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Check the Court’s Child Support Calculations

It was reported last week that there may be a error generated by the software family court uses to calculate child support payments.  As a default (i.e. if there is no other agreement in place), NJ uses a formula known as the child support guidelines.  The court uses software to to the calculations on each case where it is required.  It seems that one litigant found an error in the software’s calculations.  The court is investigating the source of the problem.

So, if the court performed the calculations for you, you may want to manually verify the math.

Here is another reason to mediate your divorce and periodic changes.  Mediating keeps the results on your terms.  For more information, contact NJ divorce mediator Marvin Schuldiner at 732-963-2299 or using this form.

Trial Lawyers Task Force Recommends ADR and Mediation

In a previous posting, I discussed the American College of Trial Lawyers task force interim report on trials in America.  The final report is out and here are the highlights as it pertains to mediation and getting your lawsuit settled:

  • “Courts are encouraged to raise the possibility of mediation or other form of alternative dispute resolution early in appropriate cases. Courts should have the power to order it in appropriate cases at the appropriate time, unless all parties agree otherwise. Mediation of issues (as opposed to the entire case) may also be appropriate.”
  • The task force recognized that this is a controversial conclusion, but one represented in reality.
  • “82 percent said that court ordered alternative dispute resolution was a positive development and 72 percent said that it led to settlements without trial.”
  • “52 percent said that alternative dispute resolution decreased the expense for their clients and 66 percent said that it shortened the time to disposition.”

In New Jersey, we have a presumptive mediation program in state court.  Most cases are referred to mediation and most settle before trial.  Parties will be even better served by mediating their dispute prior to the expense and hassle of filing suit.  If you are looking to save money in resolving your disputes, please feel free to contact me to discuss your case further and how mediation can help.

The changing face of law…the elimination of the billable hour

I have written previously about the challenges that the law industry faces.  The Wall Street Journal recently reported on pharmaceutical giant Pfizer’s switch to flat fee invoicing for outside counsel.  This turns on its head the basis of the long term billing model of the legal industry, the billable hour.

In this video, Pfizer’s chief counsel Amy Shulman explains Pfizer’s program:

Companies looking to save on legal expenses should also use mediation.  Mediation is cost effective and seeks win-win outcomes.  For more information on how mediation can help you, please contact me.