Most people think that when they get into a legal dispute, they have to file a lawsuit. They retain a lawyer, often a litigator, and start an expensive, time-consuming process called litigation. “I’ll sue.” “I’ll take you to court.” It’s what we are taught and reared on, what we see in movies and on TV and what people talk about here in America, the world’s most litigious society.
But you do have choices of how to resolve your dispute – several options. Each one has its pros and cons. They include Mediation, Arbitration, Collaborative Law, Case Evaluation, Ombuds services, and there are variations and hybrids within these options as well.
Before you initiate a lawsuit or any one of these options, it’s really important to get educated on what these options are, how they work and when is a good time to utilize them. A lawyer that first gives you the wise counsel of educating you on each of these processes and whether they would be a good fit for your case is providing you a valuable service. Without this counsel, you are making a blind choice on a course of action. All too often, parties find themselves two or three years later financially and emotionally spent, with their energies and resources drained, and no outcome in sight, wondering why they took the course of action they did.
Dispute Resolution Counsel, LLC helps clients resolve disputes efficiently, using processes that respect our clients’ time, money and resources. We are committed to working with clients to resolve their dispute without litigating or going to court. We give clients value by educating them on several process options available to them like Mediation or Collaborative Law, how each process works, and counsel them on the best approach for their specific situation. We advise and assist clients navigate approaches to resolving their issues that are intentionally designed to achieve the best resolution possible. We only utilize processes that keep the decisions about which approach to use and how to ultimately decide the options for resolution in the hands of the clients. We counsel and guide; you make the decisions on the outcome.
Michael A. Zeytoonian is the Founding Member and Director of Dispute Resolution Counsel, LLC and is a lawyer, mediator and ombudsman. He is formerly a partner and now Of Counsel at Hutchings, Barsamian, Mandelcorn & Zeytoonian, LLP, in Wellesley Hills, MA. He specializes in employment law, business law, special education law, mediation, collaborative law and administrative law. He is admitted to practice in the state and federal district courts of Massachusetts and New York (Southern District) and the state of Connecticut. He has served as a mediator on the MWI panel in the district courts and on the BBA panel in the Boston Municipal Court.
He is a member and Massachusetts Bar Association and is chair of the MBA’s ADR committee and a member of the labor/employment section. He is a Past President (2006-2007) and member of the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council, the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and the New England Association for Conflict Resolution. He writes frequently on collaborative law and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and has trained lawyers and presented in collaborative law and ADR around the U.S., Canada and Ireland. He has lectured at Northeastern University School of Law, Suffolk University School of Law, New England Law Boston, UMASS School of Law and Roger Williams University School of Law.
He served as Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the Attorney General of the State of New York, as a deputy overseeing litigation in the State Counsel Bureau in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam Counties and working on consumer advocacy cases. Prior to his work at the Attorney General’s Office, he was an Assistant County Attorney in the Westchester County (NY) Law Department, in the litigation and family court bureaus. His litigation work at both the County Law Department and the Attorney General’s office included cases in employment; labor; state, county and local municipal matters; environmental law; construction, administrative and tort law, and the prosecution of child abuse and neglect cases. His undergraduate education was at Boston College and Iona College, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree is history and education. He earned his J. D. from Pace University School of Law with a Certificate in Environmental Law in 1990.