4th Annual John L. Gedid Lecture Focuses on Bankruptcy Law
Harrisburg Correspondent - Published: April 7, 2010
Melissa B. Jacoby, the George R. Ward Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina School of Law, delivered the 4th Annual John L. Gedid lecture at the Harrisburg campus on Tuesday, April 6 at 4:30 p.m. in the Administration building.

Jacoby, a leading expert on bankruptcy and commercial law, spoke on “Rethinking Bankruptcy Law in the Aftermath of a Financial Crisis.” She gave an overview of bankruptcy facts for the uninformed before jumping into her thesis.  She focused her thesis on six problematic regulations, including; Systematic Risk Management, Consumer Credit Card Product Regulation, Health Care Finance, Residential Foreclosure Law, Labor Relations, and Legal Laundering of Corporate Transactions.

Jacoby contended that Congress’ Bankruptcy Amendments of 2005 worsened bankruptcy regulation. Congress has increased the costs of debt relief, for example, by raising the cost to file for bankruptcy in the court. They also decreased the amount of debt relief allocated. Additionally, the amendments increased the costs of reorganizing for smaller businesses and hold the smaller businesses to a higher. Finally, according to Jacoby, the failure to properly regulate big businesses has resulted in a mismatch of crystalline rules and muddy or non-existent standards with a lack of framework for judicial discretion on the key issues.

Jacoby suggested that repealing the 2005 Amendment all together and simplifying the discharge of debt might help. She insisted that there should be a framework for judicial discretion and due process where it matters most.

The John L. Gedid lecture is held in honor of Professor John L. Gedid, who has contributed greatly to Widener Law School and the community. Gedid has been at the Harrisburg campus since it opened in 1989 and currently serves as the director of the Law and Government Institute.