By: Donald L Swanson
Historically, bankruptcy courts and bankruptcy professionals have been lagging adopters of mediation. They’ve been slow to utilize mediation for resolving bankruptcy disputes, and they’ve been slow to adopt local rules on mediation.
Today, however, 76 (80.85%) of all 94 bankruptcy court districts have a local mediation rule of some type (see this link), and mediation is a significant tool in many bankruptcy courts. That’s because of a simple reality: bankruptcy mediation works!
Bankruptcy mediation is useful, for example, in dealing with heavy caseloads and high-emotion cases, in minimizing litigation costs and maximizing personal relationships (especially with early mediation), in providing creative solutions to interrelated disputes, and in protecting confidentiality.
Of those 80.85%, however, a dozen or so must rely on the local mediation rules of their District Court. Three examples from the Midwest are the two Iowa Districts and the District of Minnesota.