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Kenneth N. Klee papers


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

Kenneth N. Klee spent his career analyzing bankruptcy law and advocating for pro-debtor reforms to the Bankruptcy Code. He helped improve the status of bankruptcy law and practitioners in his career as a bankruptcy lawyer, civil servant, teacher, and scholar.

Ken Klee was born in 1949 in Los Angeles, California. He graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1974 and joined to the California bar in 1975. He began his career as Associate Counsel for the Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights, a subunit of the House of Representatives' Committee on the Judiciary. As Associate Counsel, Klee assisted members of Congress in drafting legislation that would comprise a sweeping reform of the Bankruptcy Code in 1978. Klee left his position as Associate Counsel in 1977 and was rehired as a consultant to the Committee on the Judiciary that same year. He remained in that role until 1982. In 1983, Klee became Consultant to the United States Department of Justice, where he was involved in debate over the federal status of bankruptcy judgeships. Klee left the Department of Justice in 1985. He resumed his advisory role to the courts as a member of the Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules in 1992, a position that he held until 2000.

In addition to his governmental role in bankruptcy law, Klee was a lawyer for the law firm Shutan and Trost and Stutman, Treister, and Glatt. He co-founded his own bankruptcy and corporate reorganization firm, Klee, Tuchin, Bogdanoff, and Stern, LLP.

Klee also used his knowledge of bankruptcy law as a teacher and scholar. Since 1979, he has taught courses in bankruptcy and Chapter 11 reorganization law at the UCLA School of Law. That same year, he served as an editor of Collier on Bankruptcy, the preeminent treatise on bankruptcy in the field. Klee has served in various editorial capacities on Collier's since then. In addition to his editorial work, Klee has written a number of articles and books on bankruptcy law. His status as a leading expert on bankruptcy law led him to continuing education seminars and other meetings across the United States, where he lectured on various issues pertaining to bankruptcy.

Klee's membership in leading legal organizations underscores his influence and activity in the bankruptcy field. He was a member of the American Bar Association, the American Bankruptcy Institute, and other local and national organizations. He was a member of the National Bankruptcy Conference, an association of scholars and practitioners committed to the study of bankruptcy legislation and reform, where he was chair of the Committee on Legislation from 1992 to 1999.

The Kenneth N. Klee Papers cover Klee's research, professional activity, and advocacy in the period of 1969-1999. The collection includes papers relating to Klee's work from 1969 to 1995 as a legal assistant to the Committee on the Judiciary, including drafts of bills, handwritten notes, markup copies of legislation, reports, and correspondence; materials related to Klee's legislative activities on the National Bankruptcy Conference, where Klee was Chair of the Committee on Legislation from 1992 to 1999; lectures, presentations, and related material created by Klee for continuing education courses, seminars, and other programs; course materials related to Klee's professorships at UCLA and USC from 1979 to 1984; papers related to Klee's roles as Associate Counsel and Consultant of the House Committee on the Judiciary, lawyer in Stutman, Treister, and Glatt, and Klee's personal life; photocopies and other reference material; and related material.

  1. Legislative Activity
  2. National Bankruptcy Conference
  3. Organizational Participation
  4. Writings and Editorial Work
  5. Teaching
  6. Projects
  7. Associate Counsel and Consultant Papers
  8. Professional Files
  9. Personal Files
  10. Reference Materials
  11. Photocopy Collection of Supreme Court Justice Papers

Photocopy collection for Supreme Court Justice Papers received in December 2008.

Received from Kenneth N. Klee in 2000 and 2004.

Please be advised: There are additional materials from Klee's legislative period that he has left at his law firm as he feels they are confidential/privileged. It is his intention that they should go the Archives in his collection after he dies and his firm has been advised of their future restrictions.

Processed by Jordon Steele, July 2006.

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

The archives reserves the right to restrict access to materials of sensitive nature. Please contact the department for further information.

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

Related Materials

For more of Klee's legislative activity as it relates to his work under the National Bankruptcy Conference, see the National Bankruptcy Conference Series.

Scope and Contents

Materials relating to Klee's activities working for and advising the Committee on the Judiciary.

Municipal Bankruptcy, 1975-1976.
Box 1 Folder 1-7 Box 2 Folder 1-13
Scope and Contents

Copies of bills, including H.R. 10624 and H.R. 10481 (the "Bail-out Bill"); drafts of bills; drafts of amendments, including those of Congressman Caldwell Butler and Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzmann; letters and memoranda to and from members of Congress; reports to the Committee on the Judiciary; Senate versions of S. 2597 and amendments; and related material.

Securities Investor Protection Act Amendments, 1970-1976.
Box 3 Folder 1-2
Scope and Contents

Correspondence, drafts of bills, and related material.

Bankruptcy Code, 1969, 1973-1981.
Box 3 Folder 3-5 Box 4-16
Related Materials

This subseries includes materials that Klee filed as general bankruptcy legislation. It includes, but is not limited to, his work as Counsel in the drafting and passage of H.R. 8200. For Klee's activities concerning specific aspects of the Bankruptcy Reform Act, and for later legislative activity, consult the corresponding subseries. However, this subseries may include relevant material.

Scope and Contents

Correspondence with lobbyists, interest groups, organizations, and other parties; copies of bills, committee markups of bills, drafts of bills, and amendments of H.R. 6, H.R. 31, H.R. 32, and H.R. 8200; analysis and reports comparing H.R. 31 and 32; letters and memoranda between Klee and members and staff of Congress, including Richard Levin (who served with Klee as Counsel to the House Judiciary Committee), Vern Countryman, and Larry King; and related material.

Tax Aspects of Bankruptcy, 1973-1982.
Box 17 Folder 1-7 Box 18-19 Box 20 Folder 1-4
Scope and Contents

Correspondence, working copies of H.R. 9973, section-by-section analysis of legislation, copies of the original Internal Revenue Code bill and other material, handwritten draft of introduction and discussion of proposed tax bill, handwritten notes, and related material.

Technical Amendments to the Bankruptcy Code, 1977-1982.
Box 20 Folder 5-7 Box 21 Folder 1-5
Scope and Contents

Correspondence with members of Congress and other individuals, drafts of legislation, working copies, letters and memoranda regarding proposed "Repo" (repurchase agreements) amendments, and related material.

Bankruptcy Judge Provisions, 1977-1984.
Box 22 Folder 1-8 Box 23 Folder 1-10 Box 21 Folder 6
Scope and Contents

Correspondence with members of Congress and bankruptcy professionals, including Richard Levin; copies of drafts of bills, including H.R. 6978, H.R. 6216, H.R. 3, and H.R. 5174, all versions of bills that would factor into the Bankruptcy Amendments and Federal Judgeship Act of 1984; and related material.

Consumer Provisions, 1976-1978, 1981.
Box 23 Folder 11 Box 24 Folder 1-3
Scope and Contents

Correspondence and related material regarding consumer bankruptcy aspects, including Klee's analysis of consumer provisions in both the Commission Bill and the Judges' Bill, two pieces of legislation proposed in 1977 by the National Bankruptcy Review Commission (the de-facto congressional arm of the National Bankruptcy Conference) and the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, respectively.

Shopping Center Tenant Bankruptcy Provisions, 1984.
Box 24 Folder 4
Scope and Contents

Correspondence, notes and related material regarding Klee's activity in the above legislation.

Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1994, 1995.
Box 24 Folder 5
Scope and Contents

Memorandum from Klee and enclosure from United State Department of Justice regarding the proposed revisions to the United States Trustee Guidelines.

Department of Justice Materials, 1977.
Box 24 Folder 6
Scope and Contents

Correspondence between Klee and the Department of Justice, which issued its response to proposed bankruptcy reform legislation in 1977, and an SEC report on the same legislation.

Judicial Conference of the United States, 1974-1978.
Box 24 Folder 7
Scope and Contents

Correspondence between Klee, acting as Associate Counsel of the House Judiciary Committee, and members of the Judicial Conference of the United States, which opposed pending legislation. This series also includes bankruptcy courts statistics and related material.

Ways and Means Committee Materials, 1975.
Box 24 Folder 8
Scope and Contents

Chiefly correspondence between Klee, serving as Associate Counsel to the House Judiciary Committee, and the Ways and Means Committee, regarding tax provisions of H.R. 31 (the Commission Bill) and H.R. 32 (the Judges' Bill). The House Judiciary Committee and the Ways and Means Committee co-authored a report, "Tax Aspects of Bankruptcy," in 1978 as part of the Joint Committee on Taxation.

Office of the United States Trustee, 1978-1991.
Box 25 Folder 1
Scope and Contents

Letters, memoranda, and related material regarding the Office of the United States Trustee, established under the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978 to oversee administrative, non-judicial aspects of bankruptcy cases. The position replaced the role of the SEC.

Crime-related Aspects, 1978 and undated.
Box 25 Folder 2-3
Scope and Contents

Correspondence and related material regarding bankruptcy-related aspects of the United States Criminal Code, which Congress reformed in 1982.

Title IV: Transition, 1976-1977.
Box 25 Folder 4
Scope and Contents

Discussion drafts, correspondence, and related material regarding Title IV of the Bankruptcy Code, "Transition," which declared that bankruptcy judges as of 1978 would continue their existing terms until 1984.

Exemptions, 1975-1978.
Box 25 Folder 5
Scope and Contents

Correspondence and related material, including materials concerning the 1976 Uniform Exemptions Act of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Law (NCCUSL), regarding exemption provisions in bankruptcy law.

Administration, 1997-1998.
Box 25 Folder 6
Legislative Activity, 1997-1998.
Box 26-32 Box 25 Folder 7-11
Scope and Contents

Correspondence with members of the National Bankruptcy Conference, drafts of bills, photocopies of congressional testimony by members of the National Bankruptcy Conference (including Klee) and other individuals and groups, notes handwritten by Klee, reports, and related material regarding bankruptcy legislation proposed by Congress from 1997 to 1999. See subseries below for more information about each piece of legislation.


Alphabetical by subject or short title of bill.

American Bankruptcy Institute, 1985-1999.
Box 33 Folder 1-2
Scope and Contents

This series includes membership materials, programs, correspondence, and related materials regarding Klee's membership and activity in the American Bankruptcy Institute, an organization committed to research and education on matters relating to insolvency.

Stutman, Tresiter, and Glatt Retreats, 1981-1982.
Box 33 Folder 3-7
Scope and Contents

As a partner at Stutman, Treister, and Glatt, a bankruptcy firm in Los Angeles California founded by noted bankruptcy expert George Treister, Klee participated in a number of retreats that considered both internal business matters and the firm's position on pending bankruptcy legislation. Materials in this series include letters and memoranda to and from colleagues, planning materials, agendas, and related material.

Bankruptcy Seminars, 1983.
Box 33 Folder 8
California Bankers Program, 1979.
Box 34 Folder 1
California Credit Union Attorneys Conference, 1977.
Box 34 Folder 2
California Savings and Loan Program on New Bankruptcy Code, 1979.
Box 34 Folder 3
Conference on the Bankruptcy Tax Act of 1980, 1980-1981.
Box 34 Folder 4-6
Credit Union National Association League Attorneys Conference, 1977 and 1979.
Box 35 Folder 1
Crocker Bank Program: "The New Bankruptcy Code", 1979.
Box 35 Folder 2
Enforcement of Judgments Seminar, 1983.
Box 35 Folder 3
Greater Los Angeles Legal Support Personnel Program, 1979-1981.
Box 35 Folder 4
Harvard University Bankruptcy Seminar, 1977-1978.
Box 35 Folder 5
Kansas City Bar Association Seminar, 1978.
Box 35 Folder 6
Los Angeles Bank Credit Association Program, undated.
Box 35 Folder 7
Los Angeles Bankruptcy Study Group, 1978.
Box 35 Folder 8
"Negotiation", 1982 and 1985.
Box 35 Folder 9
"Pending Bankruptcy Legislation," San Diego, undated.
Box 35 Folder 10
University of Southern California Tax Institute on Major Tax Planning, 1983-1984.
Box 35 Folder 11

Scope and Contents

Reference material, drafts of articles with handwritten marginalia by Klee, correspondence with editorial staff, copies of final articles, and related material.

"All You Ever Wanted to Know About Cram-Down Under the New Bankruptcy Code", 1977-1980.
Box 36 Folder 1-2
"Caveat Creditor: The consumer debtor under the bankruptcy code", 1979-1980.
Box 36 Folder 3
"Congress and the Bankruptcy Act of 1978", 1975 October.
Box 36 Folder 4
"Impairment in Business Reorganizations", 1980.
Box 36 Folder 5
"A Lending Officer's Primer on the New Bankruptcy Code", 1979-1980.
Box 36 Folder 6
"Secured Creditors Under the New Bankruptcy Code", 1978-1979.
Box 36 Folder 7
Collier on Bankruptcy Editorial Work, 1979-1980.
Box 36 Folder 8-9
Scope and Contents

Klee served as Co-editor of the 15th Edition of Collier on Bankruptcy, a leading legal reference source for bankruptcy law, from 1979 to 1980. This series includes a copy of the Matthew Bender Editorial Policy, letters to editorial staff, drafts of foreword written by Caldwell Butler, sketch of title page for the edition, and related material.

Scope and Contents

Course materials, including syllabi, letters to and from colleagues and students, course evaluations, lecture notes, and related material.

UCLA Course Materials, 1979-1984.
Box 37 Folder 1-5
USC Course Materials, 1983.
Box 37 Folder 6-8



"Collier Bankruptcy Manual Video Guide", 1980 November-September.
Box 37 Folder 9-10
Scope and Contents

In 1980, Klee collaborated with New York University Professor Lawrence P. King to issue a video of the two explaining the newly revised Bankruptcy Code. This series includes a letter from Larry King initiating the project, Klee's notes, a brochure promoting the video, a transcript of the video, and related material.

"What Can I Do If I Can't Pay My Debts" Pamphlet Project, 1979-1980.
Box 38 Folder 1
Scope and Contents

Correspondence, drafts of the pamphlet, and a copy of the final pamphlet of the project, for which Klee provided consultation.

Associate Counsel and Consultant Papers, 1974-1978.
Box 38 Folder 2-9
Scope and Contents

Correspondence and related material regarding Klee's employment with the Committee on the Judiciary. Klee served as Associate Counsel from 1974 to 1977 and as a consultant from 1977 to 1982.

Professional Files, 1978-1984.
Box 38 Folder 10-14
Scope and Contents

Correspondence and related material regarding business matters at Klee's law firm, Stutman, Treister, and Glatt, that is not directly related to his legislative activity.

Personal Files, 1978-1980.
Box 39 Folder 1 Box 38 Folder 15-18
Scope and Contents

Correspondence, materials relating to the Financial News Network's 1980 profile of Klee, and related material regarding personal matters in Klee's life.

Reference Materials, undated.
Box 39 Folder 2-9 Box 40-41
Scope and Contents

Chiefly photocopies of articles and reports. Subject matter covered in this series includes bankruptcy statistics, the United States Code, alimony and property settlement, cost estimates of the bankruptcy system, cost of credit, stay of police powers, bibliographies of bankruptcy resources, and other subjects.

Scope and Contents

Photocopies of opinions, internal correspondence and memoranda, and other papers regarding bankruptcy cases, originally collected and created by Judges of the Supreme Court of the United States. These photocopies were complied for Kenneth N. Klee while Klee was writing a book on the subject. The photocopies represent papers that were created and collected from 1902 to 1990.

Physical Description

13.3 Linear Feet

Blackmun, Harry.
Box 42-44
Scope and Contents

Photocopies from 1970 to 1990.

Brandeis, Louis.
Box 45-47 Box 48 Folder 1-6
Scope and Contents

Photocopies from 1934 to 1938.

Brennan, William J.
Box 49 Folder 1-2 Box 48 Folder 7
Scope and Contents

Photocopies from 1959 to 1964.

Burton, Harold H. 1 item.
Box 49 Folder 3
Scope and Contents

This file contains one item: a photocopy of a January 23, 1946 letter from William O. Douglas, addressed to the "Conference," regarding Meyer V. Fleming.

Physical Description

1 item

Byrnes, James F.
Box 49 Folder 4-5
Scope and Contents

Photocopies from 1941.

Clark, Tom.
Box 50 Folder 1 Box 49 Folder 6-7
Scope and Contents

Photocopies from 1950-1966.

Clarke, John Hessin.
Box 50 Folder 2-4
Scope and Contents

Photocopies from 1916 to 1992.

Douglas, William O.
Box 50 Folder 5-6 Box 51-59 Box 60 Folder 1-4
Scope and Contents

Photocopies from 1939 to 1973.

Fortas, Abe.
Box 60 Folder 5-6
Scope and Contents

Photocopies from 1965.

Frankfurter, Felix.
Box 61-63 Box 64 Folder 1
Scope and Contents

Photocopies from 1939 to 1962.

Harlan, John Marshall II.
Box 64 Folder 2-11 Box 65 Folder 1-6
Scope and Contents

Photocopies from 1959 to 1971.

Holmes, Oliver Wendell.
Box 65 Folder 7-8
Scope and Contents

Photocopies from 1902 to 1928.

Jackson, Robert H.
Box 66 Folder 1
Scope and Contents

Photocopies from 1943 to 1951.

Marshall, Thurgood.
Box 66 Folder 2
McReynolds, James Clark.
Box 66 Folder 3-5
Scope and Contents

Photocopies from circa 1914 to 1945.

Minton, Sherman.
Box 66 Folder 6
Scope and Contents

Photocopies from 1950.

Murphy, Frank.
Box 67 Folder 1 Box 66 Folder 7-9
Powell, Lewis F.
Box 67 Folder 2-6 Box 69 Folder 1 Box 68 Folder 1-6
Scope and Contents

Photocopies from 1972-1986.

Reed, Stanley Forman.
Box 69 Folder 2-6 Box 70 Folder 1-2
Scope and Contents

Photocopies from 1937-1941.

Rutledge, Wiley Blount.
Box 70 Folder 3-4
Scope and Contents

Photocopies from 1944 to 1946.

Stone, Harlan Fiske.
Box 70 Folder 5
Scope and Contents

Photocopies from 1930 to 1943.

Vinson, Frederick Moore.
Box 70 Folder 5-6 Box 71 Folder 1-4
Warren, Earl.
Box 71 Folder 5-6 Box 72 Folder 1-6 Box 73 Folder 1-2
Scope and Contents

Photocopies from 1953 to 1968.

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