Welcome to Holistic Law and Mediation, an evolving approach that integrates mindfulness in law practice in a way that transcends our predominant adversarial model and provides optimal, long-term solutions to clients.
I have been a licensed attorney for more than 25 years and am admitted to practice law in California and Connecticut, graduating from Boston University School of Law in 1988, and from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, B.A., cum laude, in 1985 majoring in Psychology. My practice has now extended to professional mediation services from a perspective that views disputes as opportunities for personal transformation.
I am an approved mediator in the Alameda County Courts, and work to mediate disputes as an alternative to litigation in civil courts.
I strive to conduct mediation from a holistic approach that works to facilitate empathy and compassion for divergent views. It is within this wider, less egoic, perspective that parties often arrive at far more creative and sustainable solutions to conflict.
To learn more about my approach to mediation, please give me a call at (415) 508-6263 or complete and submit the form below for a free initial consultation:
Mediation is a highly evolved, effective alternative to the time, expense, and unsatisfactory results produced by adversarial litigation in the courts. I offer a holistic mediation approach that aims to cultivate mutual understanding of, and compassion for, differing viewpoints and interpretations of similar factual scenarios. Within this mutual, grounded understanding lies the seeds of optimal resolutions to challenging life situations. This process can produce results that positively transform lives of participants well after a dispute has been resolved.
My mediation model arises from the premise that adversarial combat in courtrooms most often serves to cement egoic notions of “right” and “wrong” in ways that exacerbate defensive reactions and effectively block the formation of optimal solutions. My approach that incorporates mindfulness exercises and training works to help participants move beyond learned conditioning and habitual reactions and establish a heightened sense of connection to present-moment experience. In so doing, participants become far better able to broaden their perspectives and create solutions that truly serve the needs of all involved and that are enriching and sustainable from a more broad societal perspective.
In these ways, I view your current “dispute” as a valuable, unique opportunity to move beyond notions of what you may have previously considered possible.
The principles underlying my mediation practice are equally applicable whether you are presently involved in an interpersonal dispute such as divorce, family law, personal injury, estate distribution, etc., of whether your dispute is of a more “commercial” nature involving a business disagreement. Regardless of the particular underlying subject matter, you now have the same opportunity to unlock doors that traditional courtroom litigation would have completely overlooked.
To learn more about my mediation practice, please contact me for a free, confidential consultation either by calling (415) 508-6263, or by clicking here to request a free consultation online.
Perhaps in no other area of the law is a highly conscious, holistic approach needed than when dealing with the potential breakdown of a family unit. Our adversarial court system, and typically adversarial approach of most lawyers largely fails to address the deep causes and far-reaching implications of intra-family conflict, especially when children are involved.
My holistic approach integrates mindfulness in law practice to provide heightened clarity on how to proceed with major decisions that must be made at this point in one’s life. Prior to developing a concrete legal strategy, I work with you to help identify and free you from learned conditioning and habitual reactions that may have brought about or exacerbated your current marital conflict. In beginning to loosen the grip of such conditioned thinking, we can identify far more creative solutions to better serve the long-term interests of you and your family.
In situations involving children, I can also meet with you together with your kids to help address their fears and insecurities during this uncertain time, and encourage their participation in this process to ensure that their best interests are the impetus in the strategy we develop moving forward.
In most cases, my holistic divorce services are billed at a negotiated flat-rate, and not by the hour. My holistic sessions are included with the cost of my holistic divorce representation, or sessions may be purchased separately from any formal engagement.
If you are trying to get some clarity on your current situation prior to deciding whether or how to proceed with formal legal action, I offer the following program of holistic law sessions:
My holistic approach places a primary focus on your unique life situation and examines learned conditioning and behavioral roots that may have contributed to your current difficulties. Through mindfulness exercises, I attempt to center attention on present-moment experience so as to facilitate greater clarity in interpreting and dealing with present challenges. This clarity will lead to far better decision-making when developing an approach to address your legal issues.
The information below provides a better idea of how my 5-session holistic law sessions are generally structured:
In our initial meeting we will discuss your relationship and/or family related issues in the context of your current life situation, e.g., your home environment, work life, as well as your more broad circle of familial and social relationships.
In our second and third sessions, you will be provided with an introduction to “mindfulness” – understood as a heightened awareness of your present-moment experience. This awareness may be obtained through somatic attention to the breath, seated posture, contact with the floor, sounds in the environment, etc. In coming to more fully connect to your present-moment experience, you begin to internalize the possibility that you are more than your learned conditioning, thoughts, and current legal issues.
Having begun to appreciate the freedom offered by simple mindful attention to present experience, we begin to look more closely at past thoughts and conditioned reactions to these thoughts that may have contributed to your current relationship and/or familial difficulties. While we look at these thoughts, we return to present-moment awareness in a way that further instills a foundational appreciation that you need not be defined by, nor have your behavior automatically spring from, your conditioned thinking.
In our fifth session, we build on your foundation of present-moment awareness in defining a future plan of action to concretely address your current challenges. By committing to this plan, you will continuously enhance your ability to access inner peace and become far less reactive to your conditioned thinking. Through this process, you will become for less likely to repeat past behavioral patterns that may have contributed to your current relationship difficulties.
One Session: $125.00/Five Sessions: $500.00
Boston University School of Law, J.D., 1988
Honors: American Jurisprudence Award for Excellence in the Study of Constitutional Law; Paul J. Liacos Scholar; Member, J. Braxton Craven National Constitutional Law Moot Court Team
University of Massachusetts at Amherst, B.A., cum laude, Psychology, 1985
Admitted to Practice Law in California (2001) and Connecticut (1988)
Approved Mediator, Alameda County Superior Court, 2015-present.
Solo Law Practice, Berkeley/Oakland, CA, 2001-present. Represent individuals in matters primarily involving divorce and family law integrating mindfulness into law practice to facilitate optimal decision-making.
Founding Member, The Holistic Lawyer Association, HolisticLawyers.org, Oakland, CA, 2014-present.
Attorney, Schatz & Schatz, Ribicoff & Kotkin, Hartford, CT, 1988-1991. Associate Attorney in Commercial Litigation Department of 100+ attorney national law firm.
Principal, Attorneyz.com, Berkeley/Oakland, CA, 1997-present. Provide professional Internet marketing solutions and website design services to attorneys and law firms.
Manager, Legal Cost Containment Unit, Fireman’s Fund, Novato, CA, 1995-1997. Created, developed and managed 5-person unit charged with reigning in escalating outside counsel expenses associated with the defense of insureds in large-scale environmental claims litigation.
Legal Cost Coordinator/Senior Litigation Auditor, Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, Boston, MA, 1993-1995. Interfaced with outside counsel throughout the United States in corporate-wide effort to control legal costs associated with the defense of multi-district asbestos claims and toxic tort litigation. Primary responsibility for negotiating and resolving legal fee disputes and requests for reimbursement with outside counsel resulting in the recovery of hundreds of thousands of dollars of excessively billed legal fees.
Director, Wallace Law Registry (now Kelly Law Registry), Boston, MA, 1991-1993. Opened and help expand fledgling satellite office of national legal placement firm focused on the recruitment and placement of highly credentialed attorneys in corporate legal departments.
Rosenberg Mediation Training, Corte Madera, CA, 5-day Program, Certificated, 2014.
SEEDS Community Resolution Center, Berkeley, CA, 6-month Practicum, January 2015-present.
Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine, Boston, MA. 1991-1992. Program Assistant. Provided eight-week mindfulness training to group of adults based on the Relaxation Response developed by Dr. Herbert Benson in the 1970’s.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Woodacre, CA. Participant in training classes on mindfulness meditation, 1995-present.
East Bay Meditation Center, Oakland, CA. Participant in training classes on mindfulness meditation, 2010-present.
Pacific Zen Institute, Oakland, CA. Participant in training classes on zen meditation, 2013-present.
Advisory Board, Next Step Learning Center, Oakland, CA.
President, West Grand Lofts Homeowners’ Association, Oakland, CA.
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