Almost every bankruptcy expert The Am Law Daily talks to agrees that the super-fast General Motors and Chrysler bankruptcies diverted from traditional bankruptcy law because of the government’s huge role in each case and the danger that liquidation might have posed to the broader economy.

What they don’t agree on is whether the cases set a meaningful precedent for future judges. “What happened in GM and Chrysler is so outrageous and so illegal that until March of this year, nobody even conceptualized it,” says Lynn LoPucki, a bankruptcy expert at UCLA Law School. “Wouldn’t almost every company like to get out [of bankruptcy] in 30 or 60 days? Is there any reason they cannot all propose to do what GM and Chrysler have now done?”

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