Oral Arguments in Appling Case: Writing Requirement for Nondischargeability

By: Donald L. Swanson In our uncommonly vicious and partisan political culture, it’s refreshing to hear oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court on a non-partisan and apolitical issue.  Here’s one: --Oral arguments held on April 17, 2018, in the bankruptcy case of Lamar, Archer & Cofrin, LLP v. Appling, Case No. 16-1215 [here’s the transcript] .... Continue Reading →

ADR Act of 1998: Defiance in Chicago’s Bankruptcy Court?

By:  Donald L. Swanson Here's the local rule (adopted in November 2017) allowing mediation in Chicago's Bankruptcy Court (emphasis added): RULE 9060-1 MEDIATION AND ARBITRATION Except to the extent required by the Bankruptcy Code or Federal Rules of Bankruptcy procedure, parties to an adversary proceeding or contested matter need not request court approval before pursuing... Continue Reading →

Appeal Deadline in Consolidated Bankruptcy Cases: Supreme Court Adopts Minority View (Hall v. Hall)

By:  Donald L. Swanson A new, and unanimous, decision from the U.S. Supreme Court is Hall v. Hall, Case No. 16-1150 (Decided March 27, 2018). A first read of this opinion seems like a, “What’s the big deal here?” The opinion: Is about a technical issue of appeal procedure; Reaches back, for historical authority, to... Continue Reading →

Local Confidentiality Rules DO Create a Mediation Privilege: ADR Act of 1998

By: Donald L. Swanson “It’s doubtful that a district court can augment the list of privileges by local rule” because “privileges are created by federal common law.” —The Facebook, Inc. v. Pacific Northwest Software, Inc., 640 F.3d 1034 (9th Cir. 2011). The Facebook case deals with evidence on “what was said and not said” during mediation. In Facebook,... Continue Reading →

No Quorum on U.S. Supreme Court?! And § 546(e) Issues Heading Back to Courts Below? (Deutsche Bank v. McCormick)

By: Donald L. Swanson On April 3, 2018, Justices Kennedy and Thomas issue this Statement for the U.S. Supreme Court in Deutsche Bank v. McCormick, Case No. 16-317 [photo of entire Statement is above]: “consideration of the petition for certiorari will be deferred . . . given the possibility that there might not be a quorum... Continue Reading →

Mediation Privilege in Full Bloom Under State Law

By: Donald L. Swanson The mediation privilege "provides for a broad screen of protection that renders confidential all communications . . . made as part of the mediation process." Grubaugh v. Blomo ex rel. County of Maricopa, 238 Ariz. 264, 359 P.3d 1008 (App. 2015). This Grubaugh v. Blomo case exemplifies a mediation privilege, created... Continue Reading →

Prosecution of Presidents for Political Revenge: A Bankrupt System

By: Donald L. Swanson “Any judicial process brought about as the direct consequence of . . . a political struggle is political.” “Score-settling, blood-letting, revenge and political calculation played a crucial role in these and many other post-war trials and purges.” Tony Judt, Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945, at 49 (Penguin Press 2005). One... Continue Reading →

Priorities of Litigants in Mediation and Other Dispute Resolution Processes: A 2016 Study Report

By: Donald L. Swanson “[I]f research were to suggest that litigants want to be included in the resolution process but do not desire free verbal exchanges between the parties,” how should ADR providers respond? --Donna Shestowsky in, “How Litigants Evaluate the Characteristics of Legal Procedures: A Multi-Court Empirical Study, 49 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 793, 797 (2016).... Continue Reading →

Footnote 5 in Supreme Court’s Merit Management Opinion: “Settlement Payment” Under a “Securities Contract”

By: Donald L. Swanson Whenever a court goes out of its way to say in an opinion, “We aren’t deciding issues X and Y,” it’s time to take notice. The omitted issues must be significant, in some way, to what’s being decided; otherwise, there’s no reason to mention them. And when the opinion is from the... Continue Reading →

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