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LAW 5007: Current Topics - Business Law
Spring 2024 • Section 21 • CRN 53416

Course Description

The Penn Central Railroad declared bankruptcy in 1970, two years after it was created by the unhappy merger of the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central Railroad, two of the great roads in American history.  The bankruptcy was the largest of its kind, and it, the merger that preceded it, and the legal, regulatory and political maneuvering that followed had profound effects on virtually every aspect of the economy.  
From bankruptcy to antitrust, to land use, to labor, to transportation, to the role of government in managing technological and industrial change, Penn Central and its bankruptcy—all based in Philadelphia—had lasting effects across domains of law.  The case also foreshadowed more modern debacles in which government and private industry interacted in complex and problematic ways, including such recent examples as the Purdue Pharma bankruptcy and the auto-industry bankruptcies in the financial crisis of 2008.  This writing seminar will investigate the various legal and regulatory touchpoints of this massive, but often forgotten, debacle. 


Day/Time Location
T 1:10-3:00 PM Klein 7A

Course Details

  • Jonathan Broder
  • Jonathan Lipson
Credit Hours

3 Credits



Course Type
  • Writing
Course Modality


Fulfills J.D. Requirement
  • Writing Research


Registration Info

Registration Notes

This course will take an in-depth look at the Penn Central railroad bankruptcy. New CRN created 2-12-24 (formerly 52951) Current Topics courses are developed to cover timely, topical or specialized content regarding the Law (from Administrative Law to Taxation) and they do not repeat material presented by regular semester courses.  For Spring 2024 Registration: Students will register using a temporary CRN 52951 (Counseling Internl Invest) until this course can be created in the course inventory system. Students will be administratively transferred to a new CRN at a later date.

Book List/Materials