Litigation means going to court. It is an adversarial process, where the parties to the legal proceeding prepare court documents, and argue their case in front of a judge.
There are occasions when, unfortunately, settlement negotiations either fail, or they are not appropriate from the outset. There may be emergency situations (spousal violence, for instance), where the most appropriate recourse is the immediate commencement of a court proceeding, to seek an order that can be enforced by the police. I have a vast amount of litigation experience, at all court levels. I have conducted many trials, and handled appeals. I have litigated virtually every issue in family law, including contested custody trials, and complex support and property trials. The court decisions for several of the cases in which I have acted as counsel, have been reported.
To be an effective litigator and client advocate, a lawyer has to be properly prepared and extremely well organized. I pride myself on my advocacy skills. For support and property issues, I take a cost-benefit approach to litigation. I will not litigate if you will not derive a financial benefit that exceeds the legal cost of pursuing your claim. For parenting issues, recognizing that children are more important than money and material belongings, I will advocate your children’s best interests on your behalf
An alternative process to litigation and one that more and more spouses are choosing these days, is arbitration. As with litigation, arbitration involves having a third party impose a decision on any outstanding issues that cannot be settled between spouses. It is an effective means of resolving disputes, for spouses who are prepared to cooperate with the process. Clearly, it enables spouses to achieve finality in a much more timely manner than proceeding to court.
Most arbitrators are experienced family law lawyers or mental health professionals, who have attained the requisite qualifications to hear arbitrations and make decisions.
I am a proponent of arbitration. I have acted as counsel on behalf of clients who have chosen to proceed with arbitration, and all clients have left the process feeling as though they have had a fair hearing before someone who has extensive experience and knowledge in the area of family law. If I feel that your case might be well-suited for arbitration, we can discuss the process in greater detail to see whether it is the best route to take to deal with the outstanding issues.