When “Small” is Still Too Big: The Small Business Reorganization Act

By Donald L. Swanson The Small Business Reorganization Act is now law! The House of Representatives passed it on July 25, 2019; The Senate passed it on August 1, 2019; and The President signed it on August 23, 2019. This Act is much-needed and long overdue. It provides Chapter 12-type relief for small businesses within Chapter... Continue Reading →

Mediating a Feud: The Problem of Envisioning Future Effects

By Donald L. Swanson Feuding parties are blinded by their feud. And they cannot envision the future of their feud with accuracy. An Ancient Illustration from London A recent essay [Fn. 1] provides details of a multi-year feud between London-area grocers, back in the early 1600s. That feud involved two lawsuits, a criminal complaint, and extensive... Continue Reading →

ABI Webinar: Three New Bankruptcy Laws Explained

By: Donald L. Swanson Three bankruptcy bills recently navigated the political morass in Washington D.C. and became law on August 23, 2019.  The three new laws are: Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 (H.R. 3311) Family Farmer Relief Act of 2019 (H.R. 2336) HAVEN Act (H.R. 2938). On August 29, 2019, the American Bankruptcy Institute ("ABI")... 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 →

Chapter 12: In re Knudsen Revisited, After a U.S. Supreme Court Ruling

By: Donald L. Swanson Congress adopted Chapter 12 in 1986. Then, in 2005, Congress added special tax provisions to Chapter 12 at § 1222(a)(2)(A). Those provisions made taxes arising from sales of farm assets dischargeable as general unsecured claims. In re Knudsen The IRS didn’t like this new law and worked to limit its effect. That... Continue Reading →

“Voluntary” Ideal Leads to Under-Utilization of Court-Connected Mediation Programs: An Experiment Solution

By: Donald L Swanson In many courts, these days, mediation reigns supreme. This is so-much-so that, court reporters complain about mediation cutting into their business; judges complain about cases settling in mediation and no one trying cases any more; and attorneys in casual conversations commonly talk about preparations for and successes in mediation, not trial. Such... Continue Reading →

Student Loan Crisis: High-Price Colleges Support Beautiful Campuses (and Other Luxuries) on the Backs of their Students

By:  Donald L. Swanson “Back when I was in school . . .” This is a tired-old phrase, usually followed by tales of hardship. The Olden Days But here’s an opposite twist: Back when I was in college (during the 1970s), you could actually pay your way through, with little-to-no debt, by working part-time jobs... 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 →

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 →

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