I am a full-time Private Dispute Resolution provider, focused primarily on divorce and family law matters, but also probate and other matters. PDR consists of mediation, conciliation, arbitration and master proceedings. Before opening this practice with my wife and partner, Chouteau Levine…
…I worked for 33 years 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 private 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.
A host of factors brought me to LDRC. As a divorce and family law litigator, I found that being an excellent trial lawyer and advocate was not enough. Responsible practice demanded 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 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, the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation (MCFM) and the Massachusetts Probate and Family Inns of Court. I also achieved recognitions: the inaugural AAML- MA President’s Award and consistent naming (since the mid-1990’s) to Best Lawyers In America (BLA); Boston Magazine’s “Best Lawyers”; Worth Magazine Top 100 Lawyers in the U.S. (personal services) and Super Lawyers (Massachusetts and New England).
All of this brought me to LDRC in 2012, where we collaborate to provide the very best mediation, conciliation, arbitration and master proceedings 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, compassionate, expert, cost- efficient and a comfortable space in which to resolve problems in all a manner of divorce and family law, probate, small business and other matters.
Since our founding, I have continued to write, teach and earn continuing recognition, including MCFM’s designation as a certified mediator and BLA’s Lawyer of the Year in Family Mediation (2014-15) for Massachusetts. I have also joined in founding the Academy of Family Professional Mediators, where I am an “advanced practitioner".
I look forward to serving you.
I am a full-time Private Dispute Resolution provider, working primarily on divorce and family law matters, but also probate and other matters. I focus my PDRefforts on mediation and conciliation. Before opening this practice with my husband and partner, Bill Levine…
…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 in January 2012.
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 perspective moved me to train as a mediator, and then to develop a mediation practice. It 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. De facto 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 Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), and the Massachusetts Probate and Family Inns of Court.
At the end of 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 divorce and family law 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.
I keep writing, teaching, training and studying to keep my skills sharp and my knowledge comprehensive. I have been recognized by Best Lawyers in America consistently since we began our practice, including as their Lawyer of the Year in Arbitration for 2013-14. I have become a founding member of the Academy of Professional Mediators while remaining active in MCFM, AFCC and the Inn of Court.
I look forward to serving you.