Mediation — And the Role of the Small Business Trustee

By: Donald L Swanson “Those with business, managerial, consulting, mediation and operational experience are encouraged to apply.” --From “Solicitation” by U.S. Trustee for Applicants to Serve as Subchapter V Trustees (emphasis added) Back in August of this year, the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 became law. It’s effective date is 180 days later—February 19, 2020.... Continue Reading →

The Crazy-Season for Student Loans is Nearly Here . . . Again!

By Donald L. Swanson The crazy-season is when millions of people incur easily-obtained student loans they can’t afford, for another semester of college.  That time is nearly here, again, as a new school semester begins after the turn of the year. An even-crazier part is this: the U.S. Government guarantees payment of those unaffordable loans—which is... Continue Reading →

The Haven Act: A Great Law That Exposes A Really-Bad Bankruptcy Policy

By: Donald L. Swanson The Haven Act is short for: “Honoring American Veterans in Extreme Need Act of 2019.”  It is a newly-enacted law of the land. The Haven Act does a great and valuable thing for many of our military veterans: it allows middle class veterans to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, instead of being stuck for... Continue Reading →

Office of Solicitor General: A Biased and Conflicted Protector of Bankruptcy Laws (Ritzen v. Jackson Oral Arguments)

By: Donald L. Swanson “every creditor in the country should be lining up behind our side of the podium.” --Respondent’s counsel in Ritzen v. Jackson oral arguments at U.S. Supreme Court on 11/13/2019. Here’s a link to the transcript. On October 11, 2019, the Office of Solicitor General files an amicus brief in Ritzen v. Jackson... Continue Reading →

Empirical Studies and the Mediator’s Proposal — A Portal to Decision

By: Donald L. Swanson Let’s try combining a couple empirical studies on unrelated matters to support the following proposition: --The “mediator’s proposal,” as a form of choice delegation, can help parties reach settlement.  The proposal becomes a portal or entryway to decision. First Study: Delegating Difficult Choices The first study is titled, “Delegating Decisions: Recruiting Others... Continue Reading →

Accuracy on Bankruptcy Schedules: A Challenge in Representing Family Businesses

By: Donald L. Swanson “I’m very proud of the fact that, in four decades of practicing law, I’ve had only one client go to federal prison for lying on these bankruptcy schedules.” —Yours truly, emphasizing to clients the importance of accuracy and full disclosure in preparing bankruptcy schedules. One of the great challenges in representing... Continue Reading →

A Bankruptcy Exception to the Federal Arbitration Act — In the U.S. Constitution

By: Donald L Swanson “The Congress shall have Power . . . To Establish . . . uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States.” --Bankruptcies Clause in the U.S. Constitution, Art. I, Sec. 8, Cl. 4. Bankruptcy Exception to Arbitration -- A Constitutional Argument Try this argument on for size: The Constitution's... Continue Reading →

Highlights from Oral Arguments at U.S. Supreme Court on Constitutionality of Puerto Rico’s Oversight Board

By: Donald L Swanson The case before the U.S. Supreme Court is Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico v. Aurelius Investment, LLC (Case No. 18-1334). Oral arguments occurred on October 15, 2019. Here is a link to the official transcript. An Oddly Important Case This is an oddly important case: it’s resolution turns on... Continue Reading →

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