The “Estate Neutral” as an Expert Witness, a Mediator and a Financial Advisor

By: Donald L Swanson When ABI’s Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 issued its Final Report in 2014, one creative approach it recommended is to authorize a new bankruptcy position: the "estate neutral." The Final Report says that chapter 11 "needs to offer tools to resolve a debtor’s financial distress." The estate neutral would... 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 →

Mediator Neutrality: An “I believe . . . ” Test

By Donald L. Swanson A mediator is, by definition, a "neutral." Neutrality seems to be a straight-forward concept: it means not-taking-sides. But not-taking-sides is, apparently, not all that simple. Check out this excellent article and this fine series of essays on the subject. Efforts to define or explain "neutrality" often get bogged down. Sometimes, new... Continue Reading →

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