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A. Jay Cristol 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

Ahron Jay Cristol (born September 29, 1929) is the chief judge of the Florida bankruptcy court, a lecturer in law of naval warfare, and a former US Navy aviator and lawyer in the JAG Corps. His military career began in 1951 when he joined the US Navy during the Korean War and flew day and night missions. He later received both his B.A. in 1958 and J.D. in 1959 from the University of Miami. He also graduated from the the Naval Justice School and served in the JAG Corps as a Navy lawyer for 20 years after receiving his degrees. In 1983, Cristol was appointed as an honorary professor at the Naval Justice School, and also lectured at the International Institute of Humanitarian Law at Sanremo.

Cristol later retired from the military and became a civil layer, serving as Special Assistant Attorney General of Florida, and in 1985 was appointed chief US bankruptcy judge of the Southern District of Florida. As well, Cristol became an adjunct professor at the University of Miami Law School, teaching courses in bankruptcy. In 1997, he received a Ph.D. in International Studies from the University of Miami, writing his thesis on the USS Liberty incident of June 1967. He continues to serve as Chief Judge Emeritus in the Southern District of Florida, and at the University of Miami School of Law. He also writes many articles on law, aviation, and history, among other subjects.

This collection of records, writings, and correspondence is a brief look into the life and career of A. Jay Cristol, noted bankruptcy judge, legal scholar, professor, aviator, and military historian. The collection is divided by contents and type of material, each series detailing an element of Cristol's life and career.

"Poems, Opinions, Odes" contains a brief series of written legal opinions by Judge Cristol, mostly on topics of bankruptcy. As well are included a number of opinions written by Cristol in poetic verse, and a few personal written poems.

"House Judiciary Committee Testimony" contains a transcript of testimony given by Judge Cristol before the US House of Representatives on October 2, 2007 concerning the US Trustee Program in his capacity as a US bankruptcy judge and legal scholar.

"Media and Speeches" contains a series of mentions of Cristol and his career in various media, articles, and writings, as well as several speeches written and given by Cristol at various events during his career.

"Miscellaneous Correpsondence" contains a collection of correspondence sent and received by Cristol thoughout his career, concerning bankrtupcy and the law, as well as some personal correspondence and notes.

"ATC FBI Investigation" contains an undated, 5 1/4-inch floppy disk with that label, contents unknown.

"Audio tapes" contains two tapes containing interviews with Judge Cristol, including the August 3, 1992 episode of The Public Radio Law Show and a lecture given by Cristol at the 73rd Annual Convention for Forclosure and Bankruptcy by the Mortgage Bankers Association of America, undated.

"Miscellaneous Photographs" contains a few personal photographs of Cristol and colleagues throughout his career.

University of Pennsylvania: Biddle Law Library
Finding Aid Author
Will Chim
Finding Aid Date
December 2012
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

Poems, Opinions, Odes, 1985-2006.
Box 1 Folder 1
House Judiciary Committee Testimony, 2007.
Box 1 Folder 2
Media and Speeches, 1985.
Box 1 Folder 3
Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1992-2007.
Box 1 Folder 4
ATC FBI Investigation, undated.
Box 1 Folder 5
Audio tapes, 1992.
Box 1 Folder 6
Miscellaneous Photographs, undated.
Box 1 Folder 7
Scope and Contents

The A. Jay Cristol papers, ranging from 1985 to 2007, encompass a collection of personal papers from Judge Cristol's career and a number of articles and media pieces about his career and life. The collection gives a look into the long and prominent career of Crisol, the chief judge of the Florida bankruptcy court, and his career achievements.

The series "Poems, Opinions, Odes" covers a collection of opinions and writings of Judge Cristol, many of which are written in verse or rhyme or letters of thanks to colleagues and peers. This includes letters of congratulations for milestones in Judge Cristol's career and poems of thanks in return. Six case opinions that Judge Cristol wrote in rhyme are also included, as well as several odes to Judge Cristol and his colorful career by the Bankruptcy Bar Association and Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of Florida. As well, two news clippings focusing on Judge Cristol's career and personality are included.

The series "House Judiciary Committee Testimony" includes written transcripts and correspondence concerning Judge Cristol's 2007 testimony before the House Judiciary Committee during hearings on the United States Trustee Program on October 2, 2007. Judge Cristol gives his opinion and analysis of the state and future of the US Trustee Program.

"Media & Speeches" covers a series of speeches, news clippings, and other published material about Judge Cristol, mostly in the year 1985. Included are a variety of speeches Judge Cristol gave that year at events, on topics ranging from bankruptcy to the careers of colleagues. Also included are news articles about Judge Cristol's career and appointments, as well as an index of events that Judge Cristol attended and spoke at in that year.

"Miscellaneous Correspondence" covers a range of written correspondence between Judge Cristol and colleagues from 1992 to 2007, on a broad range of career, bankruptcy, and legal topics.

"Audio tapes" includes three tapes of interviews and remarks given by Judge Cristol during aired sessions of the Public Radio Law Show in 1992, as well as one tape of remarks by Judge Cristol at the 73rd Annual Convention on Foreclosure and Bankruptcy.

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