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Mediation Blog

Topic: Attorney | 50 post(s).

September 25, 2019 - {4 minutes to read}  At a recent conference for divorce and family mediators that I attended, I heard a panel consisting of judges, hearing officers and law clerks speak to the reality of the court process. Here are some of the negative consequences they raised: Timeframe Although there are rules that say the entire process in New York County would be “trial ready” in less than a year after filing, the reality is that it could be two years or more to g [...]

August 7, 2019 - {3:30 minutes to read} Separating from someone you’ve loved, trusted, and who, most likely, was your best friend, is an incredibly scary concept on a deeply personal level. On top of that, you are also likely worrying about how this will affect your children, as well as how you will afford to pay your bills. It’s completely understandable that you’re concerned and frightened by both the process and the future. Add to that, how hard it would be to expre [...]

April 23, 2019 -   In the past, as a lawyer it was very uncommon for me to either attend a mediation with a client or have clients bring their attorneys to a mediation with me. That was something that I always felt was a rarity in family mediation. Since I’ve become a divorce mediator, I’m not sure why, but that dynamic seems to be changing. I’m finding these meetings to be productive, and the attorneys’ presence to be helpful. [...]

April 3, 2019 - {3:30 minutes to read} There are two diametrically opposed views as to the value of an attorney versus a mediator. In terms of settling a matrimonial matter, each believes the other is not necessary. “There is no need for a mediator.” Some matrimonial attorneys believe that two attorneys can negotiate for the parties and reach a settlement — why the need for a third party? After all, attorneys have been settling cases forever, and it works.   M [...]

February 5, 2019 - {3:30 minutes to read} My knowledge of bankruptcy law is based upon what I learned in law school a very long time ago, and several Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminars I’ve attended. I know enough to recognize what I don’t know, and when to suggest that clients consult with an experienced professional before we get involved in the mediation.   If they decide to go forward with the bankruptcy first, they will have the benefits of: Less expen [...]

January 23, 2019 - {3:30 minutes to read} It is likely that mediation can result in a negotiated agreement even if you mediate after you have entered litigation or tried negotiating through attorneys. But after having worked with couples who have first engaged in an adversarial process, I encountered distinctive behaviors that arose in the mediation which, while not unsurmountable, needed to be addressed. Of course, I can’t definitively state that it was the initial adversarial proc [...]

December 19, 2018 - {3:30 minutes to read} I had a meeting recently with a couple, and when they left, I felt sure they would not be returning for another meeting. The husband didn’t want to separate, didn’t want to leave their home, and couldn’t imagine not having the children with him at least half of the time. The wife was insistent on separating, be it through mediation or through attorneys, wanted to be the primary custodial parent, and insisted on the sale of the h [...]

September 28, 2018 - {3:40 minutes to read} There is a mindfulness meditation that I enjoy doing that focuses on the inner critic we all have — that voice in your head that tells you that you messed up, made a fool of yourself or just don’t know what you’re doing. The suggestion is to create a picture in your mind of the critic to aid in recognizing that it is your inner critic speaking so you are not derailed. (My favorite is of a stern judge in dark robes frowning from a [...]

September 20, 2018 - {3:30 minutes to read} I tend not to use the word “settle” with clients in mediation. Although to settle is defined as “to reach agreement or decision...,” I prefer to use the phrase “to agree upon terms.” To me, to agree upon terms in mediation is quite different from settling on terms which have been hashed out by attorneys in an adversarial setting. In an adversarial setting:  Each attorney’s role is to advocate for t [...]

August 17, 2018 - {3:42 minutes to read}  One of the major benefits of mediation is that parties make the decisions about their lives and the lives of their children. Self-determination is an awesome responsibility in that regard, and couples should be prepared to accept that responsibility when choosing to mediate. To me, this would mean that parties should make sure that they have all of the resources they may need in order to make the best decisions they can. Choosing the Mediat [...]

April 25, 2018 - {4:00 minutes to read} The mutual goal to reduce the financial costs of a separation is a primary motivation for most of my clients, second only to the desire to reach an agreement with as little rancor as possible. Regarding the financial costs, however, there are steps that clients can take to ensure that mediation fees remain reasonable by limiting the number of sessions that are needed. Complete Your Work Between Meetings At the end of my summary of the meeting, I [...]

April 12, 2018 - {4:30 minutes to read}  Over the years I’ve been mediating, I’ve been asked by potential clients if the following concerns would mean that they could not mediate their separation. Here are some of their questions and my responses:We disagree on everything.  Disagreement in mediation is to be expected. Since mediation is a process which aims to resolve conflict, a mediator is trained to help the two of you do just that. I am very angry at my spouse [...]

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