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Event Information 271364

Friday, January 25

7:45 a.m.


8:30-09:10 a.m.

The What and the Why of Mediation

The What: Mediation is a process dependent upon the cooperation of counsel, parties and the court. It can lead to settlements in all types and phases of bankruptcy cases, including consumer cases, cases and controversies under chapters 11 and 7, adversary proceedings, plan confirmations and post-confirmation litigation.
The Why: Mediation is cost-effective and voluntary, even if mandated by the court. It provides parties and counsel with an opportunity to resolve matters with questionable or doubtful claims or defenses. Additionally, mediation can lead to positive personal and business relationships going forward.
The View from the Bench: Litigation is not cost-effective in many cases and controversies. Parties are entitled to their “day in court,” although some parties might be better served by mediation. Judges are divided on whether mediation should be mandatory by rule or on the court’s own motion, or completely voluntary.
Choosing the Mediator/Styles of Mediation (Judges, Retired Judges, Lawyers, Others): Mediators may be judges, retired judges, lawyers or nonlawyers. Each category might have positive and negative characteristics, but some of the presumptions about each category might be overstated or inaccurate. A mediator should be trained and skilled by experience, whatever his or her background may be. A mediator might have a particular style: Some are neutral, others are evaluative, and some might be directive. A good mediator should be flexible and ready to engage the parties in a way that moves the process along without forcing a result.

09:15-10:30 a.m.

Fundamentals of Mediation

Rules and Statutes: This aspect will focus on the requirements in the District and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, although attendees from other jurisdictions are welcome, as all are sure to benefit from the general discussion.
Privilege and Confidentiality: Mediation must occur in a safe environment where disclosures can be made without fear that they will be used in pending or future legal proceedings. This program will cover what counsel should know about this aspect of mediation.
Mediation Agreements and Settlement Agreements: Written documents governing the mediation are critical. A written settlement agreement executed at the conclusion of a successful mediation is the best way to avoid “buyers’ remorse” when putting it on the record is not possible.
Phases of Mediation:

  • Pre-Mediation Conference: Meeting with the mediator before the mediation is the surest way to plan for a successful session. It is akin to a final pre-trial conference. The basic elements of the pre-mediation conference will be discussed.

  • Mediation Session: This is the basic outline of how the mediator may lead the process to achieve a settlement through supervised negotiations.

  • Caucuses and Breakouts: Counsel and parties will learn why private “ex parte meetings” with the mediator are permissible and how such interactions, along with plenary sessions, may aid in achieving a successful outcome.

  • Putting It on the Record: Putting a settlement on the record through counsel, with the sworn acceptance of the parties, is the best way to preserve the deal.

10:30-10:40 a.m.


10:40-11:30 a.m.

Role-Playing by Instructors

The participants will read a script and break out into working sessions with the faculty, then regroup for a mock mediation.

11:30-12:00 noon

Facilitated Discussion

The faculty will lead a discussion of the topics covered and allow the participants to voice their questions and concerns.

12:00 noon



Program Chairs

Hon. Louis H. Kornreich (ret.)

Bernstein Shur; Bangor, Maine

John G. Loughnane

Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP; Boston


Christine E. Devine

Mirick, O’Connell, DeMallie & Lougee, LLP; Westborough, Mass.

Hon. Joan N. Feeney

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. Mass.); Boston

Hon. Louis H. Kornreich (ret.)

Bernstein Shur; Bangor, Maine

John G. Loughnane

Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP; Boston

John J. Monaghan

Holland & Knight LLP; Boston

Conference Rates

Registration Rates  

ABI Member
Join and Save*
Govt./Aca. ABI Member
Govt./Aca. New ABI Member*

* Includes a one-year ABI membership for first-time members — a $325 value! You must be an ABI member to attend. Membership is individual and nonrefundable. If your membership has expired, select the member rate and add in your membership renewal fee.

Conference Information


Suffolk University School of Law
120 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108

Cancellation Policy

All fees will be refunded if written notice of cancellation is received by January 4, 2019. No refunds will be granted after January 4, but substitutions will be allowed.