LOS ANGELES—California law firm Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP and the name partners of California law firm Shulman Hodges & Bastian LLP have announced the formation of 9019 Bankruptcy Arbitration and Mediation (9019BAM!), a mediation and arbitration service focusing on the resolution of complex bankruptcy and commercial disputes.
9019BAM! provides a panel of independent mediators and arbitrators from numerous law firms, who are experienced commercial and bankruptcy trial lawyers as well as experienced neutrals.
“Evaluative mediation is usually favored by participants in bankruptcy and commercial dispute resolutions,” said veteran trial lawyer John Graham, a partner at Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP and co-manager of 9019BAM!. “Our neutrals have the depth and experience to deliver the type of recommendations and opinions that matter when the parties need to know what might occur should the case go back to court.”
Graham also noted that “Bankruptcy Rule 9019(c) allows contested matters, including discovery disputes, to be resolved by arbitration if the parties agree. This provision is vastly underutilized, but can provide in certain cases a more efficient resolution process than the courts. Valuation disputes in particular lend themselves to resolution in this manner, especially through ‘baseball style arbitration’ where the arbitrator will select one party’s figure or the other’s.”
“As a practicing lawyer, I know how frustrating it can be to clients who have to wait for months for a trial date, due to backlogs in courts throughout California,” said 9019BAM! co-manager, Leonard Shulman, a partner at Shulman Hodges & Bastian LLP. “Mediation or arbitration can provide a quicker result, but lawyers can be reluctant to use neutrals who don’t have the specialized experience required for certain complex matters. That’s where we come in.”
Lawyers looking for the right mediator or arbitrator can visit the 9019BAM! website, review the background and experience of available neutrals, and click on “Schedule a Neutral,” to view the selected neutral’s calendar, in real time. This allows lawyers to schedule their mediation or arbitration on consecutive days, at a time that is convenient. This unique online calendaring system allows parties to propose and confirm dates and easily address the complicated scheduling issues that often hinder the mediation and arbitration process.
“With the right mediator or arbitrator the process should work for all involved,” said Graham. “If we cannot add value to the mediation or arbitration by providing a specialist who fits the case, we will not take the matter.”
John A. Graham