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Family Law Mediator
updated: Jun 08, 2014, 7:17 PM

Hoping the EdHat Community can offer some referrals for a great family law mediator. We are already divorced but need help modifying the existing order (new jobs, back payments, etc). We had a consultation with/liked Penny Mathison a few years back. Guess I'm just wondering if anyone else has an experience that they would like to share?

 COMMENT 526366P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-09 07:05 AM

Try Sean Mason, Mason Law Group (805) 564-4664


 COMMENT 526370 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-09 07:38 AM

Whatever you do try to avoid lawyers on both sides of the case. Too many lawyers invent issues, foment continued fighting all for $350.00 an hour fees chargeable for every silly thing like saying good morning, how are you! It is as if they see a divorce as a golden opportunity to fleece a married couple out of everything they have managed to accumulate during their marriage. Divorce should not be a time that two vunerale people, sadly dissolving their marriage, must then turn over everything they own and have built up during their marriage through hard work, to greedy, unethical lawyers churning up phony issues and prolonging simple matters for their profit. By all means find a mediator and sit down and resolve the property and other issues without falling into the hands of the many unscrupuous lawyers "divorce lawyers" that there are in Santa Barbara and probably elsewhere too.


 COMMENT 526383P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-09 08:27 AM

You don't mention child custody, which is the focus of this link, but it may be helpful and provide leads to other links. In the meantime, hope you get some good leads from folks on this site. http://www.courts.ca.gov/1189.htm


 COMMENT 526384P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-09 08:31 AM

Legal Aid Services might also be able to suggest a good next step in getting help http://www.lafsbc.org/services although their page notes " Family Law 'Advice-Only' Outreach."


 COMMENT 526388 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-09 08:54 AM

lawyers are duty bound to identify and argue every issue possible on behalf of their client. there are reasons for this, the bar exam is actually all about that, and if they don't they face malpractice. it's the law/ethics, they don't "foment" issues, they identify them (for your future protection). That said try Lol Sorensen or Judith Rubenstein not sure if they do family but worth a shot.


 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-09 09:14 AM

Shelia Snow does a great job. Good luck to you both


 COMMENT 526407 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-09 09:40 AM

I had Lol for my mediation and he was clearly on the side of the fella. Luckily, I figured that out, ran out the clock and settled for pocket change.


 COMMENT 526419 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-09 10:01 AM

Try calling the Santa Barbara County Bar and see if they can suggest anyone. They seem to know about the legal community.


 COMMENT 526422 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-09 10:07 AM

Allan Morton does a beautiful job and gets the job done so that everyone is satisfied during the most stressful time in a couple's life. He is a family law attorney with lots of experience that I personally recommend, Mediation is his specialty.
He can be reached at 805-963-0755.


 COMMENT 526448 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-09 10:51 AM

*I felt that ...he was clearly on the side of the fella.


 COMMENT 526493 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-09 12:17 PM

Santa Barbara Superior Court has a Mediation Services department. Search on sb courts.


 COMMENT 526500 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-09 12:28 PM

Brian Burke is a settlor, not a negotiator. He has done well for many over the years.


 COMMENT 526517 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-09 01:13 PM

The SB Superior court mediation services are (I'm trying to be kind here) a joke. You and your former spouse should each chose 2 or 3 mediators - interview each and select the one you both rate well. Having the right mediator is just as important as having the right agreement. There is no "selection" process with the court. You get what you get - which are folks trained, but unable to make to make it in the private sector. The county mediation system and staff seriously needs to be improved, especially because it's a mandatory first step in the divorce process within the county. It worked out for me, but I felt lucky considering the circumstances. That said, I would recommend calling Fell, Marking & Abkin. A top rate firm that will listen to you and provide you with their thoughts and suggestions in simple fairness. Sincere good luck to you and your family.


 COMMENT 526692P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-09 08:56 PM

I suggest it would be very positive to offer a contact so that would-be-helpful people could reach you?


 COMMENT 526883 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-10 12:57 PM

I recommend Sarah Orr. She is intelligent, experienced and knowledgable. 805-455-2887.


 COMMENT 527064 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-11 09:05 AM

Every lawyer also has a duty to protect his or her clients interest which includes minimizing expenses at a time when a married couple are in the worst financial shape possible, splitting income and doubling living expenses. This is done by NOT churning up legal fees over silly and useless issues, which unfortunately too many unethical lawyers do. If there is an ethical lawyer on both sides of a case then almost all matters can be resolved simply and quickly by stipulation minimizing the filing of supefluous "motions" and having court hearings, preparing voluminous pleadings and so called "discovery" which in most cases is a complete waste of time. Lawyers engaging in this practice have a primary purpose to "milk" the case for the profit of the lawyers until there is no money left. Matters that cannot be simply stipulated to, can be resolved by a mediator selected jointly by the parties.


 COMMENT 528401 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-06-16 09:02 AM

View the documentary film "Divorce Corp" (do a google search for "Divorce Corp").

Then stay as far away from the family court system as possible.



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