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If You Can’t Bargain for Yourself, Maybe Mediation Isn’t for You!

{3:48 minutes to read} One of the elements of a successful mediation is the client’s ability to bargain in their own self interest. Often, I have one spouse who is more concerned about what is going to happen to their soon-to-be ex-spouse than they are about themselves. When I see that, I say, “Listen, your spouse is concerned about him or herself, and you’re concerned about them also, so there are two people concerned about them but who is expressing concern for you. For this mediation to be successful, you have to speak up for yourself and play a part in constructing what you both believe is a fair settlement.” […]

Is Being a Mediator Tougher Than Being a Lawyer?

{2:42 minutes to read} I often have conversations with my matrimonial attorney friends about divorce cases we have. We don’t mention names, but usually over a glass of wine or dinner, we talk about our experiences and the different methods we employed to bring about a settlement. Additionally, we share our opinions about what we did and discuss whether there might have been a better or different way to handle the situation. […]

Dividing the Marital Assets in Half—Part 2

{3:42 minutes to read} There was a big response to my last blog, I’ll Divide the Marital Assets in Half as Long as My Half Is Bigger, mostly from attorneys. They said horrible things like: “You don’t know what you’re talking about. We don’t always divide the assets in half. Where did you get that idea?” I said, “Okay, so if I’m wrong, tell me why I’m wrong or what you do differently.” “We don’t always divide the assets in half. We add up all the assets and then try to figure out what the value was at the date of the marriage, and the end of the financial interest is the date of commencement.” […]

Thank God for Collaborative Lawyers!

{2:48 minutes to read} Collaborative law has been around since the 90s. It was initially marketed as something like mediation, but often clients call me and say they have been to collaborative lawyers; you know, mediators who are lawyers. That is totally wrong. The other day I had lunch with a principal in a law firm, and I said, “You practice family law, but I’m sure some of your clients would benefit from mediation. I’m thinking I could offer divorce mediation to your clients, and you and your law firm can do the legal paperwork and filings.” I further explained, “It would go like this: I’ll write a memorandum after the clients agree to terms. You write the Settlement Agreement and file the judgement in court.” […]

Should Mediators Draft Legal Agreements?

[Time to Read: 2 mins] For years, I've heard that some non-attorney mediators write their own settlement agreements. When I [...]

Divorcing Couples Are Not Lawyers – Give Them a Break!

Often divorcing couples come to mediation having done some research or gotten advice from friends. Since this is usually their [...]

When a Mediator Levels the Playing Field, Is that Really Advocacy?

How often do mediation clients say: "We don't want anything to do with lawyers. We will not have lawyers review [...]

What Lawyers Don’t Know

This blog is about some attorney responses to my blogs, which have been so bizarre, I had to write about [...]

That’s What Lawyers Do

It always surprises me when a new client comes in and they are an attorney or judge. I am a [...]

Do Lawyers Have a Role in Mediation?

Yes, lawyers can play a part in the Mediation Process. Watch the video to find out how. If you have [...]