REPORT ON LDRC
Part One: What’s in a Choice?
Woody Allen once wrote that life is divided between the horrible and the terrible, an exaggeration that 2014 world news nonetheless seemed to support. From November comes our:
LDRC QUOTE OF THE QUARTER
(more or less frequent, as circumstances require)
“There are elections when you choose between A and B, and then there are the more difficult ones when you choose between A and A,” he said. “You are a liberal, so you do not understand this. In the Russian consciousness, you can choose between A and A and A, and choosing between an infinite number of A’s is true freedom.”
NY Times, 11.2.14, “Rebel-Backed Elections to Cement Status Quo in Ukraine”, By Andrew E. Kramer
We did not choose this quote either for its irony nor to celebrate political and intellectual corruption (though both are undeniable), but because it reminded us of what we can never become professionally. Our job as mediators is to help our clients search always for a B, if not options C, D or E. A choice between A and A, of course, is no choice at all; and while some may be swayed, we hope that our clients never are, as we strive to encourage self-determination during perilous family transitions.
Part Two: Who’s a Senior?
As we grow up, we tend to think of life in four-year segments, like high school and college. It is amazing how what once seemed to be an era now feels like an eye-blink in time. So it is with our practice, as we begin our fourth year at LDRC. It is hard to believe that we have experienced so much in just three years. The whole sense of achievement and satisfaction surely seems greater than the sum of years.
Yet, with three years down, does that mean we are now seniors?
Certainly, that people may give what we say a little bit more weight (when what we say makes sense, of course), is a form of seniority. Being lucky enough to have an expanding generation of successful kids and beautiful grandchildren is, too. And, one of us, anyway, can occasionally see a movie or enter a museum at a senior discount. But do we feel like seniors, in the sense that we are about to complete something and move on to something else? Absolutely not.
We left incredibly full and fortunate careers behind to start another one, together. We established ourselves as a significant practice in our geographical, discipline and subject matter areas. We mediate, conciliate, arbitrate and perform master services in volume, and we think, at high quality. We serve a clientele of spouses and their lawyers, many of the latter as repeat customers. We have resolved many dozens of cases by private dispute resolution (we’ve stopped calling it “alternative”, because we strive to be primary) processes that are traditional and some less so. We are always open to innovation and hybridization when the clients or their needs demand it. We are comfortable in saying that we have saved clients hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and miles of emotional tread ware.
We also continue to write, and speak to our community. Our Keynote (Apple’s version of PowerPoint) from a recent presentation to the Massachusetts Probate and Family Inn of Court, called “The Seven Sins of Alimony” is linked here. It arises from many of our alimony-themed blog entries of last year; and we combine information, some commentary and questions raised about the state of play in Massachusetts’ evolving “alimony reform”.
So we may be seniors, but no, we are not graduating from anything. We look forward to another great year of learning, writing and private dispute resolution; enjoyment of our growing families; and, definitely, more movie discounts.
Part Three: The Blog
To show that are not just about alimony, we feature today four recent blogs that demonstrate our substantive breadth: from parenting coordinators to matrimonial torts, and from mediation refusal to Charles Manson’s wedding celebration. On the last, don’t feel badly: our invitation hasn’t arrived yet, either.
Well, there is one on alimony, too, since the Appeals Court got an early start in the new year.
Please enjoy and feel free to comment.
We wish you a great 2015; and for the world, at least, a better one than the year it just survived.
Bill and Chouteau