REPORT ON LDRC
Part 1: The Pessimist's Verse
(The Days are Way too Short for Optimism)
As the ball dropped
Tr**p resumed bellowing
And 2016 began
(Tr**p – rhymes with “sump”, obscured to prevent further free social media)
Part 2: Year Five Begins
New Year's Eve concluded our fourth year at LDRC, which is pretty much stunning: both in that if feels like we have been established forever; and because the “golden years” seem to be going awfully fast. We hit on all cylinders last year and 2016 is looking like it will be another great year for our practice. The arbitration and special master end of our practice grew strongly, and our mediation and conciliation efforts continued their growth, too. Thank you all for your support, as always.
Last year brought us two more grandkids, some great down time and travel, lots of teaching, training and writing. This year promises more of the same. We planned more time away this winter because of last year's snowmares, so it is often now balmy in mid-January. Go figure.
Those of you who did not already know them, met our dogs in 2015 (October). Who knew that a dog-themed newsletter would draw more comment than any other.
Best Lawyers named Chouteau as their Lawyer of the Year in Family Law Mediation for 2016, our third consecutive year with such an honor (Bill in Family Mediation in 2015, Chouteau for Arbitration for 2014). We are grateful for these recognitions.
Part 3: Guest Writer
Our friend and colleague Anthony C. Adamopolous, Salem, MA, lawyer, divorce mediator and family law arbitration enthusiast contributes his recent review of the 1st Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals case First State Insurance Co.. et. al. v. National Casualty Co., involving the phenomenon of the "honorable engagement" provisions in arbitration agreements, which vest equitable powers in arbitrators, and further insulate arbitration awards from attack.
We offer this piece, at the same time that we eagerly await the SJC's decision in Katz Nannis & Solomon, PC v. Levine (see our blog entry below), argued in December 2015, which will determine if contracting parties may do the opposite of Tony's piece, by opting in to general appellate rights in arbitration cases.
We feel strongly both ways. We believe in maximizing the choice for competent adults, so we hope that the courts support the rights of parties to either constrict rights of review or expand them, based on their own mutual determination of what is best for them. Take a read and see what you think.
Part 4: The LDRC Blog
We kept up our breakneck pace of 30 or so blog entries last year, commenting on current interests in family law. In today's newsletter, in addition to discussing the Katz Nannis case, we also feature last year’s Pfannenstiehl v. Phannenstiehl trusts-in-divorce saga, in all six parts, as we all await the SJC determination of further appellate review. (Why is that taking so long?) We also highlight the very recent DeMarco decision from the Probate and Family Court. We expect many alimony decisions in 2016.
Please look around our blog for pieces that you may have missed. They are timely, sometimes cogent and, we hope, just a little bit off the beaten track.
Part 5: The Optimist's Verse
(The Solstice is Way Too Close To Not have Hope)
Ashes to ashes
Dust to dust
May 2016 end Tr**p For US
See you all in the spring.
Bill and Chouteau