Mediators: Reject A Binary Equation — “Either This Or That” (In re City of Detroit)

“Either this or that” (photo by Marilyn Swanson) By Donald L. Swanson Here’s an important rule for mediators: When the parties try to present you with a binary equation—“either this or that”—reject it; insteadGet the parties involved in the process with you—try to help think your way out of the binary box they are trying to... Continue Reading →

In Mediation, Ignore The “F” Word: “Final Offer”

Ignoring? (photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson “I have an opening statement that I give at the beginning of every mediation, and it goes like this”: “I don’t have a lot of rules but I have one firm rule and that is nobody uses the ‘F’ word—“final offer.” “And it’s very true. If I... Continue Reading →

Judge Rosen: On Mediation In City Of Detroit Bankruptcy (Part III, Getting The Funds)

https://youtu.be/Nzwt4vdHj70 By: Donald L Swanson Hon. Gerald E. Rosen (Ret.) serves as mediator, arbitrator and neutral evaluator in high-level business cases for the JAMS office in Detroit.   Previously, Judge Rosen served as Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, when the City of Detroit filed its Chapter 9 bankruptcy.  Shortly thereafter,... Continue Reading →

Judge Rosen: On Mediation In City Of Detroit Bankruptcy (Part II, The Concept & The Human Element)

https://youtu.be/k9xKjDz1IfM By: Donald L Swanson Hon. Gerald E. Rosen (Ret.) serves as mediator, arbitrator and neutral evaluator in high-level business cases for the JAMS office in Detroit.   Previously, Judge Rosen served as Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, when the City of Detroit filed its Chapter 9 bankruptcy.  Shortly thereafter,... Continue Reading →

Judge Rosen: On Mediation In City Of Detroit Bankruptcy (Part I, Getting Started!)

https://youtu.be/A0tM0kUr5Cc By: Donald L Swanson Hon. Gerald E. Rosen (Ret.) serves as mediator, arbitrator and neutral evaluator in high-level business cases for the JAMS office in Detroit.   Previously, Judge Rosen served as Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, when the City of Detroit filed its Chapter 9 bankruptcy. ... Continue Reading →

Relativity: Defining “Success” for Multi-Party Mediation in Chapter 11

By: Donald L. Swanson “I stand at the window of a railway carriage which is traveling uniformly, and drop a stone on the embankment . . . I see the stone descend a straight line. A pedestrian who observes the misdeed from the footpath notices that the stone falls to the earth in a parabolic curve.... Continue Reading →

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 →

The Mediator as Proactive Leader

By Donald L. Swanson “The concept of a mediator going outside of the role of just settling a dispute and soliciting money to help settle that dispute is unprecedented in the history of bankruptcy and in the history of mediation as far as I know.” --Judge Steven Rhodes, as quoted in “Detroit Resurrected: To Bankruptcy... Continue Reading →

How a Judge Makes Mediation Work: Minimizing Risks in Close-Call and Winner-Take-All Disputes

By Donald L. Swanson “The decision here is most likely all or nothing.  One side is going to win and the other side is going to lose—and that’s going to be very happy on one side and very tough on the other side.” --Judge Steven Rhodes, encouraging parties to reach a settlement, as quoted in... Continue Reading →

Puerto Rico Turns to Mediation for Assistance in Solving its Financial Crisis

By Donald L. Swanson “Puerto Rico’s federally appointed financial oversight board scheduled mediation in debt restructuring talks between the U.S. Territory’s general obligation bondholders and holders [of other debts] backed by sales tax revenue.” The mediation “will run from April 10-13 in New York.” --Reuters.com, March 31, 2017, at 11:09 a.m. An hour later, March... Continue Reading →

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