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MCFM Professional Development Workshop

 Registration is closed for this event
Professional Development Workshop

Thursday, February 13, 2020
2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Wellesley Free Library
530 Washington Street
Wellesley, MA 02482

Please note: This workshop is being held on Thursday rather than our normal Wednesdays.

  Maximum Attendance:  60

CANCELLATIONS:  If you discover after you register that you will not be able to attend, please let us know ASAP by emailing We'll offer your seat to someone on our waiting list.
Thanks in advance for your thoughtfulness!

FILMING:  MCFM may record this workshop. You must agree to certain terms in order to register.
See registration form for details.


WORKSHOP TOPIC:  “Beyond the Bench: A Conversation With Former Judges Who Now Mediate”

PANELISTS:  The Honorable David Kopelman (Ret.), The Honorable Robert Langlois (Ret.), and The Honorable Dorothy Gibson (Ret.)

MODERATOR:  John A. Fiske, Esq.


Hear from 3 retired and highly respected Probate and Family Court judges about what it’s like to be on the “other side” of the mediation process. During this interactive conversation, find out what the judges have learned and how their experiences can help your work as mediators thrive in a manner that fits in with the court process.

One question they may wrestle with is whether and how to "let go of outcome" when they have so much experience in defining outcomes. Will a surviving alimony waiver survive the court review process? There will be lots of others, including even whether a mediator should be there at the hearing, which the MCFM generally believes (s)he should not.

This program will be interactive, not dealing with anyone's specific cases, and informative for all. Attendees are warmly encouraged to share their thoughts and questions with this powerhouse panel!


After a nationwide search, David Kopelman was appointed as an associate Justice of the Norfolk Probate and Family Court where he served with distinction for 27 years. During his last 15 years he served as the First Justice of that Court. He has mediated numerous contested cases; primarily divorces, modifications, validity of post and pre-nuptial agreements, contested wills, and disputed trust administrations for the past 11 years. He is associated with Boston Area Mediation Services with offices in Newton and Brockton.

Robert W. Langlois is a retired First Justice of the Norfolk and Middlesex Probate and Family Courts. Following his departure from the judiciary, he has been of Counsel at Verrill in Boston where he provides consultation services in domestic relations and probate matters as well as extensive Alternative Dispute Resolution services, including mediation, conciliation and arbitration, to litigants who prefer to pursue a discreet and expeditious resolution of disputes involving family matters and closely held businesses. Prior to his judicial appointment, he was engaged in trial practice at the firm of Fleming and Langlois in Quincy, Massachusetts. Judge Langlois is a member of the ABA and the MBA where he serves on the Family Law Section Council. He is a graduate of Boston University School of Law and the University of Pennsylvania.

Dorothy Gibson is a retired Justice of the Middlesex County Probate and Family Court. A graduate of Suffolk University Law School, she is now associated with Boston Area Mediation Services, where  she mediates, arbitrates, serves as Master, and performs case evaluations. Judge Gibson has served on the Probate and Family Court Committees on Guardianships and Rules, and she is a contributor to MCLE, where she is a frequent lecturer in the areas of domestic relations and trial prepartion, trusts and estates, guardianships and conservatorships, and introduction of the new Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code. In 2014 she received the Jurist of the Year award from the Middlesex County Bar Association, and in 2015 she received the Distinguished Jurist Award from the Massachusetts Association of Women Lawyers.

John Fiske began his family mediation career with 4 people in his waiting room sent by the court: husband, wife and their lawyers. Once they were seated in his conference room where he wanted them to be, the wife said, "We understand we are some sort of experiment!" That was 1979 and we are all still experimenting. In addition to maintaining an active and always interesting mediation practice, John has been training family mediators since 1989.



MCFM Member Meet-Up

PLEASE NOTE: “Member Meet-Up" sessions are open to MCFM members only. Nonmembers are welcome to attend the workshop, but they may not register for the Meet-Up sessions.

“Member Meet-Up” is a casual get-together for conversation and connection before each Professional Development Workshop. There’s no set agenda . . . just an informal opportunity to ask questions and share ideas while getting better acquainted with your colleagues. New to MCFM? We’d love to meet you! Not so new to MCFM? Catch up and contribute your thoughts to the conversation.

The session will run from 1:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. If you would like to participate, please sign up using the "Register Now" link.

Mediator Social Hour (or 2) immediately following the Workshop:

Papa Razzi (Bar)
16 Washington Street
Wellesley, MA 02481

Join your fellow mediators for drinks and appetizers to wrap up the day. No agenda, no registration--just come on over for some informal conversation and networking. Members and not-yet members are welcome to attend!

COST: The workshop and Member Meet-Up are free.
RSVPs REQUESTED for Workshop and Member Meet-Up (Meet-Up available to MCFM members only):

Click "REGISTER NOW" link on this page.


Guests and prospective MCFM members
are always welcome at our workshops!






February 13, 2020 2:00 PM   through   4:00 PM
530 Washington Street
Wellesley Free Library
Wellesley, MA 02482
United States

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