Leona Beane is Chair of the Mediation Sub-Committee on Trusts, Estates, Guardianship and the Elderly. This Sub-Committee was formed last year. The Sub-Committee has meetings with attorneys specializing and interested in the practice of trusts, estates, wills, probate, Surrogate’s Court proceedings, contested guardianship proceedings, and disputes involving the elderly, with resolution on these disputes by use of Mediation techniques. It is acknowledged these types of disputes relate to interpersonal disputes which involve a great deal of emotions, that overcloud the disputes and the legal issues involved. We plan to schedule a CLE program each year on related topics and establish a library of writings in this area, along with providing demonstrations among its members utilizing mediation techniques to resolve these disputes.
The Sub-Committee encourages its members to engage in further efforts to promote Mediation in the Courts, even on temporary pilot project basis in the Surrogate’s Courts in the various counties, and also with Judges who hear contested Article 81 Guardianship matters. The members will collect copies of statutes from other states that include Mediation, and have these circulated to the group as model provisions. The Committee will be involved in training practitioners in the process and benefits of Mediation with disputes relating to Wills, Trusts, Estates, contested Guardianship matters, and contracts and disputes among the Elderly. The Sub-Committee will be co-sponsoring programs with other Bar Association Sections and Committees and other Bar groups.