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US courts grapple with rising bankruptcies

June 17, 2009 18:32 IST
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Faced with increasing business failures, the American judiciary is finding it difficult to cope with the emerging situation and the legal fraternity have sought additional judgeships to clear mounting bankruptcy cases.

The number of bankruptcy filings in the US soared over 33 per cent to over one million for the year ended March 31, 2009 as compared to the year-ago period.

A judgeship is generally defined as the jurisdiction of a judge. "The federal courts need additional bankruptcy judgeships in the face of near-record case levels to alleviate

overcrowded dockets and to assure that the bankruptcy system operates efficiently," Judge Barbara Lynn recently told the US House Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law.

Lynn, who is a district court judge in the Northern District of Texas, is chair of the Judicial Conference Committee on the Administration of the Bankruptcy System.

"Our judicial resources are strainedÂ…cost to society of an overburdened bankruptcy system, especially in this economic climate, is enormous," Lynn was quoted as saying in a statement issued by Administrative Office of the US Courts.

Going by official figures, the bankruptcy filings count ballooned 3,00,576 or 33.3 per cent to 1,202,503 for the 12-month period ending March 31, 2008.

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