Getting Mediators Approved and Paid in Bankruptcy

By Donald L. Swanson Every now and then a mediator gets stiffed on fees.  It doesn’t happen often.  But it happens.  And it’s always a shame. Mediators of bankruptcy disputes have an additional payment-related hurdle they must navigate.  The hurdle is this: --Advance court approval is required for getting paid from bankruptcy funds. Statutory Requirements... Continue Reading →

Financial Impairment On The Farm: What’s A Farmer To Do?

On July 30, 2019, Kristine Tidgren of Iowa State University and I presented a webinar for farmers titled, "Financial Impairment on the Farm." My portion of the webinar focuses on, "What's a farmer to do when the bank wants out?"  Kristine's portion focuses on related tax issues.  Here's a link to the webinar: Link:  YouTube audio... Continue Reading →

Mediating Business Disputes: Caucus Format is Unfortunate

By: Donald L. Swanson Should a mediation be in joint session or caucus? For mediating business disputes, joint session is the better approach—by far. I’ll try to explain. Two Observations Here are two observation about the joint session vs. caucus method for mediating business disputes. 1. People with little-or-no experience in mediation tend to expect a mediation... Continue Reading →

A Mediator/Arbitrator Malpractice Lawsuit: Haven’t Seen This Before!

By: Donald L. Swanson This doesn’t happen every day: A mediator’s engagement agreement authorizes the mediator to arbitrate disputes about any settlement agreement the parties might reach in mediation; The mediation achieves a settlement agreement, but a dispute arises over an alleged mistake in the agreement document; and The mediator attempts to arbitrate the dispute and... Continue Reading →

Bankruptcy Laws for Puerto Rico: A Series of Unfortunate Technicalities and Screw-ups

By: Donald L. Swanson The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide the constitutionality of the bankruptcy-type system under which Puerto Rico is operating.  The case is Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico v. Aurelius Investment, LLC (Case No. 18-475). Sounds ominous . . . and monumental . . . , right? The reality... Continue Reading →

“Kicking the Can Down the Road”: Family Businesses in Chapter 11

By: Donald L. Swanson “Kick the can down the road” is an adage that means this: “to delay or avoid dealing with a problem.” Before Bankruptcy That’s what family businesses in financial stress do, outside of bankruptcy. They deal with unhappy creditors by kicking the can down the road. Here’s why: cash resources are tight, and... Continue Reading →

Studies on Rejection v. Choice Decisions: Implications for Mediators?

By: Donald L. Swanson Making an affirmative choice among alternatives is one way to make a decision. Rejecting an alternative is another way. Research Results Research shows that these two differing ways of making decisions often produce differing results. That’s because people “adopt different selection criteria” and “allocate different weights and choices” in these two ways... Continue Reading →

Studies Show that Humility and Pursuit of Virtue Lead to Wisdom in Resolving Conflicts: Implications for Mediation?

By Donald L. Swanson “Soloman’s Paradox” = “we tend to reason more wisely about other people’s problems than our very own” (aka, “Plenty of wisdom for others; but not for oneself”). [Fn. 1] “King Solomon, the third leader of the Jewish Kingdom, is thought of as a sage and a man of great wisdom. People traveled... Continue Reading →

Mediation: The Go-To Process for Large-Scale Sexual Abuse Claims in Bankruptcy

By: Donald L. Swanson Mediation has become the go-to process for dealing with large-scale sexual abuse claims in bankruptcy. The latest example is the Chapter 11 case of In re USA Gymnastics, filed on December 5, 2018, at Case No. 18-09108, in the Southern Indiana Bankruptcy Court. Background USA Gymnastics is where Larry Nassar volunteered as... Continue Reading →

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