Since leaving the Delaware Bankruptcy Court, Justice Sontchi has mediated disputes in numerous state and federal courts, including pre-litigation. He has recently served as a mediator in Aearo Technologies, Block-Fi, Roman Catholic Bishop of Oakland, Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensberg, Vesttoo, and many other cases.
Justice Sontchi has both formal training and extensive experience in mediation. He first expressed an interest in mediation as a first year associate when he was trained as a mediator through the Delaware Superior Court mediation program. As a judge, he participated in the multi-day mediation training provided by the Federal Judicial Center. Throughout his service in the Delaware Bankruptcy Court, he volunteered to assist his colleagues by mediating complex suits and, more often than not, aided the parties in reaching an agreement. He successfully brokered a settlement between the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors and the Debtors (with the participation of numerous other parties) in the Mallinckrodt bankruptcy – a settlement that facilitated confirmation of the Debtors’ plan. He also brokered a settlement of pending qui tam litigation between the Debtors, the plaintiffs, and the Department of Justice in the MD Helicopters bankruptcy. That settlement was crucial to the Debtors’ successful efforts to consummate a quick sale and confirmation of a plan.
Justice Sontchi is an evaluative mediator. While in no way imposing his opinion on the parties, he often shares his neutral evaluation of the dispute, based on his years of judicial experience, in an attempt to help the parties reach a mutually agreeable resolution. And, while Justice Sontchi always attempts to resolve a mediation through one or two all-day sessions, he is tireless in his pursuit of a resolution. He keeps the parties in contact and moving towards settlement, usually through individual email, telephone, or Zoom sessions. And, once an agreement in principle is reached, he keeps the parties engaged to ensure the settlement is consummated.