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Don Swanson has devoted his legal career to helping businesses and their owners deal with financial stress – on all sides.

Don has helped hundreds of businesses resolve financial issues without filing bankruptcy. When needed, however, Don files bankruptcy reorganization proceedings for businesses—and has achieved confirmed plans and a discharge in many cases. He is a Certified Specialist in Business Bankruptcy Law and has been recognized by Best Lawyers®, Super Lawyers, and Martindale-Hubbell for his work in this area.

He has represented many committees (both official and ad hoc) in bankruptcy to maximize recovery from scarce assets. For example, Don led the charge to organize and represent an ad hoc Committee for hundreds of creditors in a $1.5 billion Chapter 11 ethanol case and, because of that capacity, held an ex officio position with the Official Committee in that case.

Don has also helped creditors maximize value and minimize loss in many hundreds of cases. For example, he represented a Trustee in a debtor’s Chapter 7 case that scheduled millions of dollars of claims, few assets, and a “no-asset” status, and achieved a 100% distribution to all creditors.

Don publishes a blog on bankruptcy and mediation topics at He has helped promote mediation as a dispute resolution tool in bankruptcy – both locally and nationally. Don chairs the Nebraska Bankruptcy Court Mediation Committee and led the charge to get local mediation rules adopted. He also serves on the leadership team for the Mediation Committee of the American Bankruptcy Institute.

News & Publications

Speaking Engagements

Honors & Affiliations

Honors & Awards

Certified Specialist in Business Bankruptcy Law, American Board of Certification
The Best Lawyers in America©, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law and Litigation – Bankruptcy, 2008-2021
Super Lawyers, 2009-2020
“AV” Rating, Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell
Court-Approved Mediator in both the U.S. District and Bankruptcy Courts of Nebraska
Nebraska State Bar Foundation, Fellow

Community & Professional

Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota Bar Associations
American Bankruptcy Institute
Rotary Club of Omaha – Downtown
Nebraska Bankruptcy Court Mediation Committee, Chair
American Academy of ADR Attorneys
American Bankruptcy Institute’s Mediation Committee, Leadership Team
CityCare Counseling, Board of Directors
Legal Aid of Nebraska, Former Board Member
Global Partners in Hope, Former Board Member


J.D., University of Nebraska – Lincoln, 1980

  • Associate Editor, Nebraska Law Review, 1978-1980

B.S., University of Nebraska – Omaha, 1977

  • Political Science

A.A., Grace University, 1976


  • State of Nebraska
    State of Iowa
    State of South Dakota
    U.S. District Court, Northern District of Iowa
    U.S. District Court, Southern District of Iowa
    U.S. District Court, District of Nebraska
    U.S. District Court, District of South Dakota
    U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
    U.S. Supreme Court
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