For 33 years, I worked as a family law litigator, negotiator, mediator and arbitrator in Boston. For the 25 years before LDRC, I served as a partner in a premier family law “boutique” law firm, long known as Lee & Levine LLP. I handled financially and emotionally complex divorce, custody and other family related cases.
After establishing a substantial litigation practice, including many trials and appeals, I added “alternative dispute resolution” to my practice over my last 2 decades at the firm, providing mediation and arbitration services for clients alone, and for lawyers and clients together. While ADR was the smaller part of my practice, it was an important and fulfilling one.
A host of factors brought me to LDRC. I found that in the rough and tumble world of family law litigation, being an excellent trial lawyer and advocate was not enough. Responsible practice also demands perspective, understanding and integrity. I tried always to cultivate the longer view in my clients: to help them appreciate that however high the immediate feelings and stakes, reducing the inevitable damage of the adversarial process to family functioning should be a high priority.
I also came to appreciate that continued learning and sharing were to be valued for themselves. In addition to specialized trainings in ADR fields of arbitration and mediation (including marital and elder mediation), I attended and taught many law school and continuing legal education classes (including mediation and arbitration). I wrote and co-wrote articles and continuing legal education book chapters; and I involved myself in organizational work such as the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (much of it focused on arbitration), the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts and the Inns of Court. I also achieved recognitions: AAML- MA President’s Award; Best Lawyers In America; Boston Magazine “Best Lawyers”; Worth Magazine Top 100 Lawyers in the U.S. (personal services) and Super Lawyers (Massachusetts and New England). Recently, I became a founding member of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators.
All of this brought me to LDRC, where I now collaborate with my wife and partner to provide the very best mediation, arbitration and other neutral services that we can, to clients and for their lawyers. By applying professional expertise, life experiences and a healthy dose of common sense, we offer confidential, expert, cost-efficient and a timely space in which to resolve problems in all a manner of family, probate, elder, small business and other matters. I look forward to serving you.
After 11 years as a family litigator, negotiator, mediator and ultimately a partner at Boston’s Brown, Rudnick, Freed & Gesmer, Governor Jane Swift honored me with appointment as an associate Justice of the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court in 2001. I served on the court for 10 years before retiring from the bench to form LDRC with Bill.
As a lawyer, I conducted negotiations, trials and state and federal appeals. I served clients with complex financial matters and important pro bono matters including domestic abuse and international child abduction. My years at Brown Rudnick also confirmed for me that lawyers can represent a clients zealously, while still recognizing that each lawyer and every client has a family and life to be preserved and respected outside of and beyond the controversies of the day. This moved me to train as a mediator, and then to develop a mediation practice. This perspective also impelled me to become a judge.
I initially “rode the circuit” and sat as a judge in several counties including Norfolk, Middlesex, Plymouth, Essex, Worcester, and Hampshire. In 2003 I was assigned to Boston’s Suffolk Probate and Family Court. I continued to sit in Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden counties as often as I could. Particularly in Suffolk, I welcomed the challenge of serving a population of mostly unrepresented litigants. Mediating with them daily increased my appreciation for that role at difficult times in people’s lives. In Suffolk, I was also at the center of probate litigation for the region, hearing cases of significant challenge and complexity on a regular basis. This provided insight not only into the technical aspects of that work but also the extreme distress of probate litigants, and the exacerbation that can occur in a court process.
Along the way, I continued to attend professional trainings and seminars, teach continuing legal education and remain active in legal organizations including the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and the Inns of Court.
In November 2011, I retired from the bench to join Bill in starting LDRC. This is a natural blending of my professional skills and my personal conviction that most family disputes can and should be resolved by reasoned negotiation that allows the participants to move on with dignity and self-respect. I am dedicated to continuing to promote and facilitate those important discussions.