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“Conflict as Catalyst—Is a Lawsuit the Best Option?” – Deborah Berecz

Date: April 11, 2015

Speaker: Deborah Berecz, J.D.

Position: Collaborative Lawyer & Mediator, Berrien & Kent Counties, Michigan

Topic: “Conflict as Catalyst—Is a Lawsuit the Best Option?”

Venue: Chan Shun Hall

Attendance: 44

Presentation: SDAs, who believe in the value of community, still face conflicts, which can be catalysts for growth. Only 2-5% of lawsuits filed get heard, but alternative dispute resolution methods (based on the Navajo practice of “peacemaking circles”) bring 70%-80% resolution. These include arbitration (with a private decision-maker), mediation (with a neutral mediator, less formal, interest-based, & parties decide together), and collaborative approach (trained coach helps parties decide, informal, brings deep peace). Deborah’s experience shows that collaborative methods bring better understanding, long-term resolution for all, & better results for kids in divorce disputes.

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