Bankruptcy Case Law

A bankruptcy case normally begins by the debtor filing a petition with the bankruptcy court. A petition may be filed by an individual, by spouses together, or by a corporation or other entity. The debtor is also required to file statements listing assets, income, liabilities, and the names and addresses of all creditors and how much they are owed.

The Bankruptcy Reporter is located on the second floor of the Law Library. If you do not have a citation, but need to search for bankruptcy cases dealing with specific issues, use West’s Bankruptcy Digest. A digest is a case finding tool. Topics are arranged alphabetically within the digest.

The bankruptcy court decisions reporter, which includes a subscription to the newsletter Bankruptcy Court Decisions News & Comment, sorts through the latest bankruptcy caselaw and provides the full text of court rulings most significant to commercial bankruptcy practitioners.It also includes concise case summaries, background information, and analysis, so you know the legal reasoning behind.

Bloomberg Law has dockets and the corresponding case documents in bankruptcy cases. Dockets are available by chapter, including Chapter 7, 13, 9, 15, and 11, with a section for recent Chapter 11 cases. Documents in pdf may be linked from the docket if the docket offers a "view" option; other documents are available on request if they are available in PACER .

A bankruptcy judge may also be called on to decide non-bankruptcy matters. These are issues that could be decided by the district court or even state courts, but arise in the context of a bankruptcy case. For instance, a bankruptcy judge may be called on to interpret the terms of a contract so the parties can determine the amount of a claim.

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Bankruptcy cases are filed in United States Bankruptcy Court (units of the United States District Courts), and federal law governs procedure in bankruptcy cases. However, state laws are often applied to determine how bankruptcy affects the property rights of debtors.

Cases and Codes FindLaw’s Cases and Codes section contains resources and links for both state and federal laws. This includes resources pertaining to constitutions, statutes, cases and more. Run a search for case summaries or select a jurisdiction to browse applicable laws.

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