A Recommendation for Mandating Mediation in England and Wales

By: Donald L. Swanson The voluntary mediation scheme “does remain under-used.” --October 2017 Interim Report on Mediation in England and Wales England’s Civil Justice Council is an Advisory Body established under the “Civil Procedure Act 1997” to oversee and co-ordinate “the modernization of the civil justice system.” On January 28, 2016, the Council formed a Working... Continue Reading →

An Early History of Bankruptcy Statutes and Economic Conditions in the U.S.: 1776 to 1978

By: Donald L. Swanson This article is a two-centuries history of Federal bankruptcy laws and economic conditions in the United States: from the Declaration of Independence in 1776 through the enactment of the current Bankruptcy Code in 1978. The Late 1700s In 1776, at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, thirteen colonies along the... Continue Reading →

An Example of Mediation Success in Hostile and Difficult Circumstances (City of San Bernardino Bankruptcy)

By Donald L. Swanson Timeline for a Plan Confirmation Dispute November 11:  Creditor requests an order requiring mediation November 14 (a.m.):  Debtor objects to request for mediation order November 14 (p.m.):  Court orders mediation December 6:  Debtor and creditor reach a settlement agreement February 7:  Debtor’s bankruptcy plan is confirmed This timeline is from a... Continue Reading →

Oddities at U.S. Supreme Court Continue in Oral Arguments on U.S. Bank v. Lakeridge

By:  Donald L. Swanson The U.S. Supreme Court has already dismissed one bankruptcy appeal this term as “improvidently granted.”  This is an oddity. And it should have also dismissed U.S. Bank National Association v. Village at Lakeridge, Case No. 15-1509, for the same reason. Instead, the Court held oral arguments in the Lakeridge case on... Continue Reading →

A “Compelling Reason” for Mandating Mediation: to Advocate for its Use

By:  Donald L. Swanson “Studies show that parties who have entered mediation reluctantly still benefited from the process even though their participation was not voluntary.” D. Quek, Mandatory Mediation: An Oxymoron? Examining the Feasibility of Implementing a Court-Mandated Mediation Program, Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol 11:479, at 483 (Spring 2010). Dorcas Quek is arguing... Continue Reading →

Family Farmer Bankruptcy Clarification Act of 2017 is Enacted Into Law

By:  Donald L. Swanson Financially strapped farmers and their lenders finally get some much-needed bankruptcy tax relief. Normally, pre-bankruptcy income and capital gains tax claims have a priority and non-dischargeable status in bankruptcy. And the same taxes, when arising during bankruptcy, add an administrative claim status. Some Farm History Such normal rules had a devastating... Continue Reading →

A Futile Attempt at Ignoring Mediation Obligations

By:  Donald L. Swanson There’s a lawsuit now in progress in a Florida Federal Court over a local pub. The Pub Dispute Plaintiff claims to be "a franchisor” of “establishments” that sell “imported and domestic beers” and other products used in “a distinctive pub environment.” Plaintiff also claims to have “methods and procedures—a system—” that... Continue Reading →

How U.S. Tax Policies are Responsible for Puerto Rico’s Financial Crisis

By Donald L. Swanson Puerto Rico is dealing with the storms of financial disaster and a hurricane’s aftermath. Here is a false narrative about the financial storm: Forgiving Puerto Rico’s debt “would only free Puerto Rico’s politicians from having to address the policies that were suffocating its economy to begin with.” --Wall Street Journal Op. Ed.,... Continue Reading →

Mediating Parties on Their Mediators: Handing Out Reviews

By:  Donald L. Swanson What do mediating parties say about their mediators? That’s what Prof. Stephen B. Goldberg and Margaret L. Shaw wanted to know. So, they do a study and report on it back in 2008, as follow-up to a prior study.  And the mediating parties are more-than-happy to hand out reviews. Prior Study... Continue Reading →

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