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Honest, Blunt & Brilliant: “A” Stood for Alternative

Ron and Robert caught up with Attorney Leslie Ellen Shear at the Pepperdine Law School Consensual Dispute Resolution seminar in 2010. Leslie Ellen Shear is a graduate of UCLA Law School, a Board Certified Family Law Specialist, a Certified Appellate Law Specialist, and the author of numerous published opinions. Ron and Robert have known her for over twenty-five years and she is a deeply respected colleague. Honest, blunt, and brilliant, Leslie Ellen Shear is a true powerhouse.

In the first of this four-part series, Attorney Shear discusses the shift from Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to Consensual Dispute Resolution (CDR), as well as the pros and cons of both CDR and the traditional adjudicative legal system.

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Subscribe to Ron and Robert on Divorce on iTunes and tune in next week for Honest, Blunt, and Brilliant: Child Development.

Learn more about Leslie Ellen Shear at CustodyMatters.com.

Mary Culbert’s ABCs of Mediation (Part 3 of 3)

Thanks to the new USA television show, Fairly Legal, mediation is getting a lot more attention than ever before. But how does it really work? In Part 3 of Mary Culbert’s ABCs of Mediation, Southern California’s own real life mediation guru takes listeners through a step-by-step guide to the mediation process.

Missed Parts 1 and 2?  Listen now:

Part 1: Mediation giant Mary Culbert discusses how her family history and a background in theatre paved the way to a career as a peacemaker.

Part 2: Every question you’ve ever had about mediation answered in a single podcast.

Don’t miss another episode! Subscribe to Ron and Robert on Divorce on iTunes.

Mary Culbert’s ABCs of Mediation (Part 2 of 3)

What’s the difference between community mediation programs and private mediators?  Are there different styles of mediation? What kinds of mediation are available?  When can mediation come in handy?  What kind of ethical duty do mediators have to make sure everyone gets a fair shake? How do you complete your case after you’ve made a mediated agreement? Are there ever situations when mediation is not a good idea?

Mary Culbert, Bilingual Certified Mediator, Associate Clinical Professor at Loyola Law School, and president of The Loyola Law School Center for Conflict Resolution answers every question you’ve ever had about mediation but were afraid to ask. (Special thanks to Ron and Robert on Divorce for asking the tough questions.)

Missed last week’s episode? Listen now:

Part 1: Mediation giant Mary Culbert discusses how her family history and a background in theatre paved the way to her career as a peacemaker.

Don’t miss another episode! Subscribe to Ron and Robert on Divorce on iTunes.

November Newsletter

Peacemaking in Italy:
The Law Collaborative and Mediators Beyond Borders Go Abroad
An article by Ron Supancic

Last month, I traveled to Italy as part of a group sponsored by Mediators Beyond Borders, to speak at several seminars held to affirm the ideas of Global Peacemaking.  The following is taken from one of my presentations:

“When I was a little boy growing up in Seattle, Washington, I studied the life of an extraordinary Italian man. Several days ago I had the privilege of kneeling and praying at the tomb of this man, Francis of Assisi. He lived during a time of dissonance, distress, and hostility, amid a crisis of violence and bloodshed. He had been a soldier. He was taken as a prisoner and spent a year in a dungeon. Through his suffering he came to the awareness that violence does not end violence. He came to the conviction that there had to be another way. He realized that he must give his life as the example of this new and different way. In so doing he founded the Franciscan Order based on poverty, charity, and good works.

We also live in a time of crisis, conflict, violence, and bloodshed. Innocent people are dying in unprecedented numbers in many places around the globe. Our leaders only fuel the flames with their failed efforts to force peace through war. It is again time for a new and different way.

Not long ago, Ken Cloke, a mediator from Santa Monica, watched paratroopers dropping into Bosnia with machine guns and grenade launchers.  He wondered what the outcome would be if they came bearing tools of peacemaking, rather than weapons of destruction.  If the paratroopers were facilitators of dialogue and mediators of conflict, carrying only the skills and technology of dispute resolution. What if their message elicited and encouraged disputants to stop, listen, and reflect in a mindful way that promoted understanding and invited participation? His musing was the birth of Mediators Beyond Borders. Still in its infancy, but engaged in eleven countries around the world, it is helping to build indigenous capacity with tools for dispute resolution wherever requested and invited.

My own journey is similar. A scorch-and-burn litigator for over thirty years, I knew my training in traditional methods of dispute resolution left wreckage and chaos in its wake. Mediation opened the door to consciousness and collaboration, and underscored the need for signed agreements to avoid litigation by both parties and counsel. First I used the services of a court mediator. Then I became a court mediator. Now I am a member of a Collaborative Firm that, first and foremost, promotes consciousness, awareness, discernment, and litigation avoidance whenever and wherever possible.

Having known Ken Cloke for several decades, and as impressed as I was with his intelligence and empathic peacemaking skills, I was immediately drawn to the vision and mission of MBB. Attending the Annual Congress, serving on Committees, and becoming familiar with the caliber and the talent of my professional colleagues among MBB members has confirmed my belief that this organization, by virtue of its values and the quality of its aspirational intentions, would only attract the best of the best.

If you only read one book about Mediation, it must be Conflict Revolution by Ken Cloke.  It paints a picture both breathtaking and inspirational of the possibility of peacemaking on a global basis. It deserves to be translated into all languages and shared with all people who seek to peacefully change the world. The information is essential to the present task we face together.

When I was a little boy growing up in Seattle, I read, ‘Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.’ I still believe that. I believe you do as well. Welcome to the Revolution.”

For more information, visit TheLawCollaborative.com.

Please call us if you have any questions. We are here to serve you.

Best,
Ron Supancic and Robert Borsky
“Bringing Peace to the Legal Process”

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A Daily Journal Exposé

Photo courtesy of Michael Zara. All rights reserved.

COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE: A Daily Journal Exposé
By: Ronald M. Supancic, CFLS

As Chief Justice Warren Burger stated in 1984, “The entire legal profession … has become so mesmerized with the stimulation of the courtroom contest, that we tend to forget that we ought to be healers of conflict … Trial by adversarial contest must in time go the way of the ancient trial by battle and blood … Our system has become too costly, too painful, too destructive, too inefficient for truly civilized people.”

This is especially true of divorces. A divorce is not an event – it is the process by which one makes the transition from being part of a couple to being single. The goal of a healthy divorce should be to begin as two, end as one and still feel whole.

This journey will lead the parties through an often treacherous and painful maze of transitions: legal, physical, emotional, financial and spiritual.

If this maze is to be successfully navigated, then in addition to attorneys, parties should enlist the services of experts in these other specific transition areas. This will more likely assure that dissolution can become a key to wholeness.

If we are to successfully navigate this treacherous and painful path, we must enlist the services of those who have expertise in specific areas of the divorce process, to guide us along the way, so that at the end of our journey we remain whole. When we do this we are doing something new and extraordinary called “Collaborative Divorce.”

Read more…

The Center for Collaborative Learning Presents:

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Using Court As A Last Resort: Advocacy Without Adversaries

By Jan Frankel Schau and Ronald Supancic

Just as you were getting used to the concept of Arbitration and Mediation as the common alternatives for resolving legal disputes, along comes “Collaborative Law.” Is it the talisman of future dispute resolution in America?

“Collaborative Law” is being widely used, particularly in Family Law settings globally. In fact, in many European countries, the Court system is only the last resort after all other so-called “Appropriate Dispute Resolution” alternatives are fully exploited. Like any new system, it will undoubtedly be met with some resistance from the Courts and the Bar. This article will explore the concept of “collaborative law” and other “appropriate” dispute resolution processes applicable to the civil case in Los Angeles County .

Ideally, most civil disputes could be resolved, (as they sometimes are in the family law arena) around the kitchen table. That is, the parties sit down together, break bread and make peace. They work out their disputes without the need for outside intervention. This is the first step in “Appropriate Dispute Resolution” – an earnest attempt for the parties to meet and resolve their differences informally.

Failing that, parties could and should retain a neutral dispute facilitator or manager: someone whom both parties could agree to hire to oversee collection and exchange of all the necessary facts in order to fairly evaluate and resolve the dispute. This individual would oversee depositions, collect documents and screen them for confidentiality claims, and keep the parties on a schedule for responding to one another’s requests and demands. This approach is not entirely novel: under the California Civil Code all new actions for defects in real estate construction by a Homeowner’s Association require retaining and using a Dispute Facilitator before filing a lawsuit.

Once the facts have been fully submitted and explored, a “conventional” mediation might be appropriate. There, each side would be able to present their version of the incident or claim, based upon the stipulated facts and exchanged evidence, and a neutral intermediary could actively engage the two sides in collaborating towards a resolution.

Read more…

What women need to know about divorce

The Second Saturday workshop was developed by WIFE, the Women’s Institute for Financial Education, founded in 1988. It is their mission is to empower women to succeed and prosper.  WIFE is dedicated to providing women with information and education during life transitions and their quest for financial independence.

The Second Saturday Workshop is held the second Saturday of each month, and is designed to help divorced and divorcing women take the next step in their life, no matter where they are in the process of untying the knot.  The workshop deals with the legal, financial, family and personal issues of divorce in a logical, yet compassionate way.  With the guidance of trained professionals, workshop participants gain greater understanding of the confusing divorce process.

Second Saturday is a great opportunity for women anywhere in the divorce process. The next Second Saturday workshop is scheduled for Saturday, June 12, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  Speakers will include attorney Robert Borsky, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst Irene Smith and marriage and family therapist Rosalinda O’Neill.  To register for the event, or if you’d like more information, email Info@TheLawCollaborative.com.

Divorce Workshop for Women

Ron and Robert are excited that The Law Collaborative is hosting the first Second Saturday Workshop Woodland Hills this Saturday, May 8th from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Certified Family Law attorney Ronald Supancic will speak about protecting yourself during the divorce process, your rights regarding custody and support, keeping legal fees to a minimum, and more.

Presenters includ Renee Leff, LMFT and Irene Smith, CDFA

Call our toll-free number to register! (888) 852-9961


From Heartbreak to Happiness

“Resentment is like swallowing poison and waiting for the other person to die.” — Aurora Winter

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Aurora Winter, founder of the Grief Coach Academy and writer of the profound book From Heartbreak to Happiness, talks about how to survive a crisis such as divorce.