Enforcing Agreements To Mediate And To Arbitrate (Garcia v. ISS Facility)

Rules for overlapping activity (photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson Agreements to mediate and agreements to arbitrate are both enforceable and effective.  But how they are used together, when they overlap, can get tricky.  That’s illustrated by the case of Garcia v. ISS Facility Services, Inc., et al.  The case begins with a U.S.... Continue Reading →

Supreme Court Denies Cert (GE v. Belton): A Bankruptcy Code v. Arbitration Act Reprieve — And Constitution’s Bankruptcy Exception

Uniformity (photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson We've dodged the bullet . . . again! Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari in GE Capital Retail Bank v. Belton (Case No. 20-481), where the question presented is: Which federal statutory scheme takes precedence in resolving important bankruptcy issues -- the Bankruptcy Code or the... 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 →

Bankruptcy’s Uniformity Requirement & Federal Arbitration Act (Nelson v. Carland)

Uniformity (photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson The U.S. Constitution requires that bankruptcy laws be “uniform . . . throughout the United States.” Among such uniformity requirements is this: rulings on core bankruptcy issues must be subject to meaningful appellate review—all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Explaining this requirement is the dissent... 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 →

Federal Arbitration Act is Superseded by U.S. Constitution’s “Uniform Laws on . . . Bankruptcies” Clause

By: Donald L. Swanson “The Congress shall have Power To . . . establish . . . uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States.” U.S. Constitution, Art. 1, Sec. 8 (emphasis added). Bankruptcy law is special, to begin with. There is no other area of law quite like it -- either legally... Continue Reading →

Screwing Up Our Bankruptcy World — Again? (Arbitration Petition at U.S. Supreme Court)

By: Donald L. Swanson The U.S. Supreme Court has a history of screwing-up our bankruptcy world. Examples go back to the 1982 debacle called Northern Pipeline v. Marathon Pipe Line, where the Supreme Court came within one vote (one vote!) of declaring the entire Bankruptcy Code unconstitutional. A more recent example, Stern v. Marshall in 2011,... Continue Reading →

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Arbitration–Again! What’s the Effect on Bankruptcy? (Epic Systems v. Lewis)

By: Donald L. Swanson Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court made its latest pronouncement upholding arbitration: Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, U.S. Supreme Court Case No. 16-285 (issued May 21, 2018). The pronouncement follows a long line of precedents upholding and enforcing arbitration agreements, founded on the Federal Arbitration Act. This article explores the Epic Systems v. Lewis decision... Continue Reading →

Enforcing Arbitration in Bankruptcy: Second Circuit Puts Pressure on a Slam-Dunk Issue

By: Donald L. Swanson “[T]he Supreme Court has time and time again held: where parties have agreed to arbitration, . . . the agreement of the parties is to govern. There is no reason to think that, with time, the bankruptcy courts will not get there too.” --Collier on Bankruptcy, ¶ 9019-05 (15th Ed. 1998). Bankruptcy... Continue Reading →

Federal Arbitration Act Needs a Bankruptcy Exception

By Donald L. Swanson This article is in follow-up to a prior one titled, "Federal Arbitration Act vs. Stern v. Marshall: So . . . What's Fair About This?"  The point here is that we need a bankruptcy exception to the Federal Arbitration Act. Litigation in bankruptcy: Here's how the issue arises. A Chapter 7, 11,... Continue Reading →

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