Photo of Michelle Harner

Michelle Harner

Professor of Law and
Director, Business Law Program

Phone: (410) 706-4238
Fax: (410) 706-4045
mharner @ law.umaryland.edu

Office: 380

B.A., Boston College
J.D., Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University

Curriculum Vitae

Biography | Selected Publications | In the News

Michelle Harner joined the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law faculty in the fall of 2009. She teaches courses in Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights, Business Associations, Business Planning, Corporate Finance and Professional Responsibility. Prior to joining the faculty at UM Carey Law School, where she also has served as Associate Dean for Academic Programs, Professor Harner served on the faculty of the University of Nebraska College of Law and was voted "Professor of the Year" by the upperclass students during the 2006-07 and 2008-09 academic years.

Professor Harner is widely published and lectures frequently on various topics involving corporate governance, financially distressed entities and related legal issues. Her publications appear or are forthcoming in the Vanderbilt Law Review, Notre Dame Law Review, Washington University Law Review, Minnesota Law Review, Fordham Law Review (reprinted in Corporate Practice Commentator), Arizona Law Review (reprinted in Corporate Practice Commentator), Florida Law Review, Washington & Lee Law Review, among others. She also has published or will be publishing articles in specialty law reviews at the Moritz College of Law (The Ohio State University), Rutgers School of Law, St. John’s University School of Law, University of Miami School of Law, University of Tennessee College of Law and UM Carey Law School.

Professor Harner’s scholarship has been cited by numerous courts, including the United States Courts of Appeal for the First, Third, Fifth and Ninth Circuits and the United States District Courts for the Districts of Massachusetts and Nevada. Professor Harner’s current research interests include shareholder and creditor activism and its impact on enterprise value; legislative responses to serial business failures and related implications for discrete industries; and the ethical implications of insolvency for directors, officers and other fiduciaries.

Professor Harner currently is serving as the Reporter to the ABI Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11. In addition, in March 2009 and April 2012, Professor Harner received research grants from the American Bankruptcy Institute Endowment Fund to study the role of creditors’ committees in chapter 11 business bankruptcies and potential reforms to chapter 11, respectively. She also serves as a member of the Dodd-Frank Study Working Group for the Administrative Office of the United States Courts

Professor Harner previously was in private practice in the business restructuring, insolvency, bankruptcy and related transactional fields, most recently as a partner at the Chicago office of the international law firm Jones Day. Before joining that firm in 1996, she served as law clerk to Judge William T. Bodoh of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Ohio. Professor Harner is admitted to practice law in Illinois and Ohio.

Professor Harner is an honors graduate of Boston College and was the valedictorian of her class at the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University, where she served as the Executive Editor of the school’s law journal.


Developing Professional Skills: Business Associations (2012).

Book Chapters

Distressed Debt Investing, in Alternative Investments: Instruments, Performance, Benchmarks and Strategies (H. Kent Baker & Greg Filbeck eds., 2013) (with Paul Harner, Catherine Martin & Aaron Singer).

The Implications of North American Catholic and Trenwick: Final Death Knell for Deepening Insolvency? Shift in Directors' Duties in the Zone of Insolvency?, in 2008 Norton Annual Survey of Bankruptcy (William L. Norton Jr., ed., 2008).


Facilitating Successful Failures, 66 Florida Law Review 205 (2014) (with Jamie Marincic Griffin). [Abstract]

Teaching LLCs Through a Problem-Based Approach, 71 Washington & Lee Law Review 489 (2014) (with Robert Rhee). [Full Text]

Deal Deconstructions, Case Studies, and Case Simulations: Toward Practice Readiness with New Pedagogies in Teaching Business and Transactional Law, 3 American University Business Law Review 81 (2014) (with Robert Rhee). [Full Text]

The Value of Soft Variables in Corporate Reorganizations, 2014 University of Illinois Law Review (forthcoming). [Full Text]

A More Realistic Approach to Directors' Duties, 15 Transactions: The Tennessee Journal of Business Law 15 (2014). [Full Text]

Activist Investors, Distressed Companies, and Value Uncertainty, 22 American Bankruptcy Institute Law Review 167 (2014) (with Jamie Marincic Griffin and Jennifer Ivey-Crickenberger). [Full Text]

Teaching Business Law Through an Entrpreneurial Lens, 8 Journal of Business & Technology Law 171 (2013). [Full Text]

The Naked Fiduciary, 54 Arizona Law Review 879 (2012) (with Jamie Marincic), reprinted in 55 Corporate Practice Commentator 585 (2013). [Full Text]

Gender and Securities Law in the Supreme Court, 33 Women's Rights Law Reporter 1 (2012) (with Lyman Johnson and Jason A. Cantone). [Full Text]

Committee Capture? An Empirical Analysis of the Role of Creditors' Committees in Business Reorganization, 64 Vanderbilt Law Review 749 (2011) (with Jamie Marincic). [Full Text]

The Value of "Thinking Like a Lawyer", 70 Maryland Law Review 390 (2011). [Full Text]

Behind Closed Doors: the Influence of Creditors in Business Reorganizations, 34 Seattle University Law Review 1155 (2011) (with Jamie Marincic). [Full Text]

Activist Distressed Debtholders: The New Barbarians at the Gate?, 89 Washington University Law Review 155 (2011). [Full Text]

Is Legal Scholarship Out of Touch? An Empirical Analysis of the Use of Scholarship in Business Law Cases, 19 University of Miami Business Law Review 1 (2011) (with Jason Cantone). [Full Text]

Mitigating Financial Risk for Small Business Entrepreneurs, 6 Ohio State Entrepreneurial Business Law Journal 469 (2011). [Full Text]

Corporate Control and the Need for Meaningful Board Accountability, 94 Minnesota Law Review 541 (2010). [Full Text]

Ignoring the Writing on the Wall: The Role of Enterprise Risk Management in the Economic Crisis, 5 Journal of Business & Technology Law 45 (2010). [Full Text]

The Search for an Unbiased Fiduciary in Corporate Reorganizations, 86 Notre Dame Law Review 469 (2010). [Full Text]

Barriers to Effective Risk Management, 40 Seton Hall Law Review 1323 (2010). [Full Text]

The Corporate Governance and Public Policy Implications of Activist Distressed Debt Investing, 77 Fordham Law Review 703 (2008), reprinted in 51 Corporate Practice Commentator 177 (2009). [Full Text]

Trends in Distressed Debt Investing: An Empirical Study of Investors’ Objectives, 16 Amercian Bankruptcy Institute Law Review 69 (2008). [Full Text]

Reinstatement v. Cramdown: Do Secured Creditors Win or Lose?, 16 Journal of Bankruptcy Law & Practice 459 (2007) (with Heather Lennox & Eric Goodman). [Full Text]

Debtors Beware: The Expanding Universe of Non-Assumable/Non-Assignable Contracts in Bankruptcy, 13 American Bankruptcy Institute Law Review 187 (2005) (with Carl Black & Eric Goodman). [Full Text]

Licensing Intellectual Property and Technology from the Financially Troubled or Startup Company: Prebankruptcy Strategies to Minimize the Risk in a Licensee's Intellectual Property and Technology Investment, 55 Business Lawyer 1649 (2000) (with Richard Cieri). [Full Text]

Recent News featuring Michelle Harner

September 8, 2014

James Grimmelmann and Michelle Harner of the School of Law were quoted, and Barbara Gontrum of the School of Law mentioned in The Daily Record article "IT issues a reality for Md. attorneys."

August 29, 2014

James Grimmelmann and Michelle Harner, of the School of Law were quoted, and Barbara Gontrum of the School of Law mentioned in the print edition of The Daily Record article "Cyber Issues a Reality for Attorneys."

July 22, 2014

Michelle Harner of the UM Carey School of Law was featured in the insurancenewsnet.com article "Impact of Arkison, Home Mortgage Cramdown and Specialization in Judicial Decision-Making Among the Topics Examined in the Summer Edition of the ABI Law Review."

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