Mediation is a way for people to resolve their disputes privately and confidentially. Mediators do not represent either person but help parties resolve disputes without bias toward either person. If disputes cannot be resolved, the next step is to go to court to let the judge decide or to continue negotiation with or without mediation assistance.
The parties, or their attorneys, decide on a mediator and schedule the mediation session, which can be virtual or in person. At the mediation, the parties work on reaching an agreement, assisted by the mediator. The agreement, once reached, is presented to a judge for approval. Parenting plans and child support will require review by the court, but financial and property agreements are honored nearly always by the judge and finalized in a written order.
Mediation sessions are confidential. Nothing said in mediation can be discussed outside the mediation process. Further, as your mediator, I cannot be subpoenaed or ordered to testify about what is said in the mediation session.
As a mediator, I encourage people to work hard to compromise and reach an agreement because an agreement will end the anxiety and financial bleeding of litigation. Reaching an agreement in mediation will almost always result in neither person getting all they want. However, you will have control over the outcome and speed of resolution. Cases going to trial before a judge can take a long time and become contentious, anxiety-provoking, and expensive.
Schedule a mediation on the mediation calendar on this website for virtual mediations or in person. You can either represent yourself (“pro se”) or be represented by an attorney.
You or your attorney will receive a letter from me confirming the date, time and whether the mediation is virtual or in person. The letter will ask for information about your case, and will explain the ground rules for the mediation conference. Payment is expected at the conclusion of the mediation session. I accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and debit cards.
1 week before mediation: You will receive a reminder about the mediation and request you confirm your attendance at the mediation.
Mediation Day. I meet separately with each party, and their attorney, if they have one, and explain the rules of mediation, my neutral role and confidentiality of the process. Each party makes the decision separately about what I am authorized to disclose to the other party.
My style: I listen, am patient, practical and solution oriented, but I won’t waste your time if there is too wide a gulf to bridge on mediation day. My experience as a prosecutor and in family law give me an ability to quickly understand the dynamics between the parties.
If the parties are too far apart and can’t resolve their differences, I will prepare an impasse statement that allows you to schedule a hearing in front of the judge.
Identify your key interests.
Bring your key court documents including your financial affidavit and list of assets, debts and property.
Bring a draft of a proposed parenting plan if children are involved.
Have a pre-planning session with your attorney.
Obtain an estimate of the costs of litigation.
Bring payment for the mediator.
Get a good night’s sleep.
Have a good attitude.
Depending on the key topics in your case, be prepared to discuss:
Property division and debt allocation.
Retirement account division.
A parenting plan.
How to resolve future disputes.
Attorney fees and costs.
I charge $240 for the first 2 hours of mediation and $300 an hour for additional hours. Mediations are scheduled for ½ day or a full day.