Center on Law and the Economy Workshop: Rafael Pardo

Rethinking Antebellum Bankruptcy

Walter D. Coles Professor of Law at Washington University in St. Louis School of Law

Tulane Law School, Weinmann Hall
Room 257
Sponsored by:
The Murphy Institute
Center on Law and the Economy

Event Description

The Murphy Institute Center on Law and the Economy hosts workshops each semester featuring both Tulane and guest faculty in law, economics, and political science who present leading edge research in regulation, civil rights, and other key issues in law and the economy.

Rafael I. Pardo researches and teaches in the areas of bankruptcy, commercial law, contracts, and legal history. His scholarship explores a wide array of bankruptcy topics and has been published in numerous law journals, including the Tulane Law Review, the UCLA Law Review, the Vanderbilt Law Review, and the Washington Law Review. Pardo's works have been cited by the Federal courts of appeals, district courts, bankruptcy appellate panels, and bankruptcy courts.

Professor Pardo’s recent research has focused on the intersection of the 1841 Bankruptcy Act, slavery, and race in the antebellum United States. His published work in this area has analyzed how the federal government through the Act became the owner and seller of enslaved Black Americans, provided direct economic support to financially distressed slave traders, restructured financially distressed assets involved in the domestic slave trade, and engaged in residual policymaking with racially harmful effects. He has also analyzed how free Black Americans facing financial distress used the Act to reintegrate into their commercial communities and protect their claims to citizenship. This research serves as the foundation for Pardo’s forthcoming book, The Color of Bankruptcy: Financial Failure and Freedom in the Age of American Slavery, which Columbia University Press will publish as part of its Columbia Studies in the History of U.S. Capitalism series.

Professor Pardo received his J.D. from New York University School of Law, where he served as an executive editor of the New York University Law Review and was a recipient of the Judge John J. Galgay Fellowship in Bankruptcy and Reorganization Law. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute and an elected fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He has testified as a bankruptcy expert before both houses of Congress and has served as a commentator on bankruptcy matters for various media outlets, including Bloomberg, The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, The Seattle Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. Before joining Washington University, Professor Pardo was the law faculty at Emory University, the University of Washington, Seattle University, and Tulane University.

Admission Information

Open to the public
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