Retired Judges Don’t Mediate
Retired Judges Don’t Mediate Divorces
People need to know about the huge difference between real, ethical, early or middle or late mediation and the service that groups of retired judges offer, which they erroneously call mediation. What they do is NOT mediation. Mislabelling the service they provide confuses the public. That’s bad, because most divorcing couples would benefit greatly from working with a real mediator instead of going down the court-connected road that sometimes leads to late “mediation” with a retired judge. If people think that the service the judges offer is mediation, they will not seek the high-value, low-cost, real mediation that would help them.
I wrote about this issue recently for Divorce Magazine. You can find that article here. Without repeating all it says about the ethics of mediation, here is a brief explanation. A real mediator behaves in an impartial way, honors the parties’ rights to determine their own futures, treats clients with respect, and helps them make well-informed, voluntary decisions. All of this can be done before or after the clients hire lawyers to send formal Interrogatories (questions the other party is required to answer) and Subpoenas for documents and/or file Motions in Court. When all goes well in mediation, the Interrogatories, Subpoenas, and Motions become unnecessary.
Retired judges do not get involved until the Interrogatories, Subpoenas, and Motions have been created and all or most of the evidence needed for a trial has been gathered. Then the service they offer, which does have value for some clients, is conducting a very high-pressure marathon-length settlement conference. It is NOT mediation.
For a free consultation about whether family mediation would be helpful for your family, contact Dr. Virginia Colin at mediatorQ@gmail.com or 703.864.2101.