Law students prepare report for U.S. Department of Agriculture

Four Western Law students worked on an innovative project this summer commissioned from the Canada-United States Law Institute (CUSLI) by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The students, Blake Jones, Lee Nicholson, Jennifer Simpson and Raluca Hlevca received CUSLI USDA Fellowships to explore ways to harmonize bankruptcy legislation in Canada and the U.S. in the field of agriculture.

The USDA is interested in examining how the Canadian regime, which involves both federal and provincial legislation, differs from that which exists in the U.S.

The USDA’s interest was prompted by the creation of the Canada-U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council in February 2011. The Council seeks to increase regulatory transparency and coordination between the two countries, beginning with agriculture and food, transportation, health and personal care and the environment.

In both Canada and the U.S., agricultural businesses are given additional protection in relation to bankruptcy in recognition of the variable and cyclical nature of agricultural financing.

The students worked with CUSLI's Managing Director David Kocan, at Case Western Reserve University, to draft a report summarizing the Canadian legislation, which was submitted to the USDA in mid-July.