Topic:
Psychological and Counseling

“Mindfulness in the Minefields”

Author, instructor and attorney, Emily Doskow provides an hour-long presentation to introduce attorneys to the concept of mindfulness — the practice of noticing one’s experience in the present moment — and explore its application to the practice of law. Her presentation includes basic instructions in meditation along with two brief meditations, one guided and one unguided. Emily explains how brain science indicates that mindfulness is an effective tool for reducing stress and increasing our sense of well-being. Her presentation includes discussions of mindfulness and self-reflection as lawyering skills that support us in working with clients, opposing counsel, and ourselves; and about the use of mindfulness to deal with strong emotions and cultivate compassion for ourselves, our clients, and even our opponents.

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“Screening for Power Imbalances and Danger in Our Cases”

This program describes screening assessments for power imbalances and danger in mediation and collaborative cases, and how some screening techniques may be adapted for use by litigators. While not optimal in litigated matters, screening techniques still have value in determining, even if based almost solely on information from one party, whether and to what extent a risk of harm might exist for the client, what type of power imbalance may exist between the parties, and therefore what amount and type of contact and communications that can/should be supported by an attorney for his/her client and the opposing party. This is useful not only in discussions with one’s client, but also in tailoring arguments for relief via RFO, or in settlement negotiations. The materials include the slide presentation, screening forms and statistical information to weigh potential risks of harm.

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Advocacy in Action: The Psychology of Persuasion

Ron Granberg teaches the fine art of persuading the logical and the emotional decision makers to settle cases or influence the decision maker. Learn the three arguments for the logical decision: Syllogism, Generalization and Analogy. Contrast for the persuasion of the emotional decision maker with Heuristic Decision making, understanding the dynamics of aggression, calming the fear-anger storm, and offering recognition deals. These techniques are effective with both types of decision makers and when done correctly culminate in a  successful end result. Ron Granbergs’ approach is clarified with many slides and detailed explanations of each of these techniques. This video is a “Must-Have” for attorneys to understand and implement psychology while dealing with their client, their adversary, and the decision maker. As always, Ron makes a deep issue fun to learn.

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Attorney at Work: How to Best Use a Mental Health Professional

The role of the mental health professional (MHP) in Family law is evolving. Counsel are retaining their own MHP’s early in custody cases as “consulting trial experts”. Some MHP help prepare a client for the court custody evaluations or mediations. A “review expert” helps counsel analyze a custody evaluation for negotiation and trial preparation. Attorneys also use a MHP in preparation for “witness support”. The Collaborative Divorce model uses MHP as “coaches”. This presentation and the materials by an experienced mental health professional and a private judge discuss an Alternative Hybrid Model to assist counsel in the resolution or litigation of custody disputes. Spend one hour exploring this emerging trend. .

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