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When Mediation Gets Messy: Ethical Dilemmas

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 60 minutes
Recorded Date: April 20, 2021
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  • Ethical Issues and Mediation Over a Remote Platform
  • Checklist for Zoom Test/Practice Session Before Mediation Session
  • Mediator’s Remarks for Joint Opening Session
  • Mediator’s Ethics Guidelines
  • American Bankruptcy Institute Model Rules for Mediation
  • Bankruptcy 101
Runtime: 1 hour
Recorded: April 20, 2021


The panel will provide an overview of certain bankruptcy laws and rules relevant to mediation, using vignettes or hypotheticals to set the scenes for in-depth discussions of the relevant rules of professional responsibility and ethical concerns.

This program was recorded as part of the American Bankruptcy Institute's 2021 Virtual American Spring Meeting held on April 20th, 2021.

Provided By

American Bankruptcy Institute
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C. Edwards Dobbs

Senior Partner
Parker Hudson Rainer & Dobbs, LLP

C. Edward Dobbs is a senior partner in the Atlanta office of Parker Hudson Rainer & Dobbs LLP and has practiced law for nearly 45 years. He has been involved documenting and closing commercial loans for banks and other financial institutions; representing financial institutions in debt-restructurings, workouts, litigation and bankruptcy cases; and representing debtors, unsecured creditors and creditors’ committees in bankruptcy cases.

For more than 25 years, a sizeable part of Mr. Dobbs’s practice has included serving as a neutral in both arbitrations and mediations. He is on the panel of neutrals (for both arbitration and mediation) maintained by the American Arbitration Association for commercial cases and the Delaware Bankruptcy Court’s mediation panel, and is the author of a number of articles (as well as a forthcoming treatise on mediation of commercial disputes) and a frequent speaker on settlement negotiation and mediation topics, including as a lecturer on mediation topics at Georgia State Law School and at each of the ABI/St. Johns Law School’s annual mediation courses.

Mr. Dobbs has served as court-appointed or party-retained mediator in numerous commercial disputes pending in state and federal courts in throughout the Southeast and in Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Jersey and Texas, including commercial litigation arising out of or related to bankruptcy cases, such as fraudulent-transfer claims (including Ponzi schemes), professional fee-disgorgement disputes in administratively insolvent cases, voidable preference claims, plan formulation and confirmation challenges, claims against officers and directors for breach of fiduciary duty, equitable subordination challenges and recharacterization of insider loans, and disputes for asserted noncompliance with the WARN Act and PACA. He also has been involved in lender-liability claims, defamation claims, fraud claims, interbank disputes (including disputes under both participation and syndicated agency agreements), claims asserted under various types of commercial contracts (including sales and distribution agreements, construction contracts and joint-venture agreements), business separations and dissolutions, suits on guaranties, legal malpractice claims, and claims by banks and insurers regarding scope and coverage of credit insurance.

Mr. Dobbs received his A.B. in 1971 from Davidson College and his J.D. in 1974 from Vanderbilt University Law School, where he was articles editor of the Vanderbilt Law Review and graduated Order of the Coif.

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B. Summer Chandler

Visiting Assistant Professor
Southern University Law Center

B. Summer Chandler is a visiting assistant professor with the Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, La. She has also taught at the Georgia State University College of Law and the Concordia University School of Law. Prior to joining the academy,

Prof. Chandler practiced for 15 years in international and national law firms, focusing her practice on business bankruptcy, creditors’ rights litigation, distressed transactions, and other business transactions and disputes. She frequently writes and lectures on bankruptcy, business law, and ethics and professionalism. She is also engaged in a number of professional organizations, including ABI and the American Bar Association.

Prof. Chandler received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Asheville and her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.

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Russell M. Blain

Stichter, Riedel, Blain & Postler, P.A.

Russell M. Blain is a shareholder with Stichter, Riedel, Blain & Postler P.A. in Tampa, Fla., where he focuses on restructuring and on representing chapter 11 debtors, creditors, trustees, buyers and committees. He is a Fellow in the American College of Bankruptcy and a recipient of the Douglas P. McClurg Award for professionalism.

Mr. Blain is Education Director of ABI’s Mediation Committee and co-chairs the Membership Committee of the Business Bankruptcy Committee of the American Bar Association. He is a past chair of the Business Law Section of The Florida Bar and past president of the Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association.

Mr. Blain is named as one of the Top 100 lawyers in all practice areas in Florida and is recognized in The Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA 2020 and Legal Elite. He received his B.A. magna cum laude in 1974 from Vanderbilt University and his J.D. from the University of Florida in 1977, where he served as senior executive editor of the University of Florida Law Review, and his law review note was selected for publication and received the Gertrude Brick Law Apprentice Award. He is a member of Phi Delta Phi and Omicron Delta Kappa.

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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.

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