Dedicate to Collaborate

Reflections from a peacemaking lawyer and mediator dedicated to collaborative problem-solving.
Dec
01

The real reason I’m in law – and how it’s shaping what I do next.

When I first passed the bar and started working in a private firm back in 1991, my mentors pointed me in two directions: first, to juvenile delinquency court to provide indigent defense services to juveniles charged with crimes; and second, to the Clark County Volunteer Lawyers Program (CCVLP) to volunteer with their family law legal aid clinic. I ...
Continue reading
1 Comment
Recent comment in this post
Guest — Dana Greyson
Hmmm. Now I'm really curious to hear what's next for you. Whatever it is, I'm sure it's awesome and you will rock at it.
Wednesday, 04 December 2019 19:46
  1 Comment
Nov
14

Mediation vs. arbitration: choosing the best alternative dispute resolution for your divorce.

2019-11-14-15
Like so many couples these days, you're probably shying away from settling your divorce via litigation. Maybe you don't have the heart for a public process, the finances for a court battle, or you're still hopeful that you can end things reasonably amicably. Whatever the reason, you're considering alternative methods of conflict resolution. But the...
Continue reading
0 Comments
  0 Comments
Nov
06

Returning the favor: why reciprocation bias is making your divorce harder than it needs to be.

2019-11-06-2
Think about a time when a friend invited you to dinner or offered you a ride you felt an intense desire to cook for them next time, or to return the favor in some way, didn't you? And sure, you assumed that was simply because you've been brought up that way, or because you think it's nice to be nice, but actually there's a really powerful psycholog...
Continue reading
0 Comments
  0 Comments
Oct
06

Cognitive Dissonance (or how Ben Franklin can help settle your divorce).

2019-10-06-3
Have you heard of the Ben Franklin effect? Benjamin Franklin, the scientist and politician, had a bitter rival. But when he discovered that his rival owned a rare book that Franklin needed, he swallowed his pride and asked to borrow the book. The rival obliged and Franklin returned the book the following week, along with a thank you note. To Frankl...
Continue reading
1 Comment
Recent comment in this post
Mikalea Bolds
Love this - really has me thinking...
Monday, 07 October 2019 14:33
  1 Comment
Sep
08

The brain behaviors controlling your divorce: confirmation bias.

tim-gouw-bwki71ap-y8-unsplash
"He just said what ?" When conflicts arise it feels like logic and rationality are the first things we toss aside. We end up saying and doing things that feel completely out of character and reacting in ways that even we can't understand. The inevitable outcome is, of course, heightened tension and petty arguments that become all-out war. But here'...
Continue reading
0 Comments
Tags:
  0 Comments
Sep
01

You’ve decided on mediation — do you still need a divorce attorney? The answer may surprise you.

2019-10-10-2
Divorce lawyers really do get a bad rap. Many folks see them as blood-thirsty demons who'll try their best to turn a squabble into a war and suck your bank account dry in the process. So if you're exploring mediation as a more peaceful way of handling your separation, it would make sense if you were a little leery of attorneys in general. But is th...
Continue reading
0 Comments
  0 Comments
Jul
23

Custody and the court system: why it might not be the solution you're looking for.

When it comes to divorce and relationship breakdown, for every person desperate to avoid the courtroom, there's another who thinks that court is the only solution. As soon as they realize that a separation is on the cards they start to draw battle lines. They begin lining up their evidence in an attempt to "prove" that their spouse or co-parent is ...
Continue reading
0 Comments
  0 Comments
Apr
01

The 5 biggest mistakes people make in custody cases

stock-photo-r1gw8
Your children are incredible; there isn't a thing you wouldn't do for them. The thought of someone — a stranger — telling you when, where, and how often you can spend time with them is more than you can stand…which is why you're prepared to fight tooth and claw for them. When you're faced with a custody battle, fear, anger, and strong emotion take ...
Continue reading
0 Comments
  0 Comments
Mar
29

How do you find the best divorce mediator?

stock-photo-e6rx6
How do you find the best divorce mediator? Unfortunately, making the difficult decision to proceed with your divorce is only the first in a whole line of difficult decisions. The second decision is a pivotal one; how are you going to find the best person to help you navigate the whole process? After all, the professional you choose to work with wil...
Continue reading
0 Comments
  0 Comments
Feb
20

Mediation vs. collaborative law: which is the right one for your divorce?

Mediation vs. collaborative law: which is the right one for your divorce?
You've made the decision: you're going ahead with the divorce. Now, before you Google "divorce attorney Portland/Vancouver" and steel yourself for the stress, upset, and eye-watering costs of a trip to the courtroom, ask yourself this: "What do I want my divorce to look like?" It may well be that you're not going to escape litigation. Sometimes, fo...
Continue reading
0 Comments
  0 Comments
Jan
23

7 Strategies for a Smoother Divorce

7 Strategies for a Smoother Divorce
Out with the old, in with the new?  This season is the perfect storm when it comes to divorce: holiday stress, financial strain, lots of time spent with the in-laws, all closely followed by the inevitable desire for New Year renewal. We're all looking for things to give up; not-so-great habits, not-so-great attitudes, and apparently, not-so-gr...
Continue reading
0 Comments
  0 Comments
Jan
09

The Butterfly Effect: Why We Should Make 2019 a Year of Collaboration, Not Conflict

The Butterfly Effect: Why We Should Make 2019 a Year of Collaboration, Not Conflict
We just can't help it. As soon as the ball drops in Times Square, we start thinking self-improvement.  The questions begin: how do I avoid the same mistakes I made last year? How do I become the best version of myself? How do I make this year a year of health and happiness, a year of progress, and a year of peace?  And sure, there are som...
Continue reading
2 Comments
Recent Comments
Guest — Nan Henriksen
This will be my year of collaboration.
Thursday, 10 January 2019 10:04
Nancy Retsinas
Oh Nan, you've been collaborating for years!!!!
Thursday, 10 January 2019 19:41
  2 Comments
Dec
19

5 Mediation-Inspired Tips for Keeping Calm During the Holidays

5 Mediation-Inspired Tips for Keeping Calm During the Holidays
I bet every single one of you can remember at least one awkward holiday meal ruined by tactless family members, heated political debate, or the airing of past grievances. Even the happiest, most peace-loving families can begin to show a few cracks over the pumpkin pie.  And just think, we get to do it all again this month for Christmas! When i...
Continue reading
0 Comments
  0 Comments
Dec
12

The Most Important (And Often-Overlooked) Tool for Conflict Resolution

The Most Important (And Often-Overlooked) Tool for Conflict Resolution
Isn't it frustrating when someone just won't listen to you? You've begged, reasoned, pleaded and things still aren't getting done the way you want them. You're the only one pulling your weight and you've had enough. So you call on a mediator.  A quick fix? ​ ​ The relief is immediate — finally you'll get things sorted. After months (or years!)...
Continue reading
0 Comments
  0 Comments
Nov
14

Why is everyone talking about mediation?

Why is everyone talking about mediation?
All hail the Internet! Thanks to the power of Google we all have instant access to the kind of legal information that was previously only dished out directly by our attorney. With a few clicks of a button you discover that an expensive lawsuit and a bitter court battle is not the only path to conflict resolution. You quickly learn it's not even the...
Continue reading
0 Comments
  0 Comments
Oct
31

Why it’s so important to get mediation sooner rather than later.

Why it’s so important to get mediation sooner rather than later.
Court battles: people yelling, reputations destroyed, astronomical fees, anger, and bitterness. And when a dispute ends up in the courtroom, no one really "wins". Not even the lawyers. After all, even when a client gets the result they want, it will have come at a huge cost — it's not exactly a process that encourages repeat business. There's no de...
Continue reading
0 Comments
  0 Comments
Oct
17

How to become a master of mediation in 7 simple steps.

How to become a master of mediation in 7 simple steps.
Now, before you light the candles and reach for your yoga pants, I'm talking mediation, not meditation. But you'd be forgiven for the confusion — mediation and meditation do share similarities beyond alphabetic arrangement, chief among them the goal of finding peace and tranquillity. Neither of which are easy to come by in our busy, stressful lives...
Continue reading
0 Comments
  0 Comments
Sep
18

What Do You Really Get Out of Mediation?

What Do You Really Get Out of Mediation?
If you've never been to mediation, you might not be totally sure what you actually get out of the whole process. For instance, is it just someone to scribe your agreements? Is it just a conversation? What do you actually get out of the whole process? There's so much more to mediation –– and many of the "end products" that mediators can provide actu...
Continue reading
1 Comment
Recent comment in this post
Guest — RIdley
It's good to know what actually happens at mediation. I like how you said that there are a lot of end products that mediation can ... Read More
Friday, 16 November 2018 13:17
  1 Comment
Aug
22

What actually happens in mediation?

What actually happens in mediation?
It's a hazard of the job – people tend to come to me with some very strange ideas of what mediation actually entails. Some people have the idea that it's basically just lawyers doing typical lawyer things, like a kind of court-lite. Others come in with the idea that we're going to just talk and talk until we grind everyone in the room down to a com...
Continue reading
2 Comments
Recent Comments
Guest — RIdley
It's good to know more about what actually happens during mediation. My brother is going to separate with his wife soon, so I'll m... Read More
Wednesday, 14 November 2018 12:14
Guest — Nancy Retsinas
It's good to know all the options before moving forward, for sure. I tell folks to figure out the 'how' before beginning to talk a... Read More
Wednesday, 14 November 2018 12:36
  2 Comments
Aug
08

Six questions to ask yourself to keep a difficult conversation on track

Six questions to ask yourself to keep a difficult conversation on track
"We need to talk." These may be the four most feared words in the English language. Because as we all know from experience, what happens next is usually pretty ugly. You know how it goes: Say you've got a big deadline at work. On Monday, you asked your partner for help cleaning up this week. On Thursday, you come home late and tired to three days w...
Continue reading
0 Comments
  0 Comments