What's new?



Programs and Events:

Oran will be a panelist and speaking about mediation and ADR on a program sponsored by MCLE entitled:  MCLE: Trying Divorce Cases - October 23, 2020.
MCLE: Trying a Divorce Case


Oran Kaufman will be a panelist on a program sponsored by MCLE entitled: 
Family Law Mediation in the Aftermath of COVID-19: The 60-Minute Lawyer.
The webinar will be on May 4, 2020 at 1:00 PM. Registration information and information about links to a recording of the webinar can be found at: https://www.mcle.org/product/catalog/code/2200353P01

Update: 4-13-20

For information about court closings and how courts are dealing with COVID-19, go to:

https://www.mass.gov/orgs/probate-and-family-court

Presently, except for emergencies, which will be handled  by video-conference, The Probate and Family Court is closed until May 4, 2020.

https://www.mass.gov/info-details/courthouse-closures-due-to-covid-19

Coronavirus update from Amherst Mediation Services (3-6-20)
Dear Clients, Potential Clients and Colleagues:
The health and well-being of my clients and community is of great importance to me. I have decided to (primarily) work remotely for the next several weeks. Business operations will continue as normal. Phones will be answered, texts and emails responded to, mail handled and cases will continue to be advanced every bit the same way as if I was in the office.
Mediations will be available via Zoom video conferencing, phone conferencing or other possible video/phone options.  Please call or email me to discuss the options. I have conducted many mediations via phone and video-conferencing in the past and while maybe not ideal, phone/video conferencing is a viable and practical option. Please call me to discuss.
My hope, like I am sure, yours, is that this virus will be contained in short order and we can resume our “normal” activities shortly.   In the meantime, please know that I am available to help in whatever way I can.

************

Coronavirus update from The Probate and Family Court

You can find an "Open Letter regarding coparenting during COVID-19 from Chief Justice John D. Casey by clicking   Open Letter regarding Co-Parenting.


Clarification from Chief Justice John D. Casey, Chief Justice of the Probate and Family Court, about Parent Education during COVID-19 crisis can be found at COVID-19 and Parent Education.



Archive:

Oran Kaufman will participate as a panelist at the upcoming Academy of Professional Mediators International Conference in Boston to be held between November 7-9.  The topic of the workshop with be discussion of the Mandatory Mediation pilot program in Hampden County including Oran's role as Clinic supervisor for Western New England University School of Law as part of the mandatory mediation program.

See one of Oran Kaufman's articles that was recently published by Mediate.com entitled,
"Can You Teach an Old Dog New Tricks?"  at https://www.mediate.com//articles/kaufman-can-you-teach.cfm.
****
Starting in September 2019 Oran became a co-facilitator of Only One Childhood (O1C) program in Northampton Massachusetts. O1C is a communication skills program administered by the Hampshire County Bar Association and is focused on separated and divorced parents who have previously completed a court-mandated parent education program. See  https://hampshirebar.org/only-one-childhood-ooc/  for more details.


***

Oran Kaufman will participate as a panelist at the upcoming Academy of Professional Mediators International Conference in Boston to be held between November 7-9.  The topic of the workshop with be discussion of the Mandatory Mediation pilot program in Hampden County including Oran's role as Clinic supervisor for Western New England University School of Law as part of the mandatory mediation program.

***
See one of Oran Kaufman's articles that was recently published by Mediate.com entitled,
"Can You Teach an Old Dog New Tricks?"  at https://www.mediate.com//articles/kaufman-can-you-teach.cfm.

***
Starting in September 2019 Oran became a co-facilitator of Only One Childhood (O1C) program in Northampton Massachusetts. O1C is a communication skills program administered by the Hampshire County Bar Association and is focused on separated and divorced parents who have previously completed a court-mandated parent education program. See  https://hampshirebar.org/only-one-childhood-ooc/  for more details.

***
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

9/12/20:  I highly recommend the attached Ted Radio Hour podcast about Conflict.  In particular, the first story is about a couple who despite their break up manage to find a way to co-parent and just have an amazing attitude and approach to co-parenting their son.  You can hear it at:  Ted Radio Hour: Finding Another Way


12/17/18:  Oran's article "Even More Conflict Resolution Tips was recently published at Mediate.com.  You can see a copy of the article at:Even More Conflict Resolution Tips


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:  Covering Covid: Couples. 5/18/20

The COVID- 19 epidemic is having all sorts of ripple effects. This includes on relationships. How are couples faring in these challenging times. This podcast explores dating in times of quarantine, struggling and divorcing. It is a 20 minute piece that includes some helpful tips for couples on how to manage during these difficult times.

https://www.npr.org/2020/04/18/837999717/covering-covid-couples


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