Gaining Insight Into Mediating Parties’ Psychological States, Based on “Gaze Behavior”

Averting the gaze (photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson A “listeners’ gaze behavior may serve as a readily observable and quantifiable marker of psychological states relevant for . . . mediators.” [Fn. 1, emphasis added.] One day, back when this could still happen, I’m sitting in a waiting room with a bunch of strangers. ... Continue Reading →

Generating a Positive Cash Flow in Reorganization: The Central Task of a Family Business

By: Donald L Swanson A family business in Chapter 11 (whether in Subchapter V or a regular Chapter 11) has one task that stands above all others in importance. It’s this: The business must generate a positive cash flow. The Lawyer’s Impossible Task All the favorable bankruptcy rules that exist, and all the favorable bankruptcy court... Continue Reading →

Study: Early Referrals To Mediation, With Opt-Out for Good Cause, Are Effective

A courthouse (photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson When an opt-out for good cause exists, early referral of a case to mediation facilitates settlement. --This conclusion is from a “large sample” study of mediations involving the federal government as party defendant. The “large sample” study is reported as, “Dispute Resolution and the Vanishing Trial:... Continue Reading →

Does § 1409(b) Require Filing A Preference Claim For <$25,000 In Defendant's Home District?

There’s no place like home (photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson Debtor files Chapter 7 in the Eastern New York Bankruptcy Court. The Chapter 7 Trustee sues Defendant in that same Bankruptcy Court to recover an $11,408.55 preference.  Defendant resides in California, not New York, and is not an insider.  So, Defendant contends that... Continue Reading →

Hellenic Union of Mediators — Doing Excellent Work!

"Welcome to the website of the HELLENIC UNION OF MEDIATORS" (translation of first line in this photo) By: Donald L Swanson There are many people, around the world, doing excellent work in promoting the use of mediation as a dispute resolution tool. One such organization is the Hellenic Union of Mediators, located in Athens, Greece (the... Continue Reading →

A Subchapter V Plan Needs To Be A First Day Filing (In re Online King)

A first day? (photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson Here is a Hard-Knocks Rule (i.e., a lesson I’ve learned the hard way): A plan of reorganization needs to be a first-day filing—or as close to that as possible. This lesson first imposed itself upon me three decades ago.  I’m representing a Chapter 11 debtor,... Continue Reading →

Case Evaluation: An Effective ADR Process Under Michigan Law (Alemarah v. General Motors)

A Michigan rule of civil procedure By: Donald L. Swanson Mediation is the most commonly utilized, and a highly effective, method of alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”). “Case evaluation” is another ADR process.  We don’t hear about it as much—but it is also effective. The State of Michigan has formalized a “case evaluation” process in its state... Continue Reading →

May A Subchapter V Trustee Utilize (And Be Compensated For) Services Of An In-House Paralegal?

11 U.S.C. Sec. 330(a)(1)(a) By: Donald L Swanson Question: May a Subchapter V trustee utilize the services of a paralegal employed by the trustee’s law firm: without a separate application for approval of the paralegal’s employment; andwith the paralegal’s services being compensated as part of the Subchapter V trustee's fee application under § 330(a)(1)? Answer: The... Continue Reading →

Practicalities of Mediating Via Zoom

By: Donald L Swanson What follows is a script (more or less) of a panel presentation I gave on December 11, 2020, in a webinar sponsored by the American Bar Association. A revised version is published in by the American Bar Association at this link. Practicalities for conducting a mediation session by Zoom (or similar... Continue Reading →

City of Chicago v. Fulton: What the Supreme Court DID NOT Decide

City of Chicago (Photo by Marilyn a Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson The new U.S. Supreme Court’s bankruptcy opinion is City of Chicago, Illinois v. Fulton, et al., Case No. 19-357, issued January 14, 2021. Facts and Ruling Here’s how the Supreme Court summarizes the facts of the case and its ruling. In the case before... Continue Reading →

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