Charles I. Phillips
When I began to practice law in 1972, I never expected that the focus of my work would be in the area of Domestic Relations. Time and many satisfied clients have proved this to be my area of concentration. While divorce is a very difficult time for most clients, we do our best to help them through this process in a positive way. Sometimes the best advice we can provide is an honest and complete appraisal of the client's situation. Promising unrealistic results or encouraging wasteful and spiteful litigation is not consistent with our firm philosophy. While marriages may end, families continue. We do not serve our clients if at the same time we injure their family.
In addition to assisting clients to resolve their own disputes, I also strive to assist the broader legal community by providing divorce mediation and arbitration services. Twenty years ago, with the help of two mental health professionals, I began a comprehensive divorce mediation business. Like many good ideas, the time was not right, and people were afraid of this new and unfamiliar process for resolving disputes.
Twenty years have passed and the time is now right. I have been providing mediation services to parties and their lawyers for the past four years. Approximately 1/2 of my practice now consists of mediation and arbitration services. The ability of parties and their attorneys to reach resolution when properly facilitated is astounding. More than 95% of the matters which have been submitted to me for mediation have resulted in the parties reaching an agreement which addresses their needs and interests.
In consultation with the parties’ attorneys, I am able to design a process which will promote the likelihood of resolution. This process can be facilitative or evaluative or a combination of each. The goal is to encourage the parties to explore alternatives that allow them to successfully achieve their goals.
The mediation process allows for candor and creativity in an interest focused environment which provides safety and confidentiality. There is every reason to believe spouses can assist one another in achieving their goals if, at the same time, they are able to achieve their own goals.