Choosing a School When Parents Share Custody

When parents are sharing custody but live in different school districts, deciding the best school for the children to attend can be challenging. I’ve been involved in many situations when the parents disagree on where their child should attend school. Usually, we can’t find an easy answer, but with mediation or collaborative practices, we work together to evaluate the options and reach the best decision for the family. In reaching a decision, we often look at the following issues.

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On the Road Again! Presenting on Why Lawyers Need to Understand the Options in Alternative Dispute Resolution

Brenda Waugh will participate in a full day training sponsored by the West Virginia State Bar on July 24, 2019 in Bridgeport, West Virginia, “Resolution Beyond Trial.” Her topic will be “ADR is not Alternative Anymore—What Every Lawyer Should Know About ADR.” During her session, she will outline the practical and ethical requirements for lawyers to be familiar with ADR form so as to present them to clients. She will also lead the group in an interactive session to describe the various forms of ADR such as restorative justice, mediation and collaborative divorce.

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My Top 5 Lessons Learned at the Restorative Practices Conference in Minneapolis

Last week, I returned from the Restorative Practices International conference in St. Paul Minnesota and am frankly swamped at my office!  But I want to finish out a post before I forget about the conference, so I'm going to come up with my top five lessons learned at the conference.  It's no surprise to me that these tend to involve interaction between 

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Thinking about "Collaborative Practices" for Mediators

This week I've been working with Marshall Yoder to prepare for a workshop where we will share our experience with mediators throughout the region.  The conference is scheduled for October 9, 2018, in Front Royal, Virginia. Front Royal is a wonderful town to visit in October, the location of the start of the Skyline Drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains!

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A Restorative Justice Based Practice of Law

I’m putting the finishing touches on my breakout session for the RPI conference next week in St. Paul about restorative lawyering. What’s that? Both Dan Van Ness and Howard Zehr describe restorative justice as being a continuum, with some practices fully restorative and others not at all restorative. Most RJ program practices can be placed someplace on that continuum.  I have found that in my everyday practice of law and mediation, my practices may also be placed on that continuum and I work to find the ways to make them more restorative.

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CAN WE SAY THAT? MORE RESOURCES ON FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS OF STUDENTS

Today's blog post is my second about free speech rights for students in school.  My first post addressed what rights the First Amendment guarantees to all citizens and how they may be limited.  Today, I'll move and discuss precisely what limits school officials can place on students in public schools.  (Remember that private schools that do not receive federal funds have different standards!)

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CAN WE SAY THAT? A SUMMARY OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT FOR STUDENTS

With the wave of activism among American’s youth, I find that I’m getting calls from students, and their parents, about what free speech rights students have at school, and outside of school.  In the past, I've been involved in research and litigation involving the free speech.  During law school, I working as a research assistant on the issues of free speech and religion.  The first case that I argued at the West Virginia Supreme Court addressed the free speech right of the student body president to intervene when security officers began arresting students at a football game.  Since then, the laws have changed a little, but the fundamental meaning of the first amendment remains solid.  The government is limited by the First Amendment in when and how it may infringe upon any citizen's right to speak freely.

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Collaborative Divorce in the Mountain State: What the Parties say

In my last post, I described my excitement when members of my collaborative practice group worked with a couple to complete the first collaborative divorce in West Virginia.  I explained the benefits, from my perspective as a collaboratively trained attorney. After the hearing, we had a chance to sit down with the parties and talk a little bit about their experience with collaborative divorce.  

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