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  • Court Symposium
  • Family Law

    Concurrent Session A

    Thursday, April 03, 2014 9:45 AM - Thursday, April 03, 2014 11:00 AM

    Tuttle South

    A10 Mediating International Custody Disputes: Lessons from a Pilot Project

    • Jennifer Zawid, University of Miami School of Law ;
    • Douglas Frenkel, University of Pennsylvania Law School ;
    • Alison Weinger, University of Miami School of Law
    Through a collaboration of the U.S. State Department, the University of Pennsylvania and University of Miami Schools of Law, the panelists have conducted a pilot project mediating Hague Convention and related international child custody disputes since 2009.  The panelists and a commentator will discuss lessons learned from the first set of cases, including: the need for and crucial role played by counsel;  the potential role of parenting coordinators and other mental health professionals; the use, limitations, and impact of technology;  the challenges of enforcement of mediated agreements; and ethical issues involved in mediating in multiple domestic and international jurisdictions.

    Concurrent Session B

    Thursday, April 03, 2014 11:15 AM - Thursday, April 03, 2014 12:15 PM

    Orchid AB

    B6 Mama, Dada, DOMA: Mediating Same Sex Divorce and Parenting After U.S. v. Windsor

    • Alan Boudreau, Northern Illinois University College of Law ;
    • Mariette Geldenhuys, Law Office of Mariette Geldenhuys
    When the Supreme Court declared part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, it dramatically expanded the rights and benefits available to same sex married couples. But it did not make all marriages equal. In the short term, the Windsor decision has caused almost as much confusion and legal uncertainty as joy and opportunity. So fasten your seatbelts as we examine the new, evolving legal landscape for gay and lesbian families and prepare mediators to navigate the cutting-edge issues that arise when mediating divorce and parenting for LGBT families.

    Concurrent Session D

    Thursday, April 03, 2014 3:00 PM - Thursday, April 03, 2014 4:15 PM

    Hibiscus B

    D11 Self-Represented Litigants in Family Law:  Questions and Answers for Courts and ADR Providers

    • Julie Macfarlane, University of Windsor School of Law ;
    • Elinor Robin, A Friendly Divorce, Mediation Training Group, Inc.
    Self-Represented Litigants are posing problems for courts all over North America, particularly in divorce and custody cases.   But recent research by Dr. Julie MacFarlane is showing that the SRL’s themselves are confused, frustrated, and unhappy with their inability to navigate the legal system and the way the system treats them.  Most often, they don’t have lawyers because they can’t afford them.  Can ADR be of assistance to them?  How far can ADR providers go in giving legal advice and help with court processes?  This panel will discuss the questions and answers.

    Concurrent Session E

    Thursday, April 03, 2014 4:30 PM - Thursday, April 03, 2014 5:45 PM


    E8 New options for Elders and their Families: Dispute Resolution for High Conflict Cases

    • Sue Bronson, New Prospects ;
    • Linda Fieldstone, Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse Center
    As the baby boomers age, the number of families that develop conflict over the care of an elder also increases. Using parenting coordination as a model, the Florida Chapter of AFCC has joined the Association of Conflict Resolution in the development of a dispute resolution option to address the high conflict in these cases. In an unprecedented effort involving over 20 Florida Statewide organizations and 25 national/Canadian organizations, this project fills a gap in ADR processes. It will help address the incoming influx of guardianship cases where conflict becomes the driving force of the family and mediation is unsuccessful.