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New and Improved Warren & Westbrook, now with Porter & Pottow!

posted by Jason Kilborn

WWP&PMy school bookstore asked me to identify my fall book choices the other day, which reminded me that I had intended to comment on the new book I've been using for my Bankruptcy class. The new 7th edition of the classic Warren & Westbrook Law of Debtors and Creditors now features Katie Porter and John Pottow as co-authors (note the Credit Slips sweep of the author page). This is not the type of frustrating and all-too-common new edition incorporating a few nits here and there and swapping out two cases to change the pagination on your syllabus. The previous editions, which I've used for 15 years, were very good; this latest edition is really great.

The strengths of the previous editions are here, with clear, accessible, and elucidating textual commentary on the law, modern and ilustrative cases, and lots of fairly realistic problems to challenge students to do what lawyers actually do--address and solve clients' problems. A particularly attractive aspect of this book generally, and of the new edition in particular, is that it describes the law both on the books and in action. The empirical work that these authors have done on both the consumer and the business side is very usefully reflected in this book (and the teacher's manual, which itself is worth double its weight in gold). The reorganized consumer materials are even more effective now, and the supplemented and refocused business material is really fabulous (discussing such gems as 363 sales, valuation, and auction procedures in the "New Chapter 11").

A three-credit course at a school that doesn't aspire to prepare policy-making Masters of the Universe cannot cover the entire book or even all problems from select chapters, and the breakneck pace of change in this area has already made some content a bit out of date (e.g., the recent bifurcation of the means test's Form B22A into B22A-1 and B22A-2, easily remedied by the instructor). Different instructors can tailor their classes to meet a wide variety of desired approaches, though. For what it's worth, here is what I do. I give this new edition a recommended strong buy! And I thank the new author crew publicly for sharing their insights in this really fabulous resource for teachers and students alike.

Now I'm eagerly awaiting the 8th edition update of Lopucki & Warren's Secured Credit, soon to feature Credit Slips administrator Bob Lawless. We're taking over!


I agree that it's an excellent book and my students love it. I've used many other bankruptcy texts over the years but I'm planning to stay with it.

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  • As a public service, the University of Illinois College of Law operates Bankr-L, an e-mail list on which bankruptcy professionals can exchange information. Bankr-L is administered by one of the Credit Slips bloggers, Professor Robert M. Lawless of the University of Illinois. Although Bankr-L is a free service, membership is limited only to persons with a professional connection to the bankruptcy field (e.g., lawyer, accountant, academic, judge). To request a subscription on Bankr-L, click here to visit the page for the list and then click on the link for "Subscribe." After completing the information there, please also send an e-mail to Professor Lawless ([email protected]) with a short description of your professional connection to bankruptcy. A link to a URL with a professional bio or other identifying information would be great.