Tag Archives: Issues

Health Insurance, Health Care Issues Now Top Rated Topics for Radio Listeners According to Arbitron

Kansas City, MO (PRWEB) August 16, 2007

Cary Hall announced today that the Health Insurance Advocate Show, featured on Talk Radio 710 KCMO in Kansas City, Missouri, 9 a.m. Saturdays, has recently experienced a significant Arbitron ratings increase of 119 percent, more than doubling its listenership since this time last year. The program also airs on News Radio 1330 KNSS Talk Radio in Wichita, Kansas, noon on Saturdays, and has experienced an Arbitron ratings increase of 576 percent in the past year – an increase Hall says is a direct result of teaching listeners to feel confident in their understanding of healthcare coverage. Listen to program podcast or live.

“With so much change in the industry and the relentless cost increases that can often drive consumers away from even having healthcare coverage, we believe we know why the show has had such incredible gains in popularity,” Hall said. “Simply put, it’s desperately needed.”

Hall is host of the Saturday morning program as well as president of Benefits By Design, a health insurance and consumer advocate company. The radio program is now the number one rated Saturday talk show in the region according to Arbitron Winter Book Ratings for 2007.

“We’re ending the myth that health insurance is not affordable with a cutting edge program designed to educate and raise awareness in the group and individual policy markets,” said Hall. “We’re helping everyone from sole proprietors who are trying to raise their families to HR executives at large corporations who are trying to make sense out of poorly performing group policies. The show teaches them to understand the market and how best to protect their employees and loved ones with incredible savings and coverage efficiency.”

“People don’t gain clarity on Medicare changes or child-only coverage or caring for elderly parents and so many other very personal issues by reading a boring conventional brochure,” Hall says. “We teach our listeners by conversing with knowledgeable experts, healthcare professionals and community service organizations every week in order to put a human face on what we all face together — the need to protect ourselves and our families and the need to conserve and protect our dollars.”

Hall cites the fact that the health insurance industry can be complex and often leads to confusion, frustration and even heartache in the market place. Breaking down industry terminology and government regulations, demonstrating cost efficiency and giving consumers confidence in the purchase of healthcare coverage is what the Health Insurance Advocate Show strives to deliver.

The new Arbitron ratings come at a crucial time as the Health Insurance Advocate Show reaches its fourth anniversary on the air in Kansas City, touching most of western Missouri and eastern Kansas. The program is in its second year in the Wichita market.

The Health Insurance Advocate Show, heard in Kansas City on Talk Radio 710 KCMO Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and in Wichita on News Radio 1330 KNSS Talk Radio Saturdays from Noon to 1 p.m., is Kansas City’s and Wichita’s only source for the latest information on the health insurance industry.

Listen to program podcast or live.


Vicky Bisby


The Health Insurance Advocate – 10540 Marty, Suite 200 – Overland Park, KS 66212


Rights of Guantanamo Detainees and Military Personnel, Immigration Reform, Post-Catastrophe Relief, Among Issues Addressed by ABA Policy-Making Body

Boston (Vocus) February 17, 2009

The American Bar Association House of Delegates today adopted nearly three dozen new measures as ABA policy, including critical proposals affecting the rights of military personnel and Guantanamo detainees, immigration reform and relief after disasters.

To view the actions taken by the House, click here.

Among significant policies passed, the House voted to urge the Obama administration to ensure that any detainees who are expected to be charged with crimes be prosecuted in federal district courts, unless the attorney general certifies they cannot be prosecuted in such courts but can be prosecuted in other regularly constituted courts consistent with due process, the laws of war, the Geneva Conventions and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Delegates also urged that any detainees no longer considered to be enemy combatants be released or resettled, and any currently detained enemy combatants be granted prompt habeas corpus hearings with full due process.

Additionally, the House overwhelmingly opposed the imposition of federal jurisdiction over child custody cases involving members of the military. The House urged that states enact legislation to prohibit denial of custody to a servicemember based solely on absence due to military deployment.

The House also passed a resolution to help ensure access to justice and due process for those charged with civil immigration violations. This act was partly a reaction to a notable immigration enforcement action taken last year when 400 workers at a Postville, Iowa, plant were arrested without due process.

Two separate House resolutions dealt with a change to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, specifically addressing firm-to-firm lateral hires of lawyers. Prior to House action, a rule prohibited lateral-hire lawyers from representing clients with whom their new firm has a conflict of interest without a waiver from the affected clients. Both proposals set out to ease prohibitions on client representation, and after vigorous debate, the House approved the resolution requiring screening of lawyers to resolve such conflicts.

Other House resolutions included a set of comprehensive measures seeking to reduce harm and litigation after catastrophes. Citing recent disasters such as the California wildfires and flooding in the Midwest, the House adopted these measures, including ones that urge broadening the availability of insurance protection for storm damage, enacting programs to increase the availability of affordable insurance, establishing federal standards for damage-resistant building codes and encouraging capital markets to finance catastrophic risk, among other goals.

In other action, the House voted to urge prompt access to legal counsel for child victims of criminal conduct, encourage legislation enabling permanent legal residents of the United States to sponsor partners of the same sex for permanent residency and to urge the federal government to create an infrastructure in support of adult guardianship. Watch videos of prominent speakers and events at the Midyear Meeting, hear views of members attending and more at the Midyear Meeting Online Web site at http://www.abavideonews.org/ABA548/

With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.

Editor’s Note: The recommendations, as acted upon, are available online. Or, for additional information, contact ABA News at 312-988-6171 or 202-662-1090.

This distribution list is a service to the news media from the American Bar Association Division for Media Relations and Communication Services. Your e-mail address will only be used within the ABA and its entities. We do not sell or rent e-mail addresses to anyone outside the ABA. To change your e-mail listing or be removed from our distribution lists, please contact the Media Relations Department at 312/988-6171.

To review our privacy statement, click here.


Criminal Justice; Immigration; Politics in U.S. Attorney Offices; Equal Pay; Needs of Veterans, Service Members, Among ABA Policy Issues

Chicago (Vocus) January 7, 2010

The American Bar Association will address legal policy issues ranging from child welfare to worker compensation benefits, from structural reforms in courts hearing immigration cases to criminal justice reforms, from equal pay for equal work to responses to violence against women, and much more when its House of Delegates convenes Feb. 8-9 during the ABA Midyear Meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Nearly 40 proposals are listed for the House meeting. A sampling of the proposals is below, and the full list is posted here.

Proposals would:

Support a series of measures to reform legal proceedings to remove immigrants, including creating a new Article I court; improving the professionalism, independence and accountability of immigration judges; restoring review of immigration decisions to the federal judiciary; improving legal representation and information provided immigrants facing removal; and policy and procedural improvements to enhance due process and fairness in decisions to initiate, try and review immigration enforcement actions (114A, B, C, D, E, F).
Address criminal law issues involving juveniles — to limit the collateral consequences of juvenile arrests, adjudications and convictions (102A) and urge simplifying Miranda warning language for use with juvenile arrestees (102B).
Support criminal justice reforms in nonjuvenile cases — urge review and amendment of misdemeanor provisions to allow civil fines or nonmonetary civil remedies instead of such criminal penalties as fines and incarceration (102C), require pretrial conferences to work out disclosure issues in criminal cases (102D) and urge initiatives to facilitate contact and communication between parents in correctional custody and their children in the free community in appropriate cases (102E).
Support legislation to allow Legal Service Corporation grantees to assist criminal defendants and prisoners with family law and constitutional rights issues (102F).
Call on the president and the attorney general of the United States to ensure politics is not a factor in employment and prosecution decisions in the Department of Justice (102G).
Urge Congress to expand funding to cover actual national need under the John R. Justice Prosecutors and Defenders Incentive Act of 2008, a student loan repayment program for prosecutors and public defenders (102J).
Support amendments to federal student loan debt forgiveness legislation to include, with respect to married couples, income and debt for both spouses in calculating payment caps; to include military counsel among public service positions eligible for loan forgiveness, and to exclude from gross income discharges of student loans under forgiveness programs, among other proposals (113).
Adopt, and urge states and territories to adopt, a Model Act Governing Standards for the Care and Disposition of Disaster Animals, a response to the plight of pets whose owners were forced to abandon them during the Hurricane Katrina disaster (103A).
Support U.S. efforts to ensure that foreign nationals arrested in the United States are advised of their right to consult representatives of their consulate, in keeping with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (104).
Support development of systematic approaches to meet the special needs of veterans involved in civil or criminal court proceedings through diversionary programs to connect them with housing, treatment and other services (105A).
Urge Congress to legislate more effective remedies, procedures and protections for victims of pay discrimination, including discrimination based on gender (107).
Urge Congress to reauthorize and fully fund the Violence Against Women Act (115).
Support reforms to child welfare financing laws to eliminate financial incentives to place children in foster care (110).
Urge the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to undertake measures to ensure the least possible disclosure of patients personally identifiable information contained in electronic health records, except as required by law (116).
These proposals will not constitute ABA policy unless adopted by the House. They are advocated by state and local bar associations, specialty legal groups within the ABA or affiliated with the association, and individual members, and reflect the broad range of issues confronting society. Other measures may be filed for House consideration as late as Feb. 7, while some on the agenda could be withdrawn or revised leading up to or during the House sessions.

Online registration for news reporters wishing to cover the House of Delegates or any other function at the Midyear Meeting is easier than ever. Credential guidelines are at http://www.abanews.org/credentials.html .

Accredited reporters are welcome to attend and cover all sessions for free. A press room for working journalists will be at the Walt Disney World Dolphin hotel, Atlantic Hall C, 1st level, starting at 8 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, and will remain open for on-site media registration daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The press room will close one hour after the adjournment of the House. For more information, call 312/988-6171. From Feb. 4 8 call the Midyear Meeting press room at 407/939-2914.

With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.

This distribution list is a service to the news media from the American Bar Association Division for Media Relations and Communication Services. Your e-mail address will only be used within the ABA and its entities. We do not sell or rent e-mail addresses to anyone outside the ABA. To change your e-mail listing or be removed from our distribution lists, please contact the Media Relations Department at 312/988-6171 or abanews(at)abanet(dot)org.

To review our privacy statement, click here.


National Association of Professional Pet Sitters Issues Appeal for Pet Safety During Poison Prevention Week

Mount Laurel, NJ (PRWEB) March 11, 2010

During National Poison Prevention Week, March 14 20, 2010, professional pet sitters across the nation are issuing an appeal for pet owners to conduct a comprehensive safety examination of their home to protect their pets from accidental poisoning.

Many household pets are naturally curious creatures, explains Monica Leighton, President of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS). While great care is taken to create a safe environment for the family, many are not as comprehensive with their furry family member. We believe its vitally important for pet owners to become educated on dangerous substances to create a safe environment and prevent accidents for each household member.

To create a pet-friendly home, NAPPS encourages pet owners to conduct a room-by-room safety examination and recommends the following tips for each room of the house:

Big Issues Make the Big Screen in Times Square

New York, NY (Vocus) September 8, 2010

As world leaders convene in New York this September for a high-level summit to advance the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the United Nations Foundation unveiled a high-impact public service announcement about the most critical issues facing the world today on the Toshiba Vision screen in Times Square. During a launch event at the Renaissance New York Times Square Hotel, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Assistant Administrator and Assistant Secretary-General Sigrid Kaag, and the UN Foundations Chief Operating Officer Rick Parnell unveiled a special Public Service Announcement inviting people to get involved to solve global problems marking the first time that the work of the UN is featured prominently in this iconic space.

The United Nations is grateful to Toshiba for its willingness to provide its Toshiba Vision screen to help raise awareness about the most pressing global challenges in one of the main crossroads of the world, said UNDP Assistant Administrator Sigrid Kaag. Only by working together with world leaders, the private sector, and individuals, can we make real progress towards ending poverty and hunger, improving the health of mothers and children, fighting preventable diseases, and protecting the environment.

Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter-television host-actress Kelly Rowland helped premiere the new video message via a live call, saying, We all can send the message to world leaders that we care about these goals and want to make a difference. Rowland joined the call to action by inviting her friends and fans to get involved. You dont have to be a celebrity or a world leader or a billionaire to make a difference. Everyone can do something today to make sure that women get an education, children are born with health and safety and families can live without the threat of disease.

The MDGs are a to-do list for the UN, world leaders, and citizens alike, said Rick Parnell of the UN Foundation. By placing this important message on the big screen in Times Square, we hope everyone will see that they too can help the UN create a better world. We want people to share the urgent call to action in their respective town squares across the U.S. and the world. We are thankful to Toshiba for providing its Toshiba Vision screen at One Times Square to help amplify the discussion about these important goals.

This month, all eyes are on New York where world leaders will meet at the UN headquarters for the MDG Review Summit – marking the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the eight goals by all 192 UN member-states. From September 20-24, 2010, President Barack Obama and other world leaders will deliver their plan to tackle the biggest problems facing the world today.

The 30-second PSA debuting today was produced by GOOD in partnership with the UN Foundation and Millennium Promise. It focuses on the eight MDGs: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality and empower women, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensure environmental sustainability, and develop a global partnership for development. The PSA will continue airing on the Toshiba Vision screen throughout the month of September as world leaders meet at the UN General Assembly, UN MDG Summit, the Clinton Global Initiative and other high-level meetings.

Three additional PSAs will air on the Toshiba Vision screen, focusing on how individuals can help the UN advance the MDGs by empowering and educating girls, ending preventable childhood diseases, and protecting the environment. They will be broadcasted along with the new MDG PSA throughout the month of September. The videos are available for viewing and downloading at http://www.unfoundation.org/mdgs. The UN Foundation encourages people everywhere to use these announcements and share them with networks through social media, broadcast, and other channels to raise awareness about how people everywhere can get involved in tackling global problems.

To watch the PSAs and to learn more about how to advance the MDGs, visit http://www.unfoundation.org/mdgs. For high-res images and b-roll footage of the PSAs on the screen, please contact klornsen(at)unfoundation(dot)org.

To learn more about the United Nations Development Programme and its work around the world to combat poverty visit http://www.undp.org.

About the United Nations Foundation

The United Nations Foundation, a public charity was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turners historic $ 1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities. We build and implement public/private partnerships to address the worlds most pressing problems, and work to broaden support for the UN through advocacy and public outreach. Through our campaigns and partnerships, we connect people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The campaigns we conduct reduce child mortality, empower women and girls, create a new energy future, secure peace and human rights, and promote technology innovation to improve health outcomes. These solutions are helping the UN advance the eight global targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). For more information, visit http://www.unfoundation.org.

About Toshiba Vision

Prominently positioned below the world-famous New Year countdown ball in New York Citys Times Square business and entertainment district, Toshibas massive dual LED signboards, known collectively as TOSHIBA VISION, serve a variety of promotional and public-service functions. In addition to illuminating the annual New Year countdown for upwards of 1 billion celebrants worldwide, the Interlocking System connects both boards in brilliant seasonal displays and animated sporting events. From atop One Times Square Building, one of the most valuable advertising locations in the world, TOSHIBA VISION ensures superb domestic and international media exposure, providing the Toshiba brand with unrivalled quantitative and qualitative promotional benefits. For more information on the TOSHIBA VISION LED signboards please visit http://www.toshibavision.com.


Weed Wars TV Series Sparks Interest in Patient Rights and Medical-Social Justice Issues – Final Episode Airs Tonight on Discovery Channel

Oakland, CA (PRWEB) December 22, 2011

Weed Wars has brought the working world of medical marijuana into Americas living rooms, allowing viewers to witness how the issues they hear about in news sound bites present themselves in real life and affect real people. Tonights final episode of the four-part mini-series about Harborside Health Center, the nations premier holistic health center and medical marijuana dispensary, will air on Discovery Channel tonight at 10 pm in most areas.

The finale centers on Deep Green, an event that unites Earth Day, which inspires awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment every April 22, with 4/20, the April 20 counterculture holiday historically focused on cannabis consumption, to produce a day that inspires awareness and appreciation of ecological and holistic human health.

Deep Green was created by Harborside director Steve DeAngelo and Earthdance / Green Institute founder Michael Gosney. Deep Green is another of DeAngelos efforts to enlighten the world about the benefits of marijuana. The event reflects the philosophy behind Harborside, the gold standard for medical marijuana dispensaries. Beyond establishing standards and following regulations, the model dispensary operates as a service-oriented holistic health center that also provides natural medications that work, according to DeAngelo.

In addition to Deep Green, tonights episode will show the Oakland cannabis club serving a senior patient, Larry, his first dose of cannabis. Larry comes to California from out of state to learn if cannabis can relieve his debilitating pain. His journey turns into a quest for more than the answer to his physical pain.

Patients like Larry are the inspiration for the medical-social justice movement that Harborside and others across the country have helped create in order to address the issue of escalating healthcare costs (both physical and financial) in an aging population. The movement is an ongoing conversation as people come to grips with their health care choices, and the population grows older and has more limited options.

The Weed Wars series has sparked great interest and debate. As the feds have moved to crack down on the businesses that enable patients to get their medication safely and in a professional manner, Harborside is working hard to change negative public perceptions about the medical marijuana industry.

Harborside is optimistic that Weed Wars is increasing appreciation of health benefits of marijuana as a safe alternative to highly addictive and increasingly fatal opiates like Oxycodone. The show allows the general public to see cannabis as a wellness drug that enhances the lives of patients as a component of holistic medicine and health.

Public concern for the patients on the show, especially for a small child, has been tremendous. In Episode 2, a young father whose son, Jayden, has been diagnosed with Dravets Syndromea rare and debilitating form of epilepsy that begins in infancyfound through expert recommendations and research that medicinal cannabis can be an effective treatment for controlling the dangerous seizures caused by the debilitating disorder.

Jaydens father reports that since his son took that first dosage of cannabis-based medication in front of the camera earlier this year, Jayden is having 70% fewer seizures, the duration has decreased in length from what was hours to only 2-15 minutes, and he has even gone five consecutive days without a seizure.

He is listening and following directions better than before starting cannabis therapy. He no longer deals with severe side effects, which included disturbing visual hallucinations, chronic constipation, sleep deprivation, and intense periods of pain lasting 10-12 hours, during which he would cry.

Jayden is much happier, according to his dad. He could only last in the swimming pool for a handful of minutes in the past, but now he now plays for hours and the amount of time he can last in a bounce house has increased from 2-5 minutes to an hour.

Episode 3 also touched Americas heart as a conservative paraplegic muscular dystrophy patient of faith who never imagined she would use an illegal drug like cannabis came to Harborside to receive cannabis as an alternative medication to alleviate the unbearable pain that her prescription drugs were not able to reduce to a reasonable level.

Discovery has tentatively planned the following broadcasts and reruns of Weed Wars. Check local listings for local broadcast dates and times.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

9 am

Arab-based Law Firm Helps Alabama Residents with their Estate, Business and Family Issues

Arab, AL (PRWEB) January 25, 2012

Hawkins Law provides legal guidance to help clients achieve their goals in various areas of law such as family law, business law and estate planning. The firm has experienced attorneys who have a wealth of knowledge that can help clients create a strategy for a successful plan and case.

Hawkins Law can help clients with their estate planning and management. Estate planning can take many forms. Some clients may only need a simple will paired with a power of attorney to carry out their wishes if they should become incapacitated. However, estate planning attorneys have other devices at their disposal such as testamentary trusts, revocable trusts and customized trusts that may meet ones specific needs more closely.

Estate plans should be reviewed every so often, especially when there are changes in the family dynamic such as marriages, births, divorces, deaths, or inheritance, as well as changes in business ownership and retirement plans. Estate plans are for both personal and business use. In fact, estate plans can protect a business if a change is required due to retirement, death or medical reasons. Estate planning services can include dealing with issues such as wills, power of attorney, estate litigation and probate proceedings amongst others.

In addition to estate planning, Hawkins Law specializes in business law and litigation. Business law attorney Lana Hawkins has more than 20 years of experience in corporate law cases. During her tenure as a business law attorney, she handled private equity financing, company mergers and acquisitions as well as public offerings and strategic alliances. Furthermore, she has represented clients in securities law compliance and insider trading situations. She is versed in many types of law as a dedicated attorney to represent any side of a business dispute.

Rachel Jarrett is a child custody lawyer and partner with Hawkins Law who specializes in family law. She is devoted to helping families settle cases out of court when possible and is sensitive to child custody cases and family law situations. She also practices as a business law attorney in corporate cases and legal matters.

The Hawkins Law team can be consulted on estate planning needs, child custody suits and corporate and business cases. They have a commitment to legal justice which is demonstrated by a wealth of experience and knowledge to help their clients establish and succeed in their case.

Anyone interested in consulting Hawkins Law LLC can visit http://www.hawkinslawllc.com website, or call to 256-586-4510 for more information about their services.

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The Arc Brings Issues Facing People with Disabilities to the White House, President Obama Tells Disability Community Ive Got Your Back

Washington, DC (PRWEB) February 10, 2012

Today, 150 leaders of The Arc from across the country met with a variety of senior White House officials at a Community Leaders Briefing to ask questions and discuss issues facing people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The session, held just for The Arc, included an unannounced visit from President Barack Obama. The President spoke of his commitment to people with disabilities saying, Ive got your back.

This surprise appearance by the President of the United States was the highlight of the day for many attendees, along with the opportunity to interact with high level government officials about how they can support people with I/DD to live in the community. Over the course of the day, leaders of chapters of The Arc were briefed on topics ranging from Medicaid to education to community living and employment for people with I/DD. Many of the speakers, including President Obama, referenced the impact advocates made during budget negotiations to protect Medicaid, and encouraged The Arc and others to continue these efforts.

Another unannounced speaker was White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew, who reiterated the Presidents opposition to turning Medicaid into a block grant. He also took questions from the audience, including Barbara Coppens, a member of the national board of directors of The Arc and a self-advocate who took the opportunity to speak about the importance of self-advocacy by people with disabilities.

I tell other self-advocates youve got to get out there and advocate for yourself because you cant rely on other people to make change for you, said Coppens to Chief of Staff Jack Lew.

The day was organized by Kareem Dale, Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy, who kicked off the agenda by welcoming guests and speaking about employment issues. The Arc heard from Cecilia Mu

Legal Expert on Relationships opens Mediation Practice Author of three books on relationship issues now available as a private family law mediator

(PRWEB) April 7, 2004

Legal Expert on Relationships opens Mediation Practice Author of three books on relationship issues now available as a private family law mediator.

Out-of-control expenses. Lengthy delays. Emotional trauma. Cookie-cutter solutions to unique problems. All symptoms of traditional divorce litigation, a brutal system for solving the problems of the most intimate relationships of your life.

After increasing dissatisfaction with the ability of the system to serve her clients, Johnette Duff, Attorney at Law, first turned to educating the public by writing The Spousal Equivalent Handbook: a legal and financial guide to living together, The Marriage Handbook: a legal and financial guide to your spousal rights, and Love After 50: the complete legal and financial guide . Ms. Duff has been featured on Today, Good Morning America, in The Wall Street Journal, Self, New Woman, Smart Money and Modern Maturity and has been a guest on numerous radio talk shows.

Mediation took her crusade a step further. Mediation is faster, cheaper, and arguably more healing than a court battle. After successfully mediating family law disputes in conjunction with her law practice in Texas, Ms. Duff has re-located to Southern California and turned her energies to her website http://www.loveandthelaw.com and private mediations, abandoning the courtroom in her ongoing efforts to help couples find solutions.

A mediator is a neutral third party who can ask incisive questions, cut through the anger and the hurt, and facilitate a more rational decision-making process. Mediation can be particularly beneficial when children are involved. Since spouses can’t just walk away from each other, and must learn to re-relate to each other as co-parents, adversarial litigation only exacerbates this process.

Ms. Duff brings interpersonal and communication skills to the table, along with her extensive experience. The combination can help couples (and their attorneys, if appropriate) bring active input to an agreement, allowing control of decisions impacting their lives for years to come.

Ms. Duff also has unusual experience in what has been called “the capital punishment” of family law: parental termination. She was a founder under a Children’s Justice Act grant to the 306th District Court in Galveston to mediate Children’s Protective Services cases both upon initial pickup and again prior to termination, working closely with the court, CPS administrators and the District Attorney. During her eighteen-month involvement in this project, Ms. Duff successfully mediated all but one of the cases she received after initial removal of the child from the home – and in that case, the judge returned the child the next day after deeming the pickup inappropriate.

She may be reached at johnetteduff@aol.com.