Month: February 2016

MEDIATION is not LITIGATION

Perhaps the most common misunderstanding about mediation is that it is only a part of the litigation process. In fact, many attorneys see it as a necessary nuisance that is commonly court ordered by a judge in a lawsuit before that judge will schedule a trial. This perspective becomes quite apparent in the mediation session when the attorney seems more intent on issuing ultimatums and threatening to just end the session than on getting at the issues and possible resolutions.  However, mediation is not litigation. Litigation is the formalized process of putting claims for various sorts of relief, usually monetary, ...
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MEDIATION is not COUNSELING

When a relationship begins to disintegrate, such as that between a husband and wife, they are often encouraged to get into counseling. Absolutely nothing wrong with that suggestion. In fact, I have known many couples who have been helped immensely by counseling. Counseling (also called therapy or psychotherapy) uses various psychological perspectives and tools to help bring about lasting changes in patterns of behavior, including changes in communication. Mediation is not that. There is a place for both counseling and for mediation and they do not serve the same function. Instead of helping people change their patterns of behavior over ...
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MEDIATION is not ARBITRATION

In a recent conversation I became aware that there remain many misconceptions about mediation. I hope to address few of those in this and the following posts. In this particular conversation with some community leaders, they were surprised that mediation is not the same as submitting your claims to a third-party who decides the outcome for you. They knew it was not the same as going before a judge or jury, but the still understood it as having an outside decision maker. That is not mediation, it is arbitration. Arbitration has become increasingly popular among businesses. In nearly any contract ...
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Litigation Disillusionment

Any family law practitioner who has handled at least a handful of divorces has encountered the situation where the actions of the person they represent confounds them. What often stymies the lawyer is that their client seems determined to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to secure some item that has a monetary value far less than the cost of litigation. It is the proverbial fight over the $10.00 toaster. To the husband or the wife, this results in mounting tension or frustration towards their attorney because they just do not get it. This is the point where many attorney ...
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Justice Remains Elusive

I began this blog years ago with this idea that people go to court seeking justice, but find this pursuit to be daunting. Justice was elusive to a vast number of litigants. This was especially true in the family law arenas: divorce, custody, child support, timesharing, grandparent visiataion, and neglect & abuse proceedings. A decade has past and, based on my experience with more litigants than I can count, justice remains elusive. That is why I am excited to take my law degree plus my courtroom and litigation experience and combine it with my prior career in the human services ...
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