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  • What is Mediation?
    "Mediation" is a term used when the parties to a dispute agree to choose a neutral third-party to assist them in working out a resolution to their problem. The mediator facilitates the discussion between the parties using various techniques to help the parties reach their own conclusion as to how best to settle their dispute. The agreed upon terms are ultimately set down in a format for the parties to sign, which is generally known as a "Memorandum of Understanding" or "MOU". A "mediator" is not an "arbitrator" or a "judge" and will not make a decision for the parties.
  • Why Choose "Mediation" Over "Litigation"?"
    Mediation can be the most useful tool to resolve a dispute. Mediation, however, takes two parties who are able to communicate and who have the shared goal of resolving their dispute without someone else (the judge) making decisions for them. Mediation is usually done in a meeting place of the parties choosing, rather than in a courtroom. Mediation is "confidential" and things may be discussed that you would never want revealed in open court. Paying for your share of the mediator's time is usually cheaper than the combined costs of each party retaining the services of their own lawyer. Mediation moves at the pace dictated by the participants as opposed to the time constraints placed upon you by the Court. Mediation allows for "creative" solutions.
  • What Is The "Mediation Process"?"
    The process is CONFIDENTIAL and cannot be utilized in court. The mediator does not represent any of the parties. It is not the role of the mediator to give legal advice. However, the mediator, from time-to-time might explain the law as it pertains to your matter, or bring in other professionals (i.e: financial or psychological) to assist. Mediation is performed in scheduled sessions to assist the parties in obtaining what they believe to be a "win-win" resolution for all. The parties, by agreement, may be accompanied by other individuals, including attorneys, if they so choose.
  • Is "Divorce Mediation" Helpful?"
    Simply put, the answer is an astounding YES. "Divorce Mediation" is helpful in all stages of the divorce process. Whether you are simply considering trying a "separation period" or seeking a definitive "Divorce", mediation will prepare you and your spouse for your future in separate households. If there are children involved one of the priorities will be to work out a custody/visitation routine that all of the parties can agree upon as being in the best interest of the children. Simultaneously, the mediator will assist the parties in working on individual budgets to assist in determining the amount of spousal support and child support that should apply and any deviations from the statutory guidelines that a court would need to follow. The mediator will also assist in determining how to divide up the parties assets which may include tangible and intangible property, savings and retirement benefits, if any. Going to mediation, will not deny you the use of an advocate of your choosing. Mediation is usually concluded with the drafting of a "Memorandum of Understanding" ("MOU") which will then go to each party's attorney for review, fine tuning, and the processing of the divorce.
  • How Long Does "Mediation" Take?"
    Mediation can take as long as is needed to reach an amicable conclusion between the parties. However, if a matter is currently before the court, a time constraint may be placed upon the parties by a judge even in light of the fact that most judges will permit some time extensions if the parties are truly negotiating in good faith. Depending on the type of case, mediation sessions may be split into different blocks of time as negotiations sometimes depend on obtaining documents or information that is not readily available to the participants; a particular event needs to occur; emotions are causing a participant to be overwhelmed; the parties are working under time constraints; or a myriad of other possible interrupting events.
  • Can Mediation Take Place On-Line?
    Yes. However strict rules must be followed to secure the "confidentiality" of the mediation. There are good and bad aspects to conducting mediation "on-line" and "in person". Neither one is "better" than the other, they are just different and different people may favor one method over another. On-line mediation may be complicated by the available applications of the platform selected. However, most platforms allow for "break-out rooms" for private caucusing, as well as for the sharing of documents. On-line mediation usually saves the participants time and money as there is no "travel-time" expended.
  • Is My Virtual (Zoom) Meeting Protected?
    YES. Zoom Pro has instituted rigorous measures to prevent "Zoom Bombing". With the current version of Zoom, files are now encrypted. The Zoom meetings are not vulnerable to intrusion, so long we as "Host" follow certain guidelines (which we always do). 1. We establish a "new" ID number for each session; 2. Each session gets its own password; 3. No participants can enter the meeting without the Host being present first; 3. All participants are placed into a "waiting room" and admission needs to be granted by the host; 4. The Host has the ability to "kick" someone out of the session; 5. The Host has the ability to "lock" the meeting so that there are no new participants entering the session; 6. The Host controls the audio/video function for all participants and can turn it "off" at any time; 7. The Host has the ability to use "break-out" rooms to give "privacy" to the individuals in the "break-out" room; 8. The Host can allow/disallow document sharing amongst the parties. and 9. The Host can end the meeting at any time.
  • What Is "Litigation"?"
    "Litigation" is the term used to describe the process when parties wish to get the courts involved in a dispute. Litigation is usually commenced by the service of a "Summons with Notice" or "Summons and Complaint" upon a party indicationg what wrongs need to be addressed and the demand for compensation for the damages suffered. Always keep in mind, "different states, different rules" and that all courts do not follow the same rules even within the same jurisdiction.
  • Why Choose "Litigation" Over "Mediation"?"
    Litigation works best when there is a complete break-down in communication. Litigation is conducted in the "public's eye" and as such one should not expect any "confidentiality" to apply. Litigation tends to work best when one party absolutely believes that they are in the right and the other party is not; and they are willing to move forward just to prove this point. Litigation allows you to hire a strong mouth-piece to advocate on your behalf. Litigation is framed in the "law" and is built upon interpretations of statutes and prior court rulings. In Family and "Domestic Relations" matters, litigation may be necessitated by the existence of a "Restraining Order" or even the mere existence of allegations of "domestic abuse".
  • Why should I utilize an Opt-in Mediation Group LLC participating Mediator ?
    Opt-in Mediation Group LLC, is a group of highly trained and devoted mediators from various states who have joined together for the promotion of mediation services. Each mediator is independent and is not in a "business relationship" with each other. The mediators that appear on this website have made an effort to obtain one or more certifications (where required) or have registered with the appropriate courts in their jurisdiction so as to be recognized as trained, qualified and devoted individuals in their respective fields of mediation. Each mediator understands the strict requirements of "Confidentiality" and have pledged never to disclose any information that has been deemed "confidential" by their clients and/or the courts. Each mediator found on this website has pledged to continue educating themselves in the field of mediation and to give back to their community. Please take the opportunity to review each of our mediators credentials as provided on our website to determine who is best suited for your individual needs..
  • What is Arbitration
    Arbitration is when the parties select an individual to act as their "private" judge to make specific or general determinations about their case. Once a decision is made, either or both of the parties can move the Court to recognize and adopt the ruling of the Arbitrator.
  • Why should we select Glenn P. Milgraum, Esq.,APM as our mediator?
    Glenn P. Milgraum, Esq., APM is the founder and principal mediator for Opt-in Mediation Group LLC handling Civil and Family matters. He mediates privately and in and for the State Courts of Florida, New Jersey and New York. Glenn P. Milgraum, Esq., APM, a "trial attorney" with over 35 years of litigation experience. The litigation subjects that have been addressed by him through the courts in New York and New Jersey include but are not limited to: Matrimonial Disputes (Divorce, Custody/Visitation, Parenting Plans, Relocation, Support, etc.); Real Estate and Property Disputes (including Adverse Possession, Easements and construction defects); Restrictive Covenants; Mortgage Fraud; Commercial Litigation and Collection; Commission and Non-compete Disputes; Dissolution of corporations and partnerships; HOA, Co-op and Condo Disputes; Estate Disputes; and other general grievances. In addition, he has handled many transactional events which do not require Court intervention (i.e. real estate closings, contract drafting, loan restructuring, pre-nuptials, corporate formation and maintenance, etc.) Mr. Milgraum has earned recognition of his peers and has been awarded the designation of "APM" ("Accredited Professional Mediator") by the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators ("NJAPM"). Mr. Milgraum appears on the New Jersey State Court Roster of court-approved mediators having been educated, trained and qualified to provide services as a "Civil Mediator" and as a "Mediator for Economic Aspects of Family Law Cases" (including Domestic Violence) pursuant to New Jersey Rule 1:40. Mr. Milgraum is a current Board Member of NJAPM, is the chair of the Bergen County Peer Group and NJAPM's Real Property Special Interest Group. Mr. Milgraum participates as a mentor in NJAPM's "Apprenticeship Program" helping to train fledgling mediators. Mr. Milgraum also conducts weekly "peer consultations" assisting other professional mediators with information, tools and techniques for working out solutions that they may have encountered during mediation sessions with their clients. Mr. Milgraum frequently participates as a presenter, lecturer and/or panelist educating lawyers, mediators and public groups about "Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)", Mediation, Arbitration and other legal topics. Mr. Milgraum appears on the New York State's Mediation Court Roster pursuant to Part 146 of the Rules of the Chief Administrative Judge governing Civil Mediators in and for the New York City Judicial Districts. He appears on the Roster for mediating "Matrimonial" actions for the five counties of New York City. He also appears on the Rosters for "Commercial" matters, as well as the roster for "NYC Small Claims matters". ​ Mr. Milgraum acts as an "arbitrator" for "fee disputes" arising between clients with their counsel pursuant to Part 137 of the Rules of the Chief Administrative Judge for New York. He has also been appointed by the Supreme Court of the State of New Jersey to the Fee Arbitration Committee as an "Attorney Panelist", and occasional "Panel Chair". ​ Mr. Milgraum is 'certified' by the Supreme Court of the State of Florida as a 'Family Mediator' and as a Civil "Circuit Mediator" (No. 41933 FR) in all judicial circuits of the state. ​ [PLEASE NOTE: Mr. Milgraum is not admitted to the practice of law in the State of Florida; but, is authorized to act as a 'Family Mediator' and as a "Civil Circuit Mediator" throughout all of the circuits within the State of Florida.] Mr. Milgraum is admitted to the Bars of New York and New Jersey. He is admitted to practice before Local, State, and Federal Courts, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court. Mr. Milgraum is active in the mediation community as a Board Member of NJAPM ("New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators"). He is also the Board-Chair for "SunFire High School", a public charter high school located in Oakland Park, Florida.
  • Why should we select Suzanne English, MA, as our New Jersey mediator?
    Suzanne English, MA, is a civil and Family Mediator in and for the State of New Jersey. Ms. English is the current President of the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators (NJAPM), an organization comprised of over 200 professional mediators and arbitrators that are highly trained and well respected in their fields. Suzanne is a highly skilled and experienced mediator and mentor practicing in both civil and divorce mediation for over 10 years. Her practical methods of mediation draw upon her educational background in public policy focused on child advocacy, as well as her decades of experience in (re)insurance claims and arbitration. She is a trained paralegal and professional with a strong background in advocacy, legal research, and reinsurance contract wording. Her (re)insurance expertise includes claims settlement and contract wording resolutions gained while serving in a client support role as a broker at Lloyd’s of London. She also served as a principal at "English ReSources", a boutique reinsurance consulting firm that offered reinsurance placement advisory and arbitration services. Suzanne has a passion for child welfare and public policy, demonstrated through her master’s concentration in child advocacy and engagements with organizations such as CASA and Ginnie’s House Children’s Advocacy Center. She has authored and published educational materials for children navigating the court system. Additionally, Suzanne currently serves as a director on the board of Sprout House Preschool, a school focused on a nature-based curriculum.
  • Should we select Linda Robayo, Esq., as our New Jersey mediator, or should I retain her services as a nation-wide "Divorce Coach"?
    Ms. Linda Robayo, Esq., is not only an attorney, but is a successful Mediator and "Divorce Coach". Linda has extensive experience handling divorce litigation, child support, alimony, parenting plans, domestic violence adoptions, custody, and property division. She is an APPROVED, New Jersey State-Wide Family Court Mediator for Economic Aspects of Family Law Cases pursuant to New Jersey Rule 1:40. Ms. Robayo is fluent in Spanish and has obtained nation-wide certification as a "Divorce Coach" and "Transition and Recovery Coach". Ms. Robayo is also trained as a "Collaborative" attorney. She is an active member of the "New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators" ("NJAPM") and is active within the N.J. State Bar Association and the N.J. Hispanic State Bar Association. Ms. Robayo volunteers her services as a member of the Passaic County "Early Settlement Panel" assisting the Court by evaluating litigants' positions during pending Divorce actions. ​ Close your eyes and imagine yourself navigating your divorce with less frustrations, unmatched calm, and an increased sense of confidence. Divorce is chaotic, and you may still sob and scream, but with a Divorce Coach you will learn to control those emotions when it’s needed most. Divorce Coaching is different from Divorce Mediation. With Ms. Robayo as your Divorce Coach, you will process all those emotions you're feeling so you can think more clearly when making decisions for you and your children. Help your children and others around you to adjust and figure out what would make you happy again, while you go about creating a new life for you and your children. She will assist you in separating your "personal life" from your "work life" so you can remain on top of your game career-wise and can remain available emotionally for your children. She will prepare you so that you can be a good communicator who can actively participate with strength at the negotiating table. Ms. Robayo will assist you in creating a step-by-step plan to understand the legal process and banish the feeling of being overwhelmed. ​ If you are self-sufficient, Ms. Robayo will gladly act as your neutral third-party mediator to help you and your spouse settle your divorce on your terms. If you have already reached an agreement with your spouse in a New Jersey matter, Ms. Robayo can act as your independent attorney for "attorney review".
  • Why should we select Zoe Cassotis as our mediator?
    Zoe has performed a wide variety of negotiations over her career across multiple industries, including Defense, HR/Employee Benefits, Insurance, Agriculture, Retail and Warehouse Distribution, Healthcare, Pharmacy Benefit Management, Supply Chain, Data Management, Data Privacy, Security and Music. She has held roles in engineering, IT, healthcare, pharmacy benefits management, specialty pharmacy, business operations, supply chain, quality control, marketing operations design, data management and music. She has resolved many domestic and international business problems and situations amicably, with tact and nuance, ranging from: contract negotiation and termination vendor onboarding and transition business start-up, development and shut down real estate management asset acquisition and disposal tax resolution employee transition management corporate services transition music performance She also has extensive experience leading domestic and global teams conceptualizing, designing and implementing comprehensive and elegant IT and business solutions supporting an array of complicated functions and operations.
  • Why should we select Dana B. Friedman, Esq., as our New York Family Mediator?
    Mr. Dana B. Friedman, Esq. has been a practicing Divorce and Family law attorney in New York State for over 40 years. He is well versed in all aspects of Divorce, Child Custody, Spousal Support, Child Support, "Pre-nup" and "Post-nup" review and negotiations, as well as Real Estate issues which might include leases and or selling of the marital home. Because he also handles "civil matters" in his law practice (including but not limited to "personal injury", "trusts", "estates" and "probate matters", "landlord and tenant" in addition to "real estate" transactions and other civil disputes and grievances), he is an ideal mediator for Family matters that have nuanced twists and turns that may have influenced marital strife. ​
  • Why should we select Paul J. Miller, CPA, as our New Jersey Mediator?
    Paul J. Miller, CPA, is an accomplished mediator with a diverse background spanning mediation, finance, public accounting and sales. As a dedicated member of the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators (NJAPM), Mr. Miller has established himself as a trusted mediator with expertise in civil, family, and divorce matters. He holds a prominent position on the rosters of mediators for Economic Aspects of Family Law Cases and Civil, General Equity, and Probate Cases, having successfully completed all required training mandated by the Superior Court of New Jersey. As a Member of the NJ Supreme Court Fee Arbitration Committee, Paul regularly arbitrates legal fee disputes. ​ Paul’s mediation practice is focused on the mediation of divorces, including equitable distribution, spousal support, child support, parenting plans, and same-sex marriage, and Civil mediation in the areas of General Equity, Construction, Real Property, Book Account, Other Insurance, Complex Commercial, Contract/Commercial Transaction, Action on a Negotiable Instrument, Tort and other within a variety of industries including Financial Services, Retail, Construction, Consumer Products, Media, High Tech, Communications, Travel and Transportation, Pharmaceutical, Medical Device, Manufacturing and Industrial Equipment.
  • Why should we select Linda F. Spiegel, Esq. as our Mediator, or should we select her as our Arbitrator?
    Linda F. Spiegel, Esq., is a New Jersey Court approved R. 1:40 Mediator and Arbitrator. She is admitted to the Bars of New Jersey and New York. She is also admitted to practice before the Federal Courts in those jurisdictions as well as the U.S. Supreme Court. During her 35 plus years as a member of the American Arbitration Association’s (AAA) panel she has mediated and arbitrated over 1,000 cases. That number does not include the cases she has mediated and arbitrated privately and for the NJ Courts. The following are a small sample of subjects that have been addressed by Ms. Spiegel in mediation and arbitration: ∙ Family Mediation (divorce, custody, parenting time, parenting plans, support, equitable distribution, elder care planning, employment dispute with family caregiver); ∙ Partnership Dissolution (dissolution of a partnership in a car rental business, dissolution of a partnership in a business providing props and costumes to the movie and theater industry); ∙ Construction Disputes (valuation of fire damage caused by negligence of roofing contractor, dispute between blasting subcontractor and general contractor, construction defects in residential and commercial properties); and ∙ Breach of Contract disputes in commercial, consumer, real estate and construction matters. Ms. Spiegel has earned the recognition of her peers by being appointed as the Co-Vice Chair of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Senior Law Division’s Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) Committee, being elected to and serving on the Executive Committee of the Garibaldi Inn of Court for ADR, and being elected and serving on the Board of the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators ("NJAPM"). She has been the Co-Chair of the Bergen County Bar Association’s (BCBA) Construction Law Committee since 2011 and the Co-Chair of the BCBA’s ADR Committee since 2014. Ms. Spiegel is also a Past President of Women Lawyers in Bergen. Ms. Spiegel is on the NJ Court Roster of court-approved mediators having been educated, trained and qualified to provide services as a "Civil Mediator" and as a "Mediator for Economic Aspects of Family Law Cases" pursuant to NJ Rule 1:40. Ms. Spiegel has also been appointed by the Supreme Court of the State of New Jersey to the Fee Arbitration Committee as an Panelist, Panel Chair and was Chair of the District IIB Fee Arbitration Committee. She was also appointed by the Supreme Court of the State of New Jersey to the District Ethics Committee. Ms. Spiegel frequently participates as a presenter, moderator, lecturer and/or panelist educating lawyers and mediators about ADR, mediation, arbitration and other legal topics. Some of her speaking engagements include “Mediating a Construction Dispute: Learning a New Language”; Moderator and Panelist on “Ageism and Diversity”; Speaker and Panelist on, “Some Frequent Issues in Residential Home Construction”; Moderator on “A Primer on Construction Drawings and Related Contract and Litigation Issues”, “Hot Topics in "Construction Law”, "NJ Consumer Fraud Act" and "Home Improvement Contractors - Navigating the Minefield”, and “How to Get the Most Out of your Mediation.” ​ Ms. Spiegel’s writing credits include “Elder Care Planning Mediation”; ABA e-Magazine, Voice of Experience, January 2023 issue republished in the ABA GP Solo e-Report, May 2023; “Child Support for the Special Needs Child: What a Divorce Mediator Needs to Know”, NJAPM Mediation News, Vol. 18, Issue 1, Fall 2013. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Women Lawyers in Bergen Newsletter and the Editor of the NJAPM Mediation Matters Newsletter.

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