Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal


DEAN SCHAPIRO: Thanks very much, Jeremy. Welcome to all of you. We’re so pleased that you could be with us today. I’d like to start with a thank you of my own. Thank you to Jeremy Zisholtz, the Executive Symposium Editor, and to Jamie Hais, the Symposium Editor, for putting together this wonderful program. I’ve been on the faculty here for about fifteen years and one of the things that makes my job so wonderful is the ability to work with outstanding students like Jeremy and Jamie and all the other members of the Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal and so many more.

One of the things we pride ourselves on at Emory is our outstanding intellectual community and our curriculum that integrates theory and practice. And when we think about what are great exemplars of those ideals, our bankruptcy program stands at the fore, and of course at the heart of our bankruptcy program is the Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal. Our bankruptcy program brings together outstanding scholars, students, faculty, practitioners, and judges, have them all work together, get to know each other, and produce wonderful events like this symposium today. I do want to mention that there will be a new member of our bankruptcy community arriving over the summer, Rafael Pardo, who will be joining us as a faculty member. We look forward to that, and I hope you get a chance to know him well.

Again, we’re so pleased by all that bankruptcy has to offer and by what we see at this symposium. I have to say that, as a federal courts person, I find today’s program especially exciting. The consumer part is great and the corporate part also, but for those of us who do federal courts, there’s nothing quite like Stern v. Marshall. 1Stern v. Marshall, 131 S. Ct. 2594 (2011). Now, just a word about that is, those of us who teach federal courts often operate with a kind of envy. There are those who do torts or criminal law where you get murder, mayhem, explosions in railway stations, real things happening to colorful, flesh-and-blood characters. Federal courts isn’t usually like that. We study Article III jurisdiction. We study Burford Abstention. The characters tend to be entities, Marathon Pipe Line or Northern Pipeline. But then we get Stern v. Marshall, a great federal courts case involving J. Howard Marshall, eighty-nine years old, either the richest or the second richest man in Texas (I like the ambiguity there) with worth of at least $1.6 billion, who marries Anna Nicole Smith, age twenty-six. He dies one year later from heart failure. And then we get a contentious probate fight, ending up twice in the United States Supreme Court. So we get to see these wonderful issues of federal jurisdiction of non-Article III courts. We get a five-to-four decision in the United States Supreme Court, and we certainly get our share of characters. They are colorful characters, so a very memorable case which, along with our other panels today, will provide great fodder for the proceedings here, and then for teaching many years thereafter.

So in that way, I like to say that Stern v. Marshall, a very exciting, wonderful case, in some ways is a lot like what we have with our bankruptcy program today: fascinating issues, important matters of long-lasting significance, and wonderful and colorful characters.

With that, I’d again like to welcome you all today, and look forward to an outstanding program.

Thank you.


1Stern v. Marshall, 131 S. Ct. 2594 (2011).