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Book Review


Book Review: Cases on the Law of Bankruptcy, 45 Yale Law Journal 1158 (1936)


In his revision of Holbrook and Aigler Professor Billig announces the modest purpose of presenting teaching materials on the recent developments in bankruptcy law "against the background of a standard casebook . . . well known to law teachers." This precludes him from altering the structure of the book but not from effecting a thorough redecoration. The chapter and section headings of the earlier edition have been retained in their original sequence and a few new sections and one new chapter have been added. The six chapter headings in order of appearance are: Jurisdiction, Prerequisites to Adjudication, Administration, Compositions, Discharge, and The Amendments of 1933, 1934, 1935. The high abstraction to which this organization drives the editors is well illustrated in Chapter II (Prerequisites to Adjudication), Section II (Involuntary Proceedings), Subsection D (Acts of Bankruptcy), Arabic numeral 1 (Conveyances with Intent to Hinder, Delay, or Defraud). The materials reprinted here are subdivided by the present editor into three parts: (a) Independent of Bankruptcy, (b) As an Act of Bankruptcy, and (c) Voidable by the Trustee. The first part contains forty pages of none too enlightening text, the second part offers the single case of American Surety Co. v. Marotta (287 U. S. 513) and a footnote, and the third part yields for its first three cases Benedict v. Ratner (268 U. S. 353), Dean v. Davis (242 U. S. 438), and Moore v. Bay (284 U. S. 4). Even the ablest teachers are likely to find difficulty in making anything out of these cases in such a setting. (Professor Billig foresees this objection and suggests that some teachers may wish to postpone consideration of part (c) until a later chapter is reached.) Similar criticism could be made of the long subsection on preferences (Arabic numeral 2 of the same chapter). But to criticize the organization of this edition is to criticize that of the earlier editions', and in the case of a book so well known such an undertaking could be hardly other than superfluous.

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