In this work,
Sharon had extensive experience in negotiation. She learned how damaging,
difficult, and expensive litigation can be for the persons who initiate
or get caught up in a law suit. She observed how family, community, and/or
business relationships suffer when people are involved
in lawsuits. With her background in child development, Sharon understood
how children often pay a high price when divorcing parents look to the
courts to settle
their differences. Consequently, she turned to mediation as a way to
lessen the turmoil and animosity of conflict which is moving towards or
already in the courts.
Mediator: Since January, 1994, Sharon has worked at Conflict
Solutions as a full time mediator with a very high success rate. She has
handled over 500
mediations, primarily in the area of real estate
and family law,
paternity, and parental rights and responsibility
cases. Increasingly, Sharon is being asked to mediate post-divorce
disputes relative to children issues and also to serve as an ongoing
mediator who meets with ex-spouses on a regular basis in high conflict
cases. Beyond divorce and post divorce cases, she has worked with
families when conflict has arisen in the distribution of estate assets,
in family shared real estate, and in family run businesses. She serves
as mediator or arbitrator due to her expertise in real estate matters
such as boundary disputes, construction problems, and municipal/permitting
Training: Sharon began her training in mediation at Harvard Law
School (40 hour course). She completed the University of Southern Maine
Mediation Certificate Program and has 100�s of hours in one to three day
training in advanced mediation workshops. Additionally, she has had an
extensive apprenticeship with Patrick Coughlan of Conflict Solutions.
She has observed or co-mediated over 180 hours with Mr. Coughlan. She
continues to attend programs on mediation and seminars for lawyers on
family and real estate law. Although most of her work has been in the
mediation context, she can be appointed by the court to serve as Referee
(arbitrator) to decide matters when
the parties do not reach a settlement.
Facilitation and Conflict Management: Sharon has facilitated a
number of meetings/retreats, primarily for nonprofit organizations or
governmental agencies, as well as conducted approximately 200 hours of
conflict management workshops. These workshops include understanding
conflict and looking at individuals' personal work and communication
styles. The workshops also include learning ways of communicating which
clarify issues while reducing the destructive aspects of conflict and
enhancing the positive aspects of conflict.
Published Articles: "Private Mediation in Divorce and other Civil
disputes" , "Mediation: One More Hoop or Resource for Positive Progress",
"Mediation in Real Estate Disputes", "Creative Solutions Through
Mediation" and "Private Mediation: A Tool for Managing Caseloads and
Serving Clients Well", all in Maine Lawyers Review; "Bulldozers or ADR"
in Bearings, the publication of the Maine Land Surveyors Association.
Professional Affiliations: --Admitted (1983) and active in the
Maine State Bar
--Admitted (1983) and now inactive in the Massachusetts Bar
--Maine State Bar Association
--Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR)
--Maine Association of Mediators
Personal: In addition to her experience as a teacher, lawyer and
mediator, Sharon's background includes the following: raising three
children; a long term marriage; divorce; remarriage; personally building
two houses; obtaining Army Corp., Department of Environmental Protection,
and Land Use regulation permits in conjunction with creating a land use
plan and community for an island; and serving since 1977 as president of
the island landowners association which makes all decisions through a
Comments from clients:
"We believe this...would not have happened
without your ability to navigate this difficult situation." E.S.
"I am so very grateful for all that you juggled to help us through such
a trying time...Thanks again for all your very fine assistance." N.L.
"...and I wanted to take the time to thank you for all your help in
resolving this difficult case." W.H.
"Thank you very much for your stabilizing presence and input. It was
most helpful having you there and, I believe, gave us the sense of
safety we all needed in order to express some of our feelings." L.