Annual Forty-Hour Bankruptcy Mediation Training

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Annual Forty-Hour Bankruptcy Mediation Training

St. John's University School of Law’s Manhattan Campus December 11-15, 2016

ABI and St. John's Are Leaders in Bankruptcy Educational and ADR Programs

Participants are required to attend the entire 40 hours of training. If you cannot attend all 40 hours, please defer registration for a future program.

The ABI/St. John’s Bankruptcy Mediation Training is a collaboration among three leaders in the field of bankruptcy education and mediation training: ABI, St. John’s Center for Bankruptcy Studies, and St. John's Hugh L. Carey Center for Dispute Resolution. ABI is the nation’s leading provider of quality bankruptcy educational programs. St. John’s Center for Bankruptcy Studies offers the nation’s premier bankruptcy program featuring the only LL.M. in Bankruptcy. Together, ABI and St. John’s publish the American Bankruptcy Institute Law Review, with a circulation of approximately 11,000. The Hugh L. Carey Center for Dispute Resolution, a leader in the field of dispute resolution, is an important part of this successful collaboration to develop this bankruptcy mediation training program. The Carey Center offers a wide range of dispute-resolution programs, training both students and practitioners in the values and skills of dispute resolution.

Reviews from Previous Attendees:

“A great education for both those who serve as advocates in mediation and those who serve as mediators.”
– Sylvia Mayer; Houston, TX

“I feel I will be a better client’s lawyer having taken the course.”
– Thomas Biron, Philadelphia, PA

“This is the premier training opportunity for anyone interested in bankruptcy mediation.”
– Donald L. Swanson; Omaha, NE


Event Information 241420

Sunday, December 11


2:00-2:30 p.m.

Welcome, Purpose and Goal-Setting

2:30-3:00 p.m.

Why Bankruptcy Mediation?

3:00-3:45 p.m.

The Role of a Bankruptcy Mediator — Developing a Mediator’s Mind

3:45-4:00 p.m.


4:00-4:45 p.m.

Bankruptcy Mediation Overview: Definition, A Tale of Two Theories: Understanding Conflict-Resolution Ideology in Bankruptcy, Values, Anatomy of Mediation, Mediator’s Role — Lecture

4:45-6:00 p.m.

Effective Opening Statements and Agenda-Setting — Lecture and Exercise

6:00-6:30 p.m.

Beginning Mediator’s Skills: Promoting Effective Conflict Discourse

6:30-7:30 p.m.

Cocktail Reception

Monday, December 12


9:30-9:45 a.m.

Reflections, Questions and Review of Day One

9:45-10:45 a.m.

Mediator’s Skills: Promoting Effective Conflict Discourse (cont’d.) — Lecture, Exercise and Simulation

10:45-11:00 a.m.


11:00-11:15 a.m.

Physical and Organizational Considerations in Mediation

11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Role Play #1: Chapter 7 — Simulation, Individual Group Debrief and Class Debrief

12:30-1:30 p.m.

Working Lunch

Professional Bankruptcy Mediators: A Real World View of the Business and Profession of Mediation

It is both exiting and challenging to expand your bankruptcy practice to include mediation. Learn from respected professionals their development and marketing strategies to generate your mediation practice. (Bob Fishman, Rick Mikels, Jerry Markowitz and Scott Stuart)

1:30-2:15 p.m.

Drafting Summary Letters

2:15-3:45 p.m.

Role Play #2: Chapter 7 — Simulation, Individual Group Debrief and Class Debrief

3:45-4:00 p.m.


4:00-5:30 p.m.

Role Play #3: Chapter 13 — Simulation, Individual Group Debrief and Class Debrief

5:30 - 6:00 p.m.

Introduction to Pre-mediation (overview)

Tuesday, December 13


9:30-9:45 a.m.

Reflections, Questions and Review of Day Two

9:45-10:15 a.m.

Pre-mediation cont’d - Meaningful Informed consent

10:15-10:45 a.m.

Overcoming Valuation Impasses: Effective Strategies in Lieu of Mediator Evaluation

10:45–11:00 a.m.


11:00-11:15 a.m.

Overcoming Valuation Impasses: Psychological Distortions that Interfere with Rational Decision-Making

11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Role Play #4: Chapter 11 — Simulation, Individual Group Debrief and Class Debrief

12:30-1:30 p.m.

Working Lunch

The Rise of Plan Mediations: The Pitfalls, Benefits and Limits of Confidentiality (Damian Schaible)

1:30-3:00 p.m.

Convening and Facilitating Multi-Party Mediations: Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Mediations

3:00-3:15 p.m.


3:15-5:00 p.m.

Role Play #5: Chapter 11 — Simulation, Individual Group Debrief and Class Debrief

5:00-6:00 p.m.

Integrating Lessons Learned from Multi-Party Mediations

Wednesday,December 14


9:30-9:45 a.m.

Reflections, Questions and Review of Day Three

9:45-10:45 a.m.

Strategies for Overcoming Final Impasses (Ed Dobbs)

10:45-11:00 a.m.


11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Role Play #6: Chapter 11

12:30-1:30 p.m.

Working Lunch

Cross-Border Mediations

1:30-2:30 p.m.

Mediation Demonstration ( Ed Dobbs)

2:30-3:45 p.m.


3:45-4:00 p.m.


4:00-4:30 p.m.

Integrating lessons learned from role play

4:30-6:00 p.m.

Clarifying the Blurry Ethical Contours of Bankruptcy Mediation and Confidentiality– lecture and exercise

Thursday,December 15


9:30-9:45 a.m.

Reflections, Questions and Review of Day Four

9:45-10:45 a.m.

Optimizing the use of Pre-mediation Opportunities, Summary letters – lecture and exercise

10:45-11:00 a.m.


11:00-12:30 p.m.

Role Play #8: Simulation, Individual Group Debrief and Class Debrief

12:30-1:30 p.m.

Working Lunch

Views from the Bench: When A Judge Suggests Mediation: Case and Mediator Selection ( Melanie Cyganowski, retired bankruptcy judge)

1:30-2:00 p.m.

Answering unanswered questions

2:00-3:30 p.m.

Role Play #9: Simulation, Individual Group Debrief and Class Debrief

3:30-4:00 p.m.

Overview Checklist

4:00-4:15 p.m.

Next Steps to Becoming a Professional Mediator

4:15-5:00 p.m.

Closing Ceremony

This schedule is subject to modification.


ABI bookstore




Lead Trainer:

Prof. Elayne E. Greenberg

Assistant Dean for Dispute Resolution Programs 
Professor of Legal Practice 
Director of The Hugh L. Carey Center for Dispute Resolution 
St. John’s University School of Law; New York 



Melanie Cyganowski (retired bankruptcy judge)

Otterbourg P.C.; New York

C. Edward Dobbs

Parker, Hudson, Rainer & Dobbs LLP

Damian Schaible

Partner, Davis Polk Wardwell LLP



Robert M. Fishman

Shaw Fishman Glantz & Towbin LLC

Jerry M. Markowitz

Markowitz Ringel Trusty + Hartog, P.A.

Richard E. Mikels

Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP

Scott Y. Stuart

Esquify, Inc.

Conference Information

Attendance/Participation Policy

Participants are required to attend the entire 40 hours of training. If you cannot attend all 40 hours, please defer registering.


Participants are responsible for their own travel and hotel arrangements. Some nearby hotels to consider are The Millennium Hilton, Cosmopolitan Hotel Tribeca, Embassy Suites Hotel New York, New York Marriott and Holiday Inn Downtown. These listings are provided for informational purposes only and are not vendor endorsements or recommendations.

St. John's University School of Law, Manhattan Campus
51 Astor Place
New York, NY 10003
Building entrance is between 3rd and 4th Avenues.

Cancellation Policy

All fees, except a $75 handling fee, will be refunded if written notice of cancellation is received by Novermber 18, 2016. No refunds will be granted after November 18, but substitutions will be allowed. After November 18, upon written request, a coupon for 20% off the registration fee (not including optional events) will be issued, which can be used (by the canceling registrant only) for any ABI educational program up to one year after this conference, or for this same conference next year.

Continuing Education Credit

33.75 hours of general CLE credit, including 2.25 hours of ethics, are pending in states calculating CLE on a 60-minute hour, and 40.5 hours of general CLE credit, including 2.5 hours of ethics, are pending in 50-minute-hour states. Credit hours granted are subject to approval from each state. California MCLE: ABI certifies that this activity has been approved for MCLE credit in the amount of 33.75 hours, of which 2.25 hours will apply to ethics. NY MCLE: This transitional and non-transitional program has been approved in accordance with the requirements of the CLE Board for a maximum of 40.5 credit hours, of which 2.5 hours of credit can be applied toward the ethics professionalism requirement. 40.5 hours of CPE credit, including 2.5 hours of ethics, are also available.


*ABI offers intermediate-level courses, which assume that attendees will have at least some detailed knowledge of insolvency matters (pursuant to the "Statement on Standards for CPE Programs" established by AICPA and NASBA). ABI is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE sponsors. State boards of accountancy have the final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be addressed to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors, 150 Fourth Ave. North, Suite 700, Nashville, TN 37219-2417, or For more information regarding administrative policies such as complaint and refund, please contact the American Bankruptcy Institute at (703) 739-0800.


ABI acknowledges that in some instances there will be persons who need to attend an educational seminar for CLE credit who are not able to pay full registration fees. ABI will handle such instances on a case-by-case basis and will work with the individual on alternative solutions. For persons who cannot meet the full registration rate, ABI will offer a reduced rate based on what the individual can reasonably afford to cover the cost of meals and materials. For persons unable to pay a reduced rate, we may allow the individual to work at our registration area for a few hours during attendee check-in, or assist in conference set-up. ABI also has reduced rates for government employees, professors, law clerks and students. For information on tuition assistance, send an e-mail to [email protected].

The Gold Standard of Bankruptcy Mediation Training

The ABI/St. John’s Bankruptcy Mediation Training program is designed to educate mediators about the theory, skills and specific practice challenges of bankruptcy mediation. Guided by a distinguished faculty of nationally respected bankruptcy jurists, practitioners and mediators, the ABI/St. John’s Mediation Training teaches the critical skills that are requisites for bankruptcy mediators. Our training faculty includes leaders in the field of mediation and bankruptcy. Lectures, exercises and simulations focus solely on bankruptcy conflicts.


Beyond the core skills that are essential for good mediators, participants will also learn about specialized bankruptcy issues inherent in bankruptcy mediations, including:

  •  Understanding the Anatomy of a Successful Bankruptcy Mediation
  •  Maximizing Pre-Mediation Opportunities
  •  Managing the Multi-Party Dynamics of Bankruptcy Mediation
  •  Analyzing Impasses in Bankruptcy and Applying Impasse-Breaking Skills
  •  Mediating Valuation Conflicts Without Having the Mediator Evaluate
  •  Distinguishing Between Writing Mediation Summaries and Drafting Agreements
  •  Defining Bankruptcy Mediation Ethics Within a Collegial Bankruptcy Community
  •  Maintaining Momentum and Ensuring Continuity in Multi-Session Mediations

During the 40 hours of this highly interactive four-day training, participants will develop an understanding of the practice of bankruptcy mediation through a combination of lectures, videos, demonstrations and supervised simulations. At the conclusion of the training, participants will receive a Certificate of Completion of ABI/St. John’s Bankruptcy Mediation Training, the Gold Standard of Bankruptcy Mediation Training. Participants will also receive a DVD of themselves in action during a mock mediation. As an added bonus, the training qualifies for continuing legal education credit*. 

*In order to receive credit, participants are required to commit to attending the entire 40 hours of training.

Why Bankruptcy Mediation Training?

Bankruptcy judges, lawyers and financial advisors have a long-held and respected reputation of competently assessing the bottom line and settling their cases. However, despite bankruptcy professionals’ best efforts, sometimes cases are unable to be settled. For those cases, mediation can be the appropriate forum. Increasingly, bankruptcy courts are using mediation as a valuable adjunct to their case management to help resolve issues that even the most skilled bankruptcy professionals are unable to resolve. Consequently, there is a growing need for trained bankruptcy mediators.

Who Should Attend?

If you are a bankruptcy judge, lawyer or financial professional who is interested in applying your bankruptcy expertise, learning more about bankruptcy mediation and possibly becoming a bankruptcy mediator, or if you are already a mediator and would like to expand your skills into bankruptcy mediation, this training is for you.

Conference Rates

Registration Rates Early
(postmarked by 10/21/16)
(after 10/21/16)

ABI Member
New ABI Member*
ABI Government/Non-Profit Member
New ABI Government/Non-Profit Member*


* Includes a one-year ABI membership for first-time members — a $295 value! ABI membership is individual and nonrefundable. Expired members should select the member rate and renew their membership at

All attendees will receive a copy of ABI's Bankruptcy Mediation book, one of the best guides on bankruptcy mediation, written by some of the top mediators in bankruptcy - an $85 value.