Jonathan Fields Speaking on Family Law Mediation in Wellesley

Fields and Dennis LLP is pleased to announce that Jonathan Fields will be speaking on the topic of “Mediation Challenges for the Family Law Practitioner” in Wellesley on April 8th.

He, along with Kate Fanger, Esq. and Ellen Waldorf, Esq., will be presenting on behalf of the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation (MCFM) at the Wellesley Public Library.

Jon recently completed a two-year term as President of the MCFM and continues to serve on its Executive Board, as he has since 2005. With extensive experience as a neutral, he is well-versed in the rewards and challenges of family law mediation, and he has successfully mediated many family law disputes between couples.

The event is from 2 – 4 p.m. Please contact Jonathan Fields for additional details or if you wish to discuss this topic.

Divorce and Trust Interests: Demystifying the Legal Landscape for the Practitioner

The interplay between divorce and trust interests may be one of the most vexing for practitioners and mediators.  This primer attempts to synthesize the legal landscape in this area and to demystify the issue so that we may better serve our clients. Read the article by Attorney Jonathan Fields.

Speaking Engagement at MAGAL Conference

MAGALThanks to the Massachusetts Association of Guardians Ad Litem (MAGAL) for inviting Attorney Jonathan Fields to speak at their annual conference on November 7 on high-conflict cases in litigation and mediation.  The keynote speaker, Bill Eddy, was terrific.  The title, too, was excellent– “I’m OK, You’re a X$!#@&%!!!: High-Conflict Behavior in Family Law Cases.”

Divorce Wisdom: When Not to Listen to the Advice of Others

If you are going through a divorce, you are no stranger to the advice of loved ones who mean well, but ultimately may not know what is best for you and your unique situation.

Your family and friends, after all, only want the best for you.  They are on your side one hundred percent, which although reassuring, may make their opinions slightly bias. In the initial pain of divorce, having an aggressive cheerleader in your corner may be comforting. They may be the ones in your ear telling you to take extreme measures – kick him out, take him to court, get full custody, etc. These are often words meant as encouragement to get you through a difficult time, but in most scenarios they are excessive means which will only cause further conflict down the road, especially where there are children involved. Read more.

Mediation for Families

Mediation is a tool that can be invaluable to families. At Fields and Dennis, we are well-versed in all aspects of Family Law, and we often turn to mediation as an agreeable and less distressing means to an end.  There are many ways that mediation can benefit families at various stages of life. From divorce to estate planning and everything in between, mediation can be an indispensable tool to quell interfamilial tensions and disputes.

If this were a game of Family Feud (Instances a family may call upon a mediator…) ‘divorce’ and ‘estate planning’ may very well be the top two answers on the board, but there are a variety of times when the services of a mediator may benefit a family unit. Read More.

Case Law Updates from Family Mediation Quarterly, October 2013

Case Law Updates by Attorney Jonathan Fields from Family Mediation Quarterly, October 2013, including:

  • PC Agreement Held Enforceable.
  • Post-Retirement Alimony Obligations.


Read more.

Family Mediation Quarterly: President’s Letter


Dear Mediators:

The most recent professional development meeting, “Collaborative Law and Mediation Tools and Techniques: A Common Ground” was a product of the joint committee of the MCFM and the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council chaired by our own Lynn Cooper.  The panelists, in addition to Lynn, were Dan Finn, Kate Fanger, Karen Levitt, and Lisa Smith.

The committee was created in order to foster close reciprocal relationships between the organizations – and we are succeeding.  As a result of the committee’s efforts, for example, we are now cross-promoting each other’s events.

Being trained in the two disciplines has informed the way I practice both.

What can Collaborative Law teach the mediator? Collaborative Law taught me to provide summary notes to the clients following each mediation.  Although some mediators have been doing this for years without any influence from Collaborative Law, it wasn’t until I was trained in Collaborative Law that I understood the effectiveness of this procedure. One of the panelists suggested discussing with mediation clients their goals for the process, a staple at the beginning of the first Collaborative meeting.  I haven’t done this yet but I’m considering it.

What can Mediation teach the Collaborative Practitioner? Mediation skills such as listening and reframing are critical for the Collaborative practitioner; in fact, I believe that every Collaborative Practitioner should be required to take a course in mediation.

In any event, I think all of us can agree that the communities have a lot to teach other.  I look forward to more of these joint ventures in the future.


From the Family Mediation Quarterly


MCFM President’s Letter: The Genius of Family

On September 13, as most of you know, MCFM marked an important milestone – our 30th anniversary. We honored the occasion with an event at the Endicott House in Dedham. Thanks to the organizers (in alphabetical order – Lynn Cooper, Barbara Kellman, Diane Spears, Laurie Udell, and Fran Whyman,) it was a well-attended and unqualified success. Quite a few of us talked briefly to the gathering and I was one of the speakers. Les Wallerstein, editor of FMQ, asked me to submit my talk for publication. I asked him if it could “count” as my President’s Letter for the quarter and he agreed. With that understanding, Les, here it is…
To read MCFM President Jonathan E. Fields blog post, please copy and paste the following link into your browser:

Article by Jon Fields Published in Mass Lawyers Weekly

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly published a letter to the editor by Attorney Jonathan E. Fields of Wellesley family law firm, Fields and Dennis LLP, on August 23, 2012.  The article addresses the recent Supreme Judicial Court opinion, In the Matter of Bott, 462 Mass. 430 (2012).

To read the full article, please see Attorney Fields family law blog or click here to download the PDF.