Penn Law Professor Delivers 34th Annual Pileggi Distinguished Lecture in Law
The Delaware Journal of Corporate Law of Widener University Delaware Law School proudly sponsored the 34th Annual Francis G. Pileggi Distinguished Lecture in Corporate Law on Friday, November 2nd, at the Hotel Du Pont in Wilmington, DE.
The Distinguished Lecture was delivered by Professor David A. Skeel, Jr., the S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Professor Skeel is the author of numerous books and articles on bankruptcy and financial distress, corporate law, Christianity and law, law and literature, and other topics. Professor Skeel’s commentary has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Weekly Standard, Books & Culture, and elsewhere.
In August, 2016, Professor Skeel was appointed by President Obama to serve on the oversight board for Puerto Rico.
In his Pileggi presentation, titled “Why Should You Care About Puerto Rico? A Bird’s Eye View of the Financial Crisis and Restructuring,” Professor Skeel talked about Puerto Rico's financial problems that began long before the arrival of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Puerto Rico's political subdivisions, unlike those on the mainland, cannot file for bankruptcy under Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code. In June 2016, a year before Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Congress responded to Puerto Rico’s financial distress by enacting the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (“PROMESA”).
PROMESA created a seven person oversight board, and gave the board two major responsibilities: 1) certifying a five or more year fiscal plan for Puerto Rico; and 2) determining whether to file bankruptcy-like restructuring proceedings for Puerto Rico and/or its public entities. A year later the Hurricanes hit.
In his lecture, Professor Skeel considered the origins of Puerto Rico's financial distress, the dynamics of the Oversight Board’s governance and restructuring functions, the progress (and setbacks) to date, and the key challenges that the Oversight Board faces in achieving PROMESA’s objective of helping put Puerto Rico back on a fiscally sustainable path.
Nearly 100 were in attendance for the lecture at the Hotel DuPont, including local lawyers, judges, and professors. An encore lecture was held at the Ruby R. Vale Moot Courtroom at Delaware Law School later in the day for the Delaware Law students, faculty, and staff.
Professor Skeel holds a J.D. from the University of Virginia and an undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina.
Professor Skeel has received the Harvey Levin award three times for outstanding teaching, as selected by a vote of the graduating class; the Robert A. Gorman award for excellence in upper level course teaching; and the University’s Lindback Award for distinguished teaching.
History of the Pileggi Distinguished Lecture in Corporate Law
In 1985, Francis G.X. Pileggi, who was then the Internal Managing Editor for the Delaware Journal of Corporate Law, envisioned creating a forum where practitioners, judges, and academics, distinguished in the area of corporate law, could speak directly to those most responsible for setting policy on corporate law in the United States – the Delaware bench and bar. Through his efforts and the generosity of his father, the late Francis G. Pileggi, Esquire, the idea turned into reality. The lecture continues today through the members of the Delaware Journal of Corporate Law and the continued generosity of the Pileggi family.