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Firm Overview

I co-mediate with Miriam Zimmerman, who has a master's degree in communication and a doctorate in counseling psychology. She has worked as a college professor of communication for over 25 years, specializing in interpersonal communication. We provide gender-balanced team mediation with a combined toolkit of law, accounting, counseling, and communication. In addition, both of us have extensive training as mediators.

Example cases

Confidentiality precludes revealing the names of our clients. We have a success rate in excess of 80% in bringing couples to full resolution of all issues attendant to their divorce or legal separation.

Main Office

Main
PO Box 1145
San Mateo  CA  94403

Phone
  • (650) 350-2000
Fax
  • (650) 574-4268

Fees

Free Initial Consultation?

There is no charge for initial telephone inquiries and consultations.

Services Offered For Fixed Fees?

While we do provide some of our service at a fixed fee, the hourly rate is always a part of our fee structure.

Hourly Rates

$320

Office Information

Office Hours

Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Office Manager

None

Emergency After Hours

Yes

Languages Spoken

None

How did your firm decide on the primary area of practice(s)?

Mediation provides us an opportunity to contribute to the community by lessening conflict and hostility, helping to assure a better life for divorcing couples and the children of divorce.

What is your firm's point of view regarding clients educating themselves on legal issues?

Many clients come to mediation already having filed the initial paperwork themselves and with many of the decisions already made. We begin where they are by building on their prior agreements. We help find solutions to all divorce issues. Knowledge is empowering for both parties.

One of our objectives is to provide information to our clients to assist their decision-making. If they can obtain information on their own, the mediation time can be reduced; However, there is often a great deal of misinformation, because a friend or colleague obtained a particular outcome in their own divorce and one of the couple wants the same outcome. There are many variables to consider, for example, when it comes to spousal support, often the most contentious issue.

We do not object to clients' obtaining legal counsel during the mediation process; in fact, we sometimes encourage it. We tell our clients that the more they can work together outside mediation, the more cost-efficient our process will be. Clients do not have to make their decisions in the mediation hour with us.

Ideally, they will be empowered by the knowledge obtained in mediation and by the improved communication and be able to make their decisions together, on their own time. However, high conflict couples are often not able to agree to solutions on their own even armed with accurate information; such couples require more mediation time.

Is your firm willing to review documents prepared by clients?

With the Internet able to provide so much quality information, some of our clients bring to us drafts of parenting plans and division of assets. We happily review their documents as part of the mediation process to ensure that each has made informed decisions based on their respective rights and responsibilities.

Is your firm willing to coach clients who want to represent themselves?

All of our clients are in pro per. We handle all the paperwork but they represent themselves. Since we act exclusively as mediators, we coach both parties.

Richard G. Zimmerman

I served for five years as a tax accountant at Arthur Andersen & Co., specializing in individual income tax, estate planning, and life insurance company taxation. Subsequently, I spent many years in corporate finance, administration, and law, participating in both mediation and arbitration cases. Miriam has taught university communication courses, including interpersonal communication, for more than 25 years including 11 years as chair of the Communication Department at a local university.

Finding and resolving conflict in each of my prior positions has created an awareness of the need for a gentler approach to conflict resolution. My training in law and accounting, together with my partner's training in communication and counseling psychology, provide us with a wide range of tools to assist divorcing couples in a gender-balanced setting.

My training as both a CPA and an attorney gives me the unique ability to provide both financial and legal insight to the mediation process. Working with Miriam creates an exclusive, gender-balanced mediation team providing experience through our training in law, accounting, taxation, communication, and counseling psychology.

We provide directive mediation in a caring and emotionally safe environment assuring that each party will be heard and his/her needs addressed. Our process assures that the couple will achieve a solution that best addresses their needs and desires.

Personal interests:

My Hoosier roots have left me an avid college basketball (and football) fan. In addition, I enjoy historical novels, philately, and current events. Other favorite activities include theater, symphony, travel, and dining.

License
  • Bar Number: 46207
    California , 1970
Education
  • Stanford University Law School
    J.D. , 1969
    Stanford, CA
    I concentrated on estate and income taxes.
  • Indiana University
    B.S. , 1966
    1966, IN
    B.S. with concentration in Accounting. Passed C.P.A. exam during senior year of college.

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