Seeing the Light

Open road on abstract screen against door opening revealing light

{3 minutes to read}  Wow, Daylight Savings Time. At last. Was there ever a time we needed some extra light more than now? Even though changing the clock doesn’t really give us more daylight, we all feel better when it’s still light out at 7 pm. Or later. Shedding light on things is generally seen as something good. It implies opening up and understanding. It’s also one of the great aspects of mediation. It’s why mediation works.

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To the Zoomiverse and Beyond

William Shakespeare in period clothing sitting in school desk with laptop computer.

{4 minutes to read} I’ve written before about the Zoomiverse and mediation. So far, so good. No one has yet said: Boy, I can’t wait until we can all travel to and from a mediation and maybe have a client, or clients, fly-in only to find out that someone couldn’t make it at the last minute. Apparently, no one is overwhelmed by the benefit of sitting down at the table together, shaking hands, and exchanging angry glances with someone only a few feet away.

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Hanging Up the Cleats

stock-photo of hanging football boots with cleats isolated

{4 minutes to read}  So when is it time to hang up the cleats? Some pitchers or quarterbacks hit the wall at 30, others, far fewer, at 40. If you’re a gymnast (not that they wear cleats), forget it. Lasting past 25 can be a miracle. And when should a President hang it up? 

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Perseverance

stock-photo-loggerhead-sea-turtle-emergence-turtles

{4 minutes to read}  Sometime back, I wrote a blog about how long divorce mediations can take. Divorce mediations typically take longer than most other mediations because people involved in divorce, especially when there are children involved, need to create new lives for themselves and their families. This can take a while. Very often it is during the mediation that a couple goes through the actual process of physically separating, working out the details of how they will handle finances, children, personal property, and whatever else may come up. It’s also common that one spouse is more eager to get divorced than the other.

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It’s Never Too Early to . . .

Stock Photo rooster weathervane against sunrise

{4 minutes to read}  It’s never too early to mediate. I have written before on automatic mediation, meaning court-annexed mediation programs where the first step in the litigation process is to send the case out to mediation. Lawyers and judges who do not have experience with such programs often react negatively to the idea of cases going to mediation so early in the process. Those reactions are often based on the assumption that cases are only ready for mediation after all discovery has been completed; documents exchanged; depositions held; medical exams held when needed; etc. This assumption is wrong.

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My Sweet Lord

{3 minutes to read}  These days, we might all wish for some divine intervention to help quell the pandemic. However, the Lord works in mysterious ways and even disputes of a religious nature can find their way into our secular court system.

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Mediating Online

Young brothers talking with tin can telephone on grunge backgrou

{3 minutes to read}  Among the many crises created by the pandemic are shuttered, or barely functioning, courts. The backlogs are growing. And growing. Juries aren’t being picked. Trials aren’t being held. How do cases get resolved? How will the courts function again?

Some courts have begun doing online conferencing. However, as everyone has noticed, we seem to live in a Zoom world these days and Zoom mediations are taking off. These virtual meetings have emerged as a way to unclog court backlogs and bring new benefits to litigants. They even offer some advantages and may reflect one way our post-pandemic world will look.

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Practice Makes Perfect

Stock Photo Practice Makes Perfect - Image of man practicing saxophone holding music up with his foot.

{3 minutes to read}  There are 24,601 reasons why divorce mediation is preferable to divorce litigation. One of them, however, is that when a couple engages in mediation, they can create the details of their post-divorce life by figuring out together what works. In mediation, they can talk directly to one another about important matters, something divorcing couples often find very difficult to do outside of that setting. Over time, such conversations not only allow the couple to work out the details of the divorce — and creating a new life is no small matter — but help them create a foundation for future conversations. And when a couple has children, the odds are likely they will need to talk to each other for years to come.

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Honest Conversation – Mediation and the Pandemic

{5 minutes to read}  First some business: I am available for video and/or audio mediations and conferencing. 

Image of a dishonest man whose nose has grown long because he lied

Next: I don’t know where things will be when this blog is published. At the moment, everyone probably wants a break from the coronavirus conversation. However, it is the 500-lb. elephant in the room. In fact, as of this writing, it’s the only elephant in the room. 

So what, if anything, can mediation teach us about where we are? What can we draw upon to make things better? Two things come to mind: the need for honest conversation, and making the best of imperfect situations. They’re related but let’s take them one at a time. This blog will address honest conversation, the next, making lemonade. 

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Moving from Factual Exploration to Resolution

Fun Fact Trivia - Zebras are actually black with white stripes not white with black stripes

{4 minutes to read}  My last blog addressed the relationship between “fake news” and mediation. I posited that resolving a dispute through mediation typically does not result from the parties agreeing on the “truth” or the facts underlying the dispute. Assuming that’s the case, what are the implications?

Here’s one: In general, I find that divorce mediations take longer than most other kinds of mediations. That’s not because divorcing couples take longer to agree on or figure out the relevant facts than, say, commercial litigants. More often than not, divorcing couples can eventually agree on their financial circumstances.

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About Us

An honors graduate of Harvard University and the Cardozo Law School of Yeshiva University, where he also served on the Law Review, Gary brings more than 30 years of litigation and negotiation experience to his practice as a mediator. He has successfully negotiated and mediated resolutions in family matters, employment cases, commercial disputes, personal injury cases, and major civil rights matters.

Contact Us

Phone :- 347.314.2163
Email :- gary@shaffermediation.com

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