USC Gould Search

Robert K. Rasmussen
USC Gould School of Law

Robert K. Rasmussen

J. Thomas McCarthy Trustee Chair in Law and Political Science

Telephone: (213) 821-2117
Fax: (213) 740-5502
699 Exposition Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90089-0074 USA Room: 456
SSRN Author Page: Link

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Last Updated: June 21, 2017

Robert K. Rasmussen joined USC Gould School of Law in August 2007.  Rasmussen's scholarly expertise is focused on the interaction of market forces and corporate reorganization law, and his most recent work addresses fundamental changes in corporate reorganization practice. He teaches Contracts and Realities of Commercial Lending. Rasmussen was named the J. Thomas McCarthy Trustee Chair in Law and Political Science in 2015.

Rasmussen, who served as dean from 2007 to 2015, earned his JD, cum laude, from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was comment editor of the University of Chicago Law Review, and his BA, magna cum laude, from Loyola University of Chicago. He clerked for the Honorable John C. Godbold, chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit and worked in the Civil Division Appellate Staff at the U.S. Department of Justice, handling litigation in the U.S. Courts of Appeals and the Supreme Court before joining the Vanderbilt faculty. He also has been a visiting professor at the University of Chicago and University of Michigan law schools.

A widely cited scholar, Rasmussen is the author or co-author of dozens of articles published in some of the country's leading law journals, including the Supreme Court Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, the Stanford Law Review, the Michigan Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. He has played a role in shaping the jurisprudence in his field as the principal author of an amicus curiae brief on behalf of nine law professors in the 1999 U.S. Supreme Court case Bank of America v. 203 North LaSalle Street Partnership; was the principal author of an amicus curiae brief on behalf of three law professors in Integrated Telecom Express, Inc., a 2004 case decided by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals; and was the principal author of an amicus curiae brief on behalf of seven law professors in Owens Corning, a 2005 case also decided by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. He is a member of the American Law Institute.


  • Bankruptcy Law Stories, editor (Foundation Press, 2007).

Articles and Book Chapters

  • "End of Bankruptcy Revisited," in Research Handbook in Corporate Reorganizations (Barry Adler, ed.) (Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, forthcoming).
  • “Governmental Intervention in an Economic Crisis” (with David Skeel). 19 University of Pennsylvania Journal of Business Law 7 (2016). - (SSRN) - (www) - (Hein)
  • "Law Schools and the University," 66 Syracuse Law Journal 451 (2016) - (www)
  • "Puerto Rico: Of Capital Structures, Control Rights and Liquidity," 11 Capital Markets Law Journal 228 (2016). - (SSRN) - (www)
  • “Antibankruptcy,” (with Douglas G. Baird) 119 Yale Law Journal 648 (2010). - (Hein) - (SSRN)
  • “International Commercial Law,” in Research Handbook in International Economic Law at p. 271 (Andrew T. Guzman and Alan O. Sykes, eds.) (Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, 2007).
  • “The Story of Case v. Los Angeles Lumber Products: Old Equity Holders and the Reorganized Corporation,” in Bankruptcy Law Stories (Robert K. Rasmussen, ed.) (Foundation Press, 2007).
  • “Sovereign Debt Restructuring, Odious Debt, and the Politics of Debt Relief,” 70 Law & Contemporary Problems 249 (Autumn 2007) (solicited for Symposium on Odious Debt). - (Hein) - (SSRN)
  • “Where are All the Transnational Bankruptcies?: The Puzzling Case for Universalism,” 32 Brook Journal International Law 983 (2007) (solicited for Symposium on Bankruptcy in the Global Village). - (Hein) - (SSRN)
  • “On the Scope of Managerial Discretion in Chapter 11,” 156 University of Pennsylvania Law Review. PENNumbra 77 (2007), reprinted in Executive Compensation: Corporate Legal Framework (L. Padmavathi, ed.) (Amicus Books, The Icfai University Press 2008-09). - (Hein) - (www)
  • “Empirically Bankrupt,” 2007 Columbia Business Law Review 180. - (Hein) - (SSRN)
  • “The Prime Directive,” (with Douglas G. Baird) 75 University of Cincinnati Law Review 921 (2007) (solicited for Cincinnati Law & Business Symposium). - (Hein) - (SSRN)
  • “Creating a Calamity,” 68 Ohio State Law Journal 319 (2007) (solicited for Symposium on Commercial Calamities). - (Hein) - (SSRN)
  • “Beyond Recidivism,” (with Douglas G. Baird) 54 Buffalo Law Review 343 (2006) (solicited for Symposium on Lynn LoPucki’s Courting Failure). - (Hein)
  • “Private Debt and the Missing Lever of Corporate Governance,” (with Douglas G. Baird) 154 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 1209 (2006), reprinted in Corporate Insolvency: Creditor’s Protection (P. L. Jayanthi Reddy, ed.) (The Icfai University Press, 2010). - (Hein) - (SSRN)
  • “The Search for Hercules: Residual Owners, Directors, and Corporate Governance in Chapter 11,” 82 Washington University Law Quarterly 1445 (2004) (solicited for the F. Hodge O’Neal Corporate and Securities Law Symposium). - (Hein)
  • “Secured Credit, Control Rights and Real Options,” 25 Cardozo Law Review 1935 (2004) (solicited for the Symposium on Threats to Secured Lending). - (Hein) - (SSRN)
  • “Integrating a Theory of the State into Sovereign Debt Restructuring,” 53 Emory Law Journal 1159 (2004) (solicited for the Symposium on Sovereign Financial Distress). - (Hein) - (SSRN)
  • “Chapter 11 at Twilight,” (with Douglas G. Baird) 56 Stanford Law Review 673 (2003). - (Hein) - (SSRN)
  • “The End of Bankruptcy," (with Douglas G. Baird) 55 Stanford Law Review 751 (2002). - (Hein) - (SSRN)
  • “The Four (or Five) Easy Lessons of Enron,” (with Douglas G. Baird) 55 Vanderbilt Law Review 1787 (2002) (solicited for the Symposium on Convergence on Delaware: Corporate Bankruptcy and Corporate Governance). - (Hein) - (SSRN)
  • “The Uneasy Case Against the Uniform Commercial Code,” 62 Louisiana State University Law Review 1097 (2002) (solicited for the Hawkland Symposium). - (Hein)
  • “The Problem of Corporate Groups, A Comment on Professor Ziegel,” 7 Fordham Journal of Corporate & Financial Law 395 (2002) (solicited for the Symposium on Corporate Bankruptcy). - (Hein)
  • “Control Rights, Priority Rights, and the Conceptual Foundations of Corporate Reorganization Law,” (with Douglas G. Baird) 87 Virginia Law Review 921 (2001). - (Hein) - (SSRN)
  • “Whither the Race: A Comment on the Effects of the Delawarization of Corporate Reorganizations,” (with Randall S. Thomas) 54 Vanderbilt Law Review 283 (2001) (solicited by the Vanderbilt Law Review). - (Hein) - (SSRN)
  • “Timing Matters: Promoting Forum Shopping by Insolvent Corporations,” (with Randall S. Thomas) 94 Northwestern Law Review 1357 (2000). - (Hein) - (SSRN)
  • “Resolving Transnational Insolvencies Through Private Ordering,” 98 Michigan Law Review 2252 (2000). - (Hein) - (SSRN)
  • “Lawyers, Law, and Contract Formation: Comments on Daniel Keating’s ‘Exploring the Battle of the Forms in Action’,” 98 Michigan Law Review 2748 (2000) (solicited for the Symposium on Empirical Research in Commercial Transactions). - (Hein) - (SSRN)
  • “Boyd’s Legacy and Blackstone’s Ghost,” (with Douglas G. Baird) 1999 Supreme Court Review 393. - (Hein) - (SSRN)
  • “Free Contracting in Bankruptcy at Home and Abroad,” in The Fall and Rise of Freedom of Contract (Francis Buckley, ed.) at p. 311 (Duke University Press, 1999).
  • “Behavioral Economics, the Economic Analysis of Bankruptcy Law and the Pricing of Credit,” 51 Vanderbilt Law Review 1679 (1998) (solicited for the Symposium on The Legal Implications of Psychology: Human Behavior, Behavioral Economics, and the Law). - (Hein) - (SSRN)
  • “A New Approach to Transnational Insolvencies,” 19 Michigan Journal of International Law 1 (1997). - (Hein) - (SSRN)
  • “Skewing the Results: The Role of Lawyers in Transmitting Legal Rules,” (with Donald C. Langevoort) 5 Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal 375 (1997). - (Hein)
  • “Why Linguistics?,” 73 Washington University Law Quarterly 1047 (1995) (solicited for the Symposium on Law and Linguistics). - (Hein)
  • “The Economic Analysis of Corporate Bankruptcy Law,” (with David A. Skeel, Jr.) 3 American Bankruptcy Law Institute Law Review 85 (1995) (solicited for the ABI Bankruptcy Reform Study Project). - (Hein)
  • “The Ex Ante Effects of Bankruptcy Reform on Investment Incentives,” 72 Washington University Law Quarterly 1159 (1994) (solicited for the Interdisciplinary Conference on Bankruptcy and Insolvency Theory), reprinted in Financial Distress and Bankruptcy: Economic Issues (Michelle White, ed.) (Nerenius & Santerus, 1997). - (Hein)
  • “An Essay on Optimal Bankruptcy Rules and Social Justice,” 1994 Illinois Law Review 1. - (Hein)
  • “A Study of the Costs and Benefits of Textualism: The Supreme Court’s Bankruptcy Cases,” 71 Washington University Law Quarterly 535 (1993). - (Hein)
  • “Debtor’s Choice: A Menu Approach to Corporate Bankruptcy,” 71 Texas Law Review 51 (1992), excerpted in Corporate Bankruptcy: Economic and Legal Perspectives (J. S. Bhandari and L. A. Weiss, eds.) (Cambridge, 1996). - (Hein)
  • “Coalition Formation and the Presumption of Reviewability: A Response to Rodriguez,” 45 Vanderbilt Law Review 779 (1992) (solicited for the Symposium on A Reevaluation of the Canons of Statutory Interpretation). - (Hein)
  • “The Efficiency of Chapter 11,” 8 Bankruptcy Developments Law Journal 319 (1991) (solicited by the Bankruptcy Development Law Journal). - (Hein)
  • “Bankruptcy and the Administrative State,” 42 Hastings Law Journal 1567 (1991). - (Hein)
  • “Introductory Remarks and a Comment on Civil RICO’s Remedial Provisions,” 43 Vanderbilt Law Review 623 (1990) (solicited for the Symposium on RICO). - (Hein)
  • “Guarantees and Section 548(a)(2) of the Bankruptcy Code,” 52 University of Chicago Law Review 194 (1985). - (Hein)


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