Daniel J. Bussel

Professor of Law

  • B.A. University of Pennsylvania, 1981
  • J.D. Stanford, 1985
  • UCLA Faculty Since 1991

Professor Daniel Bussel's principal academic fields are contract law and bankruptcy. For over two decades at UCLA Law, he has taught Bankruptcy, Contracts, Corporate Reorganizations, Commercial Law, and Professional Responsibility. Since 2001, Professor Bussel has also been a partner at Klee Tuchin Bogdanoff & Stern LLP, a premier business reorganization and corporate insolvency boutique law firm. He brings both theoretical insights and relevant practical experience in bankruptcy to his classes at the law school.

Upon graduating from law school, Professor Bussel clerked for Justice Stephen G. Breyer, then of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston, and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Thereafter, he served for one year as an associate independent counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice in connection with the criminal investigation of the Wedtech scandal. Professor Bussel later practiced law at O'Melveny & Myers in Los Angeles, specializing in corporate reorganizations. He is a Member of the American Law Institute, Fellow at the American College of Bankruptcy and is listed in Southern California Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America.

Professor Bussel's most recent casebooks include Bankruptcy (with Professor David Skeel) (10th ed., 2015) and Contract Law and Its Application (9th ed., 2016). His scholarship ranges over a wide variety of bankruptcy, commercial law, contract, jurisdiction and legal process, and professional responsibility issues, generally in the context in the context of sophisticated commercial bankruptcy litigation and transactions.

Professor Bussel’s law practice has included representation of debtors (Jefferson County Alabama, Thorpe Insulation Co., Enron Creditors Recovery Corp., Pure Beauty Inc., Fountain View, Inc.), bondholder committees, creditors of all stripes, bankruptcy trustees and creditors' committees. In addition to the debtor representations listed above, he has represented key constituents in the chapter 11 cases of Lehman Brothers Holdings, Temecula Valley Bancorp, IndyMac Bancorp, Washington Mutual, American Suzuki, PG&E National Energy Group, Werner Ladder, ZiLOG, Inc., Malden Mills, Sunterra, Read-Rite, Strouds, and Global Health Sciences, as well as in many out-of-court restructuring and advisory matters. He has briefed and/or argued appeals before the Supreme Court of the United States, the Ninth Circuit, the Tenth Circuit, the Eleventh Circuit and the Delaware Supreme Court as well as in numerous district court proceedings. Published opinions in which Professor Bussel served as appellate counsel include Stern v. Marshall (US Supreme Court); In re Penrod (US Supreme Court (on cert.) and 9th Cir.); Continental Insurance Co. v. Thorpe Insulation Co. (9th Cir. and US Supreme Court (on cert.)); and Motor Vehicle Insurance Co. v. Thorpe Insulation Co. (9th Cir.).


  • Books
    • Bankruptcy (with David Skeel Jr. and Michell M. Harner). 11th ed. Foundation Press (2021). With Teacher's Manual. Supplement: 2021.
    • Contract Law and Its Application (with Arthur Rosett). 8th ed. Foundation Press (2011). With Teacher’s Manual.
  • Articles And Chapters
    • The Mass Tort Claimants' Bargain, 97 Am. Bankr. L. J. 684 (December 2023). Full Text
    • Fee-Shifting In Bankruptcy, 95 American Bankruptcy Law Journal 613 (2021). Full Text
    • Corporate Governance, Bankruptcy Waivers and Consolidation in Bankruptcy, 36 Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal 99 (2019). Full Text
    • Doing Equity in Bankruptcy, 34 Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal 11 (2018). Full Text
    • Ethics for Examiners, 84 Fordham Law Review 2073 (2016). Full Text
    • A Third Way: Examiners as Inquisitors, 90 American Bankruptcy Law Journal 59 (2016). Full Text
    • The Problem with Preferences, 100 Iowa Law Review Bulletin 11 (2014). Full Text
    • The Best of all Possible Worlds? A Rejoinder to Justice Liu, 61 UCLA Law Review 1270 (2014). Full Text
    • Opinions First--Argument Afterwards, 61 UCLA Law Review 1194 (2014). Full Text
    • No Conflict, 25 Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics 207 (2012). Full Text
    • Consent in Bankruptcy (with Kenneth Klee), 6 UCLA Journal of Scholarly Perspectives (2010).
    • Multiple Claims, Ivanhoe and Substantive Consolidation, 17 American Bankruptcy Institute Law Review 217-32 (2009). Full Text
    • Recalibrating Consent in Bankruptcy (with Kenneth Klee), 83 American Bankruptcy Law Journal 663-748 (2009). Full Text
    • Creditors' Committees as Estate Representatives in Bankruptcy Litigation, 10 Stanford Journal of Law, Business & Finance 28-37 (2004). Full Text
    • The Limits on Assuming and Assigning Executory Contracts (with Edward Friedler), 74 American Bankruptcy Law Journal 321-39 (2000). Full Text
    • Textualism's Failures: A Study of Overruled Bankruptcy Decisions, 53 Vanderbilt Law Review 887-946 (2000). Full Text
    • Current Developments in Postpetition Interest and Bidding Procedures, in 2 21st Annual Current Developments in Bankruptcy and Reorganization 1999, 7-26 (PLI, 1999).
    • Current Developments in American Bankruptcy Law: Reforming Consumer Bankruptcy, 25 Journal of Japanese Institute of International Business Law [Kokusai Shoji Homu] 926-34 & 1073-81 (1997). (In Japanese) Full Text
    • Coalition Building Through Bankruptcy Creditors' Committees, 43 UCLA Law Review 1547-633 (1996). Full Text
    • Bankruptcy Appellate Reform: Issues and Options, 1995-1996 Annual Survey of Bankruptcy Law 257-69 (1995). Full Text
    • Liability for Concurrent Breach of Contract, 73 Washington University Law Quarterly 97-143 (1995). Full Text
    • Power, Authority, and Precedent in Interpreting the Bankruptcy Code, 41 UCLA Law Review 1063-100 (1994). Full Text
    • The Plaintiff's Burden in Defamation: Awareness and Falsity (with Marc A. Franklin), 25 William & Mary Law Review 825-89 (1984). Full Text
  • Other
    • Opinion Analysis: Bankruptcy Priority Rules May not be Evaded in Chapter 11 Structured Dismissals, SCOTUSblog (Mar. 23, 2017).
    • Commentary: Wellness after Stern, SCOTUSblog (May 28, 2015).
    • The Problems with Preferences, Harvard Law School Bankruptcy Roundtable (May 12, 2015). Blog
    • A Third Way: Examiners As Inquisitors, CLS Blue Sky Blog (April 12, 2015). Blog
    • Brief for Amici Curiae Bankruptcy Law Scholars in Support of Petitioners, Baker & Botts LLC v. ASARCO LLC, Supreme Court of the United States Case No. 14-103, Dec. 10, 2014.
    • Recent Supreme Court Bankruptcy Decisions (with Kenneth Klee), Beverly Hills Bar Association (July 9, 2014).
    • Bankruptcy Sales (with Cynthia Cohen), First Milken UCLA-FLC Nuts & Bolts Bankruptcy Conference, Los Angeles (June 7, 2014).
    • Chapter 11 Plan Process (with Seth Goldman), Third MilKen UCLA-FLC Nuts & Bolts Bankruptcy Conference, Los Angeles (June 6, 2014).
    • Performance of Fulcrum Securities As A Success Metric in Bankruptcy (with Kenneth Klee), Bankruptcy Success Modeling Conference, UCLA School of Law (Feb. 15, 2013).
    • Ethical Issues in Bankruptcy (with Kenneth Klee), Sixteenth Annual Bankruptcy Conference, Lake George, NY (Nov. 11-12, 2011).
    • Anna Nicole, Stripped of Legacy Forces Bankruptcy System to Rerun Marathon (with Kenneth Klee & Sally Neely), Financial Lawyers Conference, Los Angeles, CA (Oct. 6, 2011).
    • Brief in Opposition on behalf of Marlene A. Penrod in AmeriCredit v. Marlene A. Penrod (with Kenneth Klee), Supreme Court of the United States (July 27, 2011).
    • After Philly News, Pacific Lumber, Chrysler and Metaldyne: Plans, Sales Secured Lenders Objections (and More)!, with Ben H. Logan & Jennifer Taylor (Dec. 9, 2010).
    • Reconsidering Catapult, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Community Law Bankruptcy Section Newsletter (Feb. 2001).
    • Plain-meaning Cases Lead to Costly and Flawed Amendments to the Bankruptcy Code, American Bankers Institute Journal at 1 (Jul.-Aug. 2000).
    • On 203 N. LaSalle Street, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Commercial Law & Bankruptcy Section Newsletter (Nov. 1999).
    • Seminole Tribe: Year Three Damage Assessment, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Commercial Law & Bankruptcy Section Newsletter (Apr. 1999).
    • Reflections on Bankruptcy Reform, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Commercial Law & Bankruptcy Section Newsletter (Oct. 1998).
    • Comments on Report of the Commission on Structural Alternatives for the Federal Courts of Appeal (Oct. 28, 1998).
    • (with William Warren), in Bankruptcy, 1998, 1997 Supplement (Foundation Press).
    • Direct U.S. Court of Appeals Review of Bankruptcy Court Orders, Memorandum to ABA Business Bankruptcy Committee (Oct. 11, 1996).
    • Interlocutory Appeals of Bankruptcy Court Orders, Memorandum to ABA Joint Task Force on Bankruptcy Court Structure (July 18, 1996).
    • Briefing Paper. An Overview of Chapter 9 Bankruptcy. California Senate Special Committee on Local Government Investments, Orange County Bankruptcy Hearings (Mar. 1, 1995).
    • Working Paper. Statistical Overview of Bankruptcy Appeals. San Antonio, TX: ABA Joint Task Force on Bankruptcy Court Structure, Spring Meeting (Mar. 25, 1995).
    • Reforming the Bankruptcy Appellate Process, 2 Bankruptcy Litigation 20 (1994).
    • Seminar. Issue Conflicts. Los Angeles: Financial Lawyers Conference (1994).
    • Seminar Materials. Coronado, CA: Financial Lawyers Conference (April 15-17, 1994).