Family Law

What Mediators and Advocates Need to Know About Trusts and Estates Mediation

As trusts and estates disputes become more common, growth in this type of mediation is expected. This panel includes two mediators, one of whom concentrates in trusts and estates mediation and another who is active in elder mediation, and an experienced trusts and estates litigator. They will compare trusts and estates mediation with commercial and divorce mediation, including reaching multi-party agreements, emotional and family history, tax considerations, and the ghost of the decedent. The panel will address questions specific to trusts and estates mediation: What mediation styles work best?  How can the mediator work with the advocate to address these special situations? What are unique considerations in choosing a mediator? Finally, the panel will address the special issues that arise in elder mediation.

James Carey, Levin, Schreder & Carey, LTD, Chicago, IL
Roselyn Friedman, Roselyn Friedman Mediation Services, Chicago, IL
Zena Zumeta, Mediation Training & Consultation Instituter, Ann Arbor, MI


Dreams and Nightmares: Conflicts Over the Future of a Family Enterprise

The best-laid plans for the future of a family enterprise can result in harmonious and constructive relationships among future generations or, frequently, in unexpected conflict and destruction not only of the enterprise but also of the relationships.   Such enterprises – including family-owned businesses, joint investments, real estate, art, and philanthropy – often generate conflicts that mix emotional dimensions of family with legal complexities of ownership and economics, conflicts intensified when intergenerational transfers occur.  The panel – composed of a family systems consultant, a trusts and estates attorney, and a mediator – will explore a multidisciplinary approach to helping families constructively address their challenges.

John Wofford, Cambridge, MA
Domingo Such, McDermott, Will & Emery, Chicago, IL
Kathy Wiseman, Working Systems, Inc., Washington, DC


Building Child Protection Mediation Guidelines

For the past two years, a collaborative and diverse group of child protection mediation professionals from around the United States and Canada have worked in concert with the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, the American Humane Society and other organizations to develop Guidelines for Child Protection Mediation (CPM).  This workshop will provide insight into the substance of these Guidelines as well as the challenges inherent in developing such Guidelines. Participants will be engaged in an interactive discussion of the above and explore necessary steps for implementation of the Guidelines.

Marilou Giovannucci, Connecticut Judicial Branch, Wethersfield, CT
Gregory Firestone, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL


Mediating the Religious Upbringing Issue

In response to concerns raised by a judge in the Domestic Relations Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, The DePaul Interfaith Family Mediation Project was established in 1990 to provide mediation services for interfaith divorcing couples who have not yet agreed upon the religious upbringing of their children.  Each parent is accompanied by a clergy of his or her own faith during the mediation process and religious upbringing is the only issue mediated.  The unique contributions of the clergy, mediators and attorneys will be examined.

Craig Mousin, DePaul University, Chicago, IL
Katheryn Dutenhaver, DePaul University College of Law, Chicago, IL
Thomas Dore, Retired Paster St Pascal Church, Chicago, IL