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Italian judge to co-teach winter course
Italian judge to co-teach bankruptcy course
Italian Judge Luciano Panzani
Bankruptcy as a global issue is the focus of an intersession course that will be offered in January at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law by two noted judges from Phoenix and Italy.
The one-credit course, An International Approach to Insolvency Legislation, is scheduled for 8:30-noon, Jan. 7-11, and will be taught by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Chuck Case, a 1975 alumnus of the College of Law, and Judge Luciano Panzani, of the Corte di Cassazione in Rome.
The course will explore the role of insolvency law in multinational business transactions, with an emphasis on Europe. Among the concepts to be discussed are the economic and legal need for insolvency law in international business, the issues of coordination, comity and conflict in cross-border insolvency cases, and the policy issues presented by the "universalist" versus "territorialist" approaches to multinational insolvency cases. It is open to all law students, and as Continuing Legal Education to attorneys.
"Over the last 10 to 15 years, there's been a tremendous amount of growth in the transnational world of insolvency law," said Case, who was appointed to the bench for the District of Arizona in 1994. "More and more companies are doing business in more and more places, and there has been a movement to coordinate procedures among different jurisdictions that may have companies with assets and creditors both in Italy and the U.S.
"The question is, `How do you fairly treat these companies and their creditors, which court has jurisdiction and how should the parties and courts coordinate the proceedings?" he said.
This coordination effort began in 2000 when the European Union Insolvency Regulations were adopted. The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law drafted similar model laws, which were adopted by Congress in 2005 as Chapter 15 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. They grant access to U.S. courts to trustees from foreign countries, Case said.
Recent bankruptcy law reform worldwide has focused on rescuing troubled enterprises, rather than liquidating assets and punishing business owners, he said. Italy, England, Germany, Brazil and other countries have been in the forefront of the reform effort, Case said.
"The purpose of this class is to explore some of these ideas and give students the opportunity to understand the international implications and the importance of insolvency laws as part of the entire globalization phenomenon that we've been experiencing for the last decade or so and that continues to accelerate," he said.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge
Panzani, a former professor at the University of Turin in Italy and a prominent expert in insolvency law, said the course will be useful to students and attorneys alike.
"Today, the world economy is very linked, and enterprises choose the places where they can find the best conditions to operate," he said. "This is also true when you are dealing with the rescue or liquidation of the enterprise. Young lawyers must deal with international bankruptcy law to understand where the best conditions for the enterprise are and also to deal with companies that operate in different countries.
"This is also a way to study the differences between the United States and the rest of the world. Students will discover that the law can be different, but the problems are very similar.
Case and Panzani met about five years ago at a forum put together for judges by The World Bank, and they have since lectured together at conferences in Europe, South America and the United States. Panzani, a member of the International Insolvency Institute and of Insol Europe, organizations that study global bankruptcy law, had long wanted to teach at an American university.
"It's the natural evolution of my interests in teaching and in international law," he said. "You can understand a country better if you are able to work there. It's a way to have an interior view of dealing each day with people's problems and finding solutions for them."
For more information about the course, go to
and to enroll, go to
, then look for "2007 wintersession."