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


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