Author Archives: Michael Zeytoonian

Zeytoonian new Director of ADR at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination

After 10 years as founder and principle of Dispute Resolution Counsel, LLC, Michael Zeytoonian has accepted a newly created position as the Director of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD), joining the MCAD in June, 2019. This new role at the MCAD is the perfect challenge for Michael, combining work in his favorite area of …

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Re-imagining Collaborative Law, as well as dispute resolution itself

I first heard about Collaborative Law (CL) in 2002 as it began to spread around Massachusetts. It was an inspiring, rational approach to resolving disputes and it was good getting to know and learn from local people involved in teaching, promoting and using CL. It was also great to get to know like-minded lawyers nationally and beyond through joining the …

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Green Book’s insights into a deeper diversity

Abraham Lincoln had a simple approach to achieving diversity: “I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.” Recently, my wife and I saw the movie Green Book, which has since won an Oscar for best movie of the year. The movie presents the true story of an episode in the life of Dr. Don Shirley, a …

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Before you dive into your dispute, what are your GINs and what’s the best way to satisfy them?

Recently I noticed an online request on a network’s posting system seeking lawyers with experience working on disputes within community non-profit or religious organizations. The situation described involved potentially inappropriate behavior by a member of the organization that may have adversely impacted another member. Besides these two people, the entire organization is also a stakeholder, as the incident raised the …

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Peacemaking: The fulfillment of the legal profession

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. – Matthew 5:9 Earlier this week my daily meditation focused on this Bible verse, spoken by Jesus as part of the Sermon on the Mount. The meditation narrative was a dialogue between the meditation author and his lawyer friend about the basic legal standard we learned in law …

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Satisfying our clients’ emotional due process needs

Emotional due process. What is that, exactly? This notion – emotional due process – jumped out at me when I recently came across it in a report about the September 2018 Global Collaborative Law Council’s (GCLC) annual conference. GCLC President Melanie Atha, a lawyer from Birmingham, Alabama, noted that Collaborative Law can satisfy the need clients in a dispute have …

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Collaborative Advocacy: A Bridge Linking Conflict Engagement and Conflict Resolution

The following article entitled “Collaborative Advocacy: A bridge linking conflict engagement with conflict resolution” by Michael Zeytoonian was published in the July, 2018 Issue of the American Bar Association’s “Just Resolutions” publication. There is a recurring question that arises in the dispute resolution (DR or ADR) community’s regular practice of taking stock, seeing how we can best provide our services …

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10 things to think about BEFORE you decide whether to litigate and which lawyer to hire

You have been wronged or wrongly accused of something and you are upset about it. You are angry with the party that did this to you. All kinds of emotions rush into your head, direct from your heart, without checking with your mind first: I want my vengeance. I want to get back at ____ for what ___ has done to …

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How a priest helped shape a lawyer and mediator. Remembering the pastor of my youth.

When people think about what goes into the training of a lawyer and a mediator, the contribution of one’s pastor is probably not on the list of ingredients. There’s law school, there’s training and direction from veteran lawyers, reading laws, cases, court decisions and continuing legal education, all shaping the legal mind. But the people our lives cross paths with …

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Thinking about using mediation to resolve your employment dispute without going through litigation first?

Recently I got a call from a small business employer. He knew I was an employment lawyer and that I represent small, closely-held or family businesses and that I was also a mediator handling all kinds of business, workplace or community disputes. He had received a letter from a lawyer representing one of his employees alleging sexual harassment in the …

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