Multiple Mediators and Hundreds of Sessions for Detroit’s Mediation: Why / How it’s Done

Detroit’s use of multiple mediators and hundreds of mediation sessions is not surprising. How else could a Court deal with billions of dollars of debt and a multitude of creditors of a City that must keep operating and must meet the daily needs of its hundreds of thousands of inhabitants.

Detroit Bankruptcy’s “Proactive Mediators”: A New Mediation Model (Updated 4/1/16 with Responses)

By Donald L. Swanson “Mediator” and “proactive” are, usually, oxymoronic terms. A mediator’s role is usually passive: to help parties deal with disputes they bring to the mediator. Detroit bankruptcy mediation rejects mediator passivity. One of the early—and monumental—judicial actions in the Detroit bankruptcy is this: the referral of a sweeping array of issues to... Continue Reading →

Proactive Mediation: The Great Innovation of Detroit and Diocese Reorganizations

The Commercial Bankruptcy Litigation website is publishing an article by Donald L. Swanson, entitled "Proactive Mediation: The Great Innovation of Detroit and Diocese Reorganizations." The article appears on the Commercial Bankruptcy Litigation website at this address: Follow Don on Twitter by clicking here.

Mediating Detroit’s Pension Disputes: The Process Explained (Updated with Responses 3/24/16)

By Donald L. Swanson 40 people are in the room at the first mediation session about Detroit’s two pension plans.  There aren’t enough chairs in the room to go around, so the mediator, Eugene Driker, stands for the entire four-hour meeting. This is an unusual mediation: Its issues and disputes are newly joined, so the... Continue Reading →

Eugene Driker: Private Practice (“Civilian”) Mediator in Detroit’s Bankruptcy

  By Donald L. Swanson Get this: all six mediators in the Detroit Bankruptcy are sitting or retired federal judges -except one. Eugene Driker is the lone exception.  He is the only private-practice mediator in the group - or, as Mr. Driker describes it, “I was the civilian.”  That makes him an example and hero... Continue Reading →

Mandatory Mediation: Here’s How it’s Done – The Detroit Example

By Donald L. Swanson Sometimes, the old ways aren’t enough.  Sometimes, a little creativity (or lots of it) is needed to address the task at hand. You’ve got to hand it to the Bankruptcy Judge in the Detroit case: Steven Rhodes.  He knew it when he saw it: the old ways would not be enough... Continue Reading →

Lessons from Detroit Bankruptcy Mediators on Mediation Success

By Donald L. Swanson Judge Gerald E. Rosen and Attorney Eugene Driker, mediators in the Detroit bankruptcy case, published this guest article in the Detroit Free Press on January 18, 2015.  Here are some excerpts from the article:  --“Mediation works, and can produce great benefits much more efficiently and expeditiously than other approaches.” --“Four ingredients... Continue Reading →

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: