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Bankruptcy law is one of the fundamental legal structures necessary to the functioning of a market economy. In the common law tradition of the United States and England, bankruptcy law dates back to 1542. Bankruptcy law's origins are even more ancient, with roots extending back to at least the Hammaurabi Code and the Law of Moses. In the transition to market economies and Western-style legal systems in Central and Eastern Europe, the development of a viable bankruptcy law is one of the first priorities. This, the United States bankruptcy law that forms the background for this symposium is central to the economy and commercial life in the United States.

The Chapman Law Review's Bankruptcy Symposium seeks to facilitate discussion among young bankruptcy scholars and between these scholars and the local bankruptcy community, students, faculty, and distinguished scholars. These scholars have engaged in research in important and exciting areas of bankruptcy law. In addition, the symposium provides a forum for these scholars to present papers which will make a substantial contribution to bankruptcy scholarship.

In my judgment, these aspirations have been admirably met. Professor David Epstein and I spend an entire day with these young scholars discussing their work and insights with the Chapman community. The discussion highlighted several insights into bankruptcy law and policy which will animate further discussion on this subject.

In the remainder of this introduction, I comment briefly on the distinctive contributions that each of these papers makes to bankruptcy scholarship and begin the further discussion of these issues.