Legal Philosophy

Every attorney has a legal philosophy and there are as many philosophies as there are attorneys. It’s important to choose a lawyer who has an approach to legal issues that matches your values and leaves you feeling comfortable.

Solving Problems Effectively & Efficiently

I think of myself as a problem solver. My goal is to resolve legal issues as effectively and efficiently as possible. That’s why I’m trained in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) techniques such as Mediation and Collaborative Divorce. Each of these approaches is settlement oriented and designed to guide people calmly through the turbulence that results when families shatter.

With these approaches, the parties themselves retain control of the case rather than turning over their power to attorneys and judges. Since people themselves know best their own needs and those of their children, who better to make important, life changing choices?

Such ADR techniques, when applied to the right cases, produce the highest quality and most cost effective results. I encourage their use whenever people are willing and able to work together in good faith. However, they are not appropriate if either party is attempting to hide assets or income; exhaust, bankrupt or exact revenge on the other; prevent divorce from happening; or otherwise manipulate the process to attain a unilaterally-determined result. That’s why litigation and courts are sometimes necessary.

The Nature of Courts & Litigation

I think of the court as analogous to the hospital emergency room. It’s a frightening, upsetting (even terrifying), and very expensive place to be. Yet if you should ever need it, that’s the time to be thankful it’s there. Just as no one looks forward to being in the emergency room, a wise client is not eager to be in court, engaging in an inefficient process that tends to generate more heat than light, and that places his or her future – and the fate of children – in the hands of a stranger. However, there are cases in which one has no choice. If your spouse is not acting in good faith, you may need a neutral third party – in this case, a judge – with the power to impose a particular result.

Litigation is expensive – not just in financial terms, but also in its emotional impact. It can lead to bitter conflict that may drag on for years, making it extremely difficult to parent together and erasing the good memories of the relationship. Having been through my own difficult divorce and custody battle, and having raised children alone, I understand how painful and damaging divorce and custody litigation can be. Children in particular are often deeply scarred.

Goals of Representation

In every case, my goal is to achieve the best possible result while minimizing conflict without compromising the outcome. When parties are willing and able to work together, the results of ADR approaches like Collaborative Divorce and Mediation speak for themselves. They save time and money; reduce stress on the entire family; keep the focus on the children’s needs; maintain privacy; and retain for spouses (or other former partners) the ability to reach creative agreements tailored to the needs of their family. That’s why my preference is to utilize these techniques whenever the client is fortunate enough to have a case for which such an approach is well suited.