A Change in Name and More

02/07/13

Some recent moves in the Senate Judiciary Committee should be of interest to bankruptcy specialists.  The committee has approved a new subcommittee to be called "Bankruptcy and the Courts" with Senator Chris Coons of Delaware as the subcommittee chair. The new subcommittee is essentially a name change from the old "Administrative Oversight and the Courts" subcommittee, which also had jurisdiction over bankruptcy matters.

Names can matter. Given that more U.S. citizens have contact with the  bankruptcy courts than any other part of the federal court system, I hope the name change is a signal that improvements to the bankruptcy law will be a central part of the subcommittee's work.

Perhaps the most significant news was Senator Coons's selection as subcommittee chair. As emphasized by local Delaware media, Senator Coons will be in a key position to ensure the Delaware bankruptcy courts continue to dominate the market for chapter 11s. In his press release, Senator Coons appeared to signal as much:

"Delaware has a well established and respected bankruptcy bench and bar, and I look forward to working with Delaware experts to make sure that our bankruptcy system resolves cases predictably and with the proper balance between the interests of creditors and debtors."

It looks like reform to the chapter 11 venue rules will not be in the offing.

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