Robert K. Rasmussen

Dean and Carl Mason Franklin Chair in Law, and
Professor of Law and Political Science
USC Gould School of Law

Robert K. Rasmussen
Work: (213) 740-6473
Fax: (213) 740-5502
699 Exposition Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90089-0074 USA Room: 300

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last updated Fri, May 9, 2014

Robert K. Rasmussen joined USC Law as dean and Carl Mason Franklin Chair in Law in August 2007. Dean Rasmussen's scholarly expertise is focused on the interaction of market forces and corporate reorganization law, and his most recent work addresses fundamental changes in corporate reorganization practice. He teaches Contracts and Realities of Commercial Lending.

Dean Rasmussen earned his J.D. cum laude from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was comment editor of the University of Chicago Law Review, and his B.A. magna cum laude from Loyola University of Chicago. He clerked for the Honorable John C. Godbold, chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit and worked in the Civil Division Appellate Staff at the U.S. Department of Justice, handling litigation in the U.S. Courts of Appeals and the Supreme Court before joining the Vanderbilt faculty. He also has been a visiting professor at the University of Chicago and University of Michigan law schools.

A widely cited scholar, Dean Rasmussen is the author or co-author of dozens of articles published in some of the country's leading law journals, including the Supreme Court Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, the Stanford Law Review, the Michigan Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. He has played a role in shaping the jurisprudence in his field as the principal author of an amicus curiae brief on behalf of nine law professors in the 1999 U.S. Supreme Court case Bank of America v. 203 North LaSalle Street Partnership; was the principal author of an amicus curiae brief on behalf of three law professors in Integrated Telecom Express, Inc., a 2004 case decided by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals; and was the principal author of an amicus curiae brief on behalf of seven law professors in Owens Corning, a 2005 case also decided by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. He is a member of the American Law Institute.

PUBLICATIONS

Antibankruptcy, 119 THE YALE LAW JOURNAL 648 (2010) (with Douglas G. Baird)

International Commercial Law, RESEARCH HANDBOOK IN INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC LAW 271 (Edward Elgar Publishing Limited 2007) (Andrew T. Guzman and Alan O. Sykes, eds.)

BANKRUPTCY LAW STORIES, editor (Foundation Press 2007)

The Story of Case v. Los Angeles Lumber Products: Old Equity Holders and the Reorganized Corporation, BANKRUPTCY LAW STORIES (Foundation Press 2007) (Robert K. Rasmussen, ed.)

Sovereign Debt Restructuring, Odious Debt, and the Politics of Debt Relief, 70 LAW & CONTEMP. PROBS. 249 (Autumn 2007) (solicited for Symposium on Odious Debt)

Where are All the Transnational Bankruptcies?: The Puzzling Case for Universalism, 32 BROOK. J. INTL L. 983 (2007) (solicited for Symposium on Bankruptcy in the Global Village)

On the Scope of Managerial Discretion in Chapter 11, 156 U. PA. L. REV. PENNUMBRA _, _ (2007), http://www.pennumbra.com/issues/articles/155-4/rasmussen.pdf, reprinted in EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION: CORPORATE LEGAL FRAMEWORK (Amicus Books, The Icfai University Press 2008-09) (L. Padmavathi, ed.)

Empirically Bankrupt, 2007 COLUMBIA BUSINESS LAW REVIEW 180

The Prime Directive, 75 UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI LAW REVIEW 921 (2007) (with Douglas G. Baird) (solicited for Cincinnati Law & Business Symposium)

Creating a Calamity, 68 OHIO ST. L.J. 319 (2007) (solicited for Symposium on Commercial Calamities)

Beyond Recidivism, 54 BUFF. L. REV. 343 (2006) (with Douglas G. Baird) (solicited for Symposium on Lynn LoPucki’s Courting Failure)

Private Debt and the Missing Lever of Corporate Governance, 154 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA LAW REVIEW 1209 (2006) (with Douglas G. Baird), reprinted in CORPORATE INSOLVENCY: CREDITORS PROTECTION (The Icfai University Press 2010) (P. L. Jayanthi Reddy, ed.)

The Search for Hercules: Residual Owners, Directors, and Corporate Governance In Chapter 11, 82 WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY LAW QUARTERLY 1445 (2004) (solicited for the F. Hodge O’Neal Corporate and Securities Law Symposium)

Secured Credit, Control Rights and Real Options, 25 CARDOZO LAW REVIEW 1935 (2004) (solicited for the Symposium on Threats to Secured Lending)

Integrating a Theory of the State into Sovereign Debt Restructuring, 53 EMORY LAW JOURNAL 1159 (2004) (solicited for the Symposium on Sovereign Financial Distress)

Chapter 11 at Twilight, 56 STANFORD LAW REVIEW 673 (2003) (with Douglas G. Baird)

The End of Bankruptcy, 55 STANFORD LAW REVIEW 751 (2002) (with Douglas G. Baird)

The Four (or Five) Easy Lessons of Enron, 55 VANDERBILT LAW REVIEW 1787 (2002) (with Douglas G. Baird) (solicited for the Symposium on Convergence on Delaware: Corporate Bankruptcy and Corporate Governance)

The Uneasy Case Against the Uniform Commercial Code, 62 LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW 1097 (2002) (solicited for the Hawkland Symposium)

The Problem of Corporate Groups, A Comment on Professor Ziegel, 7 FORDHAM JOURNAL OF CORPORATE & FINANCIAL LAW 395 (2002) (solicited for the Symposium on Corporate Bankruptcy)

Control Rights, Priority Rights, and the Conceptual Foundations of Corporate Reorganization Law, 87 VIRGINIA LAW REVIEW 921 (2001) (with Douglas G. Baird)

Whither the Race: A Comment on the Effects of the Delawarization of Corporate Reorganizations, 54 VANDERBILT LAW REVIEW 283 (2001) (with Randall S. Thomas) (solicited by the Vanderbilt Law Review)

Timing Matters: Promoting Forum Shopping by Insolvent Corporations, 94 NORTHWESTERN LAW REVIEW 1357 (2000) (with Randall S. Thomas)

Resolving Transnational Insolvencies Through Private Ordering, 98 MICHIGAN LAW REVIEW 2252 (2000)

Lawyers, Law, and Contract Formation: Comments on Daniel Keating’s ‘Exploring the Battle of the Forms in Action’, 98 MICHIGAN LAW REVIEW 2748 (2000) (solicited for the Symposium on Empirical Research in Commercial Transactions)

Boyd’s Legacy and Blackstone’s Ghost, 1999 SUPREME COURT REVIEW 393 (with Douglas G. Baird)

Free Contracting in Bankruptcy at Home and Abroad, The FALL AND RISE OF FREEDOM OF CONTRACT 311 (Duke University Press 1999) (Francis Buckley, ed.)

Behavioral Economics, the Economic Analysis of Bankruptcy Law and the Pricing of Credit, 51 VANDERBILT LAW REVIEW 1679 (1998) (solicited for the Symposium on The Legal Implications of Psychology: Human Behavior, Behavioral Economics, and the Law)

A New Approach to Transnational Insolvencies, 19 MICH. J. INTL L. 1 (1997)

Skewing the Results: The Role of Lawyers in Transmitting Legal Rules, 5 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA INTERDISCIPLINARY LAW JOURNAL 375 (1997) (with Donald C. Langevoort)

Why Linguistics?, 73 WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY LAW QUARTERLY 1047 (1995) (solicited for the Symposium on Law and Linguistics)

The Economic Analysis of Corporate Bankruptcy Law, 3 AMERICAN BANKRUPTCY LAW INSTITUTE LAW REVIEW 85 (1995) (with David A. Skeel, Jr.) (solicited for the ABI Bankruptcy Reform Study Project)

The Ex Ante Effects of Bankruptcy Reform on Investment Incentives, 72 WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY LAW QUARTERLY 1159 (1994) (solicited for the Interdisciplinary Conference on Bankruptcy and Insolvency Theory), reprinted in FINANCIAL DISTRESS AND BANKRUPTCY: ECONOMIC ISSUES (Nerenius & Santerus 1997) (Michelle White, ed.)

An Essay on Optimal Bankruptcy Rules and Social Justice, 1994 ILLINOIS LAW REVIEW 1

A Study of the Costs and Benefits of Textualism: The Supreme Court’s Bankruptcy Cases, 71 WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY LAW QUARTERLY 535 (1993)

Debtor’s Choice: A Menu Approach to Corporate Bankruptcy, 71 TEXAS LAW REVIEW 51 (1992), excerpted in CORPORATE BANKRUPTCY: ECONOMIC AND LEGAL PERSPECTIVES (Cambridge 1996) (J.S. Bhandari & L.A. Weiss, eds.)

Coalition Formation and the Presumption of Reviewability: A Response to Rodriguez, 45 VANDERBILT LAW REVIEW 779 (1992) (solicited for the Symposium on A Reevaluation of the Canons of Statutory Interpretation)

The Efficiency of Chapter 11, 8 BANKRUPTCY DEVELOPMENTS LAW JOURNAL 319 (1991) (solicited by the Bankruptcy Development Law Journal)

Bankruptcy and the Administrative State, 42 HastingsLaw Journal 1567 (1991)

Introductory Remarks and a Comment on Civil RICO’s Remedial Provisions, 43 Vanderbilt Law Review 623 (1990) (solicited for the Symposium on RICO)

Guarantees and Section 548(a)(2) of the Bankruptcy Code, 52 University of Chicago Law Review 194 (1985)

PRESENTATIONS

Presentation, "What Is Happening in the Courts and Real World After Clear Channel," Ninth Circuit Chief Bankruptcy Judges and Bankruptcy Lawyers Annual Conference, November 19, 2009

Robert I. Weil Lecture, "The Future of Legal Education and the Role of ADR," Los Angeles County Bar Association, November 17, 2009

Presentation, "About USC Law," William L. Todd, Jr. American Inn of Court, October 17, 2009

Presentation, "Anti-Bankruptcy," Annual Meeting of the American Law and Economics Association, May 2009

Presentation, "Anti-Bankruptcy: Hedge Fund Activity in Corporate Reorganizations," Penn Corporate Roundtable, December 2007

Presentation, "Where are all the Transnational Bankruptcies?," Annual Meeting of the American Law and Economics Association, May 2007

Presentation, "Common Pools, Common Disasters and the Anti-Commons: Hedge Funds in Bankruptcy," University of Amsterdam Conference on Hedge Funds, March 2007

Workshop, "Where are all the Transnational Bankruptcies?," Toronto Law School, February 2007

Presentation, "Sovereign Debt Restructuring, Odious Debt and the Politics of Debt Relief," Duke Conference on Sovereign Debt Restructuring, January 2007

Workshop, "Where are all the Transnational Bankruptcies?," Seton Hall Law School, January 2007

Presentation, "Where are all the Transnational Bankruptcies?," Brooklyn Conference on Bankruptcy in the Global Village, October 2006

Presentation, "The Prime Directive," St. John's Law School, September 2006

Presentation, "Empirically Bankrupt," Annual Meeting of the American Law and Economics Association, May 2006

Workshop, "Empirically Bankrupt," Columbia Law School, April 2006

Workshop, "Private Debt and the Missing Lever of Corporate Governance," University of Colorado School of Law, January 2006

Panelist, "The Many Kinds of Substance Over Form: Recharacterization, Equitable Subordination, Veil Piercing, Substantive Consolidation," National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, November 2005

Workshop, "Empirically Bankrupt," Vanderbilt Law School, November 2005

Workshop, "Private Debt and the Missing Lever of Corporate Governance," University of Texas School of Law, October 2005

Presentation, "The Past, Present and Future of Chapter 11," Commercial Law League of America Annual Meeting, September 2005

Commentator, Wharton Conference on Corporate Bankruptcy, May 2005

Commentator, Panel on Arbitration, Spring Meeting of the ABA Business Law Section, April 2005

Workshop, "Private Debt and the Missing Lever of Corporate Governance," Columbia Law School, March 2005

Workshop, "Private Debt and the Missing Lever of Corporate Governance," Vanderbilt Law School, February 2005

Commentator, AALS Debtor-Creditor Section, January 2005

Work-in-Progress Presentation, "Controlling the Agents of Enterprise," University of Chicago Law School, October 2004

Commentator, F. Hodge O'Neal Corporate and Securities Law Symposium, April 2004

Presentation, "Integrating a Theory of the State into Sovereign Debt Restructuring," Georgetown Conference on Sovereign Debt, February 2004

Workshop, "Corporate Governance, State-Contingent Control Rights, and Financial Distress," Boalt Hall, February 2004

Presentation, "Secured Credit and Control Rights," Cardozo Conference on Threats to Secured Lending, April 2003

Presentation, "The Uneasy Case Against the Uniform Commercial Code," Annual Meeting of the American Law and Economics Association, May 2002

Presentation, "The Uneasy Case Against the Uniform Commercial Code," Hawkland Symposium, March 2002

Presentation, Comment on Alder & Triantis, The Aftermath of North LaSalle Street, University of Cincinnati School of Law Conference on Bankruptcy in the New Millennium, March 2002

Presentation, "The Four (or Five) Easy Lessons of Enron," Vanderbilt Conference on the Delawarization of Bankruptcy Law, February 2002

Commentator, Penn Law School Roundtable on Bankruptcy, December 2001

Panelist, 2001 Eugene Murphy Conference on Corporate Law, Fordham Law School, November 2001

Presentation, "Absolute and Relative Priority Reconsidered," Joe C. Davis Law and Business Conference, March 2001

Workshop, "Absolute and Relative Priority Reconsidered," Boalt Hall, February 2001

Workshop, "Absolute and Relative Priority Reconsidered," Vanderbilt Law School, November 2000

Comment, "Empirical Research and Law Reform," Michigan Law School Symposium on Empirical Research in Commercial Law, February 2000

Presentation, "Forum Shopping by Insolvent Corporations," Annual Meeting of the American Association of Law Schools, January 2000

Presentation, "Boyd's Legacy and Blackstone's Ghost," University of Pennsylvania Law School's Bankruptcy Roundtable, December 1999

Workshop, "Boyd's Legacy and Blackstone's Ghost," University of Chicago Law School, August 1999

Workshop, "Boyd's Legacy and Blackstone's Ghost," Vanderbilt Law School, July 1999

Presentation, "Promotion and Review of Clinicians," Annual Meeting of Southeastern Association of Law Schools, July 1999

Presentation, "Forum Shopping by Insolvent Corporations," Annual Meeting of American Law and Economics Association, May 1999

Workshop, "Forum Shopping by Insolvent Corporations," University of Cincinnati Law School, May 1999

Workshop, "Forum Shopping by Insolvent Corporations," Vanderbilt Law School, February 1999

Presentation, "The Pricing of Credit," Vanderbilt Symposium on Behavioral Economics, March 1998

Workshop, "Forum Shopping by Insolvent Corporations," Georgetown Law Center, October 1997

Presentation, "Contracting for Bankruptcy at Home and Abroad," Donner Conference on Freedom of Contracting in Bankruptcy, February 1997

Workshop, "A New Approach to Transnational Insolvencies," University of Iowa Law School, September 1996

Workshop, "A New Approach to Transnational Insolvencies," University of California at Berkeley Law School, November 1995

Workshop, "A New Approach to Transnational Insolvencies," Duke Law School, October 1995

Workshop, "A New Approach to Transnational Insolvencies," Vanderbilt Law School, January 1995

Workshop, "A New Approach to Transnational Insolvencies," University of Michigan Law School, December 1994

Presentation, "The Ex Ante Effects of Bankruptcy Reform," Washington University Interdisciplinary Conference on Bankruptcy and Insolvency Theory, February 1994

Presentation, "A Menu Approach to Corporate Bankruptcy," Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools, January 1994

Presentation, "The Ex Ante Effects of Bankruptcy Reform," International Workshop on Financial Distress, held at the Jonkoping International Business School, August 1993

Commentator, Panel on Corporate Law, Annual Meeting of the European Association of Law and Economics, August 1993

Workshop, "Social Justice and Optimal Bankruptcy Rules," Indiana University School of Law, April 1993

Presentation, "The Costs and Benefits of Textualism," Annual Meeting of the Public Choice Society, February 1993

Commentator, Panel on Bargaining in the Political Process, Annual Meeting of the Public Choice Society, February 1993

Presentation, "A Menu Approach to Corporate Bankruptcy," Annual Meeting of the American Law and Economics Association, May 1992

Workshop, "A Menu Approach to Corporate Bankruptcy," George Mason University School of Law, April 1992

Workshop, "A Menu Approach to Corporate Bankruptcy," Washington University School of Law, February 1992

Workshop, "A Menu Approach to Corporate Bankruptcy," Vanderbilt Law School January 1992

Presentation, "Coalition Formation," Vanderbilt Symposium on Statutory Interpretation, November 1991

Presentation, "Civil RICO's Remedial Provisions," Vanderbilt Symposium on Civil RICO, February 1990

UNIVERSITY SERVICE

Member, Board of Directors, Initiative and Referendum Institute, 2007 to 2013

Member, Budget Steering Group, September 2009 to 2010

Member, Deans' Council for the Provost's Arts and Humanities Initiative (AKA Visions and Voices), 2010 to 2011

Member, Government and Community Relations Academic Advisory Council, September 2009 to present

Member, USC Neighborhood Outreach Grants Committee, 2010 to present

Member, USC 'Sport Center' Steering Group, July 2011 to present

Member, Provost's Council, 2007 to present

Member, Urban Deans' Council, 2007 to 2009

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES AND ASSOCIATIONS

Member, Advisory Board of the American Bankruptcy Institute Law Review, April 2010 to present

Member, American Bar Association, 1987 to present

Board of Directors, American Law and Economics Association, 2007 to 2010

Member, American Law and Economics Association, 1991 to present

Member, Inaugural Annual Ronald H. Coase Medal Committee, American Law and Economics Association, 2010

Member, American Law Deans Association, 2007 to present

Member, Beverly Hills Bar Association, April 2009 to present

Member, Beverly Hills Bar Association Board of Governors, October 1, 2010, to September 30, 2011

Member, The Chancery Club of Los Angeles, May 2009 to present

Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association, April 2009 to present

Member, Southern California Advisory Committee of OneJustice, 2010 to present

Member, RAND Institute for Civil Justice Southern California 50 Leadership Council, May 2010 to present

Member, The State Bar of California, 1987 to present

HONORS AND AWARDS

Fellow, American Bar Foundation, April 2009 to present

Member, The American Law Institute, 2008 to present

Public Service Counsel of the Year, The Association of Media & Entertainment Counsel, 2009

Member, Pacific Council on International Policy, November 2008 to present

Order of the Coif

Teaching Awards - Vanderbilt Law School

  • 1997 winner of Hartman Award for outstanding teaching of second and third-year law students
  • 2000 winner of Hartman Award for outstanding teaching of first-year law students
  • 2001 winner of Hartman Award for outstanding teaching of first-year law student
  • 2002 winner of Hartman Award for outstanding teaching of first-year law students
  • 2006 winner of Hartman-Hall Award for outstanding teaching of first-year law students
  • 2007 winner of Hartman-Hall Award for outstanding teaching of first-year law students

MISCELLANEOUS

Principal author of Amicus Curiae Brief on behalf of nine law professors in Supreme Court case of Bank of America v. 203 North LaSalle Street Partnership, 119 S. Ct. 1411 (1999); principal author of Amicus Curiae Brief on behalf of three law professors in In re Integrated Telecom Express, Inc., 384 F.3d 108 (3d Cir. 2004); principal author of Amicus Curiae Brief on behalf of seven law professors in In re Owens Corning, 419 F.3d 195 (3d Cir. 2005).