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<xTITLE>So What is a Meitheal Anyway?</xTITLE>

So What is a Meitheal Anyway?

by Michael A. Zeytoonian
September 2015

Dispute Settlement Counsel by Michael Zeytoonian.

Michael A.  Zeytoonian

The Fall issue of The Collaborative Review (Vol. 15, Issue 2), has just been published and features an article by Michael Zeytoonian, Director of Dispute Resolution Counsel, LLC in Wellesley and Westborough, MA about the essence of Collaborative Law.  The article is entitled “What Makes Collaborative Law Collaborative Law (really)?” and it focuses on what is at the core of Collaborative Law’s process and how this approach changes how lawyers and clients resolve disputes.  Here are a few excerpts:

It’s the collaboration that works the magic of this process.  It’s the combined efforts, intelligence, creativity, passion, experience, spirit and energy of all the people in the Collaborative meeting as they work, talk, listen, exchange ideas and relevant information, identify interests and goals, and build on each other’s thoughts and suggestions, all in one focused, structured gathering… 

The Irish call this [Collaborative] meeting a “Meitheal”, the work group, the formal process of coming together for a common purpose, a traditional method of accomplishing as communal objective, where the process is as highly valued as the resulting outcome… 

Collaborative Business Law is more than just using an alternative dispute resolution process.  We are asking everyone involved to think and act differently – to truly collaborative   with each other.  We are urging people to go back and uncover the person each of us was created and born to be.  We are advocating for the kind of response to disputes that naturally emanated from the people and the kinds of communities were once were, before we became adversarial, partisan, litigious and blame-fixated.    


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.

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