mediator | private judge | special magistrate | collaborative law facilitator
Helping You Achieve Resolution and Closure in Your Family Disputes
I am in my fifth decade of working with families and children, first as a teacher, then as a family lawyer and mediator, and, ultimately, as a Florida Circuit Judge in the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit serving in the Family Division for nearly twenty years. I served as Chair of the Family Division.
I am a Fellow in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Florida Chapter, since 1993. I am a Florida Bar Board Certified Marital and Family Lawyer, since 1991. I am a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator, since 1991. I was an AV rated lawyer (highest rating possible) prior to becoming a judge. I have completed Initial and Advanced Interdisciplinary Collaborative Divorce Training.
I am available to serve as a mediator, private judge, special master, and collaborative law facilitator for cases in the State of Florida. Each party must be represented by a lawyer.
I will attend a mediation conference or other proceeding in a facility of your choice, agreed to by both parties, with at least two conference rooms. I will go state wide upon special arrangements. My fees, requirements, and preferences are available upon request.
Trial Should Be a Last Resort
I have dealt with tens of thousands of family law cases in my career. Based on my experience, I wrote a two volume book on family law, FLORIDA FAMILY LAW & PRACTICE, used by lawyers and judges throughout the State of Florida. Its primary theme and goal is to make trial a last resort. The best resolution is one that you make for yourself. My goal, as a neutral facilitator, is to try to help you reach a win-win resolution in a confidential, informal and cost effective manner, focusing on the future. The decision making authority rests with you in the processes that avoid court. I will help you consider creative solutions and more options than going to court. I know how to help you to reach your goals and interests and bring closure to your disputes. I will strive to get your case settled.
If Amicable Resolution Fails in Your Case
Because I have dealt with tens of thousands of family cases in my career, I know that it is most important to remember that the resolution that you make for yourself is better than any order of the court, which just tells you what to do, and does not solve your problems. However, there are certain circumstances, issues and cases that require judicial determination. If amicable resolution has failed in your case, I am available to effectively and efficiently preside as a private judge and special magistrate in a formal proceeding in those cases in which I do not serve as a mediator or neutral facilitator.
I would like to help you resolve your case. Thank you for considering my services.