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Showing posts from July, 2015

Are Divorce Lawyers regularly violating the Civility Guidelines?

At a recent event celebrating the 15th Anniversary of the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council , one of it's founders, Rita Pollak , spoke about her reasons for joining the Collaborative Law movement.  Among those reasons was a recognition that the practice of family law in the courts was becoming less civil, and more hostile.  This is a sentiment that I have heard echoed by many, and have experienced myself.   Too many of the lawyers who handle family law cases fail to understand the importance of civility, and act without thinking about the true impact of their actions.  In fact, I believe many lawyers think they are acting in their client's best interest when in fact they are modeling bad behavior and bad habits which will harm their clients and their client's family for years after their case is over. The Massachusetts Bar Association approved Civility Guidelines for Family Law Attorneys in 2006.  These guidelines should be required reading for all family law at

Parenting Time, not Visitation

As of July 15, 2015, the Massachusetts Family Court's website and forms have been updated to use the term "parenting time" in lieu of the outdated term "visitation."  Chief Justice Angela OrdoƱez has made this long overdue change recognizing the national trend away from the pejorative term "visitation", which implies that one parent has less of a role than the other. This was simply the right thing to do and we applaud the move.

Collaborative Law Training with Justin Kelsey

Currently, four of the attorneys at Skylark Law & Mediation are trained in Collaborative Law, an out-of-court dispute resolution process.  The Collaborative Law process may be used to resolve conflict in all types of matters, including family, business, and probate disputes.  The Collaborative Law training is an excellent opportunity to add valuable skills to your conflict resolution toolbox. Justin Kelsey , the owner of Skylark Law & Mediation, PC, will be one of the trainers at the upcoming 2015 Introductory Collaborative Training presented by the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council. This training meets the standards set forth by the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (“IACP”), and those completing this training are eligible for membership in the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council and the IACP.  More importantly, by participating in this training you would immediately become part of a growing, cutting-edge international community of Collaborati

Divorce Mediation Training with Justin Kelsey

At Skylark Law & Mediation, PC all of our attorneys and staff are trained mediators.  Even for those who do not mediate, the skills involved in mediation training assist in all forms of conflict resolution and negotiation.  If you are interested in learning more, check out the upcoming Family Law Mediation Workshop 2015 - offered by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education. Justin Kelsey , the owner of Skylark Law & Mediation, PC and an MCFM Certified Mediator  will be one of the trainers on the first day. For more information or to register click here.

Top 6 Out-Of-Office E-mail Notices

Getting an out-of-office auto-reply to an e-mail you send can be frustrating, especially when you were hoping for a quick response to your inquiry.  However, they are a necessary evil in a world where everyone expects instant replies to electronic communications, at least for those of us who still intend to take vacations from the office. I expect that my colleagues or clients will feel some disappointment when they get that immediate reply to their e-mail only to discover it's not a real reply but rather a notice that I won't be available for the next few days.  About two years ago I decided to try and lessen the impact of that disappointment with a little humor.  Judging by the amount of amused responses I received back, below are my top six auto-reply out-of-office messages: Subject: Out of Office - "Interrupt your Vacation" I am currently out of the office on vacation. I know I'm supposed to say that I'll have limited access to email and won'