If your spouse is a louse I’ll get you the house. That Dr. Seuss-like saying was the on the business card of a litigator I met at my first training on collaborative law. While his card was memorable (that was over 16 years ago), alas, his name was not. (I just googled the saying to see if I could find his name and came up with a lot of information about head lice. Hah.) That little diddy is funny, but … read more »
The High Cost of Divorce
I teach family law at CUNY Law School and the semester started a few weeks ago. Here I was on the first day back (hat hair and all): This week, I brought in a well-respected colleague as a guest to talk about how a contested divorce moves through the court system. He told the students about discovery demands and motion practice and preliminary conferences and a lot of time-consuming stuff. And then he mentioned his hourly rate, and there was an audible gasp … read more »
Who Gets the Benefit of the Doubt?
My sister-in-law posted a piece by DEI trainer Madison Butler on LinkedIn this week that started, “I always keep the receipts. As a Black woman, I feel compelled to keep every receipt, document everything I do, preserve every paper trail. I delete nothing. I throw nothing away … When Black women talk about racism, homophobia or other abuses we deal with, people demand to see the receipts. That is the writing of someone who does not expect to be given … read more »
Till Death Do Us Part – or Not
They say that January is Divorce Month (we get more inquiries after New Years!) but it also seems to be Prenup Month. I started working on two prenuptial agreements this week – one as a mediation and one as a collaborative case. I also read an article in the New Yorker, Prenups Aren’t Just for the Rich Anymore. I’m curious about your experiences with prenups – do you have one or know anyone who does? Or who should have had … read more »
Who Made the Pie?
When I was in law school, I was active in an organization called PILA – the Public Interest Law Association. We raised money to sponsor paid summer internships for our fellow students to work at legal nonprofits. We would bake casseroles and sell lunch outside of faculty meetings and hold a yearly auction – real grassroots stuff. Then one year, my friend, Mary Marrow suggested that we hold a Thanksgiving pie sale. I was living in an apartment on 114th … read more »
Compassionate lawyer??? Wha??
Compassionate lawyer??? Doesn’t that sound like an oxymoron? How do those 2 words go together? I’m learning about branding. That is my new tag. OK, let’s take a step back. In one of my past lives, when I was young and was trying to figure out how to make a positive impact on the world, I studied world religions in the Masters program at Harvard Divinity School. Although it was an amazing experience in many ways, I couldn’t figure out … read more »
PS – Thanks for the Invitation!
I’ve taken to watching TikTok videos to wind down before I go to sleep. I love the music and the stupid dad jokes and the dancing and the cute dog videos (have you seen scruffabella?). But I’ve also started watching Cory Booker, who shares stories about kindness and compassion after his morning run. This video is about 9 seconds. It’s for those among us who are confronted by people who get on our last nerve. For those who spend time … read more »
A Saint I am NOT! @*%
The first exercise they gave us in law school was about a sign that says “No Vehicles in the Park.” Seems simple enough. But in this assignment, you go into the park and there is an old army tank up on a pedestal. And then a kid rides by on a tricycle. And then you see a woman pushing a double stroller. And then there’s a teenager on a skateboard. And that led to a nuanced discussion about what exactly is a … read more »
Both Sides Now
I’ve looked at life from both sides now From win and lose and still somehow It’s life’s illusions I recall I really don’t know life at all – Joni Mitchell, Both Sides Now These words could be a mediator’s anthem! A huge part of what we are trying to do is to understand the situation from both sides. This is very different from a court trial, which is based on the assumption that there is only one truth about what … read more »
The slowest wheel…
Dear Joy, “I just want to get this done!” Sam said, gritting his teeth. “What can I do to push this along?” I’d met with Sam and Jane over many months. * They had come so far. They’d already told the children, Sam had moved out, and they had (mostly) separated their finances. Jane found a part-time job that allowed her to be home by the time the children got out of school. The kids were going back and … read more »
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