News

Civil Mediation Workshop Training Features BLC Founder

BLC's David Hoffman led Day One of the Civil Mediation Training Workshop at MCLE on April 14, 2014.

Mediation and Psychology of Divorce Explored at MCLE 

BLC's David Hoffman and BLC Affiliate Dr. Richard Wolman served as panelists at the annual Family Law Conference at MCLE on April 11, 2014. They participated in a workshop entitled, "Mediation: What are They Really Fighting About," which discussed the psychology of divorce.

BLC Founder Presents Mediation Workshops at ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Annual Conference

BLC's David Hoffman presented two workshops at the annual conference of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution in Miami, Florida on April 4, 2014.  One of the workshops was "Exploring the Crossroads of Diversity and Psychological Issues in Mediation and Negotiation” (with Daniel Bowling, Homer La Rue, and Marvin Johnson), and the other was "Mediator as Moral Witness."

Latest Greater Boston Collaborative Law Practice Group Meeting Held at BLC

The latest Greater Boston Collaborative Law Practice Group meeting was held on April 1, 2014 at BLC. Jessie Foster discussed, “Understanding Stock Options in Divorce.” Many executives who work for public or private companies, large and small, are often paid with long-term and short-term incentives such as stock options and restricted stock, in addition to their base salary. How these incentives are handled in divorce can be confusing and complex and are fraught with tax complications and imprecise valuation methods. Often times the language used in Separation Agreements does not deal with the complexity of these assets and leaves both parties open to problems in the future.  We took a detailed look as to how these executive benefits work and how best to address them in divorce. Jessie Foster is a Certified Financial Planner, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™ and Collaborative Law Financial Neutral who works with clients and their attorneys to fully understand the financial complexities surrounding divorce. She offers comprehensive analysis of the short-term and long-term impacts of proposed divorce settlements that may impact clients and their families well beyond divorce. Ms. Foster is a Board Member of The Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council (MCLC) and serves as Chair of the MCLC Members Meeting Committee.  She is also a member of The International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, the Divorce Center and the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation. Ms. Foster currently works at the Raskin Planning Group.

Representing Clients in Mediation: An Advocacy Workshop

BLC's David HoffmanIsraela Brill-Cass and BLC Affiliate Don Greenstein led an advocacy workshop on "Representing Clients in Mediation" on March 24, 2014. The increasing use of mediation has changed the way law is practiced in the U.S. and internationally, and clients expect lawyers to have a working knowledge of the mediation process. However, advocacy in mediation is not taught in law school, and requires a very different set of skills than trial advocacy. This workshop taught lawyers about persuasion and problem-solving in the context of mediation, and gave participants an opportunity to try new approaches using participatory role plays and discussion.

Exploring "The Inner Dimensions of Mediation: An Introduction to the Internal Family Systems Model" with David Hoffman and Richard Schwartz

Mediators, lawyers and other professionals who deal with conflict attended "The Inner Dimensions of Mediation: An Introduction to the Internal Family Systems Model" on March 14, 2014 at the Boston Bar Association. BLC's David Hoffman and psychologist Richard Schwartz led this one-day training introducing the theory and practice of the Internal Family Systems Model as a tool for conflict resolution, with simulations and written materials. The workshop was co-sponsored by the Center for Self-Leadership, which as founded by Dr. Schwartz. A second presentation on this topic will be held on May 6, 2014. Please email Lenore Pellani, LPellani@bostonlawcollaborative.com, to RSVP for the event.

Latest Greater Boston Collaborative Law Practice Group Meeting Held at BLC

The latest Greater Boston Collaborative Law Practice Group meeting was held on March 4, 2014 at BLC. David Goodman discussed, “Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Divorce Taxation in Collaborative Law Practice.” This presentation looked at selected tax issues related to divorcing couples, including: Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and responsibility of judges to consider taxes; divorce court orders and tax consequences; child support versus alimony; dependency; child care credit; release of exemption to non-custodial parent; requirements for release of claim by custodial parent; mortgage interest and real estate tax deduction - who gets; common problems in alimony; income spouse relief; and depreciation and income. David Goodman has been working with divorcing couples since 1997, providing assistance with property settlements; alimony and child support optimization; and income analysis. David is also an expert in business valuation and works with numerous tax clients. Mr. Goodman recently completed Collaborative Law Practice training with MCLC. He is President of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts. David works at Gosule, Butkus & Jesson, LLP, a full service accounting firm providing accounting & auditing, business advisory, litigation, and business valuation, taxation, and, through Mainsail Advisors, wealth management services.

Panel and Audience Conversations on "Intake: Setting the Stage for Your Mediation Process"

BLC's Israela Brill-Cass was a panelist at MCFM's Professional Development Workshop on "Intake: Setting the Stage for Your Mediation Process" at the Wellesley Free Library on February 12, 2014. Your mediation process starts when you design your website or otherwise advertise your practice. Form follows function: what do you want your intake process to accomplish?  Whether you have a website, whether you talk on the phone, whether you meet with the clients when they first come into your office or whether you have an assistant meet them to obtain basic information about them. Why you prefer one system over another. What are the advantages and disadvantages of filling out basic intake forms with your clients as opposed to an assistant performing this function? What do you ask in your intake form? How do you use in your mediation the information you have gathered in your intake? What do you think your clients are learning during your intake? The expert panelists and audience members shared their own experiences at this event.

BLC Of Counsel Named Pre-eminent Women Lawyer in 2014

BLC's Vicki Shemin was selected for the 2014 Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Pre-eminent Women Lawyers. This recognition is for women attorneys who have received the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards from their peers.

BLC Member Joins the "Inn"

BLC's Rachel Goldman has been accepted as an inaugural member of the Greater Boston Family Law Inn. She will be placed in a mentoring group with Family Law  and develop programs for the field.

Latest Greater Boston Collaborative Law Practice Group Meeting Held at BLC

The latest Greater Boston Collaborative Law Practice Group meeting was held on February 4, 2014 at BLC. Diane C. Pappas presented, “The Marital Home and Divorce – The Issues, Pitfalls and Tax Implications.” This presentation looked at a case study that raises questions about the treatment of the marital home in divorce. Often times, one spouse is adamant about keeping the home, but rarely does that spouse understand what it means to actually ‘keep’ it. There are a multitude of financial and tax issues that need to be addressed up front before any discussion of a settlement can take place. Can the spouse afford to stay in the home? Will s/he be able to qualify for a mortgage to buy out the other spouse?  Is it better to own the home jointly for tax purposes?  The answers to these questions and more will be addressed and answered from the perspective of a divorce financial professional. Topics to be addressed include: Capital Gains Exclusion, Use and Occupancy Rules, Cost Basis, Non-Qualified Use and the Housing Assistance Act of 2008, Qualifying fora Mortgage in 2014, Advantages and Disadvantages of Keeping v. Selling, and The Deed and Deductibility of Mortgage Payments as Alimony. Diane is the Owner of Solutions for Divorce LLC, an independent, fee-only divorce financial planning firm. She is a Financial Planner, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™, a collaboratively-trained Financial Neutral and a trained Mediator. Drawing on over 20 years of life and work experience, Diane develops financial strategies and plans that solve her clients’ short and long-term needs and goals. She is passionate about educating her clients, so that they are informed and in control of the important financial decisions they are making. Helping her clients navigate the complex financial intricacies of divorce and providing them with realistic options and strategies that work for their family is the core of Diane’s practice. Working in conjunction with attorneys and mediators, Diane addresses all the tax and finance issues associated with the divorce process ultimately helping the team arrive at a more fair and equitable settlement.

BLC Members Serve on Panel to Discuss Strategies for Success while Representing Clients in the Mediation of Business Disputes

BLC’s David Hoffman and Israela Brill-Cass joined Professor Dwight Golann as panelists for the “Representing Clients in the Mediation of Business Disputes: Strategies for Success” program at the Boston Bar Association on January 27, 2014. Participants explored the details of the pre-mediation communication and activities that set the stage for a more productive mediation; developed a strong process checklist; enhanced understanding of the goals and stages of caucusing; discerned between negotiating with the other side and negotiating with the mediator; and discussed best practices for managing settlements and impasses.

"Divorce Corp" Premiere Showing and Panel

BLC's David Hoffman spoke on a panel after the Boston premiere of the documentary "Divorce Corp" at Waltham's Embassy Theater on January 23, 2014. The other speakers included Steve Hitner (President of Massachusetts Alimony Reform) and Ned Holstein (Chair and Founder of the National Parents Organization, which sponsored the film showing).

BLC Participates in MCLE Family Law Mediation Training

BLC's David Hoffman, Israela Brill-Cass and Rachel Goldman served as trainers in MCLE's Family Law Mediation Training workshop in January 2014.

Latest Greater Boston Collaborative Law Practice Group Meeting Held at BLC

The latest Greater Boston Collaborative Law Practice Group was held on January 7, 2014 at BLC. Dr. Cathy Heenan presented, “Moving Through Impasse: Preventions and Interventions.”How often have you heard and said, “I’ve had it!  This is too hard!  We’re stuck!”? Making the paradigm shift from traditional to collaborative practice is challenging.  Increasing self-awareness and developing specific skills can facilitate this shift. Gathering practical information while drawing out emotional content is necessary to build trust, develop rapport, and prevent impasse. Even with these skills, obstacles are likely to occur. This training enabled participants to understand the components and complexities of impasse and provide new and specific interventions for keeping the process moving. This workshop provided opportunities to integrate interventions through practice. The objectives for the meeting were to: identify obstacles and develop skills to make the paradigm shift; learn how to anticipate, assess, and manage obstacles; and learn 10 specific interventions for preventing and managing impasse. Dr. Heenan is a psychologist, collaborative divorce coach and parenting adviser. She is an International Collaborative Law Trainer, having trained over 1,300 professionals in Basic and Advanced Collaborative Practice. Dr. Heenan is a Board member of the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council and co-creator of the 'Collaborative Divorce Video Series' which is being used in practice groups and collaborative trainings worldwide.  She is co-author of the book "Preparing, Designing and Leading Workshops:  A Humanistic Approach."  She can be reached at 617-969-8389 and http://www.pollakheenan.com.

BLC Authors Publish Chapter on Diversity Issues

On December 9, 2013, a book chapter entitled "Cultural and Diversity Issues in Mediation and Negotiation," written by BLC's David Hoffman and Affiliate Katherine Triantafillou, appeared in the newly released Massachusetts General Hospital Textbook on Diversity and Cultural Sensitivity in Mental Health, edited by Dr. Ranna Parekh.  For information about the book, click here.

Fifth Conciliation Training with the Administrative Office of the Trial Court for BLC Executive Director

BLC Executive Director Israela Brill-Cass served as a lead trainer at the Boston Bar Association teaching conciliation as part of a team organized by the Administrative Office of the Trial Court (AOTC) on December 6, 2013. This was a joint training for the Massachusetts and Boston Bar Association and it was Israela's fifth conciliation training with the AOTC.

Latest Greater Boston Collaborative Law Practice Group Meeting Held at BLC

Back by popular demand, Scott Loring presented The Power of Empathy As A Tool For Collaborative Professionals at BLC on December 3, 2013. Scott Loring is a Mediator, Negotiation Consultant and Executive Coach. Since 2000, Scott has brought his communication, conflict resolution and team building skills to individuals, families and business teams. Scott has particular expertise assisting client-focused businesses, helping owners and employees to negotiate both internal and external issues such as salary negotiations, business mergers and the inevitable conflicts that arise between co-workers. Scott presented to the Practice Group in November and was so well-received in his introduction on “Non-Violent Communication as a tool to move clients from positions to interests in Collaborative Practice” that we simply had to bring him back for an encore. Click here to learn more.

Plenary Talk on Mediation Ethics Delivered by David Hoffman at MCFM's Fall Institute

BLC Member David Hoffman gave a plenary talk on mediation ethics at the Fall Institute of the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation in Wellesley on November 22, 2013.

David Hoffman and BLC Publish Mediation Book for MCLE

On November 19, 2013, MCLE released a 750-page text on mediation written by BLC's David Hoffman, along with contributing authors Israela Brill-Cass, Nicole DiPentima, Annie O'Connell, Katherine Triantafillou, and Dr. Richard Wolman. The book, entitled "Mediation: A Practice Guide for Mediators, Lawyers, and Other Professionals," is available through MCLE: http://www.mcle.org/books-cds/books-catalog.cfm?product_code=2140163B01. A Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly review of the book by mediator Les Wallerstein called it "an extraordinary tour de force, brimming with insight and wisdom," and said that "The overarching strength of this magnum opus is the authors' humanity that permeates its pages, enriched by real tales from the trenches.  If you could have but one book in your library on the subject of mediation, or only one in your digital collection, this should be the one."  Click here for a copy of the review.

"Breaking Barriers" MCLE Panel Features BLC Affiliate Katherine Triantafillou

BLC Affiliate Katherine Triantafillou appeared on an MCLE panel, "Breaking Barriers: Women as Advocates for Change" at the MCLE office on November 15, 2013 as part of the commemoration of the book published by MCLE called "Breaking Barriers."

BLC Founder Publishes Article in Family Mediation Quarterly

BLC Founder David Hoffman wrote an article, "Screening for Domestic Violence and Coercion in Divorce Mediation,"  which is featured in the Fall 2013 issue of the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation's Family Mediation Quarterly. The article is excerpted from a chapter co-authored by David Hoffman, Annie O'Connell and Nicole DiPentima in a forthcoming book from MCLE: "Mediation: A Practice Guide for Mediators, Lawyers, and Other Professionals," by David Hoffman and Boston law Collaborative, LLC which will be published later this fall.

Latest Greater Boston Collaborative Law Practice Group Meeting Held at BLC

The latest Greater Boston Collaborative Law Practice Group meeting was held on November 5, 2013 at BLC. Scott Loring presented, “How to Use Non-Violent Communication Techniques to Help Your Clients See the Interests Behind their Positions.” Click here for more details. Scott Loring is a Mediator, Negotiation Consultant and Executive Coach. Since 2000, Scott has brought his communication, conflict resolution and team building skills to individuals, families and business teams.  Scott has particular expertise assisting client-focused businesses, helping owners and employees to negotiate both internal and external issues such as salary negotiations, business mergers and the inevitable conflicts that arise between co-workers

BLC Celebrates 10th Anniversary with Workshop on Diversity/Psychological Issues in Negotiation & Reception

BLC celebrated its 10th Anniversary with two events on November 1, 2013. A free workshop on "Exploring the Crossroads of Diversity and Psychological Issues in Negotiation" was held at the Boston Bar Association followed by a reception at BLC's office. Click here to find related resources.

"Mediating Disputes" Course at Harvard Negotiation Institute Co-Led by BLC Founder

BLC Member David Hoffman co-led the five-day "Mediating Disputes" executive education course at the Harvard Negotiation Institute, sponsored by the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School from October 14-18, 2013. The other faculty members were Prof. Robert Mnookin (Harvard Law School), Gary Friedman, Esq. (The Center for Understanding in Conflict), Dana Curtis, Esq. (Dana Curtis Mediation) and Samuel Dinnar. 

International Practitioners Gather for Collaborative Law Training

BLC Member Rachel Goldman, Doris Tennant, Esq. and Sanford Portnoy, Ph.D. taught an all-day advanced Collaborative Law training entitled "Collaborative Practice at its Best: How the Most Proficient Practitioners Manage the Most Difficult Cases" at the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals Forum in San Antonio, Texas on October 17, 2013. The IACP Forum is the single largest gathering of Collaborative professionals from all over the globe.

BLC Founder Delivers Speech on "The Role of the Mediator as Moral Witness"

The International Bar Association Mediation Committee held its annual meeting in Cambridge, Massachusetts on October 9, 2013, and BLC's David Hoffman delivered a speech on "The Role of the Mediator as Moral Witness."

Training on the Internal Family Systems at Middlesex Mediation & Conciliation Program

BLC Member David Hoffman provided a two-hour training entitled "Mediator as Moral Witness: How to Navigate the Dangerous Shoals of 'Right' and 'Wrong' in Mediation" for the Middlesex Mediation & Conciliation Program in Lowell on October 8, 2013.  David described a psychological model, known as Internal Family Systems ("IFS"), that can help mediators understand the multiple facets of our minds and personalities, and how applying the IFS model in mediation can help each party feel heard and validated with regard to their claims of being "right."

BLC Member Serves on MCLC Faculty for Collaborative Training

For the 5th consecutive year, BLC Member Rachel Goldman served on the faculty of the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council's Three-Day Introductory Interdisciplinary Collaborative Training on October 3-5, 2013. BLC Member David Hoffman was also be one of the trainers. The training took place at the Conference Center at Bentley College in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Latest Greater Boston Collaborative Law Practice Group Meeting Held at BLC

The latest Greater Boston Collaborative Law Practice Group meeting was held on October 1 at BLC. Karen J. Levitt, Esq. and Gina Arons, Psy. D. presented, “'I’ve Got a Secret': The Impact of Privilege, Transparency and Confidentiality on the Collaborative Team." Collaborative Practice is based on the idea that clients and professionals work together in an open and honest manner to reach resolution – but there are complexities in a process in which the attorney client privilege guarantees confidentiality while all of the other collaborative professional-client relationships require transparency. Gina and Karen will provide participants with a roadmap to identify and explore issues related to secrets as they affect clients, professional ethics, and the Collaborative Process, by examining what to do when a client says, “I’ve Got a Secret.” Attorney Karen J. Levitt, Levitt Law Group, Chelmsford, MA, is a Collaborative Law practitioner and mediator with over 30 years of experience in family law. She is one of the founders of the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council, and a member of IACP and MCFM. Karen can be contacted at klevitt@levittlawgroup.com. Gina Arons, Psy. D. is a clinical psychologist with over 25 years of experience working with adults, children and families. She is a Collaborative Law coach-facilitator and mediator. She serves on the board of MCLC and is a member of IACP and MCFM. Dr. Arons maintains a private practice in Lincoln, MA and can be contacted at ginaarons@gmail.com.

BLC Member Serves as Mentor in the Norfolk Probate and Family Court Mediation Pilot Program

Rachel Goldman was invited to serve as a Mentor in the MWI Mediation Pilot Program with the Norfolk Probate and Family Court.  This program provides much needed on-site mediation services for litigants in the Norfolk Probate and Family Court.  As a Mentor, Rachel oversees and provides direct feedback and coaching for participating mediators.  For more information, visit www.mwi.org/divorce-mediation-opportunities-and-mentoring.html.

BLC Founder Named Boston’s “Lawyer of the Year” in Collaborative Family Law by U.S. News & World Report

BLC founding Member David Hoffman was named Boston’s “Lawyer of the Year” for 2014 by U.S. News & World Report and the publication “Best Lawyers in America.”  David has been in the “Best Lawyers” list since 2005.  He is listed in five categories: Arbitration, Mediation, Family Mediation, Collaborative Law – Family Law, and Collaborative Law.

BLC Member Recognized by The Best Lawyers in America

For the second consecutive year, Rachel Goldman was selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2014 in the fields of Family Law and Family Law Mediation.

Harvard Law Mediation Course Being Taught by BLC Founder

For a seventh consecutive year David Hoffman is teaching the Mediation Course at Harvard Law School.  This year (2013-14) he will be teaching the course in both the Fall and Spring semesters.

"How Can You Say That? - Part Two" Greater Boston Collaborative Law Practice Group Meeting at BLC

The latest Greater Boston Collaborative Law Practice Group meeting was held on Tuesday, September 10 at BLC. Kate Fanger presented on "How Can You Say That - Part Two." Ever try to tell a client they need therapy? That you wanted out of a case? That they were making your job impossible? We talked about how to say the most difficult things in the most difficult situations, with the most difficult people.  People brought examples of moments or situations that left them stumped or stressed, . Kate Fanger, Esq. is the sole proprietor of Kate Fanger Mediation in Somerville, MA, where she provides a variety of services including divorce mediation, conflict coaching, marriage mediation, elder mediation, professional mentoring and communication coaching for parents and teens and collaborative law. Kate is a vice president on the Board of the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation.

Greater Boston Collaborative Law Practice Group Meeting Held at BLC on "Preventing False Harmony" and the Prebrief/Debrief during the Collaborative Process

The latest Greater Boston Collaborative Law Practice Group meeting was held at BLC on August 6, 2013. Barbara Nason, Esq. and Betsy Ross, LICSW, CGP presented “Prevent False Harmony” and attendees learned about the importance of both the Prebrief and Debrief during the Collaborative Process. Barbara Nason of Nason Divorce Solutions, LLC currently practices in Dedham, Massachusetts. Although Barbara has been litigating family law cases for 20 years, she has recently transitioned her practice to primarily Collaborative Law, Mediation and Negotiated Settlements finding that out of court dispute resolution processes/alternatives can produce better results for her clients. Barbara is currently the Vice President of Education and Training, Board Member and  Chairperson of the Nominating Committee for the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council. Betsy Ross’s training in three different specialties – as a licensed psychotherapist, collaborative divorce coach and as a mediator, has provided her with a large repertoire of tools to choose from when helping clients transition out of a failed marriage toward a more successful future. She also enjoys assisting individuals to become more curious about what they do and why they do it, in service of clearing away the emotional and psychological obstacles to growth (in career, community, or home life). As a collaborative divorce coach, she views members of the collaborative team through two different lenses. She focuses on each individual to study the unique footprint they bring to the work, and then broaden her perspective to view the team as a whole. This permits her to study the action within a group context and view each collaborative team member as a part of work group, subject to the influences and dynamics that always accompany group membership. She contributes what she learns from each view in an effort to help group members better understand the process, achieve goals, and successfully complete the work.

BLC Project Manager Publishes Article in Family Mediation Quarterly

BLC Project Manager Annie O'Connell published an article, "Divorce and Co-Parenting: There's an App for That!!" in the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation Summer 2013 issue of Family Mediation Quarterly.  Click here to read the article.

BLC Teaches at MCLE Family Mediation Training

The following BLC personnel and Affiliate taught in the four-day Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education Family Mediation Training during the week of July 14, 2013:  Israela Brill-Cass, Rachel Goldman, David Hoffman and Dr. Richard Wolman.

"Mediating Disputes" Training at Harvard Law School

BLC member David Hoffman was on the faculty of a five-day "Mediating Disputes" training at Harvard Law School, under the auspices of the Program on Negotiation from June 3 - 7, 2013. The other faculty members were Prof. Robert Mnookin (Harvard Law School), Dr. Kimberlyn Leary (Harvard Medical School), and Samuel Dinnar (Mediation Works, Inc.).

Greater Boston Collaborative Law Practice Group Meeting Held at BLC on "Let's Get Personal! I Wish I Knew Than What I Know Now"

The latest Greater Boston Collaborative Law Practice Group meeting was held on June 4, 2013 at BLC. The topic for the event was: "Let's Get Personal! I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now..." and was led by Vicki L. Shemin, J.D., LICSW. Okay, in working with our clients or with other counsel, we have all said things we wish we had not said; or done things we wish we had not done – but, the best part is that we learned from those mistakes. Participants came prepared to share 1-2 teachable moments that “you wish you knew then” so that others could benefit from others' personal experiences.

High Conflict Custody Cases Seminar at MCLE Features BLC Affiliate

BLC Affiliate Dr. Richard Wolman served on the faculty at Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education's "High Conflict Custody Cases" seminar on May 23, 2013.

Diversity Issues Discussed at Volunteers Lawyers Project

BLC Affiliate Katherine Triantafillou presented  and facilitated a discussion on diversity issues at the Volunteer Lawyers Project in Boston on May 14, 2013. 

Harvard Law School Mediation Course Taught by BLC Founder for 6th Consecutive Year

From January through May 2013, BLC member David Hoffman taught the Mediation course at Harvard Law School for the 6th consecutive year. David has been a Lecturer on Law at HLS since 2008.

Two Articles from BLC Published in Spring Issue of Family Mediation Quarterly

BLC Founder David Hoffman and BLC Affiliate Katherine Triantafillou have published articles in the Spring 2013 issue of the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation's Family Mediation Quarterly. David's article is titled, "Mediation and the Unauthorized Practice of Law: Practical Considerations." Katherine's article is titled, "Same-Sex Conflicts: A Primer for Mediators." Click here to read the articles.

Greater Boston Collaborative Law Practice Group Meeting Held at BLC on "Practicing our Practice Group Skills"

The latest Greater Boston Collaborative Law Practice Group meeting was held on May 7, 2013 at BLC.The topic for the event was “Practicing our Practice Group Skills” and was led by Pam Freeman, J.D. Attendees learned how to advance their collaborative law skills in building a collaborative team; set the ground work to work effectively as a team; and prepare to work as an effective team member.

BLC Members on Faculty for Advanced Family Law Mediation Training

Six people from BLC served on the faculty of the first Advanced Family Law Mediation Training, offered by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education: Israela Brill-Cass, Rachel Goldman, David Hoffman, Vicki Shemin, and BLC Affiliates Katherine Triantafillou and Dr. Richard Wolman on May 7, 2013.

BLC Founder Leads Workshop on "Managing the Tension Between Relationship and Results"

BLC Founder David Hoffman led a workshop at the annual XPX (Exit Planning Exchange) Summit at the Bentley College Conference Center on May 3, 2013.  This year's theme for the conference is "The Art and Science of Collaborative Innovation." David led a workshop entitled "Managing the Tension Between Relationship and Results: The Crossroads of Collaboration."

BLC Members and Affiliate Teach at MCLE Civil Mediation Workshop

BLC’s David Hoffman, Israela Brill-Cass and affiliate Katherine Triantafillou taught and served as role play coaches at MCLE's Civil Mediation Workshop on April 29, 2013. This Workshop taught: the steps of the mediation process; the role of the mediator; mediation skills/strategies; listening; using neutral language; rephrasing; asking follow-up questions; summarizing; identifying issues; negotiating agreement; note taking; agreement writing; ethical and legal issues in mediation; values; bias awareness; personally sensitive issues; physical/substance abuse; cultural diversity; mediation demonstration; and coached role-plays.

Fourth Conciliation Training with the Administrative Office of the Trial Court for BLC Executive Director

BLC Executive Director Israela Brill-Cass was at the Massachusetts Bar Association teaching conciliation as part of a team organized by the Administrative Office of the Trial Court (AOTC) on April 26, 2013. This is a joint training for the Massachusetts and Boston Bar Association and it is Israela's fourth conciliation training with the AOTC.

BLC Affiliate Presents on GAL Work at Regis College

BLC Affiliate Dr. Richard Wolman presented on "The GAL and Children's Therapeutic Privilege" as part of the Massachusetts Association of Guardians ad Litem at Regis College on April 26, 2013.

Greater Boston Collaborative Law Practice Group Meeting Held at BLC on "Divorce Consultations - A New Paradigm"

The latest Greater Boston Collaborative Law Practice Group meeting was held at BLC on April 9, 2013. The topic for the event was "Divorce Consultations – A New Paradigm." Heidi Webb, Esq. presented along with her Divorce Consultations colleague Gina Cronin. Divorce Consultations provides strategic advice to individuals who are contemplating divorce, with the goal of streamlining the divorce process and reducing the financial and emotional toll on clients and their families during this challenging life event. After assessing each client’s post-divorce goals for restructuring their family, Divorce Consultations helps clients develop a roadmap for productively resolving their unique financial, psychological and legal challenges. Heidi Webb, Esq. is a trained Mediator and Collaborative Attorney.

BLC Founder Delivers Workshops at ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Conference

At the annual Conference of the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution in Chicago on April 5, BLC member David Hoffman spoke in two workshops: (a) "Getting to the Heart of the Matter: Distinguishing Mediation from Settlement Conferences" and (b) "Managing the 'Negotiation' Within: How Mediators Can Work with Our Many Sub-Personalities."

BLC Executive Director Receives Accolade in Boston Magazine

BLC Executive Director Israela Brill-Cass was named as one of the Top Women Attorneys in Massachusetts in Boston Magazine (April, 2013). Click here to read more. 

BLC Executive Director Serves as Conciliation Trainer

BLC Executive Director Israela Brill-Cass was a trainer on the second day of conciliation training organized by the Administrative Office of the Trial Court (AOTC). The training was sponsored by the Essex County Bar Association for new court conciliators and was held at Northern Essex Community College on March 22, 2013. This is Israela’s third conciliation training with the AOTC.

BLC Executive Director Leads Getting Along Workshop at Emerson College

BLC Executive Director Israela Brill-Cass led a workshop for students on Getting Along at Emerson College on March 21, 2013. Israela teaches Conflict and Negotiation, and Mediation Facilitation and Dialogue at Emerson.

BLC Affiliate Presents Diversity Workshop

On March 19, 2013, BLC Affiliate Katherine Triantafillou presented a workshop on diversity to the Senior Partners for Justice monthly luncheon. Judge Ginsburg, the founder and Director of the group, wrote that "we were lucky to have someone so experienced in diversity matters to lead us through that conversation."

BLC Founder Presents on "Mediator as Moral Witness"

BLC member David Hoffman presented a talk on "The Mediator as Moral Witness" at a meeting of the Massachusetts Bar Association ADR Committee, at the MBA's offices in Boston on March 13, 2013.

Remembering Roger Fisher, Co-Author of "Getting to Yes"

BLC's David Hoffman was one of the speakers at the Harvard Negotiation Law Review Symposium on the life and legacy of the late Prof. Roger Fisher, co-author of “Getting to Yes” on March 2, 2013. 

BLC Founder Serves on Family Law Mediation Panel

BLC member David Hoffman presented with Gina Arons, Hon E. Chouteau Levine and William Levine on "It's No Sin: Filing and Serving a Complaint Before or During Family Mediation" at the Wellesley Free Library on February 13, 2013. The Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation Professional Development panelists discussed many of the protections, rights and obligations that will arise from the commencement of a legal action during family law mediation; the challenges to mediators when considering if, when and how to discuss these issues with mediation clients; the range of potential reactions by mediation clients, emotional, strategic and tactical; and the potential impacts on the mediation itself.

Greater Boston Collaborative Law Practice Group Presentation at BLC on the Language of Divorce Cases

The latest meeting of the Greater Boston Collaborative Law Practice Group was held Tuesday, February 5th at Boston Law Collaborative. Kate Fanger, Esq. presented on: How Can You Say That?  The Language of Divorce Cases. She explored these issues: How much does it matter what words you use? (Is there any important difference between “difficult” and “hard” and “complicated” and “challenging”?); Do deliberate word choices change what gets heard, and by whom? (“But that’s not what I meant” – intent vs. effect); How can you use language to shift the action from “verbal tennis” (where information or insult is simply being lobbed or smashed back and forth) to effective conversation (the exchange of ideas and understanding)? This was an interactive workshop for discovering and improving the choice of words to help all involved in a divorce case – clients and professionals – successfully navigate the minefield of emotion that gets expressed verbally at the divorce table, whether one-on-one, in group meetings or professional-to-professional. Words can float boats or sink good will. Choosing words carefully is not the small stuff, in work or life. Subtle or obvious, words can be powerful tools, weapons, levers, invitations and more.  Guests thought about how to tame blame, manage pain (and other emotions), cure misunderstandings, encourage imagination, reframe, and remove obstacles to negotiation. Kate Fanger, Esq. is the sole proprietor of Kate Fanger Mediation in Somerville, MA, where she provides a variety of services including divorce mediation, conflict coaching, marriage mediation, elder mediation, professional mentoring and communication coaching for parents and teens and collaborative law. Kate is a vice president on the Board of the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation.

January 2013 Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council Newsletter Features Greater Boston Collaborative Practice Group

The Greater Boston Collaborative Practice Group was featured in the MCLC January 2013 Newsletter. Click here to read more. On March 5, the group is planning a program on Divorce Coaching. Check the News page for more information on this event, coming soon!

BLC Member Again Recognized in Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers

BLC's Vicki Shemin was selected for inclusion in the 2013 edition of the Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers. This recognition is exclusively for women attorneys who have received the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards from their peers. Less than 5% of women lawyers have been recognized with an AV Preeminent Rating. Vicki has been selected continuously since 2011.

Three BLC Members Recognized as Among New England's Top Lawyers in 2013

BLC’s David Hoffman, Rachel Goldman and Vicki Shemin were recognized by Martindale-Hubbell as New England's Top Lawyers in 2013, based on their AV Preeminent rating through a survey of their peers.

BLC Project Manager Hosts Fundraiser for Women's Empowerment

BLC Project Manager Annie O'Connell hosted a fundraiser viewing of Half the Sky in connection with her volunteer work as a Regional Director with the Borgen Project on January 16, 2013. Half the Sky is a documentary that focuses on turning women's oppression into opportunity worldwide. The Borgen Project is a non-profit national advocacy campaign that works to alleviate global poverty.

BLC Members Teach at MCLE Family Mediation Training

BLC’s David Hoffman, Israela Brill-Cass, Vicki Shemin, and affiliates Katherine Triantafillou and Dr. Richard Wolman taught and served as role play coaches at MCLE's January 2013 Family Mediation Training program.

Greater Boston Collaborative Practice Group Presentation at BLC on Business Valuation

The latest Greater Boston Collaborative Practice Group meeting was held on January 8, 2013 at BLC.  The next topic is: “A Collaborative Approach to Business Valuation – The Pros and Pitfalls”.  Presenters David E. Consigli CPA, ABV and Thomas DeBlasio CPA, CVA discussed the following: 1) helping clients understand the valuation and income processes of a business and how we explain it in straightfoward terms; 2) applicability of business valuation in the alternative dispute resolution setting; 3) specific case examples; and 4) how to avoid pitfalls and breakdowns in the process. David is licensed as a Certified Public Accountant by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and has the Accreditation in Business Valuation issued by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. David consults on various valuation engagements including estate tax planning, marital dissolution, shareholder disputes, and merger and acquisitions. David has valued over 135 small to medium sized businesses in various industries. Thomas is licensed as a Certified Public Accountant by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and performs business valuation services in the areas of divorce, equity financing, estate tax planning, buy/sell agreements and shareholder disputes. He serves as treasurer for various for-profit and non-profit organizations. 

Greater Boston Collaborative Practice Group Presentation at BLC on Telepresence Technology in Separation and Divorce

BLC Affiliate Dr. Richard Wolman, Ph.D., along with Richard Pomerance, Ph.D., presented a talk entitled “Telepresence Technology in Separation and Divorce: Enhanced Visitation or a Slippery Slope for Relocation?” at the Greater Boston Collaborative Practice Group meeting at BLC on December 4, 2012.Dr. Wolman is an experienced clinician, mediator, teacher and researcher. A faculty member of Harvard Medical School, he is a clinical psychologist with expertise in psychotherapy with individuals, families and children, and president and research director of PsychoMatrix. He also serves as parenting coordinator, GAL, and consults with family law attorneys, parents and children experiencing the divorce process. His research focuses on spirituality, child custody, psychotherapy, dreams and child development. Dr. Pomerance has been a couples and individual psychotherapist, specializing in complex, multi-axial cases. He extended this work into coaching, parent coordination, and GAL activities, and more recently has been concerned with the process of relationship decision-making, in both personal and professional contexts.

BLC Founder Teaches Mediation Workshop at Harvard Law School

On November 28, 2012, David Hoffman taught an Advanced Mediation Workshop on the subject of "Mediator as Moral Witness," at the Harvard Mediation Program at Harvard Law School.

BLC Founder Speaks at New England School of Law Symposium and Serves on Faculty for ABA Training on Mediation

On November 15, 2012, BLC’s David Hoffman was a featured speaker at the New England School of Law Symposium on ADR and the Courts, and served on the faculty of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution’s annual training on Mediation and Mediation Advocacy Skills in Boston.

BLC Member Lectures on Collaborative Law at Brandeis University

BLC Member Rachel Goldman was a guest lecturer in the Conflict Analysis and Intervention course at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts on November 13, 2012. Rachel focused her lecture on Collaborative Law as an effective dispute resolution process.

Greater Boston Collaborative Practice Group Meeting Presents at BLC on How to Use a Financial Planner in the Collaborative Process

Jessie L. Foster (CFP, CDFA, MBA) presented on How to Effectively Use a Financial Neutral in the Collaborative Process at the Greater Boston Collaborative Practice Group meeting held at BLC on November 6, 2012. The presentation addressed issues of struggle on when to bring a financial neutral into the process and how to introduce the idea to a client. Jessie reviewed the evolving role of the Divorce Financial Neutral and how to effectively use one within mediation and the collaborative process. We discussed the challenges team members have encountered and ways to provide our clients with a clear understanding of the financial options available to them.

BLC Article on "The Psychology of Mediation" Accepted for Publication

BLC member David Hoffman and BLC Affiliate Dr. Richard Wolman wrote an article, "The Psychology of Mediation," which has been accepted by the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution for publication in the spring of 2013.

BLC Featured in Fall 2012 Issue of Family Mediation Quarterly

BLC's Of Counsel Vicki Shemin's article on "The Squid and the Whale" presentation is featured in the Fall 2012 issue of the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation's Family Mediation Quarterly. "Although dated in many ways, this film has withstood the test of time. It resonates across the generations and across professions and socioeconomic classes. Each time the viewer watches the movie it manages to grow even more powerful and more complex, and still offers lessons applicable to our clients — and our own families." Click here to read the full article.

BLC Founding Partner Co-Leads Mediation Training at Harvard Negotiation Institute

BLC member David Hoffman co-led a five-day mediation training at the Harvard Negotiation Institute, with Prof. Robert Mnookin, Gary Friedman, and Mooly Dinnar from October 29 - November 2, 2012. The training was sponsored by the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. To see the Fall 2012 class, click here.

BLC Ranked as a “Best Law Firm” by U.S. News & World Report

For the 4th year in a row BLC was ranked as a “Best Law Firm” by U.S. News & World Report. BLC received a Tier 1 Ranking in Boston for Arbitration, Family Law Mediation & Mediation. Read More

BLC Member Recognized by The Best Lawyers in America

Rachel Goldman was selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2013 in the fields of Family Law and Family Law Mediation. She joins BLC member David Hoffman, who is listed in Mediation, Arbitration and Collaborative Law.

BLC Members Selected as New England Super Lawyers

For the second year in a row, BLC’s Executive Director and ADR Program Manager Israela Brill-Cass and BLC founding partner David Hoffman were selected as New England Super Lawyers. Read More

BLC Affiliate Profiled in MCLE Book on Breaking Barriers

The end of October marks the publication of "Breaking Barriers: The Unfinished Story of Women Lawyers and Judges in Massachusetts" by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, in which BLC Affiliate Katherine Triantafillou is one of the profiled women lawyers. As described by MCLE, the book is a "unique account of Massachusetts women's progress of extraordinary accomplishment of some of the most impressive members of the bar...women who have faced head on and broken professional, societal, racial and educational barriers in their careers..."

BLC Affiliate Presents Research on "Telepresence Technology in Separation and Divorce"

BLC Affiliate Dr. Richard Wolman and Dr. Richard Pomerance presented their research "Telepresence Technology in Separation and Divorce" to the International Society of Presence Research conference in Philadelphia on October 25, 2012.

BLC Sponsored Conflict Studies Conference

BLC proudly sponsored the UMass Boston Conflict Studies Conference that was held on October 19th and 20, 2012.

BLC Founder Moderates Workshop at International Academy of Mediators Conference

The International Academy of Mediators held its semi-annual conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and BLC’s David Hoffman (who is a Distinguished Fellow in the Academy) co-chaired the conference committee. He moderated a Workshop on Co-Mediation and Diversity Issues on October 13, 2012.

BLC Affiliate Meets with Greece's Former First Lady to Discuss Mediation

In September, Katherine Triantafillou met with the former first lady of Greece, Margarita Papandreou, to discuss ways of bringing private mediation programs to the country. Although Greece's court system allows for court sponsored mediation and mediators, it does not yet have a robust private mediation component. As the first lady, Mrs. Papandreou was instrumental in legal reform efforts in family laws, and is extremely interested in alternative dispute resolution.

Dr. Zibbell Speaks at First Greater Boston Collaborative Practice Group Meeting at BLC

The first Fall 2012 meeting of the Greater Boston Collaborative Practice Group was held on Tuesday, October 2 at the offices of Boston Law Collaborative. Dr. Robert A. Zibbell spoke about a cutting-edge pilot program being launched in the Commonwealth known as the “Interdisciplinary Settlement Conference: An Emerging Form of ADR.” Dr. Zibbell has 32 years experience as a clinical GAL and one year of experience as part of the pilot project interdisciplinary dream team selected by Chief Justice Paula Carey. The hope is that Interdisciplinary Settlement Conferences will provide another proactive courtroom settlement approach to families who might otherwise well be headed for litigation.

BLC Member Serves on MCLC Faculty for Collaborative Training

For the 4th consecutive year, BLC’s Rachel Goldman served on the faculty of the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council’s Three-Day Introductory Interdisciplinary Collaborative Training. The training took place at the Conference Center at Bentley College in Waltham, Massachusetts on September 20-22, 2012.

BLC Executive Director Helps Train New Conciliators for Berkshire Probate Court Program

BLC Executive Director Israela Brill-Cass taught Conciliator Communication Skills and Confliction Resolution Skills during the Berkshire Probate Court Conciliation Training in Pittsfield, Massachusetts on September 14, 2012. The training was sponsored by the Administrative Office of the Trial Court (AOTC) for new court conciliators. This is Israela’s second training with the AOTC.

BLC Staff Present at Family Law Paralegal Seminar

BLC Case Manager Lenore Pellani and BLC Family Law Paralegal Karen Richards presented at the Massachusetts Family Law Practice for Paralegals seminar as part of the faculty on September 13, 2012.

BLC Receives “Best Law Firm” Ranking

On November 1, 2011, U.S. News & World Report, the leading rankings publication in the United States, partnered with Best Lawyers® to name BLC a “Best Law Firm” in Alternative Dispute Resolution and Family Law Mediation.  This second issue includes more than 9,600 firms in 75 different practice areas nationally, and 119 practice areas arranged by metropolitan area. BLC is recognized as a Tier 1 law firm for Family Law Mediation and Tier 2 for Arbitration, Family Law and Mediation. The U.S. News – Best Lawyers press release is available here.

BLC Collaborates with MCLE for Divorce Mediation Training

Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education offered a divorce mediation training, chaired by retired Probate and Family Court Judge Edward Ginsburg on July 9-13, 2012. BLC's Executive Director/ADR Case Manager Israela Brill-Cass was part of the faculty for Day 1 of that training and BLC Member Rachel Goldman was part of the faculty for Day 2. BLC Member David Hoffman led the third day, with help from BLC Affiliates Dr. Richard Wolman and Katherine Triantafillou. This is BLC’s 15th time collaborating with MCLE to offer this training.

BLC Executive Director Teaching at Emerson College

BLC’s Executive Director Israela Brill-Cass will be teaching at Emerson College this fall. Israela will be an adjunct professor, teaching Conflict and Negotiation in the Department of Communication Studies.

BLC Founder Gives Plenary Talk on Conflict and Dispute Resolution in NYC

BLC's David Hoffman gave the plenary talk on “’Do the Right Thing’: Conflict Resolvers, Lawyers and the Keys to Managing Intractable Disputes” at the annual conference of the Greater New York chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution at Cardozo School of Law in New York City on June 21, 2012.

BLC Members Deliver Talk on “The Psychology of Collaborative Negotiation”

BLC's David Hoffman and Dr. Richard Wolman were the featured speakers on “The Psychology of Collaborative Negotiation” at the Members Meeting of the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council at the Wellesley Community Center on June 14, 2012.

Amicus Brief Filed by BLC and Other Mediation Groups Acknowledged in SJC Decision

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s recent opinion IN THE MATTER OF ANTHONY RAOUL BOTT (in which BLC and other mediation groups filed an amicus brief), supports the view that mediation does not constitute the practice of law. Click here to read the decision.

The Indian Arbitrator Gives Nod to BLC for Efforts in Collaborative Lawyering

BLC and its founder, David Hoffman, were recognized for pioneering collaborative law efforts on page 6 in the May 2012 Issue of The Indian Arbitrator. Click here to read the complete issue.

BLC Members Teach Advanced Divorce Mediation

BLC’s Rachel Goldman, David Hoffman, and Katherine Triantafillou taught at the Community Dispute Settlement Center’s Advanced Divorce Mediation Training in Cambridge on May 4th and 8th.

BLC Members Presents Workshop on Alimony Reform

BLC’s Rachel Goldman presented a workshop on the new Alimony Reform Act of 2011 to the Financial Planning Association’s Massachusetts Chapter in Sandwich, Massachusetts on May 10th.

BLC Member Honored for Cradles to Crayons Volunteer Work

BLC’s Executive Director Israela Brill-Cass was recently honored by Cradles to Crayons (C2C) at their first Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. Israela was recognized as having contributed more than 250 volunteer hours to C2C at their warehouse and organizing donation drives. C2C is a non-profit organization based in Brighton, MA that provides essentials such as clothing, shoes, toys and school supplies to homeless and low-income children across Massachusetts. To learn more about C2C and how you can get involved, click here.

BLC Affiliate and Colleague Complete Study on Virtual Visitation

Dr. Richard Wolman and Dr. Richard Pomerance have completed their study on Virtual Visitation under the auspices of the Honorable Paula Carey, Chief Justice for the Family and Probate Courts for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The study, “Virtual Presence Technology in Divorce and Separation” will be published this summer and will be available on the BLC website.

BLC Members Lead Civil Mediation Training

BLC’s David Hoffman led the first day of Civil Mediation Training at Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education on April 30th, along with BLC’s Israela Brill-Cass and BLC Affiliates Katherine Triantafillou, Esq. and Dr. Richard Wolman.

BLC and ABA Co-Sponsor Advanced Family Law Mediation Training

BLC the American Bar Association Sections of Family Law and Dispute Resolution co-sponsored an Advanced Family Law Mediation Training at BLC’s offices on May 2-4. The 20-Hour Advanced Family Mediation Training “Breaking Impasse and Managing Difficult Personalities in Mediation” was designed to provide an in-depth look at the mediation process while examining the various reasons impasse occurs (economic, emotional, cultural, psychological, etc.) to reaching agreement. The training provided participants you with the tools and resources needed to break through these barriers and impasse in mediation. BLC founding member David Hoffman led the training along with BLC team members Israela Brill-CassRachel GoldmanDon GreensteinVicki Shemin, Dr. Richard Wolman and Katherine Triantafillou. They were joined by Marguerite Fletcher, Susan Miller, Ranna Parekh, and Douglas Reynolds.

BLC Member Teaches Collaborative Law in Vermont

BLC Member Rachel B. Goldman taught a two-day multidisciplinary collaborative law training sponsored by the Vermont Bar Association Section of Collaborative Law along with Doris Tennant, Esq. and Sanford Portnoy, Ph.D. on April 20 and 21 in Montpelier, Vermont.

BLC Founder Delivers Workshop on Practice Groups and Diversity and Presents Award at ABA Conference in Washington, D.C.

BLC’s Founder David Hoffman gave a workshop on “Reflective Practice Groups: An Opportunity to Increase Diversity and Enhance Practice” with co-presenters Daniel Bowling, Esq., Marvin Johnson, Esq., and Homer La Rue, Esq. at the 14th Annual Conference of the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution in Washington, DC. David also presented the annual ABA Lawyer as Problem Solver Award to Kenneth Feinberg, Esq. and Harry Tindall, Esq.

BLC Founder Delivers Presentation on Negotiation

BLC Founder David Hoffman gave a talk on “Getting to Yes: Exploring the Deeper Dimensions of Negotiation” at the monthly meeting of the Exit Planning Exchange at Babson College on April 11. To read David’s blog post on this topic, click here.

BLC Members Participate in “The Squid and the Whale” Panel Discussion

BLC Members David Hoffman and Vicki Shemin participated in a panel discussion of “The Squid and the Whale” on opening night of the Second Annual Hollywood Scriptures Firm Series hosted by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts on April 12. The panel also included Hon. Paula Carey, Hon. Angela Ordonez and John Fiske, Esq.

BLC Executive Director Helps Train New Conciliators for Lowell District Court Program

BLC Executive Director Israela Brill-Cass taught Conciliator Communication Skills and Confliction Resolution Skills during the Lowell District Court Conciliation Training at the Middlesex Community College Law Center in December 2011. The training was sponsored by the Administrative Office of the Trial Court for new court conciliators. To read more about the conciliation program, which allows parties in civil cases the opportunity to determine the outcome of their dispute rather than having a decision imposed upon them by the court, click here.

BLC Members Present on “The Psychology of Collaborative Negotiation”

BLC’s Founding Member David Hoffman and BLC Affiliate Dr. Richard Wolman presented a talk on “The Psychology of Collaborative Negotiation” at the monthly meeting of the Greater Boston Collaborative Law Practice Group at BLC’s offices on April 3, 2012.

BLC Member Teaches Collaborative Law

BLC’s Rachel B. Goldman taught about Collaborative Law in the Negotiation course at New England Law Boston on March 26, 2012.

BLC Member Co-Leads Workshop on Divorce and Religion

On March 20, 2012, BLC’s Rachel B. Goldman co-led a workshop with Rabbi Amy Scheinerman on “Divorce and Get: Current Legal and Religious Possibilities to Reduce Pain and Provide Support” at the Central Conference of American Rabbis Convention in Boston.

BLC Founder David Hoffman Quoted in March 2012 Issue of Real Simple Magazine

BLC Founder David Hoffman contributed to the article, “How to Control Your Anger and Keep Conflict at Bay,” that appeared in Real Simple Magazine’s March 2012 issue. He suggests that rather than taking the opposite side in a discussion, agreeing with your opponent can “neutralize a potentially combative interaction by finding a point that you and your opponent agree on.” Click here to read the full article in Real Simple Magazine.

BLC Founder David Hoffman Receives John Fiske Award for Excellence in Mediation

BLC Founder David Hoffman received the John Fiske Award for excellence in mediation and contributions to the family mediation field. Click here to read more from Family Mediation Quarterly’s President’s Page.

BLC Trains on Divorce Mediation

In January 2012, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education offered a divorce mediation training, chaired by retired Probate and Family Court Judge Edward Ginsburg. BLC's Executive Director/ADR Case Manager Israela Brill-Cass was a trainer for Day 1 and BLC Member Rachel B. Goldman was part of the team for Day 2. BLC Member BLC's David Hoffman led the third day, with help from BLC Affiliates Dr. Richard Wolman and Katherine Triantafillou, Esq., and BLC Attorney Vicki Shemin.

BLC Member Speaks on “Alimony Reform in Massachusetts – What Every Financial Advisor Should Know”

BLC Member Rachel B. Goldman presented a workshop on the new Alimony Reform Act of 2012 to the Financial Planning Association’s Massachusetts Chapter on January 31, 2012 at the Natick Marriott Courtyard.

BLC Executive Director Teaches Conciliator Communication Skills and Conflict Resolution Skills

BLC Executive Director Israela Brill-Cass taught Conciliator Communication Skills and Confliction Resolution Skills during the second day of the 8 hour Lowell District Court Conciliation Training at the Middlesex Community College Law Center on December 16. The training was sponsored by the Administrative Office of the Trial Court for new court conciliators.

BLC Presents "The Good Wife"

The second event in BLC’s Film Series presented an episode of “The Good Wife,” devoted to the mediation of a medical malpractice case on January 18. Please RSVP to Annie O’Connell (aoconnell@BostonLawCollaborative.com) for one or both of the upcoming events in the film series that start at 5 p.m. at BLC – we supply popcorn, pizza, and beverages:

February 7 - “High Noon,” with Gary Cooper and Grace Kelley – the classic 1952 Western contains fascinating negotiation scenes as Cooper tries to persuade town residents to stand up to a gang of killers, plus at the very end, some gun-slinging ‘alternative dispute resolution.’

March 15 - “Fairly Legal,” the first TV show about a mediator (played by the engaging Sara Shahi) on the USA Network; we will watch some hilarious and intense mediations – excerpts from the show’s first two seasons – including the mediation of a convenience store hold-up.

BLC Member and Affiliate Present on "The Psychology of Mediation"

BLC's David Hoffman and BLC Affiliate Dr. Richard Wolman presented a two-hour advanced mediation workshop on "The Psychology of Mediation" for the Harvard Mediation Program on December 5, 2011. The workshop focused on a book chapter of the same title that David and Richard have written for a mediation manual that will be published in 2012 by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education.

BLC Executive Director Participates in Peer Mediation Teaching

BLC Executive Director Israela Brill-Cass participated, for the fourth year, as part of a team teaching Peer Mediation to students at Newton North High School on December 6, 2011.

BLC Members Selected as New England Super Lawyers in Fall 2011

BLC’s Executive Director and ADR Program Manager Israela Brill-Cass and BLC founding partner David Hoffman were selected New England Super Lawyers this fall – a list published annually by Thomson-Reuters of lawyers viewed by their peers as being in the top 5% of the profession.

BLC Executive Director Speaks About Careers in Alternative Dispute Resolution at Suffolk University Law School

BLC Executive Director Israela Brill-Cass spoke about careers in Alternative Dispute Resolution on November 17, 2011 at SUSL’s Alumni Fall Career Forum. The format was table-talk discussions with students, and the program was sponsored by the Rappaport Center for Law & Public Service and the SULS Career Development Office.

BLC Member Lectures on Collaborative Law at Brandeis University

BLC Member Rachel Goldman lectured about Collaborative Law as an effective conflict resolution process in the Conflict Analysis and Intervention course on November 8, 2011 at Brandeis University.

BLC Executive Director on Mediation in the “Real World” Panel

BLC Executive Director Israela Brill-Cass was one of the speakers at a panel discussion on Mediation in the “Real World” on November 9, 2011 at Suffolk University Law School.

Meeting on “Diversity and ADR: Basic Diversity Awareness Concepts and Skills for Working Across Differences with Colleagues and Clients”

Doug Reynolds presented and facilitated the discussion on “Diversity and ADR: Basic Diversity Awareness Concepts and Skills for Working Across Differences with Colleagues and Clients” on November 10, 2011 at BLC.

BLC Member Presents Workshop on “25 Wild and Crazy Ideas for Breaking Impasse”

BLC Member David Hoffman and Forrest "Woody" Mosten presented a workshop entitled, "25 Wild and Crazy Ideas for Breaking Impasse" at the International Academy of Collaborative Professional's 12th Annual Forum in San Francisco on October 29, 2011.

BLC Member Teaches Collaborative Law to Students at New England Law Boston

BLC Member Rachel Goldman taught students about Collaborative Law in the Negotiation course at New England Law Boston on October 31, 2011.

Presentation at BLC on “Cultural Dynamics in Conflict Communications”

Robert W. Kubacki, JD, MPA, conflict competency coach, mediator and adjunct faculty at Clark, Duquesne and Northeastern Universities presented on and invited participants to consider the role of culture in conflict communication. His October 11, 2011 presentation discussed: What is culture? What is conflict? What is communication? and, How does culture influence conflict communication? This interactive intercultural lunch time meeting included an opportunity to observe cultural dynamics and some tips on how to recognize culture as a dynamic in conflict communication.

BLC Member Gives Plenary Talk on “The Use of the Internal Family Systems Model in Mediation”

BLC Member David Hoffman and Prof. Len Riskin gave a plenary talk on “The Use of the Internal Family Systems Model in Mediation” at the annual conference of the Center for Self Leadership which was held in Boston October 14-16, 2011.

BLC Member Presents Workshop on “Bringing Peace into the Room: Managing Workplace Conflict”

BLC Member David Hoffman presented a workshop on “Bringing Peace into the Room: Managing Workplace Conflict” for the Human Resources Leadership Forum at Bentley University on October 18, 2011.

BLC Member Presents Workshop on “How to Talk to Clients About Collaborative Law”

BLC Member Rachel Goldman presented a workshop with Gina Arons, Psy.D. on “How to Talk to Clients About Collaborative Law” at the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council’s Civil Committee meeting in Wellesley, Massachusetts on October 19, 2011.

BLC Member Leads Workshop on Dispute Resolution Options

BLC Member David Hoffman will lead a workshop on dispute resolution options for the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar, which held its annual retreat in Boston on October 20, 2011.

BLC Members and Affiliate Participate in MCLE’s 3rd Annual ADR and the Law Conference

BLC Executive Director Israela Brill-Cass Co-Chaired MCLE’s 3rd Annual ADR and the Law Conference on October 24, 2011. The Conference included: Keynote Speaker David E. Matz, Esq. who share his experiences mediating and negotiating in the Middle East; a Plenary Panel on Dispute Resolution in the International Arena; a Judicial Forum on the Future of ADR in the Courts; and workshops including Sports/Labor Management Arbitration, Cutting Issues in Environmental ADR, Arts and Entertainment Law Conflicts, and the Team Approach to Conflicts in Family Law. BLC Member David Hoffman and BLC Affiliate Dr. Richard Wolman presented at the Conference and this is the third time Israela serves as Co-Chair.

BLC Attorney Named as One of the Top Women Lawyers in Northeast

BLC Attorney Vicki Shemin was named as one of the Top Women Lawyers in the Northeast by Arrive Magazine.  Click here to see the complete listing from the July/August 2011 issue.

BLC Member Speaks as Panelist on Arbitration in Divorce Cases

BLC Member David Hoffman was one of the speakers at a panel discussion on the use of arbitration in divorce cases, sponsored by the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation on September 14, 2011 at the Weston Public Library.

BLC Member Leads Training for Mediators for the U.S. Court of Appeals

BLC Member David Hoffman led a training for Mediators of the U.S. Court of Appeals on September 15, 2011 at their annual conference in San Diego. Hoffman discussed the use of caucusing in mediation and “the negotiation within.”

Training Mediators in North Dakota

BLC Member David Hoffman was hired by the North Dakota courts to provide a one-day advanced mediation training for mediators who handle custody disputes. The training was held on May 19, 2011 in Bismarck, ND.

Training for Relationship and Dating Coaches

BLC Affiliate Dr. Richard Wolman and his wife Peggy Wolman – in conjunction with New York Times best-selling author Rachel Greenwald – presented a workshop on relationship and dating coaching at BLC on June 5, 2011. The workshop was well attended by therapists, coaches, and other professionals.

BLC Welcomes New Affiliate

We are pleased to announce that Jean M. Kolling, Esq., will be joining BLC as an Affiliate on May 1, 2011. Jean is a principal at Lourie & Cutler and her practice focuses on estate planning, tax planning and business planning for individuals, families, businesses and charitable organizations. A graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard Law School, Jean is a trained mediator and is admitted to practice law in both Illinois and Massachusetts. Jean serves as an advisor and board member for several charitable organizations and her articles have appeared in Estate Planning Magazine and the New England Real Estate Journal among other publications.

Cradles to Crayons Celebrates Grand Opening

Cradles to Crayons (C2C) recently celebrated the grand opening of their new Giving Factory in Brighton. As part of C2C’s grand opening, they debuted their new “Everyday Essentials” video. BLC has been volunteering at C2C since 2006 and BLC’s Executive Director, Israela Brill-Cass, is a C2C Community Leader and Champion Volunteer and appears in the video. C2C is a nonprofit organization that provides essentials to children living in low-income or homeless situations across Massachusetts (www.cradlestocrayons.org).

BLC Receives “Best Law Firm” Ranking

On September 15, 2010, U.S. News & World Report, the leading rankings publication in the United States, partnered with Best Lawyers to name BLC a “Best Law Firm” in the country for Alternative Dispute Resolution and Family Law Mediation.  The inaugural issue includes 30,322 rankings of 8,782 law firms in 81 practice areas across the country.  BLC is recognized as a Tier 1 law firm for both ADR and Family Law Mediation.  Rankings are posted online at www.usnews.com/bestlawfirms and the national first-tier rankings will be featured in the October print issue of U.S.News & World Report, which will go on sale September 27.  U.S. News & World Report’s press release is available here.

BLC Welcomes New Affiliate

We are pleased to announce that Katherine Triantafillou, Esq., will be joining BLC as an Affiliate on March 1, 2011. Katherine is a family law, probate, general litigation, and civil rights attorney and mediator. A graduate of Suffolk Law School, the University of Michigan and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, she was the co-founder and first co-chair of the National Lesbian and Gay Law Association and the Massachusetts Lesbian and Gay Bar Association. Katherine is a former Cambridge City Council member, and was previously chair of the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities and a member of the MBA’s Family Law Section Council. She has taught law at Northeastern and Suffolk University, and she is the co-author of the Massachusetts Abuse Prevention Act (ch. 209A). She is also the editor of the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education reference book, Representing Nontraditional Families.

BLC Member Teaches Collaborative Law

On March 21, 2011, BLC Member Rachel Goldman taught about Collaborative Law in the Negotiation course at New England School of Law in Boston.

BLC Attorney Speaks on Custody and Parenting Plans

On March 29, 2011, BLC Attorney Vicki Shemin spoke at the fourth session of The Divorce Center's five part seminar series on "Divorce in Massachusetts." She spoke at the Needham session on the topic of, "What is Custody and how do I make a Parenting Plan?"

BLC Members Teach at CDSC's Advanced Divorce Mediation Training

On April 8 and 12, 2011, BLC Members Rachel Goldman and David Hoffman taught at Community Dispute Settlement Center’s Advanced Divorce Mediation Training.

BLC Attorneys Participated in Suffolk University Law School Panel

On April 13, 2011, BLC’s Executive Director Israela Brill-Cass and Member Rachel Goldman participated in a panel at Suffolk University Law School presented by the Career Development Office and the student-run ADR Association. The program involved a discussion of ADR and Collaborative Law and provided insight for students on how to embark on career paths in these fields.

BLC Member Speaks in Plenary Session on Mediation

On April 14, 2011, BLC Member David Hoffman was one of four speakers in a plenary session on “The Mediation Post Mortem: A Model for Enhancing Mediation Learning and Practice” at the annual conference of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution in Denver, Colorado. The other speakers included Michael Lewis, James Lawrence, and Irma Tyler-Wood.

BLC Member Teaches About Mediation and Collaborative Law

On April 14, 2011, BLC Member Rachel Goldman taught about the attorney’s role in Mediation and Collaborative Law in the Mediation course at New England Law Boston.

BLC Executive Director Appointed to Trial Court’s Standing Committee on Dispute Resolution

On March 15, 2011, BLC’s Executive Director Israela Brill-Cass became a member of the Administrative Office of the Trial Court (AOTC)’s Standing Committee on Dispute Resolution. The Committee is comprised of judges, court personnel and attorneys, and is responsible for the implementation and oversight the Trial Court's Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) programs. The Standing Committee is undertaking a number of new initiatives including early intervention of ADR in the courts.

BLC Member Speaks on Conflict Resolution at Congregation Kerem Shalom

On March 13, 2011, BLC Member David Hoffman gave a talk on “Bringing Peace into the Room: Conflict Resolution as a Form of Spiritual Practice” at Congregation Kerem Shalom, 659 Elm Street, Concord, Massachusetts.  

BLC Executive Director Participates in Suffolk University Law School Panel

On March 9, 2011, BLC’s Executive Director Israela Brill-Cass participated on a panel at Suffolk University Law School as part of the Career Insight Series. The program was moderated by Professor Charles Kindregan and included public and private practitioners talking with students about their professional experiences, as well as providing information about opportunities available in family law and what they can/should do if they are interested in pursuing a career in the field. The program was co-sponsored by The Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service and Suffolk University Law School’s Career Development Office.

BLC Member Provides Mediation Training for ADR Section of the New Hampshire Bar Association

On March 9, 2011, BLC Member David Hoffman provided a continuing legal education training for the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section of the New Hampshire Bar Association on "The Negotiation Within: How Mediators Can Manage Their Competing Internal Voices and Help their Clients Do It Too."  

BLC Member Speaks at The Divorce Center's Seminar Series

On March 8, 2011, BLC Member Rachel Goldman spoke at the first session of The Divorce Center's five part seminar series on "Divorce in Massachusetts." She spoke at the Needham session and the topic was, "What is the process and where do I start?"

BLC Provides Advanced Family Law Mediation Training for ABA

On March 4-6, 2011, BLC offered an Advanced Family Law Mediation Training for the American Bar Association Section of Family Law at BLC’s offices.  BLC team members David HoffmanIsraela Brill-CassNicole DiPentimaRachel GoldmanDon GreensteinVicki Shemin, and Dr. Richard Wolman led the training, along with Harvard Medical School psychiatrist Dr. Ranna Parekh.  

BLC Member Presents on Divorce Planning at the Raskin Financial Planning Group

On March 2, 2011, BLC Member Rachel Goldman gave a presentation at the Raskin Financial Planning Group in Boston, entitled “Love and Money: The Changing Landscape of Divorce Planning”.

BLC Member Participates in ABA Panel Discussion

On February 19, 2011, BLC Member Rachel Goldman participated in a panel discussion at the American Bar Association First Circuit Student Division’s Spring Conference at Harvard Law School. The panel topic was “Legal Rebels: Non Traditional Legal Career Options”.

BLC Executive Director Presents at Northeastern University Law School

On February 10, 2011, BLC’s Executive Director Israela Brill-Cass presented at an educational forum on ADR sponsored by the International Alternative Dispute Resolution Society at Northeastern University School of Law.

BLC Presents at IACP Annual Forum

On October 31, 2010, BLC Affiliate Dr. Richard Wolman and BLC Member David Hoffman presented a workshop entitled, “The Negotiation Within: How Collaborative Professionals Can Manage Their Competing Internal Voices and Help Their Clients Do It Too” at the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals annual Forum in Washington, D.C.

BLC Member Judges ABA Law Student Negotiation Competition

On November 13, 2010, BLC Member Rachel Goldman served as a judge at the American Bar Association Law Student Negotiation Competition at Harvard Law School.

BLC Team Presents at MCLE "ADR and the Law" Conference

On November 29, 2010, BLC’s, Israela Brill-Cass co-chaired the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education’s second Annual “ADR and the Law” Conference (along with Jack Wofford). BLC attorneys Rachel Goldman and Vicki Shemin presented workshops at the Conference.

Collaborative Law Training

On September 24-26, 2010, BLC Member, Rachel Goldman, served as a trainer for the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council’s three-day training entitled, “Collaborative Practice Interdisciplinary Training: A Step-by-Step Approach to Conflict Resolution.”

Bias at Work

On October 1, 2010, BLC Attorney Vicki Shemin moderated a panel entitled, "Bias at Work - Perspectives from the Bench, in Professional Training, and in Specialty Areas of Evaluation" at the annual conference of the Massachusetts Association of Guardians ad Litem.

Talking to Clients

On October 13, 2010, BLC Member, Rachel Goldman and Gina Arons, Ph.D., gave a talk at the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council Northern Massachusetts Collaborative Law Practice Group on the subject of “How to Talk to Clients about Collaborative Law” in Andover.

ABA Point/Counter-Point on Mediation Caucusing

On September 14, 2010, an American Bar Association continuing legal education teleseminar entitled “Point/Counterpoint on Mediation Caucusing” featured Harvard Law School Professor Robert Mnookin and BLC’s Member David Hoffman.  The seminar materials included an article co-authored by David and BLC intern Lily Hoffman-Andrews.  Click here for a copy of the article.

Op-Ed on Divorce in Christian Science Monitor

BLC Member David Hoffman published an op-ed piece on divorce negotiations in the Christian Science Monitor.  The article, “Divorce is costly – The settlement need not be,” appeared on July 30, 2010.  Click here for a copy of the article.

Collaborative Lawyer and Mediator Rachel Goldman Joins BLC

On July 1, 2010, attorney Rachel Goldman joined the BLC team as a Member of the firm. Rachel brings to BLC her extensive family law experience and is a leader in the collaborative law community. She has served on the Board of the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council since 2005 and is a member of the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. She contributed to the designing and is on the faculty of the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council’s Three-Day Interdisciplinary Training and is also part of the faculty of the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education Divorce Mediation Training. Rachel is an honors graduate of Macalester College and Suffolk University Law School, where she was editor-in-chief of the Law Review.

BLC Member Named in "Best Lawyers in America"

BLC Member David Hoffman was selected for the seventh consecutive year for the book The Best Lawyers in America – he is listed in three categories: Alternative Dispute Resolution, Collaborative Family Law, and Family Mediation.  David’s name will be included among Boston’s Best Lawyers in a special magazine distributed with the June 20, 2010 Boston Globe.

BLC Wins Law Firm ADR Award

On January 13, 2010, the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (“CPR”) presented its Law Firm Award for Excellence in ADR at the organization’s annual meeting in New York. CPR is one of the leading organizations in the world promoting the use of alternative dispute resolution.

Spirituality and the Meaning of Work

On April 29, 2010, BLC Affiliate Dr. Richard Wolman led a workshop at BLC on “Spirituality and the Meaning of Work,” exploring our relationship to work and its meaning. Richard is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and the author of the book Thinking With Your Soul: Spiritual Intelligence and Why It Matters(2001).

Organizational Ombuds 101

On April 20, 2010, BLC hosted a Brown Bag Lunch on “Organizational Ombuds 101: How the Use of an Ombudsperson Enhances the Culture of an Organization.”  Several experienced ombudspeople – Melissa Brodrick (Harvard Medical School), Lydia Cummings (Harvard University), and Mary Rowe (MIT) – joined us for this informal discussion.  BLC Affiliate Don Greenstein facilitated the discussion. 

Boston Marathon

On April 19, 2010, BLC member David Hoffman ran in the Boston Marathon to support one of BLC’s favorite charities, Greater Boston Food Bank. 

Workshop on Mediation Caucusing

On April 8, 2010, BLC Paralegal and ADR Case Manager Nicole DiPentima and BLC Member David Hoffman co-presented a workshop on mediation caucusing at the annual Conference of the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution, held this year in San Francisco.

The Negotiation Within

On February 26, 2010, The Harvard Negotiation Law Review held a symposium entitled “The Negotiation Within,” and BLC Member David Hoffman was one of the speakers. Click here for more information.

Bargaining with the Devil

On February 4, 2010, David Hoffman was one of the speakers at a Reception at Harvard Law School – along with Dean Martha Minow, Prof. Robert Mnookin, Prof. Gabriella Blum, and Margot Strom -- honoring Prof. Mnookin on the publication of his new book, “Bargaining with the Devil.” For a link to the video of this event, click here.

To Caucus or Not to Caucus: It’s Complicated

On February 3, 2010, BLC lawyers Vicki Shemin and David Hoffman presented a workshop on mediation caucusing for the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation, entitled “To Caucus or Not to Caucus: It’s Complicated."

Exploring the Crossroads of Diversity and Spirituality

On January 22, 2010, BLC’s David Hoffman presented a workshop in San Francisco on “Exploring the Crossroads of Diversity and Spirituality.”  Daniel Bowling, Homer LaRue, and Marvin Johnson presented with David.  Click here for information about this event.

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