Category Archives: Family Arbitration

Family Arbitrators: Protect Your Deductible and Screen Well!

Screening is the first step in all family mediation, collaborative law and arbitration cases. The purpose of screening is to ensure that the parties and the process are a good match. There are two options for doing it well. Either the mediator (or mediator-arbitrator) meets separately with each party, or an independent third party meets them both and provides a …
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Farmer v. Farmer*: Nine Easy Steps to Being a Better Arbitrator

Make sure your equipment is working. An ‘honest’ admission about equipment failure leading to defective reasons is not the kind of honesty you want to be known for. Avoid stark characterizations of the nature of the evidence. Doing this makes it look like the arbitrator either did not understand the evidence or did not take the time to consider it. …
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Arbitration: Sufficiency of Reasons

Judges sometimes make reversible errors that are overturned on appeal; so too with arbitrators. It is not very often, however, that judges or arbitrators have their decisions overturned for lack of sufficiency in their reasons, especially in complicated cases, involving lots of money. It also does not often happen that an appellate judge feels the need to set out a …
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The (Unique) Perils of The PC Process

The parenting coordination process is a difficult one for both clients and PCs. Invariably there is one parent who is more committed; or is driving the process. In addition, once the arbitration phase of the process has been utilized, the losing parent usually disengages altogether. Throw in the fact that many parents have not been fully educated on the process …
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The Tenacious Mediator: Ten tips for “Moving the Mediation”

If there are three qualities that distinguish a good mediator from a great one, they are: Dangerous curiosity: great mediators are not afraid to follow their curiosity. This takes high level questioning skills to do effectively. In particular it requires gentle, non- judgmental, open-ended questions. Genuine curiosity is easy but it requires the mediator to completely set aside any preconceived …
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Speaking at the OBA Institute on Neuroscience and ADR on February 7 was no exception. 

Here is what I learned: Suzanne Sherkin of Highborn Communications taught me that our brains take short-cuts to the familiar, and that this can be limiting. For example, I did not know that the English language has ten times as many negative words as positive ones, and that the use of these words can send our brains to the familiar …
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Voice of the Child in Mobility Cases: an Important Decision

In one of the most compelling decisions I have read in a long time, a British judge decided to disallow a 14-year-old’s proposal to move to another country with father, even though the son gave evidence that he very much wanted to move. It is a touching decision that almost made me cry, mostly because of the profoundly beautiful way …
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Family Arbitration: Exploring Your Options in Dispute Resolution

Family arbitration is a very different process from mediation, and yet they are often confused. Arbitration is a process whereby the parties present their version of the story before a privately-retained arbitrator, often a senior family lawyer, who hears the evidence, applies the law and makes a binding decision.  Family arbitration is therefore, more like court than it is like …
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