Showing posts from January, 2019

Slogging Through Mediation

My beloved hiking boots--I wore them hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and I treasure these boots and the trails we covered together.  But they also symbolize what happens to all of us at a mediation.  Many times mediation is a long, hard, uphill slog through the snow, mud and rocks.  Mediation can seem interminable; an all-uphill hike filled with false hopes that the end is just around the corner.  Ah, but that feeling at the end of a case when the mediation succeeds is well worth it.

I was reminded of the slog after reading a recent Illinois decision over how to divide up the estate between the decedent's four children and second wife.  After 13 hours of mediation, the five parties tentatively reached an agreement.  A written "Memorandum of Settlement" was prepared but it was so late that everyone left without signing.  One party explicitly asked if she could "sleep on it."  Another party had previously left the mediation after "only" nine …

Mediation Process - What to Expect at Mediation


Mediator at USA&M

Here it is ... the dawn of 2019 and its time for a new year's resolution.  Some past year resolutions I have kept and some have fallen by the wayside.  This year I resolve to begin a blog, or a "blawg" (the cute name for law related blogs)  I resolve to make it interesting, to update it kinda, sorta frequently and to comment on other blogs in support of my new community.  I resolve to be authentic to me and to my growing practice as a mediator.  I resolve to protect the privacy of the parties and attorneys who come before me.  Ready, set, go!

BTW, here is where I spent New Years last year, in Patagonia, Chile.  No such luck this year!

Helpline for Sexual Harassment Claims

The #METOO movement spawned greater awareness of sexual harassment and new laws in several States.  Illinois reacted to #METOO in Public Act 100-588 by creating a "Helpline" for persons experiencing harassment or discrimination in the workplace or housing.  See:

The Helpline is up and running at 1 (877) 236-7703 or so check it out.  I like the idea of a Helpline; if done properly, it can give accurate answers quickly and point the caller in the right direction for their next step.  
In my 33 years of practicing law, I have represented individuals who experienced sexual harassment; I represented employers and supervisors accused of harassment: and been in-house counsel tasked with defending colleagues accused of harassment.  This is such a touchy (pun intended) subject that I want to give a nod to Illinois for this innovation.  In private practice,…