“Hallway Mediation” for Multi-Party Disputes that are Stuck and Going Nowhere

"Hallway Mediation" is this: Putting multi-party disputants into a room to talk about their disputes, with the mediator orchestrating (or maybe it's refereeing) the event. I call it "Hallway Mediation" because that's where I first saw it happen and learned to do it: in the hallways outside the Bankruptcy Courtrooms in Omaha, Lincoln and North... Continue Reading →

Federal Arbitration Act vs. Stern v. Marshall: So . . . What’s Fair About This?

By Donald L. Swanson I’m irritated [not that anyone actually cares]. Here’s why. Federal Arbitration Act I’ve been reading some bankruptcy cases on requirements of the Federal Arbitration Act. These cases talk about submitting a bankruptcy dispute to arbitration based on an arbitration provision in the disputing parties’ pre-petition contract. Never mind that the dispute is... Continue Reading →

Micromanaging the Mediation Process

  By: Donald L. Swanson In the case of In re Sabine Oil & Gas Corp., Case No. 15-11835 (Bankry. S.D.N.Y.), the bankruptcy judge authorizes and terminates two separate mediation efforts by the following orders: --January 5, 2016 – “Order Selecting Mediator and Governing Mediation Procedures” (Doc. 669). --May 2, 2016 – “Order Terminating STN... Continue Reading →

When is it Too Late to Reopen a Bankruptcy for Distributing Newly Discovered Assets — Never?!

By: Donald L. Swanson Eighty nine years ago (on November 7, 1928), the U.S. District Court for the Western District of South Carolina issues this ruling (see photo above): “Yellow Poplar Lumber Company, a Corporation, . . . is hereby declared and adjudged a bankrupt.” The Yellow Poplar bankruptcy has been administered, concluded and closed since... Continue Reading →

A Cool Play from the Litigation / Mediation Playbook

By: Donald L Swanson “[T]he parties should be prepared to engage in mediation before the Court fixes any evidentiary hearing.” Bankruptcy Judge Kevin J. Carey, In re AWI Delaware, Inc., Case No. 14-12092 (Bankry. Del., opinion dated 6/28/2017). Did you ever see a play in a sporting event that’s both imaginative and effective? And your reaction... Continue Reading →

The Student Loan Debt Problem: Northwestern University as “Exhibit A”

By:  Donald L. Swanson Let’s juxtapose these two quotes: “Congress must act now to defuse the student loan debt bomb.” --From Jim Haller, Opinion Contributor, The Hill, February 27, 2017. “Northwestern’s [financial aid] options make higher education  more accessible.” --From Northwestern University's (Evanston, IL) “Tuition and Aid” online page. The Northwestern quote above uses the... Continue Reading →

So . . . What’s a Mediator to Do?

By Donald L. Swanson “The mediator is a nice guy. But he needed to be tougher. He needed to pound harder on the other side . . . and on us . . . to get the case settled.” --A disappointed litigator explaining why a case did not settle in mediation. There are differing mediation styles.... Continue Reading →

A Peek into Business and Bankruptcy in Russia

By Donald L. Swanson It's not very often that we get to see what's going on with businesses and bankruptcies in Russia. But we now get a peek. It comes from a lawsuit and a bankruptcy filed in the Southern District of New York involving a granite production business in Russia. Business Developments in Russia Sergei... Continue Reading →

A Court Assesses Damages for Unreasonable Refusals to Engage in Mediation

By: Donald L. Swanson "For all of those reasons I think that the failure to engage in mediation or any other serious ADR was unreasonable." --Judge Waksman, QC, in the High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, Manchester District Registry, England,  Feb. 3, 2014. Perhaps we can learn about mediation from other legal systems. Here’s an... Continue Reading →

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑