THornton Mason“As a workplace mediator for over 25 years I look forward to you continuing your series. Interesting to find out if your thoughts apply to my area as well. Thanks, Don”

Thornton Mason National Director — Workplace Mediation

Don’t Let This Happen to You: Milwaukee Archdiocese Bankruptcy – Part Two, The Confirmed Plan

image

By Donald L. Swanson

By mid-November 2015, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee  has been battling its sex abuse claimants in Bankruptcy Court for nearly five years.  The fight has been tough: described as “scorched earth.”

The Archdiocese has been fighting to limit payouts on sex abuse claims to the low single-digits of millions of dollars.  But the Archdiocese finally abandons this part of the fight and decides to pay much, much more.

The result is a mediated Chapter 11 plan in the bankruptcy proceeding that is confirmed on November 13, 2015, (Doc. 3322).

Following confirmation, the what-ifs and if-only-they-had questions and regrets are many and profound for everyone involved.  Hindsight provides 20/20 clarity.

The following plan details and comparisons show why the Archdiocese of Milwaukee bankruptcy stands as an example of how-not-to handle a case like this and a don’t-let-this-happen-to-you symbol for other cases. Continue reading “Don’t Let This Happen to You: Milwaukee Archdiocese Bankruptcy – Part Two, The Confirmed Plan”

Freedom of the Press v. Mediation Confidentiality: Inside A Bankruptcy Court Dust-Up

image

By: Donald L. Swanson

A Bankruptcy Court Judge is concerned about “leaks of sensitive, non-public information concerning the bidding process and mediation.”  The bankruptcy case is In re Molycorp, Inc. (Case No. 15-11357 in the District of Delaware).

A “Leaks” Problem

The Bankruptcy Judge identifies three Bloomberg articles authored by Jodi Xu Klein and others as containing such “leaks.”  These are the articles he identifies: Continue reading “Freedom of the Press v. Mediation Confidentiality: Inside A Bankruptcy Court Dust-Up”

ACTION ITEM: from Part One — Bankruptcy Needs its Own Mediation Model

By Donald L. Swanson

Action Item.  Before blindly following a one-and-done mediation model from non-bankruptcy cases, we need to consider how each bankruptcy mediation might differ from non-bankruptcy contexts.

#bankruptcy   #mediation   #bankruptcymediation

6 Reasons Why Bankruptcy Mediation is a Process, not a One-and-Done Session: PART ONE — A DIFFERENT MEDIATION MODEL

image
This model is great! But a different model is needed for today’s roads. [This car is at the Museum of Speed in Lincoln, NE]
By Donald L. Swanson

Bankruptcy needs a larger mediation process than the one-and-done-session model that’s common in non-bankruptcy cases

An iteration of the title above [“Bankruptcy mediation is a process, not a one-and-done session”] is often greeted by bankruptcy professionals with blank stares.   They can’t imagine why they’d want to mediate bankruptcy disputes any differently from how they mediate disputes in other courts.

And reactions that go beyond blank stares tend to be something like this: Continue reading “6 Reasons Why Bankruptcy Mediation is a Process, not a One-and-Done Session: PART ONE — A DIFFERENT MEDIATION MODEL”

Additional Comments to Prior Post on, “Mediator Testifying as a Witness?! A New Appellate Opinion on Mediation Confidentiality”

LinkedIn Discussion Response to Mediator Testifying as a Witness?! A New Appellate Opinion on Mediation Confidentiality

Blog Response

Responses 2

responses 3

Responses 4

 

Click here to view full discussion commentators credentials.

Don’t Let This Happen to You: Milwaukee Archdiocese Bankruptcy – Part One, The Mediations

image
“Scorched earth” is bad in buildings — and in bankruptcy litigation

By Donald L. Swanson

Every now and then something happens that becomes the model for how-not-to-do-this and a symbol of don’t-let-this-happen-to-you.  The Archdiocese of Milwaukee bankruptcy is one of those somethings.

It’s the “longest-running and most contentious” of the 14 Catholic Church bankruptcies filed since 2004 to address sex abuse liabilities. So says The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (on November 13, 2015) about the Archdiocese of Milwaukee bankruptcy.

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee files its voluntary bankruptcy petition on January 4, 2011, in the Eastern District of Wisconsin (Milwaukee) at Case No. 11-20059. Continue reading “Don’t Let This Happen to You: Milwaukee Archdiocese Bankruptcy – Part One, The Mediations”

Mediator Testifying as Witness?! A New Appellate Opinion on Mediation Confidentiality

image
From Shriner v. Friedman Law Offices Opinion

By: Donald L. Swanson

Here’s something you don’t see every day: an appellate opinion on mediation confidentiality.  It allows a mediator to testify about what happened in the mediation.

The opinion is a week old — dated April 12, 2016 — and is published here.  The case is Shriner v. Friedman Law Offices, 23 Neb. App. 869, ___ N.W.2d ___ (2016).  It involves a mediation settlement of a personal injury claim.  The plaintiff then sues her lawyer for malpractice in wrongfully advising and pressuring her to accept the settlement. Continue reading “Mediator Testifying as Witness?! A New Appellate Opinion on Mediation Confidentiality”

They’re in a Bit of a Pickle, Part Two: What if the City of Chicago Files Bankruptcy?

image
Chicago — Photo by Grant Swanson

By: Donald L. Swanson

If the City of Chicago were to file bankruptcy, the Bankruptcy Court in Chicago would find itself in a bit of a pickle.

It’s not a between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place type of pickle. It’s more of a between-a-rock-and-an-I-don’t-want-to-go-there pickle. Continue reading “They’re in a Bit of a Pickle, Part Two: What if the City of Chicago Files Bankruptcy?”

Great Stuff at Joint Education Session of Mediation / Bankruptcy Litigation

image
American Bankruptcy Institute, Annual Spring Meeting — Education Session

By Donald L. Swanson

The panel of three people [two attorney mediators and a judge mediator] is superb.

We are at the American Bankruptcy institute’s Annual Spring Meeting in Washington, D.C..

The day begins with a fire-alarm evacuation of the hotel/convention center. But once this education session begins, the effort to get here is justified. Continue reading “Great Stuff at Joint Education Session of Mediation / Bankruptcy Litigation”