Frequently Asked Questions

What's in the Excel version of the database?

The best way to see what is or isn't there is to look at this sample. The sample shows what fields are included and the form of the data in each. It also gives some idea of the state of completion of various fields.

Why is the database free to academics?

Lynn M. LoPucki, founder of the BRD, set the policy. He had two objectives. The first was to maximize academic research regarding large, public company bankruptcies. Free, conveniently available data bring in researchers who might otherwise work in different fields. His second objective was maximize data quality. Free data are used more often.  Use improves data quality because it generates feedback.  If you find an error in the BRD, please let us know so we can
fix it.

Where do the data come from?

Most of the data in the BRD come ultimately from the court files (by way of PACER) or from Securities Exchange Commission filings.  Some come from newspaper accounts, newsletters, company websites, and surveys.

How are the data collected?

Data are collected by or under the direction of Douglas Irion, the database manager. UCLA law and work study students assist in the data collection.  All work from "protocols" that tell them precisely what to collect.  Each piece of data is checked and entered personally by LoPucki or Irion.

In some instances, researchers using BRD data collect variables that are not part of the BRD and then contributed them to the BRD. We apply the same quality control standards with respect to such data. Each piece is checked by us before addition to the BRD.

Who pays for the data collection?

The BRD is supported by grants from the Turnaround Management Association, the American Bankruptcy Institute, and the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges.  UCLA School of Law currently pays the remaining expenses of data collection. In September 2011 we will begin seeking sponsors to support future years' operations. Sponsors' names and logos will appear on each page of the website after the period covered by the grants.

Why do we maintain the database?

The database itself is an experiment in systems research.  Our theory is that improving the flow of information in any social system has a marked, positive effect on the operation of the system.  If this theory is correct, wide availability of the BRD will change the manner in which the bankruptcy courts and professionals process the cases of large, public companies — and the change will be an improvement.  See generally, Lynn M. LoPucki, The Systems Approach to Law, 82 Cornell Law Review 79 (1997). We also enjoy working with data.

How frequently is BRD data updated?

The core fields of the BRD are now updated on a monthly cycle. The website always shows the data of the last update here. Non-core fields are updated only when users furnish us with the data. If you are considering furnishing us with data, please call ahead to discuss the documentation we will need in order to accept and check your contribution.

The BRD is supported by grants from these organizations:

National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges

Turnaround Management Association

American Bankruptcy Institute

In funding the Success Modeling Project, these organizations do not endorse or express any opinion about the approach used by the project, or any conclusions, opinions, or report of any research results expressed in or disseminated by the project.

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