S. Samuel Arsht Professor of
IT WAS A RED-AND-BLUE-LETTER DAY for David Skeel when he was appointed the first S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law, named after the father of Delaware corporate law.
“Getting a chair is a
major milestone, “says Skeel,
who is entering his sixth year
at Penn Law. “I would have
been thrilled with any chair
but I was particularly thrilled
with this one.”
The incorporation, so to speak, makes sense on many levels.
Skeel’s uncle was an attorney at Arsht’s Delaware law firm
– Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell; he clerked for Third Circuit
Senior Judge Walter Stapleton, an Arsht protégé; Skeel’s parents
grew up in Wilmington; and, finally, most important, Skeel is a scholar in corporate law and bankruptcy, which he teaches.
An English major at the University of North Carolina, Skeel
combines storytelling and doctrine in his work. His upcoming
book draws on Greek mythology for its title. The Icarus Effect:
The Fundamental Flaws in Corporate America and Where They
Came From (Oxford University Press), due this fall, looks at
recent corporate scandals through the prism of past malfeasance
and the regulations that necessarily followed. Similarly, one of
the cases he uses in his bankruptcy class contains lines from T.S.
Eliot’s epic poem, “The Wasteland.” Skeel, himself a published poet, says he’s always seen a link between law and literature.