All posts in Books & Articles

A Great Lesson From Prof. Stephen Bainbridge on Law School Exams

Law school exams, the bane of my existence.  This is such a good lesson from the blog UCLA Law Prof. Stephen Bainbridge.  Reprinted verbatim.

Exam drafting tips for a new law teacher

A former student who is now teaching securities regulation for the first time asked for some exam writing tips. FWIW, here’s what I came up with:

  • Don’t make it too complicated. You’ll get garbage back.
    • You could put students in a room with a window, ask them to describe the weather, and get a bell curve. So don’t make it too complicated.
  • Try to be fair. If you use three essays (typical) make sure they focus on three areas that ate up a lot of class time. Read more…

Great Article on Bankruptcy 101 by Retired Judge Lisa Hill Fenning

This article, written for the Association of Corporate Counsel, is directed at “investors.”  You can access it here.

Debt Collection Tricks Exposed By the Courts

Nice post by Christine Wilton on a new case slapping around debt collectors for trying to collect “time barred” debts.  The post is here.  

2013 Consumer Action Handbook

Hi everyone,

Each year, the U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA) Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies updates the Consumer Action Handbook, a resource with consumer tips to help consumers in their daily life. This annual handbook provides consumers with information essential to making financial decisions on everything from purchasing a home and paying for college to securing health care and protecting one’s privacy when shopping online.

The handbook is accessible at the link below:

Please feel free to forward to any individual, organization or agency.


Magdalena Reyes Bordeaux
Supervising Attorney
Public Counsel
Consumer Law Project &
Debtor Assistance Project

2013 Bankruptcy Reference Book

The 2013 Bankruptcy Reference Book is available on Amazon.  It contains, in a single volume, the bankruptcy code, the FRCP, the Federal Bankruptcy Rules, the Central District local rules, the California exemptions, and the addresses of phone numbers of the Central District judges.

2013 Bankruptcy Cover


You can access the Amazon page here.

Six Golden Bankruptcy Rules

I updated this article to include the 2005 Amendments.  6 Golden Rules

New Book on Ponzi Schemes

October 5, 2012

Dear constituency list members of the Insolvency Law Committee, the following is a book review that may be of interest to you:

The Ponzi Book:  A Legal Resource for Unraveling Ponzi Schemes

Authors:  Kathy Bazoian Phelps,[1] Hon. Steven Rhodes[2] Published  by LexisNexis (2012) For more information:

On three days in August, 2012, the SEC brought three separate fraud charges against multi-million dollar Ponzi schemes — one alleged to be an online $600 million scheme, and another alleged to involve a former collegiate football coach and hall of fame inductee.  The SEC actions were yet another reminder that while the “hook” of the schemes vary, the lure of supposed low-risk, high-return investments has led to a proliferation of Ponzi scheme fraud during the last decade.  Multi-million dollar Ponzi schemes continue to generate new litigation in the wake of the massive Bernie Madoff scandal.

The Ponzi Book is an 800-page reference guide for unraveling the complicated and evolving legal issues arising from  Ponzi schemes in bankruptcy, receiverships and in other third-party litigation.  The book is a thorough, well-organized, and well-written reference for lawyers and other professionals confronting Ponzi scheme issues.[3]  It addresses issues based on federal law, with detail about how different circuits approach cases and, by necessity, with less emphasis on state law tort claims.

Read more…

Consumer Bankruptcy Fee Study

If you like numbers and charts and percentages, you will love this 176 page article, The Consumer Bankruptcy Fee Study: Final Report, by Prof. Lois Lopica.  The abstract says in part:

The Consumer Fee Study’s primary objective is to identify and monetize these costs of bankruptcy access through the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data gathered from court dockets and from professionals working within the bankruptcy system. We began the quantitative section with the hypothesis that following BAPCPA’s enactment, the cost of accessing the consumer bankruptcy system increased. We set out to determine the degree of increased costs, as well as to identify the specific policies and practices affecting these costs. Additionally, we endeavored to evaluate, with specificity, how diverse local procedures and guidelines impact the system’s processes and outcomes. Our focus throughout the Study was on the consumer bankruptcy system and its principal stakeholders. Until now, empirical study of BAPCPA’s impact has focused primarily on the system’s demand side, gathering and analyzing financial and sociological data with respect to debtor households. The effect of BAPCPA on debtors, however, cannot be fully assessed without an examination of the architecture that surrounds a consumer’s decision to file, coupled with an account of the complexity of factors that inform and influence the consumer’s experience in the bankruptcy system. This Study addresses issues related to the institutional framework of consumer bankruptcy by not only measuring and monetizing the cost of access, but by also examining the incentives and constraints imposed by the system. Read more…

Where Has Civility Gone?

Article by Lou Esbin, certified bankruptcy specialist.

Defending Junk Debt Lawsuits

Here is a great paper from Prof. Peter Holland at the Univ of Maryland laying out how to defend the lawsuits filed by predatory purchasers of old credit card debt.   We just took on a pro bono defense recently where the collector was beating up this lady who was trying to defend herself.  Once we assured the jerks on the other side that there was going to be a trial and they would never collect anyweay, they filed a request to dismiss.  Defending Junk Debt Suits

I found this article via the Credit Slips website so we give thanks to Prof. Nathalie Martin for posting it there.