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Journal Orientation 2020: Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal


Remember, journal students have a dedicated Virtual Journal Support Desk, in addition to our general Virtual Reference Desk.  Use either link to talk with a Research Librarian during these hours:

Virtual Journal Support Reference Desk (August 10, 2020 - November 13, 2020):
     Tuesdays, 10am - 1pm
     Thursdays: 3pm - 6pm
     Fridays: 1pm - 4pm 

Virtual Reference Desk (August 17, 2020 - December 11, 2020):
(Meeting ID: 930 5184 4067)

     Monday - Thursday: 9am - 5pm
     Friday: 9am - Noon
     Saturday - Sunday: Closed.

General Question for the Library?
Please complete this Questions for the Law Library? form.

Request a one-on-one Consultation:
Please complete our Student Research Request form. 

About This Page

This page provides starting points for information relevant to your journal and covers the following topics:

  • Emory Law Subject Guides 
  • Electronic Resources
  • Choosing a Topic
  • Citation Assistance
  • Where to find PDF versions of documents
  • Preemption checks

As always, if you need additional assistance, please request a Student Consult and we will be glad to help.  

Emory Law Subject Guides

Use legal research guides to find resources for your project.

Emory Law Library's research guides include:


Legislative History

Research Strategy for Academic Writing

Other research guides that you might find helpful include:

Georgetown Law: Bankruptcy Law Research Guide

Duke Law: Bankruptcy Law

Boston College Law Library: Bankruptcy Law Research


Electronic Resources and Starting Points

You might need to start by learning a little about bankruptcy law. These sources will also be useful as sources for your comment.

Bankruptcy Basics (introductory information on bankruptcy from the US Courts) 

Administrative Office of the US Courts: Caseload data tables and reports

Bankruptcy Basics: A Primer (CRS Report R45137)

CRS Reports prepared for Congress address federal legislation, bills, and topics that Congress is investigating or might address in legislation. Use or to search for CRS Reports on bankruptcy, finance, or economic policy. 

Collier on Bankruptcy  and other Collier publications (Lexis) 

Norton Bankruptcy Law & Practice (Westlaw), including a Dictionary of Bankruptcy Terms, and Westlaw Bankruptcy Resources

Practical Law on Westlaw: Bankruptcy & Restructuring: Practice notes, guides, and updates on bankruptcy topics

Bloomberg Law Bankruptcy Treatise and Bankruptcy Practice Center

Lundin on Chapter 13. A continuously updated online treatise on Chapter 13 bankruptcy by Keith M. Lundin and William H. Brown.


Choosing a Topic

Use bankruptcy and legal news sources to find developments in bankruptcy law and interesting cases that might be expanded into a comment.

Bankruptcy News

Bloomberg Law: The Bankruptcy Practice Center includes Bankruptcy Law News and Recent Cases & Orders. US Law Week on Bloomberg Law has news stories on significant cases, including from the US Supreme Court, from all areas of law. Its Supreme Court Today Tracker can be used to find the status of cases and to filter cases by topic, including bankruptcy. 

Westlaw Bankruptcy Practitioner InsightsInclude Westlaw's bankruptcy analysis publications, weekly news on Bankruptcy Court decisions, and bankruptcy news from Reuters.

Lexis Bankruptcy Practice resourcesBankruptcy news sources on Lexis include Law360 (search in the database for bankruptcy stories), Mealey's Daily News Update for Bankruptcy, and Troubled Company Reporter, and related business news from the Daily Financial Times,  New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. 

Law 360 (headlines by topic on the web version; or search on Lexis)

Bankruptcy Newsletters

Bloomberg Bankruptcy Law News includes bankruptcy news stories, Practitioner Insights, and featured topics that include filings of note, creditor claims, legislation, and international insolvency. Choose Subscribe to Newsletter to get bankruptcy news by mail.

American Bankruptcy Institute: Bankruptcy news with headlines and blogs. Newsletters available to members on the site and through email alerts include ABI Daily Headlines and Rochelle's Daily Wire.


Bankruptcy Blogs

Find developments and analysis on bankruptcy from professors and practitioners

Justia BlawgSearch: Bankruptcy blog headlines and index

ABA Blog Directory: Bankruptcy blog index

Harvard Law School Bankruptcy Roundtable: Weekly posts on current bankruptcy issues

Credit Slips: Blog on bankruptcy, consumer issues, and financial institutions

Weil Bankruptcy Blog: Developments on business bankruptcy and restructuring

National Consumer Bankruptcy Rights Center Blog

Georgia Bankruptcy Blog: Occasional posts on bankruptcy, including local stories

Wiggam & Geer Tax & Bankruptcy BlogAnother local bankruptcy blog

Business, Legal, and General News

Look for news stories on bankruptcy and related subjects. For possible topics, look for opinion pieces, analysis, and commentary, as well as notable cases.

Law 360 (headlines by topic on the web version; or search on Lexis)

ALM (American Lawyer Media/ legal newsLegal newspapers including the local Daily Report. Some features require creating an account. 

New York Times and Wall Street Journal Digital Access: Instructions for access to the law school's subscriptions

Business Source Complete: Database of full-text business and scholarly journals in marketing, accounting, finance, and economics. Includes company profiles, industry profiles, and market research reports.

MarketWatch: Stock market, financial and business news

Citation Assistance

As you work on your spading assignments, you might encounter unfamiliar citations, and you will want to properly cite materials in your own work.  Note that the Bluebook has a new 21st edition. Besides your personal copy of the Bluebook, you might use:

Find citation examples and rules in a free online source The Indigo Book. 

Bieber's Dictionary of Legal AbbreviationsLook up legal abbreviations, and find citation form for legal materials using this book available in Library Reference. 

Hein Online Law Journal Library (and other libraries): The Citation Navigator available in most Hein libraries lets you enter a citation and retrieve the document, and there is also a Bluebook Citation list 

Bloomberg Law: For docket information and federal court documents

Where to Find PDFs

You will want to find digitized materials as PDF images of the original or official documents when you can, so you can be sure that the text and page citation of the original matches the citation you are checking, and so you can save and share the document. Not every resource is available online, and those that are may not be available in image formats. But some of the sources for PDF documents are: 

West’s Bankruptcy Reporter and other federal and state reporters on Westlaw

GovInfo For legislative history and federal government documents

Hein Online History of Bankruptcy has volumes of compiled legislative history documents as scanned images of the originals

ProQuest Congressional: Legislative history materials

Hein Online also has scanned PDF images in its Law Journal Library, US Code, US Congressional Documents, US Statutes at Large libraries, and CFR and Federal Register libraries.

HathiTrust Digital Library of digitized books, manuscripts, and historical documents. 

Many of the Emory's ebook databases have books and treatises in PDF or other image formats. Find them by searching titles in discoverE

Dockets and Court Documents

Bloomberg Law: Searchable federal dockets and court documents from PACER. You can search dockets by keyword, court, party, judge, docket number or date, or for bankruptcy courts, by chapter or nature of suit. If the document is listed for "view," it is available. If it is listed as "request," Bloomberg will retrieve the document for you. For large dockets, you can search within the docket for specific documents. Note that Bloomberg Law now has caps on federal docket usage by academic accounts.

Lexis Briefs, Pleadings, and Motions has selected court documents, including bankruptcy briefs, motions, and pleadings. 

Westlaw Bankruptcy Practitioner Insights has  Trial Court Orders, Trial Court Documents, and Briefs. Fields to search in Advanced Search include parties, attorney, docket number, and court, as well as full text.

Bankruptcy and District court websites may include documents for major cases.

Websites for case management firms include reorganization plans and other documents for large Chapter 11 cases. These include KCC, Epiq, Prime Clerk, and BMC Group

Justia Dockets have some free documents from PACER.

RECAP is a free site with PACER documents provided by volunteers.

Try an advanced Google search by docket number, limiting to PDF file type, to search for dockets or documents on court websites, case management sites, and with news stories. 


You will need to do a preemption check to make sure that your idea is original. To do this, you should do a thorough search of the legal literature to determine if another author has already published on your topic, using the same analysis as yours. 

Start by compiling a list of search terms that will retrieve any articles similar to your proposed comment.

Search for recent law review articles on your topic in the law journal databases on Westlaw and Lexis. If your proposed comment is based on a case or statute, you should also use Keycite on Westlaw and Shepards on Lexis to find articles analyzing the case or statute.

You might also search in the Current Index to Legal Periodicals on Westlaw, a weekly index service arranged by subject area to find the most recent law journal articles in a subject area. 

To find working papers and pending law review articles, search the abstracts in the Legal Scholarship Network, a division of SSRN, and the articles in the bepress Legal Repository. Academic legal blogs, such as the Legal Theory Blog and the blogs in the Law Professor Blogs Network, sometimes post announcements of new legal scholarship.

You should also check for books and book chapters that might have been published on your topic, using discoverE, the Emory University Libraries catalog, and WorldCat, a catalog of the holdings of U.S. and international libraries. 

Be sure to keep checking for new articles on your topic, and other developments that might affect your research, using alerts on Westlaw and Lexis, and by following topical legal blogs and newsletters. 

Some other legal research guides on preemption include:

Subject Guide