I advise clients in all aspects of family law, and represent clients in settlement negotiations prior to the commencement of litigation. My law practice is unique in that I do not represent clients in contested litigation. This reflects my conviction that family matters should be settled by cooperative, collaborative negotiation rather than by doing battle.
In every case, my approach and the scope of my representation reflects the needs of the individual client. Some clients require an aggressive advocate to represent them in negotiations with their spouse and/or their spouse’s attorney. Others require only occasional advice while they participate in mediation, or conduct settlement negotiations on their own. Whatever the need, I seek to provide legal representation and support to achieve the best possible outcome for my client and his/her children. My style of practice is fundamentally collaborative. I feel strongly that more can be achieved through cooperation than contention, especially when children are involved and parents will have an ongoing, albeit different, relationship. I am always zealous in my work, but I also value civility, courtesy, warmth and humor.
I am often asked if I practice “collaborative law”. In a so-called collaborative case, the parties and their attorneys work cooperatively and transparently to gather and exchange information, and negotiate a mutually acceptable settlement agreement. The unique feature of the collaborative model is that the attorneys only represent their clients in settlement negotiations; if either party initiates litigation, the attorneys must withdraw. Cooperation and abstention from all contested litigation have been hallmarks of my practice for many years. Accordingly, it would be fair to say that I practice collaboratively regardless of whether I am engaged in a formal “collaborative” process or not.
I believe that a fair, reasonable, practical agreement is the best possible outcome in every case of separation or divorce. Such an agreement not only addresses the basic needs of the adults; it can also ensure the health and welfare of the children.
I work with clients to achieve such agreement in my family law practice, in mediation, and through parenting coordination.