The judge who presided over three of the largest bankruptcies in history—Enron, WorldCom, and Chrysler—will become a senior fellow at the Law School next spring. Arthur J. Gonzalez (LL.M. '90), Chief Judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, will take this position immediately following his planned retirement from the bench, effective February 29, 2012. In addition to teaching courses in bankruptcy law, he will also serve as faculty co-director of NYU Law’s renowned Bankruptcy Workshop and the Galgay Fellows Program.

“Judge Gonzalez has taught here for a number of years as an adjunct professor, and now I’m delighted to be able to say he’ll be joining our community fulltime,” said Dean Richard Revesz. “The Southern District of New York has long been the venue of choice for the biggest and most complex Chapter 11 filings, cases that raise cutting-edge questions of law and have nationwide impact. Judge Gonzalez was at the center of some of the most notable of those proceedings, and it is a great privilege for all of us at NYU Law that we will be able to benefit from his experience.” Gonzalez will join other colleagues who have had judicial positions giving them extraordinary insight into business and governance issues faced by corporations, including William Allen, Nussbaum Professor of Law and Business and former chief judge of Delaware’s Court of Chancery. Among the classes that Gonzalez will teach are specialized courses in the Mitchell Jacobson Leadership Program in Law and Business, part of the Law School’s growing commitment to offer combined professional training in these fields.

“My tenure as a bankruptcy judge has been an exceptionally fulfilling and professionally rewarding experience,” Gonzalez said, "and I will be forever grateful to have been given the opportunity to serve. Becoming a senior fellow at NYU Law next spring will be the beginning of another such opportunity. I have enjoyed teaching as an adjunct professor for the past three years, but I am extremely excited and honored that I will be joining fulltime.”

Gonzalez recently informed his colleagues of his plans. Loretta Preska, chief judge of the United States District Court in the Southern District, said, “The Court is grateful for what will be Judge Gonzalez’s more than 16 years of service in bankruptcy court and wishes him well in his new position at NYU.”

Gonzalez was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1947. He received an undergraduate degree in accounting from Fordham University in 1969, and a master's degree in education from Brooklyn College in 1974. He earned a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law in 1982, and an LL.M. in taxation from NYU Law in 1990. He began his legal career in the Office of the Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service, earning the Chief Counsel’s Special Achievement Award for three consecutive years. After several years in private practice in New York, Gonzalez was appointed Assistant United States Trustee in the Southern District of New York in 1991 and United States Trustee for Region 2 (Second Circuit) in 1993, serving in that position until his appointment to the Southern District’s bankruptcy court in 1995. At the completion of his first 14-year term in 2009, he was reappointed to another term and became Chief Judge in 2010. Prior to beginning his law career, Gonzalez was a teacher in the New York City school system for 13 years.

Posted April 4, 2011