This article is from Mediate.com, written by Sherry Klein Heitler. I found the article very well written and endorses my views as a mediator myself.
As a lawyer, judge, and now mediator, I have handled thousands of cases in multiple areas of the law. I have watched litigants navigate the court system and had the privilege of visiting multiple New York State courthouses to review that navigation so that there could be operational solutions to optimize the experience for all. Mediation offers litigants an opportunity to resolve a matter in a different way. The mediation process can save time and money, reduce stress and improve the overall well-being of the parties. Whether you are getting divorced or dealing with a personal injury matter, landlord-tenant issue, insurance coverage dispute, or employment or contract claims, mediation can offer extensive benefits.
For this article, I will focus on family law mediation, but the benefits apply to all types of cases.
Cost Savings: Getting divorced in New York can cost a fortune. I have seen a great number of litigants deplete their life savings in matrimonial disputes. Many of these matters could have been resolved at a fraction of the cost through mediation.
Flexibility: A judge has multiple cases on his or her calendar. As such, the judge will determine the day and time of an appearance and how the case will be heard. It might be in person or virtual. Mediation allows the parties and counsel the opportunity to weigh in on scheduling, as well as how the case is to be heard. In some situations, the proceeding might be a hybrid, in that some individuals appear in person and others participate remotely.
The parties and counsel will choose the mediator, which gives everyone a sense of control and confidence. The selection of a mediator is an initial step to begin to think that this individual will move the case toward resolution.
Time Savings and Continuity: When a case goes to trial, there could be major disputes about finances and children. This type of case could take weeks to try, drawing out one of the most painful events in a person’s life, which can have a deep impact on finances, job performance, mental health, other relationships and overall well-being. Mediation means less time away from work, children, life and the real moments that matter.
Once the meditator establishes a rapport with the parties, it is crucial to keep the conversation moving. Agreements on smaller points often lead to agreements on larger ones. The ability in mediation to schedule day-to-day meetings is a wonderful tool in reaching a settlement.
Privacy: Divorce is one of the most stressful life events. This is a time to find ways to lessen the impact of this stress on the family.
Divorce proceedings bring an additional level of scrutiny and can enhance the anxiety associated with the experience. Courtrooms are open, as they should be. In mediation, the setting is private, confidential, and more intimate and protected.
Long-Term Results: A study conducted by the University of Virginia and published by The Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology on the effects of mediating versus litigating child custody disputes offers a clear indication of the benefits of mediation over litigation. “The 12-year follow-up data indicate that, even in contested cases, mediation encourages both parents to remain involved in their children’s lives after divorce without increasing co-parenting conflict.”
Some of the additional highlights were that the nonresidential parent was more likely to be involved in co-parenting activities and, even after 12 years, was three times more likely to see their children weekly and four times more likely to talk to their children weekly than those parents who engaged in litigation. These findings are tremendously impactful when thinking about the effects of divorce.
A skilled mediator in a private setting who can focus on a matter without interruption has an excellent chance of bringing the parties to a resolution. Each party has a story to tell, and the mediator must listen and not be judgmental. The best resolution provides a foundation for future problem-solving. And, of course, the hope is that relationships can be preserved, especially when there are children involved.
Mediation saves parties money and time, and gives them the opportunity to close a difficult chapter in their lives. Mediation helps parties to work toward the best potential outcome for today and for the future.
Written by: Sherry Klein Heitler - Mediate.com
Since I have been involved in SNIFs and LTC facilities I found this article interesting.
Written by: KIMBERLY MARSELAS, Mcnights long term care news
A nursing home arbitration agreement that forced residents or family members to split fees in a dispute has been deemed “unconscionable,” a ruling that may pave the way for more lawsuits against providers.
The Pennsylvania Superior Court last week affirmed a lower state court’s ruling that an agreement used by Highland Park Care Center in PIttsburgh -— and other facilities owned by Grane Healthcare — could not be enforced.
The estate of Fay Vincent sued the nursing home, a hospital and affiliates, citing negligence in the 67-year-old woman’s death. A trial court twice previously denied Highland Park’s attempt to force the case into arbitration, the Insurance Journal reported.
In its precedential opinion, the court noted that Vincent’s decision to sign the arbitration agreement was complicated by her condition at admission: She was blind, in pain and on medication and without family. The facility also did not give her a copy of the agreement, even though she would have had 10 days to revoke her consent.
The court also ruled that a provision requiring the resident to pay half of the costs of any arbitration, including arbitrator’s fees, was “substantively unconscionable because it imposed additional expenses for bringing a claim that Decedent would not have to bear in a court action.”
“Imposing this additional expense on all claims for damages brought by a resident unreasonably favors the nursing home and is sufficient to satisfy the requirement of substantive unconscionability where, as here, the record establishes that the resident was not given full information concerning her choices or any opportunity to inform herself of what she was signing or to exercise those choices,” read the July 5 opinion.
A message left Monday with Grane Healthcare from McKnight’s Long-Term Care News was not returned by production deadline.
Kristin Hoffman of Wilkes & Associates represented the plaintiff. She told the Legal Intelligencer that the “decision breaks from a pattern of recent case law favoring defendants in challenges to arbitration agreements.”
Hoffman said fee-splitting language is commonly used by the nursing home sector. This was the first time she was aware of a court striking down that provision and impacting enforceability, and the move may make it easier for plaintiff’s counsel to target that clause.
Earlier today I posted a scam that came through a text to my cell phone. The problem with these scammers is that they are not that bright. Go through the text below and you will see that they are following a pattern of a scam in the attempt to get your personal information to do an even greater scam.
So I got this scam text last night - I will play along. Scammers just make it to easy to have fun with their time.
Original Scammer Text: Hello I’m Mr. Richard Wahl, the winner of $533 Million In Modest Mega Millions Jackpot, here is my winnings interview WATCH ME HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tne02ExNDrw I’m donating to 100 random individuals. if you get this message note then your number was select after a spin ball. I have spread most of my wealth over a number of charities and organizations I have voluntarily decided to donate the sum of $100,000 USD to you as one of the random selected 100 peoples, All you need to do now is contact Agent Jarvis Carpenter in charge of your winnings, he just need to verify you and process your win. You don’t have to pay any charges fee to get your win.. Here is the number of the agent.... (717) 833-2326 text him now for the delivery of your winnings money.
(writers note: The link to the Youtube link was from 4 years ago. Big red flag.
My Text Response: I was told I won.
Scammers Text Response: I'm Jarvis Carpenter. I'm in charge of your winning. NOTE! You are not to send any money to anyone to claim your winnings...kindly confirm your full name, so i can check it out on the winning list. Thanks .
My Text Response: Michael Lodge
Scammers Text Response: Congratulations! I'll love to let you know that your name is among the winners on the list, Let me know if you are ready to verify yourself to receive your winnings
My Text Response: Sure, go ahead
Scammers Text Response: To proceed to claim your winning payment, you need to send a clear front & back picture of your Driver's License to be sure you are the right person claiming your money. NOTE! You are not to send any money to anyone to claim your winnings. Thanks
My Text Response: This is not a safe sending a copy of my driver's license to someone from a text
Scammers Text Response: no response received
Now what the scammer really wanted was my information. With that information they could do even greater damage by either selling it to other criminals or using it themselves. These scammers are now using the texting system to do run scams on people. Our information is valuable.
This was the second text scam I had received this morning. A text came in identifying themselves from the California EDD. With a link to get information, but was not a EDD government link. These guys are not that smart, if they know the government each site they own identifies themselves as a government agency. And the other big clue, EDD never sends a text.
So here we go, more and more text scams and the rule - Block Them.
Written by: By CARMELA DENICOLA
As the number of LGBTQ marriages has significantly increased in recent years, the number of divorces has also gone up. Undoubtedly, LGBTQ couples deal with almost all the same types of concerns and challenges that heterosexual couples face. Therefore, a similar rate of marital discord and divorce among LGBTQ couples should come as no surprise. Here are some of the LGBTQ divorce trends that experienced mediators point out.
Lesbian Marriages are More Likely to End in Divorce
A research study in the UK revealed that the likelihood of lesbian couples ending their marriages was higher in comparison to gay male marriages. Researchers said that out of the total number of divorce petitions filed by same-sex couples in 2019, nearly 75 percent involved lesbian couples. This skewed ratio of lesbian divorce versus gay male divorce has remained more or less consistent since 2016.
According to mediation experts in the US that have dealt with LGBTQ divorce issues, the trend in the US may not be much different from what the UK study has projected. As more data about LGBTQ marriages and divorces becomes available, social scientists, therapists, researchers, and divorce mediators increasingly concur on this emerging trend.
Studies Indicate Gay Male Marriages are More Resilient
The legalization of same-sex marriages in the US has helped in the collection of some real data on LGBTQ marriages. One of the key findings of most studies is that lesbians are more likely to get married than gay men. But the greater inclination of lesbian couples to walk down the aisle is proportionately matched by their higher tendency to end their marriage.
The most data on this issue is available in the Netherlands, which was the world’s first country to legalize same-sex marriages. Data shows that between 2005 and 2015, while only 15% of gay marriages failed in the country, a full 30% of lesbian marriages ended in divorce.
Causes behind LGBTQ Divorces
Experienced divorce mediators suggest that LGBTQ couples often cite similar reasons for ending their marriage as heterosexual couples. Almost 65 percent of LGBTQ divorced couples said that they decided to end their marriage because of the “unreasonable behavior” of their partner (which also includes adultery).
According to some active supporters of LGBTQ rights and other analysts, the trend of a higher number of lesbian divorces than gay male divorces may have several explanations. It appears that many lesbian couples enter into marriage more hastily, and some of them inevitably end up regretting their decision.
Another contributory factor might be the average age of marriage among lesbian couples, which is relatively higher than that of gay male couples who enter into marriage. This trend indicates that lesbian marriages have a higher likelihood of being second marriages, which historically increases their risk of divorce.
Some LGBTQ divorce mediation specialists opine that whether among heterosexual couples or LGBTQ couples, women appear to have a lower tolerance for their partner’s infidelity compared to men. They have noted that more women usually cite the infidelity of their partner as their reason for seeking divorce than men do.
Talk to a Compassionate and Skilled LGBTQ Divorce Mediator
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Michael Lodge is a Nationally Certified Professional Mediator specializing in business disputes, as well as family conflicts. He has written three books and hosts an international podcast on IHeartRadio and other podcast media stations.