Mediation

Of Family Law matters — divorce, custody/visitation, child and spousal support

Ben Ramsey brings sixteen years of family law experience to his role as mediator, having advocated for clients on all sides of the many crucial issues common in dissolving a marriage or domestic partnership: spousal support, child custody and visitation, characterization and division of complex property assets, retirement benefits, and conflicting claims on family businesses. By knowing so well what kinds of challenges these issues can be to a successful divorce, Ben kindly and deftly navigates the parties through them to fair resolution.

The mediation process is far superior to any other process in terms of resolving a dissolution for many reasons. For unrepresented parties, both parties receive legal advice without each paying for separate attorneys. For represented parties who are motivated to resolve their divorce without proceeding to trial, Ben commits himself to bringing the case to settlement by the end of the mediation process. Mediation, however, is not for all couples; it only works if both parties are willing to (a) compromise, and (b) be completely transparent about the assets, debts and incomes. Mediation is not one party telling the other how the case is going to be resolved.

Retaining Ben for mediation is different than retaining him as your attorney:

1. As mediator, Ben cannot meet or discuss the case with either party privately without the other party’s consent. All meetings take place with both parties present either in person or by phone. This includes the initial consultation.
2. The parties must both sign a mediation agreement following the initial consultation but prior to mediation being commenced.
3. If Ben meets with both parties for a consultation regarding mediation, Ramsey Legal Services is then unable to represent either party individually should the parties choose to forego mediation. In the event that the mediation goes forward but does not resolve the divorce, Ramsey Legal Services is unable to represent either of the parties individually in the future absent a waiver being signed.
4. The first phase of mediation involves the parties preparing their disclosures which provide detailed information regarding the assets, debts and income of the parties.
5. At any time during the mediation process, either or both parties can consult with their own attorney so they can get their own individual advice.

Included in the Ramsey Legal Services mediation process, we will prepare all of the necessary paperwork to have the Judgment of Dissolution entered once/if agreement is reached. To be clear, in the role of mediator, Ben does not represent either party.

Of Civil Actions – civil rights, education, personal injury, general liability, landlord/tenant

Samantha Ramsey brings nearly ten years of civil litigation practice to her role as mediator in civil actions. In her tenure with the California Department of Justice, she gained unique skills litigating civil rights cases among multiple government agencies, including the Departments of Public Health, Corrections and Rehabilitation, Education, Social Services, Mental Health, and the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. She also substantial experience in private practice, litigating general liability cases, including personal injury, complex construction defect, premises liability, education matters involving the Schools Insurance Authority, and landlord/tenant disputes.

If the parties are committed to resolving the case, and willing to demonstrate transparency by directly providing all relevant factual information, the mediation process is likely to succeed.

Retaining Samantha for mediation is different than retaining her as your attorney:

1. As mediator, Samantha cannot meet or discuss the case with either party privately without the other party’s consent. All meetings take place with both parties present either in person or by phone. This includes the initial consultation.
2. The parties must each sign a mediation agreement prior to mediation being commenced.
3. Ten days prior to mediation, parties are required to submit mediation briefs, complete with all factual background, supporting arguments and at least one proposed settlement option.
5. Representatives with authority to agree to and provide settlement funds must be present at the mediation.
6. In the event that the mediation goes forward but does not resolve the matter, Ramsey Legal Services is unable to represent any of the parties in further proceedings absent waiver by all parties.

Upon resolution, Ramsey Legal Services will prepare the necessary paperwork to finalize the Settlement Agreement and provide copies for you then and there, when possible.