Mediation Committee


Post date: Friday, January 05, 2024

Greetings from the Mediation Committee! As 2023 has now drawn to a close, and we hope all of our members enjoyed a very happy holiday season! Here’s a report of committee events for the last quarter of 2023, and we hope to see all of you at the Annual Spring Meeting in 2024.

Post date: Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Mediation Committee Leadership

  • Committee Chairs: Connor Bifferato and Edward Schnitzer
  • Communications: Mo Bauer and Emily Wall
  • Education: Sylvia Mayer and Steve Sather
  • Member Relations: Annmarie Chiarello and Kevin McCarrell
  • Newsletter: Joseph Orbach and Kara Casteel
Post date: Friday, August 25, 2023
Photo of Edward L. Schnitzer
Edward L. Schnitzer

Hopefully you have had a chance to listen to ABI’s latest podcast featuring our very own Edward Schnitzer of Womble Bond Dickinson (New York) and Connor Bifferato of The Bifferato Firm (Wilmington, Del.).

Post date: Friday, August 25, 2023

In a recent decision, a bankruptcy judge remarked that “the Court’s preferred remedy would be requiring the parties to ‘hug it out.’” [1] Sadly, the judge lamented that “jurisdictional limits restrict the Court to ruling only on the dischargeability of the debt,” and he did not force the estranged family members to embrace.

Post date: Wednesday, December 07, 2022

We are privileged to have observed many talented predecessors with years of dedicated service to ABI and the Mediation Committee during our time as co-chairs. We also have had the good fortune to work with very competent subcommittee directors. Several of our directors are seasoned hands, while others are relative newcomers.

Post date: Wednesday, November 30, 2022
Photo of Kara E. Casteel
Kara E. Casteel

The Mediation Committee presented several great CLE sessions this summer at regional bankruptcy workshops around the country. In addition, the committee just presented a fantastic CLE program at ABI’s Winter Leadership Conference this past weekend, which we will summarize in the next newsletter.

Post date: Wednesday, November 30, 2022
Photo of Claudia Z. Springer
Claudia Z. Springer

“[M]ediation provides a vital alternative to litigation;” its benefits “include its cost-effectiveness, speed, and adaptability.” [1] But despite these benefits, many litigants only turn to mediation to resolve their disputes after filing a lawsuit rather than before.

Post date: Wednesday, June 15, 2022
Photo of Hon. Louis Kornreich (ret.)
Hon. Louis Kornreich (ret.)

Our committee has been quite active during the last few months!

Post date: Wednesday, June 15, 2022
Photo of Hon. Judith K. Fitzgerald (Ret.)
Hon. Judith K. Fitzgerald (Ret.)

Retired Bankruptcy Judge Louis Kornreich has been a mainstay for the ABI Mediation Committee for many years and now serves as a co-chair. As a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, he was respected for his innovative approach to solving problems that crop up in cases by employing mediation-like skills to help parties resolve their disputes without using the full panoply of litigation tools.

Post date: Tuesday, June 14, 2022
Photo of Hon. Louis H. Kornreich (ret.)
Hon. Louis H. Kornreich (ret.)

As bankruptcy cases of all types continue to be filed in record numbers, the use of mediation is increasing. This trend is likely to continue. This article focuses on the concepts that a lawyer must know and actions that he/she should take to avoid or overcome an impasse in mediation. The obstacles to reaching a settlement vary with each case.


Mon, 2023-04-24

This panel will explore the various roles of neutrals in bankruptcy, including applicable provisions of the Bankruptcy Code and Rules, as well as the limitations on the use of neutrals in bankruptcy. Examples of neutral roles in bankruptcy include mediators, fee examiners, subchapter V trustees, and mass tort personal-injury plan administrators. Limitations on the use of neutrals in bankruptcy can be found in Bankruptcy Rule 9031, and there is growing support to modify the rule to eliminate this limitation.

Tue, 2023-03-14

Conducted in a Q&A format, this webinar will feature a series of mediation hypotheticals/questions presented to Mediation Committee Co-Chair Connor Bifferato and Education Director Edward Schnitzer for discussion and/or debate.

Wed, 2023-02-15

The ABI Mediation Committee’s “Look Ahead to 2023” presentation began with a summary of the Committee focus areas, an introduction to Committee leadership and highlights of the benefits of committee membership, such as our active listserv discussions, opportunities to write for our newsletter, and networking events at ABI conferences throughout the country.

Fri, 2022-12-09

This panel will discuss mediation in mass-tort/multiparty cases such as Puerto Rico, Purdue, Boy Scouts andthe various religious institutions that have filed for bankruptcy. The panelists will highlight mediating tortclaims that have emotional and non-monetary components, such as sexual abuse; issues regarding nondebtor-related entity property and contributions; and liquidation concerns in a religious institutionbankruptcy.

Sat, 2022-04-30

Based on his distinguished 45-year career dealing with stress and human health, Dr. Bruce Rabin will present a timely program identifying the mental and physical effects of stress, and will introduce skills that can be used to minimize those effects. He will explore the concepts of isolation, changes in behavior and health due to the pandemic, and how negotiation strategies for in-person or remote mediations, client relations and decision-making are affected by stress.

Fri, 2017-12-01

Hosted by the Business Reorganization and Mediation Committees

Tue, 2017-09-12

This webinar is geared to attorneys participating as advocates in mediations. It is intended to provide guidance for attorney advocates on how to select mediators, prepare themselves and their clients for mediation, and how to formulate negotiating strategies for use in the mediation. This program will also include tips for ensuring the attorney advocate and the client have properly formulated a risk assessment and negotiating strategy in advance of the mediation, as well as tips for dealing with impasse.

Thu, 2016-07-28

Authors of the Bankruptcy Litigation Committee's most recent newsletter hosted a call to discuss their topic, mediation of bankruptcy disputes. Click here to review this full newsletter.

Mon, 2016-05-16

During this informative call, the Newsletter Editors for the Mediation and Bankruptcy Litigation committees briefly disucssed the results of their joint survey concerning views about mediation. Ed Dobbs then lead a substansive discussion on mediation ethics. Click here to view the results of the survey and the outline provided by Mr. Dobbs that were published in a recent newsletter.

Fri, 2016-04-15

War and Peace: Recent Trends and Developments in Bankruptcy Litigation and Mediation


Mr. Ian Connor Bifferato
The Bifferato Firm
Wilmington, DE
(302) 225-7600

Mr. Edward L. Schnitzer
Womble Bond Dickinson
New York, NY
(332) 258-8495

Mr. Morris S. Bauer
Communications Manager
Duane Morris LLP
Florham Park, NJ
(973) 424-2037

Mrs. Emily S. Wall
Communications Manager
Cavazos Hendricks Poirot, PC
Dallas, TX
(214) 573-7307

Ms. Sylvia Ann Mayer
Education Director
S Mayer Law
Houston, TX
(713) 893-0339

Mr. Stephen W. Sather
Education Director
Barron & Newburger
Austin, TX
(512) 649-3243

Ms. Annmarie Chiarello
Membership Relations Director
Winstead PC
Dallas, TX
(214) 745-5410

Mr. Michael Kevin McCarrell, Esq.
Membership Relations Director
Fox Rothschild LLP
Mount Pleasant, SC
(864) 751-7652

Mrs. Kara E. Casteel
Newsletter Editor
Saint Paul, MN
(651) 289-3846

Mr. Joseph Orbach
Newsletter Editor
Thompson Coburn LLP
New York, NY
(212) 478-7200

Mr. Michael John Riela
Newsletter Editor
Genworth Financial
Stamford, CT
(203) 708-3366

Mr. Francis A. Monaco, Jr.
Special Projects Leader
Monaco Mediation
Wilmington, MD
(302) 690-0757

Hon. Christopher S. Sontchi
Special Projects Leader
Sontchi, LLC
Wilmington, DE
(302) 252-2888

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