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About the Authors

Lynn M. LoPucki

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Lynn M. LoPucki is the Security Pacific Bank Professor of Law at the UCLA Law School, and, each fall semester, the Bruce W. Nichols Visiting Professor of Law at the Harvard Law School. LoPucki teaches Secured Transactions and Empirical Analysis of Law at both schools.

LoPucki has engaged in empirical research on large public company bankruptcies for the past twenty-five years and has been quoted in several hundred news articles on the topic in just the past five.  His Bankruptcy Research Database provides data for much, if not most, empirical work on the topic. LoPucki’s book, Courting Failure: How Competition for Big Cases Is Corrupting the Bankruptcy Courts (University of Michigan Press 2005) shocked the bankruptcy world with empirical evidence regarding the effects of forum shopping and court competition.  The debate over those allegations has dominated recent scholarship in the field. LoPucki and his frequent coauthor, Joseph W. Doherty, are currently working on another book, Controlling Professional Fees in Corporate Bankruptcies, under contract with Oxford University Press.

LoPucki uses an empirically-based systems approach for policy analysis.  He has recently proposed public identities as the solution to identify theft, court system transparency as the solution to judicial bias, and an effective filing system as the solution to the deceptive nature of secured credit.

LoPucki is co-author of two widely used casebooks: Secured Credit: A Systems Approach  (5th edition, with Elizabeth Warren, 2006) and Commercial Transactions: A Systems Approach (with Warren, Keating, and Mann, 4th edition, 2009). He also co-wrote a leading practice manual: Strategies for Creditors in Bankruptcy Proceedings (with Christopher R. Mirick, 5th edition, 2007) and a popular series of bankruptcy procedure flow charts: Bankruptcy Visuals. LoPucki’s Death of Liability thesis—propounded in a Yale Law Journal article in 1996—is featured in casebooks in several fields.


B.A. University of Michigan, 1965
J.D. University of Michigan, 1967
LL.M. Harvard, 1970


Elizabeth Warren

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Elizabeth Warren is the Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law Emeritus at Harvard University and the senior United States Senator from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. While in teaching, she twice won the Sacks-Freund Award for Teaching Excellence at Harvard Law School, as well as other teaching prizes at the University of Houston, the University of Michigan, and the University of Pennsylvania. She has written ten books and more than a hundred scholarly articles dealing with credit and economic stress. Warren has been a principal investigator on empirical studies funded by the National Science Foundation and more than a dozen private foundations. Warren served as Chief Adviser to the National Bankruptcy Review Commission. She also served as Vice-President of the American Law Institute, and she has been inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. During the financial crisis, Warren was the Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and she later served as Adviser to the President and Special Adviser to the Secretary of the Treasury to set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 

J.D. 1976, Rutgers University
B.S. 1970, University of Houston


Daniel L. Keating

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Dan Keating is a nationally known expert in bankruptcy, commercial law, and UCC Article 2. The author of two casebooks on commercial law, as well as a treatise on the employment law implications of bankruptcy, he has written extensively on such issues as bankruptcy reform, the implication of bankruptcy on collective bargaining agreements, pension insurance, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). His scholarship also has covered the subject of sales law and practice. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute and a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy. Throughout his career, he has given extensive service to the Association of American Law Schools, including chairing several committees. At Washington University School of Law, Professor Keating has served three times as interim dean, as well as vice dean and associate dean. He is the Tyrrell Williams Professor of Law and the recipient of a Founder's Day Distinguished Faculty Award and the law school's Outstanding Professor Award. In addition to his scholarship, service, and teaching, Professor Keating is a frequent speaker and panelist, making presentations to the American Bankruptcy Institute, National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, the UCC Institute, and various academic conferences. Before joining the faculty, he was a John Olin Fellow in Law and Economics at the University of Chicago and practiced law for two years as a commercial attorney with The First National Bank of Chicago.


Ronald J. Mann

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J.D., The University of Texas School of Law. Austin, TX., Texas Law Review, Managing Editor, 1985
B.A., Rice University. Houston, TX. History, 1982.

Law clerk to Judge Joseph T. Sneed, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (1985-1986). Law clerk to Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr., Supreme Court of the United States (1986-1987) . Practiced real estate and transactional law in Houston, Texas (1987-1991). Worked for the Justice Department as an Assistant for the Solicitor General of the United States, (1991-1994) .

Joined the University of Texas faculty in 2003. Assistant professor of law (1997-1999), and professor of law (1999-2003), at the University of Michigan. Assistant professor of law (1994-1997), and professor of law (1997), at Washington University. Visiting professor of law at Harvard in 2005. Joined the Columbia Law School faculty on July 1, 2007.

Member of the American Law Institute. Recently served as the reporter for the amendments to Articles 3 and 4 of the Uniform Commercial Code.


  • Charging Ahead (Cambridge Univ. Press 2006)


  • Making Sense of Payments Policy in the Information Age, 93 Geo. L.J. 633 (2005)
  • Do Patents Facilitate Financing in the Software Industry?, 83 Texas L. Rev. 961 (2005)
  • An Empirical Investigation of Liquidation Choices of Failed High-Tech Firms, 82 Wash. U.L.Q. 1375 (2004)
  • Regulating Internet Payment Intermediaries, 82 Texas L. Rev. 681 (2004)
  • Credit Cards and Debit Cards in the United States and Japan , 55 Vand. L. Rev. 1055 (2002)
  • The Role of Letters of Credit in Payment Transactions,99 Mich. L. Rev. 2494 (2000)
  • Secured Credit and Software Financing, 85 Cornell L. Rev. 134 (1999)
  • Strategy and Force in the Liquidation of Secured Debt, 96 Mich. L. Rev. 159 (1997)


Robert M. Lawless

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Professor Robert Lawless specializes in bankruptcy, consumer credit, and business law. He is intensely interested in empirical legal studies and interdisciplinary work.  In addition to a course in empirical methods, he teaches in the areas of bankruptcy and commercial law.

Professor Lawless is one of seven regular contributors to the blog Credit Slips, a discussion on credit and bankruptcy. He also is a member of the Consumer Bankruptcy Project, a long-term empirical project studying persons who file bankruptcy. The latest report from the Consumer Bankruptcy Project received the 2009 Editor’s Prize from the American Bankruptcy Law Journal. Professor Lawless has testified before Congress, and his work has been featured in media outlets such as CNN, CNBC, the New York Times, USA Today, the National Law Journal, the L.A. Times, the Financial Times, and Money magazine.