Let’s Sue the Bastards!

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{3 minutes to read}  One of the brighter aspects of economic activity in New York during the Covid pandemic was the ongoing construction activity that took place.  While buildings remained empty and ground floor retail spaces were withering from the lack of business, construction sites always seemed to be buzzing with activity.  Once the need for masks and social distancing was figured out, construction work began opening up much sooner than other businesses.  Of course, large construction projects are years in the making and financing is not contingent on last month’s revenues.  

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Med-Arb

Hard red, green and white candy mints stuck in a ball

{4 minutes to read} There was a time when arbitration was hailed as the sliced bread of the dispute resolution world. Arbitration would be faster and cheaper than litigation, and more tailored to the needs of the parties. You could have experts in the field decide matters. Plus, it was private. As time went on, it lost some of its luster. Arbitration could be somewhat faster, but only somewhat. If there was a panel of three arbitrators, the fees could mount up, and scheduling could be difficult. The needs of the parties? Well, certainly if your side prevailed. But one of the cheaper, faster-selling points of arbitration was that decisions were final and binding. The losing side could not appeal. 

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How Much Transparency is Too Much?

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{4 minutes to read}  Transparency is one of those “good” words.  People favor transparency and tend to think of it in contrast to secrecy, which is often thought of as a “bad” word.  If you think transparency is preferable to secrecy, raise your hands.  Almost everyone raises their hands, except for those who smell there’s a trick follow-up question coming — which there is.

There used to be a time when large political donors couldn’t hide behind a wall of secrecy.  But really, shouldn’t the well-off be able to purchase the candidates of their choice without everyone having to know?  And wouldn’t limits on contributions be limits on our freedoms? Well, you know the rest of the story….

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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

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{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

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{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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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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