U.S. Jurist Shares his Perspective on American Justice in Lawrence Honors Convocation

Judge D. Michael Lynn of the United States Bankruptcy Court shares his insights on the state of justice in America, Thursday, May 25 in Lawrence University’s annual Honors Convocation. The address is the final installment in Lawrence’s 2005-06 convocation series.

Lynn presents “American Justice: Proud Promise or Oxymoron — How Does the Legal System Measure Up?” at 11:10 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel, 510 E. College Ave., Appleton. Lynn also will conduct a question-and-answer session at 2 p.m. in Riverview Lounge in the Memorial Union. Both events are free and open to the public.

While the Pledge of Allegiance promises “justice for all” and the preamble of U.S. Constitution expresses the establishment of justice as one of its goals, Lynn will address the definition of justice itself and the many different perspectives from which justice can be viewed. He also will examine the question of whether the US. system of democratic governance is as just as it can be and discuss the importance of non-violent methods for resolving disputes in a civilized society’s promise of justice.

A 1965 graduate of Lawrence, Lynn was appointed judge in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas in September, 2001 after a 29-year law career in which he specialized in corporate reorganization and bankruptcy in Dallas. In 2003, he presided over one of the nation’s largest-ever Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases, the $11.4 billion debt filing by the energy company Mirant Corporation.

Lynn, 62, was a founding member of the John C. Ford American Inn of Court in Dallas, which received the AIC’s first Model of Excellence Award in 2004. He was individually cited by the Ford Inn of Court for his efforts in developing and implementing several programs sponsored by the Inn that were recognized with national awards. An American Inn of Court is an organization of judges, lawyers and occasionally law professors and law students who meet regularly to improve the skills, professionalism and ethics of the bench and bar.

A native of Chicago, Lynn also serves as a visiting law professor on the faculty of Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law, where he teaches the course “Advanced Bankruptcy.” He has been honored by the State Bar of Texas for his faculty participation in numerous continuing legal education programs.

Lynn has written extensively on the field of law, including co-authoring 2005’s “Collier Handbook for Trustees and Debtors in Possession” and 1995’s “Creditors’ Rights Handbook.” In addition, he is a contributing author to the books “Collier on Bankruptcy,” and “Collier Bankruptcy Practice Guide.”

After earning a degree in government at Lawrence, Lynn attended Columbia Law School, earning a J.D. degree in 1972.