Shopping for homes, shopping for slips shopping for judges? It's all in this week's Business Journal.

It's become a common practice for attorneys to shop around bankruptcy petitions to courts known to have friendly bankruptcy judges so common that the chief judge of the Central District bankruptcy court has issued a directive requiring Chapter 11 filers to state their addresses.

Reporter Howard Fine went beyond that order, actually identifying downtown judges who are perceived as extra-tough when it comes to a bankruptcy filing.

Another kind of shopping the home-buying kind seems to be getting tougher by the moment, thanks to the pick-up in prices and a tightening of inventory. Remember the days when homes would be listed for months on end with barely a nibble? For prospective buyers, the new motto is, "Be prepared to deal and fast."

And I can't mention deals without pointing out our special report on L.A.'s financial services industry. We got to spend some time with traders, investment bankers and brokers, and the result is an intriguing portrait of how L.A.'s "moneymakers" stack up against the folks in N.Y. and S.F.

Mark Lacter


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