Association for Conflict Resolution - Chicago Chapter

An Evening with “Domestic Relations Judges Turned Mediators”

  • 24 Jan 2017
  • 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
  • Jams Office, 71 South Wacker Drive, #3090, Chicago, Illinois


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WHAT:  An Evening with “Domestic Relations Judges Turned Mediators”

WHO:   Judge Karen Shields (ret.) and Judge Michele Lowrance (ret.)
             Attorney Nancy Chausow Shafer

LOCATION:  JAMS Office, 71 S Wacker Dr #3090, Chicago

DATE:  Tuesday, January 24, 2017

TIME:   5:30pm to 7:00pm

On Tuesday, January 24, 2017, ACR Chicago will host a discussion with retired “Domestic Relations Judges turned Mediators,” Judge Karen Shields and Judge Michele Lowrance.  Attorney Nancy Chausow Shafer will moderate the program.

Judges Shields and Lowrance will share their personal approaches to mediation, and how the mediation process compares to the pre-trial settlement conferences they conducted as judges.

They will comment on the role of the courts in promoting settlement and ADR generally, as well as challenges that arise when a judge who is presiding over a case, steps in to facilitate settlement negotiations.

They will describe (1) how they prepare for their mediations, particular difficult ones; (2) what strategies they use to address conflict between the parties and/or the attorneys; and (3) what tools they employ to deal with impediments to progress in mediation.

The judges will also discuss how, and in what ways, attorneys representing parties in mediation (attorney-advocates) can either facilitate or hinder settlements, and describe from their perspective what effective advocacy looks like, including what role they think an attorney-advocate should play in the mediation vs. the role of the parties themselves.

Finally, there will be an opportunity for the audience to ask questions of the speakers.

We hope that you will join us for this interesting and engaging program with Judges Shields and Lowrance and Attorney Chausow Shafer!

Speaker Bio’s:

Hon. Karen G. Shields (Ret.) has extensive experience in all aspects of family law matters. She has focused her practice on family law matters since 1991, first as an attorney in private practice and later as a Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County Domestic Relations Division where she was a member of the Special Supreme Court Committee on Child Custody Issues and the Illinois Judicial Conference Study Committee on Juvenile Justice. She has developed a reputation for fairness, integrity, and excellent legal ability and is considered exceptionally bright and hard working according to the Chicago Council of Lawyers evaluation.

Hon. Michele F. Lowrance (Ret.) has over 39 years of experience as a lawyer, judge, and sought after commentator on family law issues in Illinois and nationally.  A child of divorce and divorced herself, Judge Lowrance brings special personal perspective to her family law matters. Her approach is holistic, encompassing the emotional and financial aspects of divorce.  Judge Lowrance brings unique problem solving skills to even the most high conflict cases, recognizing that successful breakup or divorce signals a changed relationship more often than simply an ended one.

Nancy Chausow Shafer is a principal in the Highland Park firm, CHAUSOW SHAFER, PC, concentrating in Matrimonial Law, including Litigation, Mediation and Collaboration. The practice emphasizes both Alternate Dispute Resolution process of Mediation and Collaborative Practice, as well as Traditional Client Representation and Litigation. Nancy was selected by Peers as a Leading Lawyer in Family Law & IL SuperLawyer. Additionally, she was the 2008 Recipient of the Michael S. Cohen Award.

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