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“Each of us is so much alike, & yet at the same time we are so different, & I have a feeling that if you encountered difficulty, and I with my age encountered the same difficulty, I would respond one way, & you would respond another. Neither would be right or wrong” — Maya Angelou (1928 – 2014), American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist…
“Each of us is so much alike, & yet at the same time we are so different, & I have a feeling that if you encountered difficulty, and I with my age encountered the same difficulty, I would respond one way, & you would respond another. Neither would be right or wrong” — Maya Angelou (1928 – 2014), American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist…
I’ve written before about the custody of pets in a divorce. Historically, in a divorce, the law has treated pets as property no different than how a toaster or a car is treated. That concept is slowly changing. As any pet lover would say, pets are a part of the family. For some, pets are surrogate children. For pets to be treated as property is abhorrent to them. As of January 1, 2019, in…
I was supposed to be mediating a case today at the Philadelphia office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today. With the record-long government shutdown still in full effect, all mediations are canceled. The government shutdown does impact everyday people in addition to my colleagues at the EEOC who are not getting paid. About 70% of cases I mediate at the EEOC settle in the mediation. Let’s hope the government settles the shutdown dispute…
Many people confuse the difference between mediation and arbitration and in an NJ Supreme Court ruling this week, it cost a company who inserted what was purported to be a mandatory arbitration clause into a consumer agreement. In a nutshell, arbitration is a process whereby a private judge — the arbitrator — makes a decision, often binding, upon the disputants. In mediation, the parties come to a voluntary resolution (or not) with the help of the…
Arbitration is essentially hiring a private judge to make a decision in a dispute.  If the arbitration is binding, there are few grounds to appeal that award. Arbitration is a creation of contract.  Generally, all parties must agree to enter arbitration to resolve their dispute.  In fact, in NJ, the NJ Supreme Court has ruled that an arbitration clause must explicitly state that the parties may be giving up their rights to go to court. …
Parental alienation can be a huge problem for divorced or estranged parents.  Parental alienation, sometimes called Hostile Aggressive Parenting, is a behavior by a parent, or another caretaker or adult a child trusts, such as a grandmother/father, aunt, uncle, etc., whether conscious or unconscious, that could create alienation in the relationship between a child and a parent. Alienating conduct can be very harmful to not only the children but to the parents/adults as well. Children look at…
You go through the process of getting your divorce and the court grants it.  You’re finished with the process, right?  Wrong!  There is still plenty to be done, as this recent Forbes article indicates. What then? Look after your credit. Disinherit your spouse. Change beneficiary designations. Split retirement plans according to the terms of your divorce settlement agreement. Take measures to ensure you receive your spousal and/or child support. Sell or refinance the marital…
A defendant’s attorney inserts handwritten paragraph 3A into an Agreement to Arbitrate that reads, “The parties reserve their rights to appeal the arbitrator’s award to the appellate division as if the matter was determined by the trial court.”  Both sides initialed the inserted paragraph.  Just one problem: to vacate an arbitration award, the matter must first be heard by a Superior Court trial level judge (and not Appellate Division). So How does a Court handle an invalid…