Last year the Lawrence Scholars in Law program was fortunate to feature alumnus Tony Valukas in one of the better alumni talks you are likely to see. This year, Mr. Valukas is back as our commencement speaker. So, those of you commencing are in for a treat. Much of the rest of this post is from the LSL blog post from last year.
This is from his biography:
Mr. Valukas has been a partner with Jenner & Block from 1976 through the present, with the exception of his tenure as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois from 1985 through 1989. Prior to Jenner & Block, Mr. Valukas held several positions with the U.S. Department of Justice, including Assistant United States Attorney (1970-1974), Chief of the Special Prosecutions Division (1974), and First Assistant United States Attorney (1975-1976)… Mr. Valukas was appointed in 1991 as Special Counsel to the City of Chicago to investigate and report on the City’s health care system. He was selected Special Inspector General to the Chicago Transit Authority to investigate vendor fraud, and counsel to the Chicago Housing Authority to investigate vendor and pension fraud. He has also served as chairman of the Governor’s Task Force on Crime and Corrections for the State of Illinois, a 2-year effort which led to the passage of major prison reform legislation in 1993.
Mr. Valukas is also a former member of the Lawrence Board of Trustees.
That seems like quite a lot, but it certainly doesn’t end there. Indeed, Mr. Valukas was appointed by federal court to determine the causes of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the largest bankruptcy filing in US history. According to the Wall Street Journal:
This was no small undertaking. At the New York offices, the Lehman team commandeered half of a floor previously used as storage space. The heat sporadically cut off as the work continued overnight. “A lot of the associates looked like longshoreman wearing caps and hooded sweatshirts,” said Patrick Trostle, a Jenner & Block partner who worked on the case.
By the time the investigation was over, more than 200 attorneys had worked on the case, reviewing 34 million pages of documents. Investigators also conducted roughly 250 interviews, ranging from Warren Buffett to Ben Bernanke.
The result is nine-volume, 2200-page report known as “The Valukas Report.”
That must be some dry reading, eh? Not from a Lawrence alum! In fact, it comes highly recommended (from the WSJ blog):
It is long, but Judge James M. Peck of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan said the recently released report on the causes for the Lehman Brothers Holdings bankruptcy reads like a “best seller.”
If he can turn a 2200-page bankruptcy report sound like a best seller, I am certainly looking forward to hearing what he has to say.
See you there.