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Harriet J. Fishman Esq.

Separation and Divorce Mediation

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MEDIATION POLICIES
Documents For My Review
The following documents should be forwarded to me at least 5 days prior to the mediation: the Petition, the Answer and/or Cross Petition, all Court Orders, Proposed Final Orders, Financial Affidavits and, where appropriate, a separate list of assets with an indication of their fair market values. If there are minor children, please also include Proposed Parenting Plans and Guidelines Worksheets.
It is not my desire to increase the cost borne by the parties and associated with this process. Therefore, whether confidential or to be shared with opposing counsel, submission of a mediation summary is not required.
If litigation has commenced and there are multiple pleadings and/or orders in the file, then, if asked, I will review the file at the courthouse with a corresponding one (1) hour charge. If it is determined that I need to read the file and there is more than one jacket to be reviewed, the fee to be charged shall be discussed and agreed-upon before any work is performed.

Confidentiality
Confidentiality of information presented in mediation sessions is critical to the success of the mediation process. Therefore, the entire process of mediation shall be kept in the strictest of confidence. By engaging in mediation, the parties and their attorneys acknowledge and agree that all statements made during mediation are confidential; that all settlement discussions are privileged.
But for a mediated agreement filed with the Court (whether it be a temporary, final, partial or complete agreement), the parties and the mediator acknowledge and agree that what transpires in mediation shall not be disclosed outside of mediation and shall not be the basis for any action in the underlying legal proceeding, if there is one pending, or in any court proceedings for any reason. To further elaborate, statements of parties or counsel, offers and counter-offers conveyed, and legal positions advanced, shall be made without prejudice to any later made or held position, and shall not be admissible in any underlying litigation or in any other legal proceeding for any purpose, and shall not be
disclosed to any third parties.
See the Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators available on my website.

Financial Affidavits
The parties specifically agree to my review of their financial affidavits, understanding the same umbrella of confidentiality applies to the information contained in these documents, as has been set forth in the above section entitled "Confidentiality".
Resolution
Prior to the day of mediation, counsel and the mediator shall discuss the mechanics of drafting a Permanent Stipulation on the day of mediation, should an agreement be reached. To insure that both counsels' documents are readily accessible, we will agree upon:
(1) Who will provide the computer/laptop on the day of mediation; and
(2) The manner in which counsels' Proposed Permanent Stipulations will be made available.

Preparation/Witnesses
All relevant information should be exchanged prior to the mediation.
At the discretion of the mediator, the presence of a witness and/or an expert is permitted.
Meals
Coffee and other refreshments are available at my office. Please make arrangements for your lunch to be brought in so the mediation may continue without interruption. We will not be stopping as a group for lunch.
The Office
Two locations are available for our use. The first is 155 Fleet Street in downtown Portsmouth; the second, 1 New Hampshire Avenue, Suite 125 in the Pease International Tradeport. In either location, the conference rooms offer a private and comfortable environment in which to work.
Parking
Parking for the downtown Portsmouth location is conveniently located next to the office in the Public Parking Garage. Their hourly rates are exceptionally reasonable. Parking for the Pease location is located immediately adjacent to the building. There is no cost associated with parking at this facility.
Notes
After the mediation concludes either by the execution of an agreement or a mutual determination to cease further mediation efforts, I retain the option of destroying all my notes and documents except those necessary for my administrative records.