Archived Responses: 

Questions Specialized Mediation

Family law mediator

Feb 2008

Hello, Does anyone have experience with the following attorneys, focusing on 1. their sharp legal knowledge, as well as 2. their willingness to mediate rather than go to court? Positive or negative experiences solicited ~ thanks! Robert A. Goodman, Steven Peter Small, Eva Herzer, Emily Doskow, Christina Bemko Littlefield, Vivian L. Holley, Stuart I. MacKenzie Thanks
Need bright attorney; not necessarily for court appearance

Eva Herzer is a keenly intelligent and straightforward yet sensitive mediating attorney. She does not do traditional contentious litigation at all, but works solely in mediation. At the same time, she is well school in the ins and outs of the law and makes a great adviser, speaking from a position of strength. She also has a lot of experience in the areas of divorce and mediation. I would recommend her. Linda
I've had experience with Vivian Holley. I imagine her legal knowledge is good enough, though my attorney told me that she was incorrect about three statements made. As to her willingness to mediate rather than go to court, well, mediation is Ms. Holley's niche. My input is to try someone else first though. I was extremel.y unhappy with her manner, her methods and her results. She could also cost you a bundle bc she talks *so* slowly, laboriously, and repeats things - really! My attorney always couldn't wait to get her off the phone. Also, possibly in her efforts to appear fair, she implicitly gave some legitimacy, encouraged the continued behavior of my vexatious plaintiff. She actually recommended a *ridiculous*, patently expensive and unworkable solution that both I and the plaintiff rejected. anonynous

Mediator for shared housing agreements

Oct 2004

A friend and I are currently sharing a duplex and are looking for someone who can help us create an agreement regarding repairs, remodeling and possibly changing the division of ownership. Who can work with us on this? Anonymous

We used Frederick Hertz for our tenants-in-common legal agreement (we also have a duplex) and I recommend him. We had already discussed and written out a bunch of stuff on our own and came in with many ideas and notes, but he asked us the right questions to pull even more details out. He was very professional and clearly experienced in this type of legal agreement. He's in downtown Oakland and his office number is 510-451-4114.

We chose Frederick Hertz after speaking with 2 other people who do these agreements. Michael St. John (845-8928) says he's the founder of tenants-in-common agreements in Berkeley but is not a lawyer, and John Gutierrez (644-1904) who is an attorney and will actually come to your house to survey the property to make sure you're getting everything into the agreemment.

I'm very happy we chose Hertz. Our agreement seems great (though fortunately we've never had to use it in any legal situation) and his fee was lower than it would have been Gutierrez, who talked about a minimum of like 5 hours or something. I will use Frederick Hertz for future legal matters as well.

More Reviews of Mediators

June 2006

Does anyone have experience with the family mediator Mary Duryee? Any positive or negative feedback would be most helpful...thanks! Anon, please!

we had mediation with mary duryee. We had a particularly difficult situation, and the process was painful, as I am sure it may be for any divorce. Part of what was frustrating was the communication, as she was not quick about getting back to us about questions, and the custody schedule took her almost a month longer than she had said it would. After much deliberation, and finally receiving the schedule, I found out that our schedule is almost exactly the same as another set of parents who used her, which has me questioning how personalized our schedule actually is. anon

Mediation Services

Re: Mediation for mom and 14-y-o in turmoil? (May 2004)
Dear Mother of the 14 Year Old Girl,
Mediation Services, 22227 Redwood Rd. Castro Valley, offers FREE Parent-Teen Mediation. Mediation is a safe space for both parents and youth to express thier point of view and work towards a mutually satifying solution. We will team up a youth and adult mediator for Parent-Teen Mediations. Issues such as respect, trust, expectations, and independence are issues that we see arise in Parent- Teen Mediations. Please call Shana Subelsky,Youth Services Director, at 510-733-4940 x 224. Thanks and Good Luck! Mediation Services