The (Un)Quiet Realist: Building and Reflecting on the Contributions of

Bill Whitford.

Bill Whitford


*Thanks to all who made this event so successful! Please click here for a video clip of Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) brief message to Professor Whitford.*


Please save October 24, 2014 for a special event in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, honoring and building on the work of Bill Whitford, Emeritus Professor of Law, The University of Wisconsin Law School.

In a career spanning nearly fifty years, Bill Whitford has made significant contributions to some of the most important advances in the fields of corporate reorganization, consumer law (including consumer bankruptcy), and contract law. Symposium participants will include many of the leading scholars in these fields.

An extensive full-text compilation of Professor Whitford’s legal scholarship may be found here.

Symposium Participants

  • Bill Whitford (University of Wisconsin)
  • Jonathan Lipson (Temple) – Moderator

Panel 1: The Bankruptcy Research Database – Its Development and Impact
(Moderated by Tom C.W. Lin)

  • Douglas Baird (University of Chicago) – The Transformation of Large Corporate Reorganizations 1979-2014 Seen Through the Lens of the BRD
  • Bob Lawless (Illinois) – What Legal Empiricists Do Best
  • Lynn LoPucki (UCLA) – Measuring Bankruptcy Success
  • David Skeel (University of Pennsylvania) – Rediscovering Corporate Governance in Bankruptcy: The LoPucki and Whitford Studies

Panel 2: The Lifecycle of Consumer Transactions: Consumer Contracting, Protection, & Bankruptcy
(Moderated by Hosea H. Harvey)

  • Melissa Jacoby (UNC) – Superdelegation
  • Ethan Leib (Fordham) – Contra Proferentem and the Role of the Jury in Contract Interpretation
  • Angela Littwin (University of Texas) – Why Process Consumer Complaints? Then and Now.
  • Katherine Porter (UC Irvine) – The Ideal of Rough Justice: Consumer Protection as Business, and Business in Consumer Protection

Lunchtime Lecture

  • Bob Hillman (Cornell) – Precedent in Contract Cases: The Importance(?) of the Whole Story; Response by Bill Whitford

Panel 3: Mixed Methods: Comparative Law, Comparative Methods
(Moderated by Salil K. Mehra)

  • Stewart Macaulay (University of Wisconsin) – Bill Whitford: A New Legal Realist Seeking to Understand Law Outside the Law School’s Doors
  • Iain Ramsay (Kent-UK) – US Exceptionalism and the Comparative Study of Consumer Bankruptcy
  • Jay Westbrook (University of Texas) – The Application of the Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom
  • Jean Braucher (University of Arizona) – Examination as a Method of Consumer Protection

The event, made possible through the generous support of Temple Law School and the Contracts Enrichment Fund of the Wisconsin Law School, will be led by faculty sponsors Jonathan Lipson (Temple University Beasley School of Law) and Jean Braucher (University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law). Papers presented will be published in the Temple Law Review. For additional information, please view our schedule, read about our speakers, or find general information (including Directions and Parking). Seating is limited, so please  

Direct any questions to the Temple Law Review at