
I began my work as the Resident Scholar in early August. My first assignment was to collect the greatest hits of the ABI journal and CLE program materials to create the BEST OF ABI 2013: THE YEAR IN BUSINESS BANKRUPTCY. Selecting from such a wealth of content was a difficult task, and many great pieces were left on the cutting room floor. This project gave me a greater appreciation for the enormous amount of high-quality, fresh, and non-repetitive bankruptcy materials that the ABI generates in a single year.

During my time at the ABI, the Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 was in full swing. I was delighted to have the opportunity to contribute to the Commission’s ongoing efforts. I worked most closely with Nancy Rapoport and William Harrington to think through some of the issues facing the governance committee. As someone who was a law student when BAPCPA was passed, I found it enlightening to take such a long-range view of the bankruptcy laws.
Like the scholars who preceded me, I spent a significant amount of my semester preparing for and conducting various audio and video presentations. I recorded podcast interviews roughly every other week, on topics ranging from diocesan bankruptcies to the treatment of corporate tax attributes in chapter 11 cases. I also hosted media teleconferences to mark the 5th anniversary of the Lehman Brothers collapse and to check in with the ongoing work of the ABI’s Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11. My video conversation with Eric Brunstad was without a doubt a highlight of my time at the ABI. It was a treat to test out the ABI’s new green screen and recording studio, and to discuss the upcoming Supreme Court term with a legend in bankruptcy appeals. Through it all, the ABI’s technology and public affairs teams provided wonderful ideas, technical prowess, and support.

The fall term proved to be a relatively light season for media calls, but I responded to several inquiries during my time at the ABI. Reporters most frequently called to obtain context on recently released bankruptcy statistics. I was pleased to field one such call from my hometown newspaper, the Toledo Blade.
It was a privilege to contribute to the ongoing work of the ABI during the fall of 2013. I’d like to extend my heartfelt thanks to Executive Director Sam Gerdano for inviting me to join the team, and to everyone on the ABI staff for making my visit so enjoyable. I wish all the best to the incoming scholar, Professor Charles J. Tabb, of the University of Illinois College of Law.

Kara Bruce