781.708.4445

info@levinedisputeresolution.com

Divorce Mediation Blog

Why don’t we represent individual clients?

Monday, March 26, 2012

As we have transitioned from private law practice (Bill Levine) and as a sitting judge (Chouteau Levine) to doing full-time work as mediators, arbitrators and other neutral roles only with Levine Dispute Resolution Center LLC, many people continue to ask us to take on engagements that are representational in nature. For example, several lawyers and clients from one side of a case have asked us to consult on issues presented by a court-based controversy. For another, we have been asked to represent children in court.

We have declined all of these potential roles.

True, none of these jobs would place us in a position to represent a spouse who is an essential stakeholder to litigation issues. But, by their very nature, these jobs imply something that we are not anymore: practicing lawyers whose job it is to “advocate”. Even a private consultation is a form of advocacy, because we are helping one party or another figure out strengths and weaknesses in his or her case, for the purpose of either honing trial preparations or clarifying/enhancing negotiating positions, to the detriment of another party or parties. Thus, the engagement is neither impartial nor it is neutral. Similarly, representing children is a form of advocacy for a particular point of view, even if the represented party is not “responsible” for causing the conflict.

At LDRC, when we mediate, we see it as our mission to open the minds of the parties to see each other’s points of view, to encourage introspection about one’s own real needs, and to detect where mutual needs and priorities intersect. Then, we try to promote sincere efforts to find creative and efficient ways to make agreements that promote these common areas of interest. When we arbitrate, our job is to make a decision, rather than to promote exploration of interests, but our role is nonetheless one that demands that we remain impartial, or indifferent to who “wins or loses”. We must decide the case strictly based in the facts as we hear them and conclude them to be, and the law to which they relate.

In neither of our roles is there room for advocacy for one side or another; and for us, it is important that our market both see us and understand us to be impartial all of the time. It is equally important or us to maintain this intellectual distinction throughout our workday that helps us to stay “neutral” to the very greatest extent that we possibly can.

Along with skills, experience and judgment, our impartiality it is our calling card.

 



Get e-mail notifications of new blog posts! Enter email address below.:



Delivered by FeedBurner

other articles


recent posts


keywords

Defense of Marriage Act business owners mediation facility tax deduction post-divorce Massachusetts alimony laws divorce engagement Excess Alimony Payments lawyer-attended divorce mediation alimony deduction home ownership divorce mediations Massachusetts alimony law disputes Massachusetts Propate and Family Court Bernier v. Bernier Divorce Agreements litigation William M. Levine workplace mediation reflection Custody mediation alimony overhaul alimony law private business home interest financial advisor COBRA divorce mediator Governor Patrick AAML S Corporation CSG rehabilitative alimony food court alimony ADPFM private law practice Romneycare era reforms mediation or arbitration separation litigation attorneys refinancing mortgage after divorce case law Alimony Reform Act Green v. Green Levine Dispute Resolution Reimbursment Alimony Massachusetts child support standards Honorable Chouteau Levine legal process Act Reforming Alimony in the Commonwealth LDRC principals interest-based negotiation advocacy alimony obligation for a cohabitation Consumer Price Index DOMA family laws new Massachusetts alimony laws taxes Recomputation and Alimony new alimony laws Massachusetts alimony and child support former spouses Non-compete Orders lawyer negotiation Anti-Double Counting divorce arbitration family mediators counter arguments Bill Levine married filing jointly Act Reforming Alimony divorcing divorce mediation and arbitration hybrid The Boston Globe marital mediation Falmouth MA Honorable John Smoot tax professina med-arb SJC Appeals Court Blog Chanukah Josh Hoch Obama-Romney Thanksgiving litigated custody child support treatment Pet Protection Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines Quadrennial Review alimony dollar marriage equality Major League Baseball Arbitration ban gay marriage alimony laws health coverage Business Arbitration lawyer-mediators property family law Divorce in Massachusetts valuation experts Spousal support fair value Master Della Corte v. Ramirez tax mediate Suffolk Probate and Family Court discrimination against gays and lesbians joint legal custody custody litigation reimbursement alimony divorce agreement family courts Family Law Arbitration family firm institute program medical benefits mediated divorce Same Sex Child Custody healthcare laws Fiscal Cliff negotiations Cohabitation family mediation with lawyers, mediation without lawyers divorce cases LDRC blog Fiscal Cliff America Family decision making parent coordiation alternative disupute resolutions how baseball arbitration works Post- Divorce Health Insurance facilitated negotiation lawyers collaborative process MA bullet arbitration post-divorce health coverage neutral professionals alimony orders business owner-spouse William Levine Western Massachusetts mediation session divorce judgement divorce mediators counselor Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers alimony computation purposes advocate marriage laws divorce arbitrator mediation for clients separation agreements employer provided health care The Defense of Marriage Act privately held business in divorce workplace mediation Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Financial Experts new alimony law house Shared Legal Custody American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers child support and custody joint engagement agreement court-appointed mediator Masters mediation process Alternative to Court Massachusetts Uniform Arbitration Act COLA Massachusetts Divorce Child Support Guidelines MLB labor agreement family law arbitrators Probate and Family Court Judge public trial process Levine Dispute Resolutions gathering of mediators Ella-Warnken v Elia Boston MA Massachusetts divorce mediators and arbitrators efficient and voluntary mediation process Massachusetts legislature health insurance partner model act mediators or arbitrators divorce terms UMass programs food court offerings divorcing couples resolving disputes blended tax rate single-issue mediation tax reform polygamous marriage marital agreement sudden wealth medical insurance coverage Greater Boston divorce lawyers Massachusetts alimony divorce laywers United States Supreme Court lawyer Department of Revenue divorce mediation traditional negotiations accountants trial court valuation same-sex couples Affordable Health Care Act mediated agreements arbitrator facilitated negotiations double dipping attorney insurance coverage family and divorce mediators cost of living adjustments Dogs self-insurance employers hostile divorce Family Law Arbitration in Massachusetts how does mediator facilitate negotiations gays and lesbians private dispute resolution divorce arbitrators Mediation Works Incorporated tax deductions out-of-court resolver annual training program An Act Reforning Alimony Probate and Family Court family and probate law disputes divorced lawyer attended arbitrations mediation and arbitration Adams v. Adams resolve disputes family business alimony termination General term alimony mediation center Thanksgivukkah Proposed Family Law Arbitration Act Baseball capital gains income Baseball Arbitration income neutrol roles Massachusetts Department of Revenue IRS mediation room traditional resolutions DRC alternative resolution investment income/gains transitional alimony alimony subsidy mediation skills neutral discovery master alimony gap Wosson v. Wosson commercial litigation LDRC’s Chouteau Levine arbitration dispute resolution income tax returns family mediation Hostess Brands divorced spouses sitting judge lawyer-attended mediation civil union Probate and Family University of Massachusetts (Amherst) Family Business Center Levine Dispute Resolution Center LLC same-sex marriage alimony reform legislation pet custody Divorce Mediation Training Program counsel between sessions med/arb Plymouth Probate and Family Court Same Sex Divorce cohabitating recipients Levine Dispute Resolution Center Certified Divorce Financial Analyst Matrimonial Arbitration Chouteau mediating with lawyers present peacemaker lawyer Massachusetts divorce lawyers Same Sex Marriage Massachusetts lawyers business U.S. Bankruptcy Court Hostess-baker’s union hybrid Romney Care re-finance agreement family businesses good faith mediation divorce issues enhanced communications Massachusetts Alimony Reform Act Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines Boston Bar Association Family Law Section IRS Form 8332 mediators Family Law Arbitration Act proposed legistation family support divorce and family law mediators substantive law and procedure NEW Child Support Guidelines taxpayers cohabitating couples lawyer assisted-mediation Alimony in Massachusetts lawyer-assisted mediations Caveney Appeals Court Massachusetts Appeals Court divorce judges Massachusetts co-mediators near-sacred charitable deduction divorce process divorce and family law alimony payers Probate and Family Courts Massachusetts State Law Alimony Reform and Cohabitation family lawyers local taxes paid DivorceMediation divorced people experienced mediators Congressmen health care law MA Health Care Reform wins or loses couples arb/med Uniform Arbitration Act Fixed Child Support divorcing parties medical insurance for non employee former spouse real estate appraiser Obama Care alimony claim Twinkies Medicaid New Massachusetts Alimony Law Clinton Era standard value Obamacare Financial Experts in Divorce divorced non-employee spouse family law mediation alimony fixed as child support spouse Divorce attorneys Bill and Chouteau Levine tax burden mediator family divorce family lawyers in Massachusetts high-risk methodology alternative dispute resolutions Children trial judge Judge James Menno laws of marriage 2012 elections family-owned businesses private consultation settling issues in a divorce case dispute resolution service providers attorney mediators, mediators dispute resolutions Chouteau Levine arbitrations Dispute Resolution Coordinator Pro-Double Counting Legal cusody of Children dispte resolution What is Family Law Arbitration Massachusetts Bar Association Family Law Conference Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health health insurance coverage Same Sex Spouses Northeastern University for Family Business university-based programs Greater Boston and Western MA divorce mediators divorce laws federal Defense of Marriage Act child support divorce settlement arbitrators Alimony Act of 2011 M.B.A. House of Delegates Child support payors child alimony mediations lawyer-to-lawyer negotiation dispute resolution center confidential process LDRC Dispute resolution methods conciliation present legal representation cohabitating partner marital infidelity post-retirement alimony Caveney v. Caveney alimony calculation family law attorneys in Massachusetts health insurance provision direct negotiation Boston married filing separately top federal bracket alimony statute divorce litigation Romneycare Baseball Players family and divorce mediators and arbitrators protect marriage alternative dispute resolution options Massachusetts divorce mediators family law arbitrator Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly marriage repeal Obamacare Massachusetts Bar Association Family Law Section Council alimony recipients MUAA