What's new?



Programs and Events:

Starting in January 2019,Oran Kaufman will be supervising students from Western New England University School of Law in a family mediation clinic held at Hampden Probate and Family Court every Wednesday.  Under Professor Kaufman's supervision, students will be assisting in mediating cases referred to the clinic by the Probate Court. This is the the third year of the clinic which was started by Attorney Kaufman in collaboration with Western New England University School of Law, the Hampden Probate and Family Court and The Mediation and Training Collaborative. 

Oran Kaufman recently participated as a panelist at the AFCC Annual International Conference which was held this year in Boston, MA  between May 31st and June 3rd, 2017. The topic of the workshop was "Mandatory Mediation is not an Oxymoron".  

Oran Kaufman currently serves on the The Trial Court Standing Committee on Dispute Resolution.  This committee  advises the Chief Justice of the Trial Court on the implementation and oversight of court-connected Alternative Dispute Resolution Services.

During the spring of 2017 Oran Kaufman  supervised four law students who were participating in the Hampden County Mediation Clinic. This is a joint venture between Western New England School of Law, The  Hampden Probate and Family Court and The Mediation and Training Collaborative. Attorney Kaufman, an adjunct professor at WNEU School of Law, oversees four students each Wednesday at the Hampden Probate and Family Court and with the help the students, mediates cases sent to the clinic by judges of the Hampden Probate and Family Court.

Oran Kaufman is currently participating as a voluntary mediator for the Family Resolution Specialty Court in the Hampshire Probate and Family Court.


Podcasts and Articles

Oran's article, "What you Should Ask Your Mediator at the Initial Session" was just published at Mediate.com.  You can see a copy of the article at What Should You Ask your Mediator.  A copy of the article can also be found in Help Center section of this website: https://www.amherstmediators.com/search.


Every so often I hear podcasts that I wish clients could hear.  I have started to compile a list. Here it is:

Embedded: "The Apology Broker".  6/15/18.  This show is a wonderful exploration of apology and the cultural differences of how apologies are made, accepted and understood. This shows explores how apology in the context of World War II  Japanese prisoner of war camps and the cultural differences of apology in Japan and the US. It is a fascinating historical look at apology. Apology in the context of divorce is almost always relevant and this show helps widen our understanding of this important and complex topic.

https://player.fm/series/embedded-1324411/the-apology-broker


Invisibilia:  One of my favorite podcasts.  The first episode of the new season is entitled:  Reality Part One.  The description starts- "How is it that two neighbors can look out their window at the exact same thing, and see something completely different?"  This is so applicable to divorces and mediation in general.  How can two people look at the same issue and see things so differently?  This podcast posits the theory that life is not a zero sum game. Things are not always black and white and sometimes, maybe  often, it os possible for both people to be right.  Check it out at:

http://www.npr.org/podcasts/510307/invisibilia

The Hidden Brain:   A recent episode explores the concept of  implicit bias.  As mediators we are always concerned about bias and making sure there our individual biases do not affect the decisions made by our clients.  While this episode does not directly touch on bias as it relates to mediations, it does show how complicated and important the study of bias is in our society and within our selves.  The podcast called "In the Air We Breather"  dated June 5, 2017 can be found at:

 The Hidden Brain Podcast

Freakonomics recently replayed an episode from one of its archives entitled:

What Do Skating Rinks, Ultimate Frisbee, and the World Have in Common?  

This podcast among other things explores the game of ultimate frisbee and the fact that until recently the game has not been refereed. I think this has fascinating implications for the ability of players (and in particular children), to resolve conflicts without the need for third party arbiter.  I wrote an article about this a number of years ago entitled " Ultimate Conflict Resolution".  That article can be found at:

The Freakonomics episode can be found at:




This American Life- One Last Thing Before I Go.  September 23, 2016.  The second story in this wonderful episode is Jonathan Goldstein's story of his helping his father and brother reconcile their estrangement of 40 years.  As is the case with many mediations, it involves revisiting an event that had occurred when Jonatha's father and his brother (now in their 80s) were young children.Their ability to revisit the event and see things from the other's perspective changes everything. It is heart warming, deep and hopeful.


This American Life- "The Sanctity of Marriage".  Stories trying to understand what actually happens in marriages during this time when the definition of marriage is up in the air.

Ted Talks- Brene Brown- "The Power of Vulnerability".

New York Times: 10/8/2015- "The Original Conscious Uncouplers".

New York Times:1/17/16- "Divorced Parents Living Close for the Children's Sake".

New York Times: 5/29/15- "Strengthening Troubled Sibling Bonds to Deal With an Aging Parent".

New York Times: Unhitched series