There are many formats for mediation. The most traditional is to have a neutral, trained person, facilitate discussion between opposing parties to help them reach decisions. The process is confidential, informal, and emphasizes empowerment of the individuals in that no one else but the persons involve make the final decisions. The mediator's role is to keep the process safe, nurturing, and positive.

Mediation often is done without the involvement of attorneys present, but the final decision can be reviewed by attorneys or attorneys can give input at some point during the process, as the persons involved agree.

When I mediate for persons who, either at that point do not have a lawyer or whose lawyers are not present, I generally do it in my home, in a loving, warm, comfortable, informal atmosphere. We usually begin at the large conference table, and I can meet separately with each of them either in my office or my private outside office, and each of them can have an office out of which they can make private calls to their attorney or counselor, and sometimes other family members, during the process. I have my chapel where I encourage persons to go and sit quietly, especially when the process hits a highly emotional point, which often occurs during divorce mediation.

We can meet for as short or as long a time as the persons wish, and the sessions are either priced as a half day, full-day, or by the hour, depending on the needs of the parties and the subject matter of the dispute. The process is efficient, cost-effective, and totally empowering.

Most couples, many of whom have not spoken a kind word to each other in a very long time, end up hugging at the end, so happy that they were able to work together toward a mutually acceptable and respectful conclusion. If the matter involves an on-going relationship, and even often where it doesn't, I encourage the parties to have some type of closure ceremony, which can be done in my yard among the angels and birds, or in my private outside office. I encourage them to bring candles, incense, prayers, music, and end their relationship in a beautiful, loving way. This has become the highlight for me!!!

Over the course of my 42 year legal career I have been a legal services attorney, a family law specialist, an author, law professor, a consultant at the Agency on Aging, and the personal attorney for a well-known movie actor. I am also the mother of four grown children, and have been a step-parent. I believe that all this experience has qualified me to help persons work through difficult issues in the following areas:

  • Divorce
  • Spousal support
  • Child custody
  • Relocation cases
  • Adoptions
  • Co-habitation
  • Disputes among members of Co-ops or shared living arrangements
  • Landlord Tenant Issues
  • Violation of Civil Rights
  • Elderly Issues, both within and outside a Nursing Home
  • Will Disputes
  • Same Sex Partnerships/Marriage