All items from Mediation Banca Rotta

You should
Mediators are often turned to only during the late stages of a case (i.e. the courthouse steps before trial, when the deal is falling apart), or after negotiations have failed.  But there is great value in getting a mediator involved in the early stages of litigation and transactional matters.  The bankruptcy world is blessed (or burdened!) with both types of matters.  Mediators can assist with focused negotiation sessions, case management and overall case or deal pre-planning.
Here are a few more ideas on how a mediator can help your case or deal run smoothly, sooner rather than later:



Posted 1 year 23 weeks ago

Jefferson County, Alabama has pushed back mediations scheduled with creditors in April until the end of May. On November 9, 2011, Jefferson County, Alabama filed a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 9 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.  The county’s goal, after nearly 18 months in bankruptcy related to $4 billion in debt, is to present an exit strategy to the court by June 1.  The county has been working outside of court to resolve outstanding issues with “school warrant, general obligation and sewer creditors.”  Such out-of-court negotiations will either need to result in settlement or an agreement to the county’s proposed exit strategy by at least one creditor class.  The May mediations are scheduled to be conducted by a federal mediator in Atlanta.
Sources:
Quotation from: Honora Gathings, “Jeffco bankruptcy mediation delayed,” http://www.wset.com/story/22058140/jeffco-bankruptcy-mediation-delayed, Apr. 23, 2013.
In re Jefferson County, Alabama, Case No. 11-05736 (TBB), U.S. Bankruptcy Court, N.D. Ala., KCC, http://www.kccllc.net/jeffersoncounty.
 



Posted 1 year 23 weeks ago

On March 14, 2013, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, through the State of Michigan’s Local Emergency Financial Assistance Loan Board, named Kevyn Orr, a partner in Jones Day’s Business Restructuring & Reorganization Practice, to serve as Emergency Financial Manager for the City of Detroit.  Orr has since issued a statement indicating that he is resigning from his practice at Jones Day, to avoid conflict of interest issues, given Mayor Dave Bing’s announcement earlier this week that “Jones Day [will serve] as the restructuring counsel for the city — if Detroit City Council approves the contract.”  Reportedly Orr stated,  “And people always ask me why would I do that, because I think this is they type of representation and restructuring that requires the highest degree of ethical conduct and remove any appearance of impropriety or my involvement with my firm’s representation of the city.”
Sources:
Jones Day, http://www.jonesday.com/en-US/jones-day-partner-kevyn-orr-named-as-emergency-financial-manager-for-city-of-detroit-03-14-2013/



Posted 1 year 31 weeks ago

In recent days, it has been reported that the City of Detroit may be next in line for a Chapter 9.  The city’s top options are for Michigan Governor Rick R. Snyder to appoint a financial manager, file bankruptcy, or submit to neutral evaluation or mediation.  Last week, a review team assembled by state Treasurer Andy Dillon said that all signs point to a Motor City financial emergency.  As reported by The Huffington Post on Thursday:
With 700,000 residents, Detroit could become the largest city in American history ever to enter Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy. But Snyder has stated that he’s reluctant to go down that path.
While the governor has several options under Michigan law for dealing with the city’s financial emergency, a major tug-of-war has revolved around Michigan’s emergency manager law, Public Act 4.  The so-called PA4 replaced its predecessor Public Law 72 in 2011 under Snyder’s watch.  PA4 was repealed by voters in November 2012.  More recently, however, “Republican lawmakers . . . passed a new emergency manager law, known as Public Act 436, which goes into effect March 28 . . . . Much like PA4, the new law vests emergency managers with considerable powers over the municipalities they are appointed to run.”



Posted 1 year 33 weeks ago

The maker of the “Girls Gone Wild” videos, Girls Gone Wild Brands LLC, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in an attempt to restructure its legal affairs and shield assets from creditor reach.   “GGW Magazine and GGW Events also filed for protection.”
The Chapter 11 was filed on the heels of high-profile lawsuits.  Girls Gone Wild founder, Joe Francis’ most high-profile “L” was to “casino mogul Steve Wynn [in the amount of] $10.3 million, including a $7.5 million slander award last year and a disputed $2 million gambling debt.”  Formerly, a St. Louis woman was awarded $5.8 million, in her lawsuit against the company” after claiming someone exposed her breasts in a bar for the Girls Gone Wild Sorority Orgy series.”  Other suits have been filed by women asserting that they were exploited in videos; one even asserts being exploited while she was underage. A company attorney has clarified, however, that none of the judgments are against the Girls Gone Wild entities.
Comparing the bankruptcy to those of American Airlines and General Motors, the company attorney has said that the Girls Gone Wild parent company is still strong financially, and plans to go forward with business as usual.
Spring Break, here they come!
Sources:



Posted 1 year 33 weeks ago

“Anderson Christian School and the Lindberg Road Church of Christ have asked for mediation in a complicated bankruptcy case stemming from a failed financing plan, where church leaders took out life insurance policies on 11 of their older members.”
 
Follow this link for the entire story, http://www.wishtv.com/dpp/news/local/north_central/church-school-eye-bankruptcy-mediation.
 



Posted 1 year 41 weeks ago

To follow-up on my October post, “Could the NHL Lockout Benefit from a Mediator?,” as of Monday, November 26th, the parties reported an agreement to mediate.  Three neutrals from Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service have been assigned.  The sides met separately with the mediators on Wednesday, November 28th.
“Hockey players and management have not negotiated since last Wednesday [November 21, 2012]. The NHL has canceled more than one-third of its regular season, including all games through Dec. 14, the New Year’s Day outdoor Winter Classic and the All-Star weekend scheduled for Jan. 26-27 at Columbus, Ohio.”  NHL Lockout 2012: Federal Mediators Set To Join Stalled Labor Talks, The Huffington Post, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/26/nhl-lockout-2012-federal-mediat... (Nov. 26, 2012).
Although many may be satisfied with what seems like progress between the parties in agreeing to mediate in the first instance, others note that the mediation may not guarantee a successful end to the lockout.



Posted 1 year 46 weeks ago

Part I of this preference action mini-series discussed preference basics, defining what constitutes a preference and outlining claims and defenses.  This post sets forth tips for mediating preference actions from the standpoints of the mediator and practitioner.
For The Mediator

  • Calculate whether the preference claim was brought within the relevant statute of limitations.  In general, the statute of limitations for preference claims is 2 years from the date the bankruptcy was filed.
  • Submit proposed mediation procedures to the bankruptcy court for approval, if necessary in your jurisdiction.
  • Notice the mediation between 35 and 40 days before the hearing date:

“[T]he mere noticing of a case for hearing can cause parties to settle in advance in order to avoid the time and expense of attending the hearing.” -Interview with Lester J. Levy, Esq., ABI Journal, Vol. XXII, No. 3 (April 2003), http://www.jamsadr.com/faq-on-bankruptcy-mediation-04-01-2003/.



Posted 1 year 46 weeks ago

Be sure to follow current events on the Hostess Brands, Inc. bankruptcy case under the Roll Call tab.
 



Posted 1 year 47 weeks ago

My definition of bankruptcy mediation is below.  What’s yours?
The process by which a neutral third-party facilitator assists parties in the negotiation and resolution of bankruptcy-related disputes that can be available at any point during a commercial or consumer bankruptcy proceeding when: (1) the parties and their legal counsel agree to participate in the mediation process, and (2) the process is approved by the bankruptcy court.
 



Posted 1 year 47 weeks ago