• 615-252-2397
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Why Mediation?

There are many reasons why mediation should be the first step in resolving a commercial dispute. Most importantly, you remain in control in reaching an agreement and the terms of that agreement. Any commercial litigator will acknowledge that even in the best of cases, there is uncertainty when the judge is making the decision. On the other hand, by agreeing to mediate a dispute first, a majority of the matters get settled to the satisfaction of the parties often at a significantly reduced cost than the actual litigation, and even if the matter is not settled, the mediation process enables you to learn more about the case and the position of the other side, thus narrowing the issues and often reducing the cost in preparation for trial

Bill Norton is an experienced mediator who has the patience and temperament to work through complex disputes toward a successful resolution. He is qualified as a Rule 31 Mediator in the State of Tennessee and has qualified to be used as a mediator in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. He has served as Chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee for the Nashville Bar Association and is a past Chair of the Board for the Nashville Conflict Resolution Center. He is also experienced as an arbitrator and has served as a commercial arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association.

Bill’s value as a mediator is not limited to his mediation skills. He is a partner at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings in its Nashville, TN office (www.bradley.co) and has over thirty years of experience in commercial disputes, real estate transactions and foreclosures, and bankruptcy commercial reorganizations and liquidations. His knowledge and background in commercial disputes provides him the background and experience needed to understand the issues confronting the parties and develop creative ways to resolve the disputes.

Bill is the managing editor of Norton Bankruptcy Law and Practice 3d and is a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy. He has been an Adjunct Professor at Vanderbilt Law School for eighteen years and is a frequent speaker at seminars on bankruptcy, creditor’s rights, and real estate foreclosure. He is recognized by the American Board of Certification as a Business Bankruptcy Law Specialist and has received recognition by Chambers USA, Best Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers, Who’s Who Legal, Super Lawyers, Business Tennessee and the Nashville Business Journal.

William L. Norton III Commercial Mediator


Bill is an experienced mediator and arbitrator. He is a former member of the AAA Commercial Arbitration Panel, the past Chair of the ADR Committee for the Nashville Bar Association, and the past Chair of the Board for the Nashville Conflict Resolution Center. He is a Tennessee Rule 31 Mediator.

Bill Norton focuses his practice in the business bankruptcy area, dealing in all aspects of bankruptcy cases, creditor rights and insolvency. He first became familiar with the bankruptcy law from his Dad who was a noted scholar and Bankruptcy Judge in Atlanta, Georgia. Bill went to Vanderbilt Law School intending to practice in bankruptcy law and has done so since 1984. Over more than 30 years of practice of bankruptcy and insolvency law, Bill has represented just about every kind of client interest you can expect in bankruptcy cases. His main focus now is Chapter 11 business cases – representing debtors, secured creditors, unsecured creditors, committees and trustees.

Bill is the Managing Editor of Norton Bankruptcy Law and Practice 3d, which is a premier 13 volume treatise on bankruptcy law published by Thompson Reuters and is the co-author of a handbook entitled Norton Creditors’ Rights Handbook (2012 Thompson Reuters). Bill is a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy. He is an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt Law School and is a frequent speaker at seminars on bankruptcy, creditors’ rights, real property foreclosure and the Uniform Commercial Code. He is the Institute Manager of national seminars focusing on advanced bankruptcy issues sponsored by Norton Institutes on Bankruptcy Law (www.NortonInstitutes.org).

Bill has written numerous manuscripts for seminar presentations, including presentations for the American Bar Association, the American Bankruptcy Institute, 6th Circuit Judicial Conference, the National Association of Credit Managers, the Mid-South Commercial Laws Institute, Isaac A. Scott Bankruptcy Law Institute, Cumberland Law School Conference, Judge Joe Lee Bankruptcy Institute, the Memphis Bar Association Annual Bankruptcy Conference, North Carolina Bar Foundation Institute, Stetson Law School Institute, the Norton Bankruptcy Litigation Institutes, the Western Mountain Norton Bankruptcy Law Institute, the Conference on Finance Law, the Nashville Bar Association, the Tennessee Bar Association, the National Business Institute, the Association of Subcontractors, Lorman Education Services, the Southeastern Business Institute, and the U.S. Department of Justice Education Program.

Bill is past-President and past-Board Member of the American Board of Certification, which certifies attorneys who specialize in the areas of creditor rights and bankruptcy law. He is a leader in the Business Bankruptcy Committee of the Business Section of the ABA and currently is Chair of the Subcommittee on Individual Chapters II. Bill is founder, former President and Board Member of the Tennessee Turnaround Management Association and is a past President and current Board Member of the Mid-South Commercial Law Institute, where he currently serves as Co-chair of the Program Committee.


How does arbitration differ from mediation?

Mediation is a voluntary process where an independent mediator is engaged by the parties to help the parties resolve a dispute. The mediator does not rule on the dispute, but instead seeks to develop an agreement that is satisfactory to both parties that would resolve the dispute without any further litigation. Arbitration, on the other hand, is akin to hiring a judge to decide the dispute in lieu of going to court. The decision by the arbitrator will be final. The advantage of 4831-0332-4056.1 arbitration is that the arbitrator is generally someone who has experience in the subject matter being arbitrated and the process can be conducted more efficiently than litigation in court. Parties use arbitration when it is unlikely that a mediated solution cannot be reached.

What types of disputes are best for mediation?

Any dispute is good for mediation. In addition to commercial disputes, common matters where the parties seek mediation to resolve the dispute are domestic disputes, construction litigation, personal injury claims, real estate disputes, and employment disputes.

How does mediation work in bankruptcy?

It is most common that the parties in a bankruptcy case will get together and agree upon a mediator to help them resolve complex issues in the bankruptcy case. Since a bankruptcy case often involves multiple parties in interest, including the debtor, secured creditors, unsecured creditors, employees, and the U.S. Trustee, a mediator is well suited to work to privately consult with each of the parties in order to understand their concerns and then develop a comprehensive agreement.

Client Testimonials

“Bill is aggressive when necessary and able to handle complicated bankruptcy cases very well.”


Roundabout Plaza 1600 Division Street Suite 700 Nashville, TN 37203

Phone: 615-252-2397 

Fax: 615-252-6397

Days Hours
Monday 9am-5pm
Tuesday 9am-5pm
Wednesday 9am-5pm
Thursday 9am-5pm
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