Part 1:
Ode to Chouteau: May the Fourth Be with Her Always

After Governor Swift swore in Chouteau as a Probate & Family Court judge, Norman Jacobs memorably regaled the crowd with the “Chouteau Merrill Story”. And a good one it was!

Girl makes good, striking out as a working teenager in New York City, a couple of years as an important part of Bruce Springsteen’s emergence as an All-World Rocker, raising two incredible boys while earning a GED, a Baruch College finance degree at night, Harvard Law School doctorate, partnership at Brown, Rudnick and then appointment to the bench. Whew!

Now, after ten years a judge, and six-plus as a fulltime mediator and business partner with her adoring husband, the siren lure of many grandchildren, Northampton and Star Wars reruns call Chouteau to step away from direct service with clients at Levine Dispute Resolution Center LLC, effective October 1, 2018.

Happy retirement (sort of) from everyone at LDRC, and especially, as a May 4th baby, may the fourth, and the force, of course, be with you!

By the way, Chouteau will continue on in the financial side of the practice, and she has consented to the continued use of her surname as part of the business deal.

Part 2:
Not so fast, Bill

Bill will continue on with the practice that we started, nurtured and grew, with enduring gratitude for all that we accomplished together. But with our lease ending, and Chouteau mostly retiring, it is time to make an adjustment.

We were lucky enough to have our mediator-colleague and friend, Barbara L. Nason, of Dedham’s Nason Divorce Solutions invite Bill to continue seeing clients of private dispute resolution, of mediation, conciliation, arbitration and master-appointment work, as LDRC, but within in her beautiful and convenient space.

Thanks to Barbara, and no later than October 1, 2018, the new Greater Boston office of LDRC will be:

Suite 200

Bill looks forward to settling in and continuing to serve divorce and family law clients and their counsel, into the future.

Part 3:
Guest Writers

We have three guest pieces today, beginning with “ Positive Prenup: 5 Topics to Protect Your Partnership”, presented by family business consultants and our friends, Doug Baumoel and Blair Trippe, of Continuity Family Business Consulting. The crossover between their world and ours is frequent and often fraught. Their piece is positive, informative and de-mystifying.

We also welcome back Jon Fields of Wellesley’s Fields & Dennis LLP, who permits us to re-print an important piece that he previously published in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, titled “Grey Divorce: Tips for the Divorce Practitioner”. Whatever sector of the business we occupy, Jon’s article is a valuable reminder that every case has different facets, and critical factors change with the ages and stages of the clients.

Finally, we also could not resist sharing a blog entry from Consilium Divorce Consultation’s Heidi Webb, of Lincoln, MA. Heidi picked up on our bemusement about the recent Massachusetts case, She v. Cameron (below). Heidi picks up on our March 21st blog entry “Hoisted on Her Own a Fraudulent Petard, or There’s Just No Damn Honor Among Frauds Anymore: Shea v. Cameron – Part 1”, to which she adds her own insight sensibility and poetry in “When the Truth Hurts”. Please enjoy it and take a look at her visually stunning website, when you have a moment.

Thanks to Blair, Doug, Jon & Heidi.

Part 4:
The Blog

Alimony continues to dominate the blog, as ARA-era development continues to work family law changes in Massachusetts, _as it does nationally, with Congress’ repeal of the alimony deduction in 2019.

But, for a change of pace, we are today highlighting, instead, a recent entry about a momentous concurring opinion by SJC Chief Justice Gants in the case of Miller v. Miller, calling for an overdue reconsideration of the “real advantage” test, prevailing Massachusetts law with regard to removal of children from the commonwealth since the mid-eighties.

And, as noted above, our first take on Shea v. Cameron.

As always, it is a portal to the LDRC blog; and this is our continuing invitation to explore as your curiosity suggests.

Happy Spring and may all be well with you.

Chouteau & Bill

Positive Prenup: 5 Topics to Protect Your Partnership

By Doug Baumoel and Blair Trippe, Continuity Family Business Consulting

Getting a couple to talk about divorce when they are just embarking on marriage can be a tough sell to someone planning a wedding. For couples entering a partnership with comparable assets, a prenuptial agreement. a.k.a. prenup, is rarely contentious. read more...

Grey Divorce: Tips for the Divorce Practitioner

By Jon Fields, Fields & Dennis LLP

Here’s a sobering fact for divorce practitioners: divorce involving people 65 and over has tripled since 1990. Tripled. The “Grey Divorce Revolution” is real -- and it is changing our practices. read more...

When the Truth Hurts

By Heidi Webb, Consilium Divorce Consultation

Earlier this month I received a succinct blog post from my esteemed colleague, Bill Levine, of Levine Dispute Resolution Center, LLC in which he described a recent Court decision - Shea v. Cameron.  read more...

Wanted: An SJC Case to Challenge the “Real Advantage” Standard: Chief Justice Gants’ Compelling Concurrence in Miller v. Miller”


Concurrences are rare in family law cases, but when the Chief Justice writes a clear-eyed one with firm conviction, people take notice. C.J. Gants, with Associate Justice Gaziano joining him, did not take issue with majority’s decision, but rather the “analytical gymnastics” necessary to find it. They were right. read more...

Hoisted on Her Own a Fraudulent Petard, or There’s Just No Damn Honor Among Frauds Anymore: Shea v. Cameron – Part 1”


It isn’t often that we get to see the phrase “joint stipulation of fraud”.

But, in the Massachusetts Appeals Court’s recent Shea v. Cameron, it is the perfect appetizer to a meal of mutual marital chicanery that resulted in the court’s decision to distance the itself from the:

… “ingratitude, avarice, broken faith, brutal words, and heartless disregard of feelings of others,” which although blameworthy, are not legally compensable. read more...

© 2019 Levine Dispute Resolution Center LLC. Dedham and Northampton, MA
781.708.4445 | 413.341.1017 | Email: wmlevine@levinedisputeresolution.com

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