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 Businesslawtoday.org 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 →

Mediation: Persisting Despite Early Failures (Kellogg v. Progressive)

Persisting through early failures (photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L. Swanson “Failure” in a mediation is difficult to define.  For hypothetical examples: Is it a “failure” when a lawsuit fails to settle in a mediation session?Is it a “failure” when a lawsuit fails to settle in a second mediation session?Is it a “failure” when, (i)... Continue Reading →

Subchapter V Trustee Should Not Be A Debtor’s Disbursing Agent

By: Donald L Swanson Question:  Should a Subchapter V trustee be receiving and disbursing the debtor’s payments to creditors? Answer:  No—absent highly unusual circumstances. Rationale Here are the reasons for the negative answer. --First A Subchapter V trustee’s compensation is based on hourly services rendered—not on a percentage of money the trustee handles.  See this linked... Continue Reading →

Bankruptcy Code Meets Federal Arbitration Act — At U.S. Supreme Court? (GE v. Belton)

Uniformity (photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson Uh-oh!  The U.S. Supreme Court is requiring action on a certiorari petition that presents a Bankruptcy Code meets Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) question. Here is what’s happened: November 10, 2014:  SDNY Bankruptcy Judge, Hon. Robert D. Drain, refuses to allow arbitration of a Debtor’s request to hold... Continue Reading →

Quiz Question On Debt Limits For Bankruptcy Eligibility

Not eligible for roaming the prairie (photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson QUIZ – Multiple Choice Question Question: Where is this bankruptcy eligibility language found: “aggregate noncontingent liquidated secured and unsecured debts as of the date of the filing of the petition or the date of the order for relief in an amount not... Continue Reading →

There are Problems Mediation Can’t Solve (Ripa v. Perfetti)

By: Donald L Swanson Lots of things are wrong with the case of Ripa v. Perfetti [Fn. 1]. The ills start with this fact: all parties are pro se.  The case illustrates, once again, that limitations exist on the problems mediation can solve. In this case, a frustrated Bankruptcy Judge encourages the parties to mediate: one side... Continue Reading →

“Small Business Debtor” And “Subchapter V” Co-Exist As Separate Systems In Chapter 11

Co-existing, side-by-side (photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson A little-known effect of the enactment of Subchapter V is this: Prior “small business debtor” rules now co-exist, side-by-side, with (and separately from) Subchapter V rules in Chapter 11; andWe have two separate-but-similar systems for small business debtors. A Chronology Consider this chronology of changes that... Continue Reading →

New Pandemic Law Fails to Extend Subchapter V Eligibility Limit

By: Donald L Swanson So . . . the second, bi-partisan pandemic bill has made its way through both houses of Congress. It has been approved by politicians in both parties. It is signed by the President and is now law.  Here is a link to the text of the bi-partisan law.  It’s called the "Coronavirus... Continue Reading →

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