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LAW Cities in Distress

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Business Law: Finance: Banking & Bankruptcy
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[ A ] [ L ] [ R ] [ T ]
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LAW 735

Cities in Distress

Law School

General course Description:

In 2013, the City Detroit became the 28th city to declare municipal bankruptcy or to enter a receivership for fiscal crisis since late 2008, a window of time that has seen five of the six largest municipal bankruptcies in American history. This course will focus on these cities and the legal tools available to facilitate their restructuring and recovery. Subjects will include: (1) the basics of local finance; (2) an introduction to the primary causes of local fiscal distress; and (3) tools for state and federal governance of city finances and financial distress (including audits and other oversight mechanisms, state regulation, municipal bankruptcy, and state receiverships). The course will feature readings focused on law and cities across the country, including in California, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and North Carolina. A special unit in the course will focus squarely on the city of Detroit's bankruptcy. Grades will be based on class participation and (1) weekly reflection papers of 3-5 pages each week for each of our speakers/topics or (2) a long research paper. After the term begins, students accepted into the course can transfer from section (01) into section (02) which meets the R requirement, with consent of the instructor. Students taking the course for R credit can take the course for either 2 or 3 units, depending on the paper length. Elements Used in Grading: Class Participation, Attendance, Written Assignments, Final Paper.

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