As I revisited all the reasons that brought me to choose a career in law, the overarching purpose was always to help families at one of the most difficult times in their lives. I have been a family law attorney in Massachusetts for approximately 18 years, and have spent nearly all of that time as a litigator. I have practiced with a Boston family law firm and, since 2004, I have been the principal of a family law firm originally based in Hingham, MA - Otis & Associates, P.C. In 1999, I began serving as a court-appointed Guardian ad litem and completed over 60 investigations for the various divisions of the Massachusetts Probate & Family Court. Over the years I have met and worked with many wonderful people - clients and their families, colleagues, court personnel, and other professionals - but the legal process of divorce and family litigation often has had harsh consequences on the parties and their families. The consequences are emotional, financial, and practical, and regardless of whether the party and attorney felt they had succeeded in their goals, there is rarely a complete satisfaction in the final result. Litigation, while necessary at times and in certain cases, is rarely the path to a satisfying conclusion for families. On the other hand, when parties are able to reach an agreement to resolve their dispute with the help of a skilled mediator, they tend to feel far more satisfied and more willing and able to comply with the terms of their agreement. Where litigation often forces a specific result upon parties, mediation helps parties to fashion a result that is best for them, that is best for the children, and that is best for their siblings or others with whom they have a dispute. It is sometimes said that if everyone is dissatisfied at the end of a litigated case, the result is usually correct; however, that should never be the desired result in a mediated dispute resolution. I have been mediating family law matters since 2013, and I am a conciliator in the SERV program at Suffolk Probate and Family Court. My experience and expertise in family litigation enable me to listen carefully to parties and to create an effective process of resolution through good communication and creativity.
As the founder and principal of Meeting of the Minds Mediation LLC, I offer mediation services, along with another skilled mediator, for resolving disputes involving family law issues such as divorce, custody, support, parenting, and pre- and post-nuptial agreements, as well as elder issues, and other areas in which mediation can enable parties to reach a negotiated settlement - a better resolution. Mediation can even be used to help parties remain married and to prepare an agreement for their relationship going forward. A skilled mediator possesses the knowledge, compassion, and creativity to facilitate an agreement if the parties are motivated to engage in the process. Mediation is confidential and it is voluntary. Parties choose how long each session will last, how often to meet, and how rapidly or slowly the process will take. Parties are more in control of the process, and thus are more satisfied when they reach an agreement that they feel is fair. When compared with a litigated matter, where the parties involved are often told what the result will be by a judge, parties in mediation feel that they are able to craft a resolution that will allow them to move forward without the emotional and financial harm that so often results in litigation. Mediation is a creative process that allows parties to feel more in control of their lives.Office directions | Contact our mediators | Gail P. Otis | Susan Camenker