Our Revolutionary Philosophy: Do What is Best For Our Client’s Family
When Meggin began her law firm in 2010, she chose family law, estate planning, and probate just because it seemed like a good way to help people and her best friend had already done the same. She had no idea what a life-changing a positive decision this was. In fact, it was just really really hard at first.
As Meggin helped clients through the family law and contested probate system, one thing became abundantly clear: fighting at court is horrible. It’s horrible on the client. They cannot imagine the emotional and mental toll it will take until they’ve been through it. They loose all control and let a stranger make the rules about how they’re going to live their life. It’s also terribly expensive. It’s horrible on the children. Their parents have been fighting tooth and nail. How on earth are they going to co-parent for the rest of their lives and put their children’s interests first? It’s horrible for the attorney. Believe it or not, we really care about our clients, and it is really hard to see a judge rule against them. It’s also terribly stressful and time consuming to prepare for a hearing.
The way to fix that: to do our best to get a fair result for our clients through mediation or collaborative law. Then our client has the control of what they will and will not do. We can ensure that they have a thorough, complete, and accurate agreement. Our client has a sense of ownership and agency over the agreements they reached. This is clearly the best way to handle these cases. So why do we hear only about families fighting, instead of families working it out like adults?
The first reason is that they just don’t know. They don’t know how terrible it is at court. It’s easy to say “we’ll just let the judge decide, then”. They do not understand how hard it is to have a judge decide, and they also probably don’t understand that they won’t win with the judge. (No one is ever completely happy with a judge’s orders).
The second reason is they may have an attorney who prefers to fight. Their attorney may want that for several reasons. The first, and we believe most common, is that the attorneys don’t know how to reach creative solutions that will meet their client’s needs. They think “my way or the highway” and can’t think outside their own box. They may also have an ego issue, and want to show that they are always right (court is not the place to do that, but to each their own). Or, in the worst case scenario, they may just want the money that they can earn through many hours of preparation for court.
So how do we address this? First is that we are settlement focused. Both Meggin and Emily are mediators. We know how to come up with creative solutions that can help reach agreements. We practice interest based negotiation. So we look at what is your underlying need. You may not even know what it is, but we can help you find it. Then we come up with creative solutions to address what you really need that you may not have thought about.
The other is that we prepare for mediation as if it were the final part of the case (because we hope it will be). We meet with you, we prepare the financials so that we are ready to make decisions, we’ve already explored options before we begin. We want the mediation to be successful, so we do everything that we can before we begin.
Of course, we can only control ourselves and not the other person. What happens if the other side will not agree to something reasonable? That happens regularly. Sometimes they just don’t understand. Sometimes they don’t know what is reasonable. Sometimes we have legitimate disagreements. Whatever the reason we can’t settle, we won’t allow you to agree to something that is not reasonable based on our experience. Both Meggin and Emily are highly experienced litigators who are not afraid of trial. Because we are so experienced we know that it is not something to do unless it is our last option. If it comes to that end, however, we will ensure that we fight for what is best for you and your family.
We look forward to talking to you about how we can help you do what is best for your family.
“Meggin is excellent to work with, professional and caring. She helped me through a difficult divorce and was always gracious with all my questions and concerns during a difficult time. She is up front about her fees. I highly recommend.” – Mother in Jefferson County.