On July 8, 2021 Chief Justice John Casey of the MA Probate and Family Courts announced a suspension to the requirement for divorcing parents to complete the mandatory parent education program specified in the court’s Standing Order 2-16, Parent Education Program Attendance, issued in 2016.
The legal community lost two brilliant minds last week with the passing of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants, and the passing of Supreme Court of the United States Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In very different ways, both of these great leaders influenced my career path. They each helped to define for me the way in which I wanted to use my advocacy skills to promote more access to justice and a justice system that promotes greater equality in outcome. While my story may be unique, these two zealous advocates had a memorable impact on the career of many of my fellow mediators too.
When asked about the passing of Chief Justice Gants, John Fiske, a Director Emeritus of MCFM said:
"I knew him well, first through soccer and then through my history of working four years for the SJC on trying to improve court administration 1974 to 1978, and also through his relationship with Massachusetts Justice of the Federal District Court Dennis Saylor, my son in law. Chief Justice Gants was a big supporter of mediation and its role in helping the courts in Massachusetts serve justice for all. He helped to put in place the two amazing Chief Justices that we interact with more often in the area of family law and mediation: Chief Justice of the Trial Court Paula Carey and Chief Justice of the Probate and Family Court John Casey. They too are both strong supporters of mediation and will surely carry on his great legacy. We are indebted to him as a community for the work that he has done and we mourn his passing." - John Fiske
MCFM shares in John's message mourning the loss of Chief Justice Gants to the legal community and our hearts are with his family, friends and colleagues.
Recently I’ve been pondering a certain aspect of my experience with mediating divorces. It’s about something that often comes up in my encounters with my mediation clients.
The feature of all mediations that I will talk about in this post is something I call “bearing witness.” When clients bear witness in mediation, and when you, as the mediator bear witness for the clients, it can be quite powerful in resolving a divorce. But it needs to be handled properly, or it can be dangerous and get out of control. If that happens, it can lead to destabilizing and destructive results impairing the ability of the mediation process to address and resolve conflict...
The Massachusetts Probate and Family Court announced this week thathttps://mcfm.org/mediator-profile/372 its eFiling system can now be used to file 1A divorces. eFiling is currently available in all counties in the Probate & Family Court. Pro se mediation clients as well as attorneys representing mediating clients can use the system. There is a $22 case fee plus processing fees for eChecks and credit cards used to pay the court filing fee. Indigent clients can seek to waive the fees. Documents need to be uploaded individually in PDF formats. eFiling may be appropriate for some clients and not others. For more information, see https://www.mass.gov/info-details/learn-about-efiling-in-the-trial-court.