Card image cap

Achieving Consensus in Bankruptcy Disputes Through Mediation

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 74 minutes
Recorded Date: July 12, 2019
Click here to share this program
Download PDF
Closed Caption


  • ADR in the U.S. Courts
  • Litigation Alternatives
  • Advantages of Mediation
  • Mediation in Bankruptcy Cases and Disputes
  • Mandatory Mediation
  • Mediation Procedures
  • Preliminary Obligations and Procedures
  • Top Ten Mistakes
  • Mediators' Methods
  • Strategies for Effective Negotiations
  • Attorney-Client Relationship
  • Tips and Traps for Participants
  • Reaching an Agreement
  • When Mediation Fails
  • Q & A
Runtime: 1 hour and 14 minutes
Recorded: July 12, 2019


In this program, three expert mediators, two retired judges and one federal judicial mediator will provide insights on what to expect in a mediation of a dispute in a contested matter or adversary proceeding in a bankruptcy case. They will focus on the types of bankruptcy disputes that are well-suited for mediation; procedures for implementing a mediation referral, including the referral order and mediation agreement; confidentiality issues; the conduct of the mediation session; different mediation techniques; strategies for parties and counsel to conduct effective negotiations in mediations; and bad-faith participation in mediation and remedies for such conduct. The panelists also will provide their insights on traps and problems to avoid before, during and after mediation, and best practices for counsel and parties in mediations.

This program was recorded as part of ABI's 2019 Northeastern Bankruptcy Conference & Consumer Forum on July 12th, 2019.

Provided By

American Bankruptcy Institute
Card image cap


Card image cap

Berry B. Mitchell

ADR Administrator, Arbitrator/Mediator
U.S. District Court - Rhode Island

Berry Mitchell is the program administrator for the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program for the United States District Court, District of Rhode Island. He is a member of the Court’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Panel, providing arbitration and mediation services to civil litigants. Beyond his dual role as Director and ADR Panel member, Mr. Mitchell provides education, training, consulting services and technical assistance to both federal and state courts nationwide. He has actively taught at the undergraduate, graduate and law school levels, courses including: ADR, ADR Practice, American Legal History, Civil Procedure and Judicial Administration. He has served as an ADR trainer-facilitator for federal court ADR panels throughout the United States.

Mr. Mitchell’s experiences span a wide range of activities in support of ADR and ADR programs at the national level, including his appointment in 2010 by the Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts to a one-year term of service as a member of a national ADR Working Group; two years of service as Co-Chair of the ABA Dispute Resolution Section Committee on Court ADR Programs; service as a Member of the Federal Judicial Center's ADR Education Project Advisory Group, and as a designated ADR Consultant for the Federal Judicial Center’s Program for Consultations in Dispute Resolu-tion, which provides on-site consulting services to federal district and bank-ruptcy courts nationwide; and a member of the ABA’s Court ADR Program Advisors Project.

Beyond his formal education and training in law and judicial administration at the University of Denver, College of Law, Mr. Mitchell received ADR training at the Harvard Law School, Program of Instruction for Lawyers in both basic and advanced negotiation; mediation training sponsored by the Lex Mundi College of Mediators; both basic and advanced ADR Panel Certification Train-ing mandated by the U.S. District Court, District of Rhode Island. Mr. Mitchell has also received advanced Circuit Mediator Training sponsored by the Federal Judicial Center.

In addition to his formal ADR training, Mr. Mitchell has completed ADR education and training arising out of educational programs, conferences, seminars and workshops sponsored by The American Bar Association, Dispute Resolution Section; The Harvard Negotiation Law Review; the Federal Judicial Center; The Connecticut Bar Foundation; The New England Chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution; The Society of Profession-als In Dispute Resolution; Mediation Works Incorporated; The Labor Research Center and Graduate Professional Center at the University of Rhode Island; Federal Dispute Resolution Conference, Incorporated; The University of Arkansas School of Law; Roger Williams University School of Law; Quinnipiac University School of Law and the University of Washington School of Law.

Card image cap

Hon. Louis H. Komreich (ret.)

Of Counsel
Bernstein, Shur, Sawyer & Nelson, P.A.

After a distinguished 40 year career as one of Northern New England’s top reorganization specialists, the last 14 of which were spent on the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maine where he served as Chief Judge, Lou Kornreich joined Bernstein Shur to provide mediation services in the private sphere. While on the bench, Lou sat for extended periods of time as a visiting bankruptcy judge in the Districts of Delaware and New Hampshire and as an appellate judge on the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the First Circuit.

During his tenure on the bench, Lou was a sought-after judicial mediator in the Bankruptcy Court and the U.S District Court, and was held in high esteem by the bench and bar and for his multifaceted approach to mediation and his skill at helping parties achieve comprehensive and pragmatic solutions in difficult cases.

Lou is a registered mediator in the Southern District of New York, the District of Delaware and the District of Massachusetts. His mediation work covers bankruptcy matters and all aspects of civil litigation.

Lou is widely known and well-regarded for being a neutral facilitator who knows when to provide case evaluation and direction.

As a judge, Lou presided over some of the largest and most complex reorganization cases in Maine history, including Great Northern Paper, and two Canadian cross-border cases: Androscoggin Energy, a natural gas case covering several North American jurisdictions, and the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway case arising from the tragic Lac Megantic fire.

Lou is an author and sought-after speaker on mediation topics, presenting for ABI, NYIC and other groups including Touro Law School where he was the distinguished lecturer in the fall of 2017. Other notable presentations include an ABI national webinar on the issue of confidentiality in mediation and the ABI Portable Mediation Program. His articles published in the ABI Journal include “Bankruptcy Court: Religious Court’s Edict Violated the Automatic Stay” and “Achieving a Balance Between Absolute Neutrality and a Participant’s Desires in Mediation”.

He is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute where he currently serves as a co-chair of Special Projects for the Mediation Committee. He is also a member of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, and is a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy.

Card image cap

Hon. Joan N. Feeney (Ret.)

Case Manager

Hon. Joan N. Feeney is a neutral for JAMS in Boston, where she provides mediation, arbitration and neutral analysis services in complex disputes worldwide. She previously was a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the District of Massachusetts from 1992 to May 2019 and Chief Judge from 2002-06. She is currently Chief Judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the First Circuit.

Judge Feeney is a Fellow, vice president and a member of the board of directors of the American College of Bankruptcy and served for three years on its Board of Regents. She is a co-author of the Bankruptcy Law Manual, a two-volume treatise published by Thomson Reuters, and a co-author of a book for consumers, The Road Out of Debt, published by John Wiley & Sons.

Judge Feeney was the president of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges in 2011 and 2012 and has served that organization in numerous capacities, including on its Board of Governors,as chair of its Newsletter Committee, as editor in chief and reporter for Conference News, and on special projects. Judge Feeney was the business manager of the American Bankruptcy Law Journal from 2016-18, and was an associate editor from 2013-16. She is a founder and co-chair of the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Project, a joint venture of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts and the Boston Bar Association. She was a member of the International Judicial Relations Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States from 2006-12 and hosted many delegations of foreign judges in the U.S., as well as traveled to foreign countries on behalf of the federal judiciary. Judge Feeney is the chair of the Massachusetts Bankruptcy Court’s Pro Bono Committee and was co-chair of the Massachusetts Local Rules Committee for many years. She is a member of ABI and sat on its Board of Directors, and she has been judicial chair of several regional ABI educational programs and is a frequent ABI panelist.

Prior to her appointment, Judge Feeney was an associate and partner in the Boston law firm Hanify & King, P.C., was a career law clerk to Hon. James N. Gabriel, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the District of Massachusetts, and a partner in the Boston law firm Feeney & Freeley, where her practice included service as a trustee on the U.S. Trustee’s private panel of trustees.

In 2005, she received the Boston Bar Association’s Haskell Cohn Award for Distinguished Judicial Service, and in 2009 the American College of Bankruptcy First Circuit Fellows recognized her for contribution to bankruptcy jurisprudence and practice. She also was the 2018 recipient of the Charles P. Normandin Lifetime Achievement Award from the Boston Bar Association and the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges Excellence in Education Award.

Judge Feeney is a graduate of Connecticut College and Suffolk University Law School.

Card image cap

Similar Courses

Card image cap
97 minutes
26 Words that Created the Internet - Basics of the Communications Decency Act Section 230 Safe Harbor
This program will examine the basics of CDA 230 and its day to day affect for those who advise internet businesses as well as those who litigate against them. It will give practical guidance as to what extend internet companies can or should edit or censor the information their users contribute to their sites and to what extent those users will actually be liable.

New Media Rights


Add to Cart
Card image cap
76 minutes
360-Degree of Investigation - A Roundtable Discussion Regarding Investigations of Debtors and Recovery of Assets
This panel of lawyers and insolvency professionals with bankruptcy expertise will lead a roundtable discussion regarding investigation of debtors and recovering assets to enhance the value of a bankruptcy estate.

American Bankruptcy Institute


Add to Cart
Card image cap
63 minutes
360-Degree View on How to Navigate a Crisis
During this session, our panel of experts will explore the following topics to arm you with a plan to protect the company and minimize long-term problems: - Building a crisis management team and understanding each person’s unique role -Preparedness – advance planning and assessing potential risk areas - First Response – responding in the critical first hours and days to minimize the long-term impact - Resolution Strategy – managing various actions stemming from the crisis to enable the best resolution for the company.

Women, Influence & Power in Law Conference


Add to Cart
Card image cap
63 minutes
40 Years of Data: What the Data on the Industry Says About Its Future
For 40 years, The American Lawyer, its affiliate publications and ALM Intelligence’s Legal Compass have been collecting data on law firms, clients and providers. What does the data tell us about where the industry is headed? We will take a deep dive into our data and others’ to assess the state of the industry and its future.



Add to Cart
Previous Next