In litigated cases, I represent one of the parties as an advocate. These cases can either head straight to court or they can be settled with the other party’s attorney. My focus on settlement does not preclude me from representing clients in contested cases. In these cases, my initial goal is to determine how to resolve the case without court intervention. However, sometimes the issues are too divisive or the parties are too far apart in their views to be able to do this. In these cases, orders from a judge are needed.
I handle my litigation cases with the same respect and integrity that I use with my settlement and mediated cases. Judges and other attorneys are aware of this, and as a result, the often-vitriolic process of litigation feels far more respectful under my care.
In mediated cases, I represent neither of the parties. Rather, my role is to assist both parties in reaching agreements. My training as a therapist and attorney make me uniquely qualified to listen to both sides of a conflict without judgment and to help clients find compromises or entirely new creative solutions to their issues. My goal is always to provide a respectful and safe setting where feelings can be honored but do not take over the room.
I provide a forum where parties can discuss all issues in their case with a skilled and knowledgeable neutral. I provide information about California family law, while also encouraging parties to look at their case in new ways. By framing the case in different ways, I help my clients to think clearly about their issues, establish priorities, and ultimately reach mutually satisfactory settlements. Through a blend of humor and warmth, I facilitate conversations between parties who are often hurt and angry about the very issues that triggered those feelings in order to reach mutually satisfactory decisions.
As a consulting attorney, I assist my clients in a variety of capacities on a limited, as-needed basis. Often when a person is contemplating divorce or separation, they want to know what their life may look like if they take this path. Based on the individual’s situation, I provide information about California family law and the different choices they have in making this decision – mediation, litigation, legal separation and divorce among them.
People also come to me when they are attempting to reach a settlement with their spouse on their own or they are working with another attorney and they want to know if there are options they haven’t seen. I provide second opinions and ideas that they can take back to their attorneys or their negotiations with their spouses.
Lastly, when clients are working with another mediator, they often are advised to have an attorney of their own to advise them along the way. I offer my services of reviewing agreements, advising clients regarding challenging issues that arise in the mediation process, and reviewing the final Marital Settlement Agreement and Judgment papers. My role is to support the mediation process while also ensuring that my client understands and feels comfortable with the deal that they have made.