About

Family conflict is far more than a legal process.  Each family conflict is personal. emotional, stressful and unique. Each client faces different challenges requiring different resources.  In an agreed mediation only a few sessions may be enough to resolve the matter.  On the other hand, where there is domestic violence and other problems,  experts and litigation may be necessary.

After 30 years of practice we have had the opportunity to note how some of our clients have fared in the long run.   Many clients who do the best are those who face the conflict deeply and seek to understand as much as they can.  Winning is not simply winning in Court.  It is learning new ways to successfully relate to oneself and others in order to insure that your capacity to parent and love continues to grow after the legal case has ended.

While our primary goal is to provide you a good legal outcome, we also seek to provide you new skills and understanding to better manage your future family relationships. Understanding builds insight and insight enhances your capacity to detect and remedy problems before they become legal conflicts. Enhancing your insight increases your capacity to create a more satisfying future relationship.

Most family law conflicts can be settled by mediation or collaboration between counsel. John has mediated for 25 years and wrote the Family Law Deskbook chapter on family mediation.  Mediation and collaboration work very well for some couples. On the other hand, there is no shame in being unable to solve a problem with your spouse.  It is no different than having an illness that requires a doctor.    Judges or private arbitrators are very effective when parties cannot agree on the law or facts cannot negotiate effectively.


“John has been my lawyer for over 20 years.   I expected him to know the law well and  to get to the nub of the issue without a lot of cost and to follow through.  John did all that very well.  One thing that set him apart for me was  his capacity to intuit what I was struggling with beneath the legal disputes.  He helped to avoid getting in  expensive legal slug-fests by avoiding all the petty conflicts and focusing on the big picture.

In my first divorce there was so much shame, hurt and pain. I really feared that her high-powered attorney was going to hammer me. John helped me understand my fears and to step outside them and think more clearly. The result was that we did really well in the first hearing and kept the ball rolling and settled without trial. My ex and I now communicate well and our kids are doing really well.

I think it’s easy for a lawyer to just go like crazy to get the client what they want. It takes a special lawyer to help the client see beyond their fear to what they need as a parent and as a person. John is one of those lawyers.”

– Client