UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Hon. Samuel L. Bufford, Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Penn State Law, has been awarded a Fulbright grant to spend the fall 2016 semester at the University of Bucharest in Romania.
Bufford will teach and conduct research on Romanian insolvency law, which has been evolving rapidly in recent years as the country’s economy modernizes. Since the communist Ceausescu regime collapsed in 1989, the country has undertaken numerous economic reforms leading to its membership in the European Union in 2007. As a result, many companies based on the old communist system are struggling to survive.
Bufford has been observing Romania’s efforts to update its insolvency laws to reflect its changing economy since 1991, when he attended a State Department conference on the rule of law in Romania. Since then, he’s been back to the country several times to help educate Romanian judges and attorneys on its developing, French-based bankruptcy laws.
Widely regarded as one of the foremost scholars of U.S. and comparative insolvency law, Bufford is a former United States Bankruptcy Judge in the Central District of California, where he served for 25 years and presided over nearly 120,000 cases. At Penn State Law, his teaching and research interests include bankruptcy, international and comparative insolvency law, commercial transactions, and international business transactions. He lectures throughout the year at numerous seminars sponsored by foreign judicial departments and domestic institutes and has advised governments on bankruptcy law and taught seminars for judges in more than 20 countries.
Bufford co-chairs the academic committee of the International Insolvency Institute (III), which he represents twice a year at the Working Group II meeting on international arbitration of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). He is also the chief III representative in drafting an initiative to UNCITRAL to request that it takes up a project on the intersection of international insolvency law and international arbitration, which it is expected to do at its commission’s June meeting in New York or at a colloquium on future projects that will take place next year in Vienna.
Bufford serves on the editorial advisory boards for the International Insolvency Review and the West Annual Review of International Insolvency. He is also the reporter for the American Bar Association’s Task Force on Bankruptcy Structure, which is drafting proposed revisions to U.S. bankruptcy law. In 2010, he joined the academic advising group to the ABA Standing Committee on Federal Judicial Improvements.
The Fulbright program was established in 1946 by Sen. J. William Fulbright to create mutual understanding among the peoples of the world. Fulbright grants provide recipients opportunities to teach, conduct research, and immerse themselves in other cultures. The program is sponsored by the State Department’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs and administered by the Institute of International Education’s Council for International Exchange of Scholars.