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Mediation Blog

Topic: Attorney | 49 post(s).

March 1, 2016 - {3:48 minutes to read} When comparing mediated and litigated agreements, the first thought that comes to mind is that a mediated agreement would have terms that are balanced, would be more creative and would more accurately reflect exactly what the parties believe is best for their families. The LanguageAnother important difference is in the language itself. Without considering the actual terms, one can see a difference in the terminology used in an agreement drafted af [...]

November 24, 2015 - {3:00 minutes to read}    Previously, I wrote about the benefit to parents in using a child specialist.  In this post, I am writing about the benefits to clients in using a divorce coach in certain situations. It does sound odd to think that someone needs a coach to get a divorce.  At first blush it can bring up the wholly inappropriate picture of someone on the sidelines cheering you on as you prepare to end your marriage. That is most definitely n [...]

October 13, 2015 - {4:00 minutes to read} Recently I received a notice of a Continuing Legal Education course sponsored by a bar association on the topic of child custody. Ever the optimist, I took a look at the description and agenda hoping to find an offering on resolving custody through a non-adversarial approach. However, there was nothing offered regarding mediation or collaborative practice, both of which can be found on the website of the New York State Unified Court Syst [...]

September 29, 2015 - {3:36 minutes to read} In a previous post, I discussed the difficulty faced by a mediator when he or she needs to consider whether or not the client’s right to self-determination should be controlling in the face of an agreement that could be considered unconscionable. In my initial consultation with clients, I try to draw the distinction for them between someone who: Is unable to fully participate in the mediation; Does not have the capacity to mediate [...]

September 15, 2015 - {3:24 minutes to read} When I mentioned to a friend that I loved the balance poses in yoga the best, her reply was that she wasn’t surprised because she thought I was the most balanced person she knows. I laughed at the connection, but then when I thought about it, I do have a very strong sense of balance that plays out in many different ways. I would hate living in a place that was sunny all the time. After a string of sunny days, I long for rain, or at the [...]

September 1, 2015 - {3:30 minutes to read} I always stress the importance of the client's right of control in a mediated matter versus the loss of control clients experience in a litigation or in an attorney negotiated matter. My recent, 2nd personal brush with the legal system reminded me of the 1st, and brought the concept of client control in mediation to an ever greater importance for me. A few years before I became a mediator, and still litigated matters, I retained an attorney [...]

August 20, 2015 - {3 minutes to read}  It’s rare that I don’t have a mediation in which at least one of the participants will say “I just want to do what’s fair.” I think that’s a reasonable statement and that they wholeheartedly mean it when they say it. But what does that really mean? Is It Fair Under the Law? Sometimes clients want to know if it is fair under the law. This assumes that the application of the law is inherently fair, which I don [...]

July 21, 2015 - {3:36 minutes to read}   When I practiced family law in an adversarial setting, I always felt a little guilty when I said that I enjoyed it, given that I was working with people who were going through one of the worst times of their lives. But in contrast to the other parts of my practice (real estate and estate matters), family law was interesting, dynamic, and challenging. Presenting and opposing arguments was intellectually stimulating based upon the substantial [...]

May 26, 2015 - {3:42 minutes to read} Imagine that you’ve been living separately under your agreement for a few years and are co-parenting with your former spouse. Things are going better than you ever imagined, your children are happy, and then your former spouse informs you that she will be losing her job unless she accepts a transfer to Florida. Because that job results in a significant increase in salary, and because she then will be able to be close to where her parents and [...]

May 12, 2015 - {3:48 minutes to read}   We often use and hear the term “best interests of the children.” You would imagine that if applied consistently, the results would also be consistent, but that is not necessarily true. It all depends on the process used and who is making that determination. Litigation If you are in litigation, you might think it is the judge who makes the determination, presumably based upon applying case law to the facts before him or her. Ho [...]

April 28, 2015 - {3:30 minutes to read} To some, including me, the equity in a house is just like any other asset. I have never been attached to a home in the sense that I felt sad when it was sold. I recognize, though, that it was always my choice to move on. I’m not sure how I would feel if the choice wasn’t mine to make, or if it came at the same time as getting a divorce. It is that sense of continuity and wanting something that is familiar to remain the same after the d [...]

April 14, 2015 - “I don't care; I just want to get this over with.” {3:45 minutes to read} When those words are spoken by a client in mediation, I always get a little twinge of dread. To the client, this makes perfect sense. Clients choose mediation to reduce cost, reduce turmoil and proceed as quickly as possible to a separation agreement. So, why not just give in so your matter can be resolved? If it’s a relatively minor point that is in contention, then, sure, giv [...]

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