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Ralph H. Kelley papers

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Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Biddle Law Library [Contact Us]3460 Chestnut Street, Biddle Law Library, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3406

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Biddle Law Library. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Ralph H. Kelley was born in Chattanooga, Tenn. in 1928. Following his service in the Air Force during World War II, Kelley graduated from Vanderbilt University Law School. From 1959 to 1961 he served in the Tennessee House of Representatives before his election as Mayor of Chattanooga in 1963.

Kelley was appointed United States Bankruptcy Judge in the Sixth Federal Judicial Circuit in 1969. In 1993 he retired as Chief Judge of the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee but remained the court's senior judge. He was a career-long member of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Clerks and the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, where he served as President from 1985 to 1986. In 1980, Ralph Kelley was appointed to the Committee on the Budget of the Judicial Conference of the United States, where he served until 1990. For over thirty years, Kelley used his experience and clout as a respected bankruptcy judge to lobby various congressional committees on behalf of bankruptcy reform and improved financial compensation for bankruptcy judges.

The Ralph H. Kelley Papers (1967-2004) contain materials relating to Ralph Kelley's career as a United States Bankruptcy Judge from 1969 until his death in 2004. The collection includes letters and memoranda with the Administrative Office of the United States, congressional leaders, and bankruptcy judges; programs, promotional material, and other material relating to seminars, workshops, conferences, and other meetings in which Kelley was invited to participate; congressional testimony by Kelley before various congressional committees on the subjects including bankruptcy reform and benefits for bankruptcy judges; essays and other writings generated by Kelley, particularly in the area of Chapter 13 legislation; speeches, lectures, and other presentations created by Kelley; subject files, created and maintained by Kelley, relating to Kelley's key legislative advocacy, including support for an increase in bankruptcy judgeships, improved salaries and retirement benefits for bankruptcy judges, and Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code; publications, releases, directories, news clippings, and other papers not created by Kelley but used by Kelley for reference; and letters, press releases, video material, and other material commemorating and honoring the life and work of Kelley.

    Arrangement
  1. Administrative Office of the United States Papers
  2. Correspondence
  3. National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges Papers
  4. Organizational Activity
  5. Writings
  6. Testimony Files
  7. Subject Files
  8. News Clippings
  9. Honors, Awards, and Biographical Material
  10. Unprocessed Papers

Received from Barbara F. Kelley in September 2004.

Processed and encoded by Jordon Steele, June-July 2006.

Re-processed by Jordon Steele, December 2006-January 2007.

Publisher
University of Pennsylvania: Biddle Law Library
Finding Aid Author
Jordon Steele
Finding Aid Date
2009
Access Restrictions

None.

Use Restrictions

Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Collection Inventory

Scope and Contents

Memoranda, committee files, letters, meeting materials, reports, subject files, and related materials regarding Kelley's work as a liaison between the bankruptcy judges and the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, which handles personnel matters related to federal judges.

Physical Description

1.75 Linear FeetAbout 1000 items.

Memoranda, 1979-1987.
Box 1 Folder 1-3 Box 2 Folder 1-5
Bankruptcy Clerks' Advisory Committee, 1983-1986.
Box 2 Folder 6 Box 3 Folder 1-3
Bankruptcy Judges Advisory Committee, 2001 April 26-27.
Box 3 Folder 4
General, 1979-1984.
Box 3 Folder 5-6
Cavan, Daniel R., 1985-1986.
Box 3 Folder 7
Garabedian, Edward V., 1986-1987.
Box 3 Folder 8
Johnson, R. Glenn, 1987.
Box 3 Folder 9
Karam, Raymond A., 1989.
Box 3 Folder 10
Macklin, James E., Jr., 1986.
Box 3 Folder 11
Meacham, L. Ralph, 1985-2001.
Box 4 Folder 1-2 Box 3 Folder 12
Pellicoro, Robert J., 1985-1987.
Box 4 Folder 3
Szczebak, Francis F., 1999.
Box 4 Folder 4
Weller, William (Legislative Affairs Officer), 1985.
Box 4 Folder 5
Work Management Review Meeting, 1981-1982.
Box 4 Folder 6
Washington, D.C. Strategy Meeting, 1987 August.
Box 4 Folder 7
Bankruptcy Court Automation Project Meeting Materials, 1986-1991.
Box 4 Folder 8-9
Pre-Retirement Seminar for Bankruptcy and Magistrate Judges, 1995 September 27-29.
Box 4 Folder 10
Personnel Matters, 1979-1983.
Box 4 Folder 11
Reports, 1982.
Box 4 Folder 12
Administrative Functions of the Court, 1979.
Box 4 Folder 13
Cost Studies, 1974-1975.
Box 5 Folder 1
Referee Performance Reviews, 1972, 1980.
Box 5 Folder 2-3

Scope and Contents

Mainly professional correspondence with bankruptcy judges and members of congress, including Peter Rodino and Al Gore.

Physical Description

2.75 Linear FeetAbout 4800 items.

Personal, 1969-1979.
Box 5 Folder 4
General Professional, 1970-1990.
Box 5 Folder 5-8 Box 6-11 Box 12 Folder 1-5
Butler, M. Caldwell, 1985-1995.
Box 12 Folder 6
Federal Judicial Center, 1980-1983.
Box 12 Folder 7
General Services Administration, 1981-1986.
Box 12 Folder 8
Gross, Jack, 1986-1987.
Box 12 Folder 9
Bouquard, Marilyn Lloyd, 1981-1989.
Box 12 Folder 10
Cooper, Jim, 1982-1983.
Box 12 Folder 11
Duncan, John J., 1982-1983.
Box 13 Folder 1
Gore, Albert Jr., 1982-1989.
Box 13 Folder 2
Kastenmeier, Robert W., 1980-1985.
Box 13 Folder 3
Quillen, James H., 1983.
Box 13 Folder 4
Rodino, Peter W. Jr., 1983-1987.
Box 13 Folder 5
Sundquist, Don, 1982-1983.
Box 13 Folder 6
Synar, Mike, 1986.
Box 13 Folder 7
House Judiciary Committee, 1986.
Box 13 Folder 8
Other Representatives, 1984-1987.
Box 13 Folder 9
Baker, Howard H., 1981-2002.
Box 13 Folder 10
Heflin, Howell, 1982-1983.
Box 13 Folder 11
Sasser, Jim, 1981-1990.
Box 13 Folder 12-13
Thurmond, Strom, 1982-1986.
Box 13 Folder 14
Senate Judiciary Committee, 1986.
Box 13 Folder 15
Other Senators, 1984-1986.
Box 13 Folder 16
Bare, Clive W., 1979-1986.
Box 13 Folder 17
Briskman, Arthur B., 1986-1987.
Box 13 Folder 18
Clark, Charles, 1984-1989.
Box 13 Folder 19
Circuit Judges File, 1981-1982.
Box 13 Folder 20
District Judges File, 1985-1990.
Box 13 Folder 21
Other Bankruptcy Judges, 1979-1986.
Box 14 Folder 1 Box 13 Folder 22
Staton, Thomas J., 1985-1986.
Box 14 Folder 2

Scope and Contents

Materials relating to seminars, workshops, annual meetings, committee meetings, and other meetings that Judge Kelley attended, participated in, and presented at.

Administrative Management Society: "Managing the Dual Career Couple", 1981 November-December.
Box 14 Folder 3
Alabama Bar Association Annual Seminar, 1985-1986.
Box 14 Folder 4
American Bankruptcy Institute, 1986-1993.
Box 14 Folder 5-11
American Bar Association, 1973-1990.
Box 15-16 Box 17 Folder 1-8
American College of Bankruptcy, 1992-1998.
Box 17 Folder 9
American Law Institute-American Bar Association Committee on Continuing Professional Education, 1978-1988.
Box 17 Folder 10-12
American Public Power Association, 1982-1984.
Box 17 Folder 13-14
Association of Bankruptcy Judicial Assistants Annual Meeting and Educational Conference, 1995.
Box 17 Folder 15
The Bankruptcy Institute, 1979.
Box 17 Folder 16
Chapter 13 Attorneys' Fees Seminar, 1986 December.
Box 17 Folder 17
Chattanooga Bar Association, 1977-1982.
Box 18 Folder 1-2
Chattanooga Chapter of Credit Unions, 1988-1989.
Box 18 Folder 3-4
Columbia University Alumni Consumer Credit Management Conference, 1980-1981.
Box 18 Folder 5
Conference on Consumer Finance Law, 1988-1989.
Box 18 Folder 6-9
Credit league Union Association League Attorneys Conference, 1980.
Box 18 Folder 10
E.A. Anderson Lecture Series, 1988-1989.
Box 18 Folder 11
Federal Bankruptcy Law Institute, 1984.
Box 18 Folder 12
Federal Judges Association, 1985.
Box 18 Folder 13
Federal Judicial Center, 1979-1991.
Box 18 Folder 14-18 Box 20 Folder 1-4 Box 19 Folder 1-10
Judicial Conference of the United States, 1979-1990.
Box 21-27 Box 28 Folder 1-6 Box 20 Folder 5-7
Judicial Secretaries Association, 1979-1986.
Box 28 Folder 7
Legal Terminology Seminar, 1981 August-September.
Box 28 Folder 8
Louisiana Credit Union League, 1980-1982, 1990.
Box 28 Folder 9-11
Knoxville Bar Association and Knoxville Legal Aid Society, 1984.
Box 28 Folder 12
Mid-South Commercial Law Institute, 1979-1982, 1993, 1998.
Box 29 Folder 1-5
Mid-South Conference on Bankruptcy Law: Automatic Stay Issues, 2002 February 28.
Box 29 Folder 6
Mississippi Bar Association Seminar, 1979 June-November.
Box 29 Folder 7
Motlow State Community College Seminar, 1983 January-February.
Box 29 Folder 8
National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees, 1981-1985.
Box 29 Folder 9-13
National Association of Credit Management, 1986-1989.
Box 30 Folder 1
National Business Institute, 1987-1989.
Box 30 Folder 2-3
National Conference of Bankruptcy Clerks, 1984-1990.
Box 30 Folder 4-7
National Conference of Special Court Judges, 1985-1989.
Box 35 Folder 1-5
National Consumer Finance Association Seminar, 1980 December- 1981 March.
Box 35 Folder 6
National Credit Teleseminar, 1979-1981.
Box 35 Folder 7
National Endowment for the Humanities Seminar: "The Market Economy, Economic performance, and Cultural Impact", 1979 May-July 12, 26, 27.
Box 35 Folder 8-9
The New Bankruptcy Code: Seminar on Bankruptcy", 1980.
Box 35 Folder 10
New Jersey Credit Union League, 1982 July-October.
Box 35 Folder 11
New York University Bankruptcy Workshop, 1982, 1984-1985.
Box 35 Folder 12-13 Box 36 Folder 1-2
"Practical Aspects of New Bankruptcy Practice: A Mini-Seminar", 1990.
Box 36 Folder 3
Practicing Law Institute, 1978, 1982-1984.
Box 36 Folder 4-6
Southeastern Bankruptcy Law Institute, 1979-1990.
Box 36 Folder 7-15 Box 37 Folder 1-2
Stetson University Annual Seminars on Bankruptcy Law and Practice, 1978, 1983-1984, 1987-1989.
Box 37 Folder 3-8
Tennessee Bar Association, 1979-1982.
Box 37 Folder 9-13
Tennessee Credit Union League, 1983.
Box 37 Folder 14
Tennessee Law Institute, 1979, 1990.
Box 37 Folder 15-16
Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants, 1983-1984.
Box 37 Folder 17
United States-Japan Bilateral Session: "A New Era in Legal and Economic Legislation", 1988 April.
Box 37 Folder 18
University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Household Budgeting Course, 1980 October- 1981 January.
Box 37 Folder 19
Vanderbilt Bankruptcy Symposia, 1984 December- 1985 March.
Box 37 Folder 20
Washington County Bar Association Seminar, 1984 December- 1985 March.
Box 37 Folder 21
Wholesale Credit Women's Group of Chattanooga, 1982 June-August.
Box 37 Folder 22
Writings, 1970, 1978-1992. 0.75 Linear Feet.
Box 39 Folder 1-2 Box 38 Folder 1-5
Scope and Contents

Mainly speeches, lectures, and other presentations written by Kelley for seminars and other meetings to which he was invited. This series also includes handwritten notes and exposition written by Kelley on a range of bankruptcy-related topics, including Chapter 13.

Physical Description

0.75 Linear FeetAbout 100 items.

Testimony Files, 1981-1987. 0.5 Linear Feet.
Box 39 Folder 3-7
Scope and Contents

Copies of testimony Kelley gave before House and Senate Committees related to bankruptcy judge matters.

Physical Description

0.5 Linear FeetAbout 60 items.

Board of Governors, 1978-1986.
Box 30 Folder 8-18
Committee on Compensation, 1986.
Box 30 Folder 19
Executive Committee, 1985 September-November.
Box 30 Folder 20
Legislative Committee, 1983, 1988-1989.
Box 30 Folder 21-23
Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules Liaison Committee, 1979 June.
Box 30 Folder 24
National Conference of Bankruptcy Clerks Liaison Committee, 1981-1983.
Box 30 Folder 25
Correspondence, 1969-1990.
Box 30 Folder 26 Box 31 Folder 1 Box 59 Folder 7
General, 1982-1999.
Box 31 Folder 2-7 Box 32 Folder 1-6
Insurance, 1991-1999.
Box 32 Folder 7-8 Box 33 Folder 1-2
Judicial Survivors' Annuities System, 1991.
Box 33 Folder 3
Retirement, 1995.
Box 33 Folder 4
Meetings, 1977-1994.
Box 34 Folder 1-14 Box 33 Folder 5-11

Scope and Contents

As a federal bankruptcy court judge for over 30 years, Judge Kelley was an active and influential advocate for his fellow federal judges and bankruptcy reform. The materials in this series include Kelley's involvement in advising Congress on legislative matters that include the need for additional federal judgeships, judicial retirement benefits, improved salaries for federal judges, and bankruptcy reform.

Physical Description

8 Linear Feet

General Legislative Papers, 1968-2000.
Box 39 Folder 8 Box 40-41 Box 42 Folder 1-2
Additional Judgeships, 1980-1991, 1999.
Box 43 Folder 1-6 Box 42 Folder 3-6 Box 44 Folder 1-3
Bankruptcy Specialization Certification, 1975-1977.
Box 44 Folder 4
Business Law, 1989.
Box 44 Folder 5
Chapter 13, 1964-1998.
Box 44 Folder 6-7 Box 45 Folder 1-11
Consolidation of Clerks' Office, 1986-1989, 1996-1998.
Box 46 Folder 1 Box 45 Folder 12-13
Contempt, 1985-1986.
Box 46 Folder 2
Credit Card Debt, 1990.
Box 46 Folder 3
Estate Administration, 1986-1988.
Box 46 Folder 4
Ethics Reform, 1990.
Box 46 Folder 5
Farm Bankruptcy, 1985-1986.
Box 46 Folder 6
FEGLI "Fix", 1999-2002.
Box 46 Folder 7
Grievances, 1984-1985.
Box 47 Folder 1
Interview with Chief Justice Rehnquist, 1997.
Box 47 Folder 2
Judicial Retirement, 1970-2002.
Box 47 Folder 3-7 Box 48-49 Box 50 Folder 1-5
Judicial Salaries, 1975-1989, 2001-2003.
Box 51-54 Box 50 Folder 6-9 Box 55 Folder 1-2
Judicial Survivors' Annuities Program, 1989-1992.
Box 55 Folder 3
Keith M. Lundin's Chapter 13 Book Draft, undated.
Box 56 Folder 1 Box 55 Folder 4
Life Insurance, 2000.
Box 56 Folder 2
Magistrate Retirement, 1986.
Box 56 Folder 3-5
Merit Selection of Bankruptcy Judges, 1985-1986.
Box 56 Folder 6
Northern Pipeline vs. Marathon Pipeline Case, 1982.
Box 56 Folder 7-8
Pilot Data Processing, 1968-1983.
Box 56 Folder 9
Proposed Model Rule Governing References to Bankruptcy Judges, 1985 June-July.
Box 56 Folder 10
Recall of Bankruptcy Judges, 1990-2000.
Box 57 Folder 1-2
Selections from Congressional Record, 1984 March 6.
Box 57 Folder 3
Staffing of Bankruptcy Court Clerks' Offices, 1984 January.
Box 57 Folder 4
Taxation of Cost, 1967-1970.
Box 57 Folder 5
Title 11, 1984.
Box 57 Folder 6
United States Trustee Program, 1981-1986, 1991.
Box 57 Folder 7-9 Box 58 Folder 1-3
News Clippings, 1984-1989. 0.25 Linear Feet.
Box 58 Folder 4-5
Physical Description

0.25 Linear FeetAbout 50 items.

Physical Description

1.5 Linear FeetAbout 50 items.

Photographs, 1983-2002.
Box 59 Folder 1
Bankruptcy Judge Appointment, 1986 October.
Box 59 Folder 2
Letters of Congratulations, 1968-1974.
Box 59 Folder 3
Recall Announcement, 2002.
Box 59 Folder 4
Oral History Project, 2002.
Box 59 Folder 5
Tributes, 1993, 2001.
Box 59 Folder 6
"An Evening Honoring Judge Ralph H. Kelley", 1993 September 17.
Box 60 Item 1
"MTAS: Reflections of 50 Years of Service", 1999.
Box 60 Item 2
"Ralph H. Kelley: A Lifetime of Service" , 2004.
Box 60 Item 3
"Ralph H. Kelley: Celebrating a Lifetime of Service" , 2004.
Box 60 Item 4
"Dealing with Debt: Bankruptcy and Other Options", undated.
Box 60 Item 5
Oral History Project Video, undated.
Box 60 Item 6

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