ABI’s “Bankruptcy Mediation” Book: Ethics Rules (Part 2)

By: Donald L. Swanson                                                                              C. Edward Dobbs, Partner at Parker Hudson Rainer & Dobbs, is a leading expert... Continue Reading →

The Caesars Judge is Right on Stay Termination

Judge Goldgar is right. Bankruptcy Judge A. Benjamin Goldgar, of Chicago, received lots of grief in recent days over the resignation of the Caesars mediator.  The resignation letter focuses on "atypical" language on mediation confidentiality that Judge Goldgar used to support his order terminating a stay of legal action against the Caesars parent company.  Here's... Continue Reading →

“Mediation Desert” = A Court Without Mediation Rules

By: Donald L. Swanson “Food deserts” are “places where many residents don’t have access to a full-service grocery store within a mile of home in urban areas or 10 miles in rural ones.” --Wall Street Journal, 7/12/2015 “Mediation deserts” are courts that don’t (or won’t) provide access, by rule or statute, to mediation as a... Continue Reading →

Mediation Confidentiality is the Source of Judicial Bewilderment

   By: Donald L. Swanson "I found the [Mediator's resignation] letter to be a little bit bewildering."             --A. Benjamin Goldgar, Chicago Bankruptcy Judge, September 21, 2016. Judge Goldgar is, obviously, an excellent jurist with excellent judgment. But everyone makes mistakes. And Judge Goldgar's flap with the Caesars mediator over... Continue Reading →

Bankruptcy Mediation Rules are Lagging Behind All Other Federal Courts and Agencies (Part 3)

By: Donald L. Swanson Bankruptcy courts have drawn the short mediation straw and are lagging behind: --they don’t have a Federal rule of procedure for mediation. Every other court in the bankruptcy-related court system has such a rule: --The U.S. district courts have Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(c)(2) & 53 [as discussed in this article]. --The U.S. courts... Continue Reading →

10 Practical Lessons for Cities Facing Bankruptcy – From a New Ninth Circuit Ruling

By: Donald L. Swanson The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in a new ruling, helps point-the-way for cities facing the complexities of Chapter 9 bankruptcy. The Facts On March 28, 2003, three citizens of Vallejo, California, have a violent encounter with two of Vallejo’s police officers.  A lawsuit ensues. Then, the City of Vallejo files... Continue Reading →

U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals: Above-and-Beyond Examples of How a Federal Mediation Rule Works (Part 2)

By: Donald L. Swanson How can this be?! Federal rules of procedure contain mediation provisions for every bankruptcy-related court, except for the bankruptcy courts themselves. Why this discrimination against bankruptcy courts??!! [By bankruptcy-related courts, I’m referring to: --the bankruptcy courts themselves; --the U.S. district courts, in both their trial and bankruptcy-appeal capacities; --the bankruptcy appellate... Continue Reading →

Can a City File Bankruptcy to Deal With Police Misconduct Liability? — “Good Faith” Requirement (Part 3 of 3)

By Donald L. Swanson “[I]t is unlikely that a city could file for bankruptcy solely for the purpose of shedding liability associated with unconstitutional police practices.” --Conclusion in a Report, dated 8/21/2016 and titled: “Who Pays for Police Misconduct in Bankruptcy Cities?” This conclusion is undoubtedly accurate when a City is capable of paying the... Continue Reading →

Chicago Bankruptcy Court v. Mediation: Making News . . . Again!

By Donald L. Swanson Back in February, 2016, we learn that the Bankruptcy Court in Chicago has revoked its local rules on mediation, while still encouraging parties to mediate their disputes. This development seems a bit . . . well . . . bizarre. After all, for example, such an approach appears to violate Federal... Continue Reading →

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