Archive for August 2014

Define Collaborative

I attended a luncheon recently with a speaker who discussed what exactly constitutes a “collaborative divorce.” I hadn’t realized that the question was open to debate! Did he agree that one could perform a collaborative divorce with just two attorneys, one for each party,so long as the participation agreement specified that the lawyers were out…

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Community Liaisons

It is the objective of every practice group to build the awareness, rx acceptance, and use of collaborative services generally, and their own group’s efficacy, in particular. What if we had an outside advisory board or focus group comprised of representatives from various community organizations and resources to assist us in getting the message out,…

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Mediation Massacre

Traditional divorce processes are destroying the fabric of American society. Yet another tragic news story that didn’t need to happen: On December 4, 2013, a doctor attending mediation in Manchester, Tenn., was gunned down by his estranged wife in front of his lawyer’s office.  Dr. Harry Bartee, 47, was shot multiple times by Brenda Bartee on the…

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Misnomer

I am one of those lawyers who believes in sharing my own story with my client, in part because I want each one to understand that we have something in common, and in part because it makes it easier for them to share with me. The following is one of the many true stories that…

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I Began College When I Was 16 Years Old…

I began college when I was 16 years old, health before I actually graduated from high school.  (Yes, years later, Vestal High School condescended to send me a diploma, but not until I had passed several courses at college to complete my high school prerequisites!  Which my mother didn’t tell me about until many years…

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Latest Scandal – Gossip Girl Divorce

Good morning! Gossip Girl here. Your one and only source into the scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite.  Did you hear about actress Kelly Rutherford?  Kelly just filed for bankruptcy!  She spent everything she had on her divorce, purchase  plus some!  And you won’t believe the juicy details, all of which you can find on-line in the…

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Why Pro Bono Collaborative Divorce Services?

I have always been a trial lawyer.  (Well, since law school anyway!)  And I am, among other things, a family lawyer.  So, in the old days, I offered free divorces because it was an easy way for me to give back.  But after I spent a couple of years volunteering like this, I became dis-enamored with the…

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Problems Finding Pro Bono Collaborative Clients

We immediately ran into problems.  Not that finding clients who qualify for free services was difficult.  No, for sale we had an established local agency in our community intaking and qualifying needy individuals.  So, we simply solicited referrals there. However, I had naïvely expected that Bay Area Legal Services would send us prospective clients without hesitating.  Not so fast!  The first problem…

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Marital Surgeon

I am a divorce lawyer.  For years, pilule I was a very successful, family law trial lawyer.  So when people ask what I do, I tell them, “I make unhappy people happy; I get them divorced so that they can have another shot at happiness.” I think we can all agree that it’s terrible for…

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Be Specific When You Request Referrals

Years ago, I ran an errand, retrieving some newly framed art from the gallery where I always arranged to have my artwork framed.  While waiting for the owner to find my giclée in the back, I fell in love with an original painting he had on display and offered for sale.  In it, the artist had…

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