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Resolving family law disputes through mediation and arbitration

I am a family law specialist and a partner in the family law group at Basman Smith LLP. People, therefore, seem to know that I represent individual family law clients. What you may not know, however, is that I am also a mediator and arbitrator. In this alternative dispute resolution (ADR) arena, parties come to me to assist them in the resolution of their cases.

I am trained as a lawyer and as a social worker. I have also trained as a comprehensive family mediator. That means that I mediate both financial and parenting issues for parties. If mediation does not resolve the dispute, then I am can switch hats and become the arbitrator.

My experience in the legal representation of clients has given me the knowledge of the law and “how things work” in family law. I understand practice and procedure. I am a critical and practical thinker. I can provide legal information (not advice) to parties in mediation. I can ensure that they are informed of the law on a particular topic, as well as their rights and obligations. I have been on the other side of the table, representing clients in mediation and arbitration. I know what that process is like from the inside out.

My social work and mediation training have provided me with the tools to manage difficult personalities and build consensus. I am able to be empathic without getting dragged into the emotions and conflict. Active listening allows me to listen effectively and to understand what is happening and why. I am trained to look not only at the issues, but also at what is underlying the dispute. I am skilled at identifying and eliminating road blocks to settlement. I am trained in child development and have worked with children of divorce. I am able to bring the children into the process, whether that it by actually meeting with them or by figuratively representing their best interests in the mediation.

I would be happy to further describe my mediation/arbitration practice and to answer any questions you may have. Please do feel free to contact me.

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