I received my formal training in negotiation (and mediation) at Harvard
Law School's Program of Instruction for Lawyers and the Center for Dispute Settlement in Washington, D.C.
(Now, I train others to be better negotiators.)
Prior to practicing law full time, I was a teacher. As an assistant
professor I helped my students understand and learn important legal
Today, that experience helps me to explain to my clients
important concepts in Massachusetts divorce law. Once, a judge
complimented me by saying that my courtroom presentations were clear and
to the point. I learned that courtroom skill as a teacher. Today that
skill benefits my clients.
Judges regularly appoint me to serve in various cases as a Discovery
Master, or Guardian ad Litem. I also serve as an arbitrator. Discovery
Masters stand in the place of the judge to resolve certain types of
disputes between lawyers. A judge appoints a Guardian ad Litem to
investigate and report to the judge on certain issues involving children.
Arbitrators are “private judges” hired by parties to decide one or more issues they cannot
resolve on their own.
Serving as a Master, Guardian or arbitrator has given
me valuable insight as to what it is to “sit on the other side of the
bench” and see much of what a judge sees. I use this valuable perspective
when preparing my client’s case.
I am a trained mediator. Since my formal training at Harvard Law
School's Program of Instruction for Lawyers and
the Center for Dispute Settlement, I have served as a private mediator and arbitrator.
I got my training as an arbitrator from the
American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, American Arbitration Association and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. I regularly serve as a speaker or faculty member
teaching various dispute resolution techniques.
As a member of the Steering Committee of the Boston Bar Association's
Family Law Section I had a continuing opportunity to interact with
divorce judges and lawyers on a monthly basis. At our meetings we addressed
issues and legislation that affected divorce in Massachusetts.
As a member of the Family Relationships Task Force of
the Governor's Advisory Commission on Responsible Fatherhood and Family
Support I helped raise awareness of the challenges and
responsibilities of fatherhood.
My son's artwork:
I like helping people and the law gives me a chance to do this,
especially when I am helping people get through their divorce.
Divorce is not pleasant, so I want to make the
process as easy as possible.
I like seeing a client relax when I have answered a question that
had them worried.
I like knowing that I am
helping my clients get on with the rest of their lives.
In divorce law, it is important to know the law, but it is just as
important to know how to negotiate. After all, if two people are
dividing years of accumulated assets, there may be disagreement. If
one party wants support from the other, there may be disagreement.
To resolve disagreements fairly, good negotiation skills are
I know that facing divorce is not easy and I know that I can make a
difference in my client's life and future.
Collaborative Divorce is an exciting new divorce process in
Massachusetts. That is why I helped to establish the Massachusetts
Collaborative Law Council, was a founding director and have taught at
training sessions sponsored by the Council.