Complex Assets and Complex Behaviors: 

Divorce Mediation for New York Families

The Annual Downstate Symposium
Saturday, December 9, 2017
8:30 am To 4:50 pm

Co-sponsored by the 
CUNY Dispute Resolution Center at John Jay College

Event will be held in the Moot Court Room, 6th Floor
John Jay College
524 West 59th Street
New York, NY

This is in the new building closest to 11th Avenue. Enter at 524 West 59th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues. After security, turn right and walk to the bank of elevators near Jay Express, take the elevators up to the 6th floor.



8:30 am Registration & Continental Breakfast

8:55 am Welcome

NYSCDM President Renee LaPoint
Event Co-chair Mark A. Josephson, Esq., CPA, CFP, CFE, CGMA
Event Co-chair Lara Traum, Esq.

9:00 am  Becoming Ready for Challenging Behaviors and Accessibility to All: Best Practice Tools

Dan Berstein, MH Mediate

In this interactive session, Dan shares tools for addressing challenging behaviors from parties in mediation and for making mediation sessions accessible to people with diverse abilities. As a mediator living with bipolar disorder, Dan is passionate about making mediation work for parties with diverse needs. He will share ways to be sensitive to a range of experiences including mental health needs, to be prepared for disruptive behaviors without profiling people, and to be flexible and adapt practices to various abilities and preferences.

10:30 am Break

10:40 am  How Mediators Help Families Survive the Real Estate Quagmire in Separation and Divorce

Alla Roytberg, Esq., and Mark Josephson, Esq., CPA, CFP, CFE, CGMA

2 CLEs

This session will address common real estate negotiation and drafting issues relating to equitable distribution of interests in houses, cooperative apartments and condominiums.  Panelists will discuss various options and best practices in drafting comprehensive provisions relating to transfers and buyouts, the reality of costs and tax implications of these transfers and buyouts and how the process is accomplished for each type of property.

12:20 pm Lunch

1:20 pm  Practical, Legal and Financial Issues You Need to Know for Children with Special Needs

Susan Ingram, Esq., Saundra Gumerove, Esq., and James Traylor, CLU, ChFC, ChSNC

2 CLEs

There are many unique challenges that couples with a special needs child face when they are separating or divorcing. This presentation will discuss the major issues – legal, financial, educational and emotional – that need to be addressed during the mediation process in order to help these parents make viable and informed decisions for their family. Among the topics we’ll discuss are: identifying those children who have special needs (often a broader range than you think); addressing child support, parenting schedules and other unique issues in the settlement agreement; establishing guardianship and/or a special needs trust; understanding the educational and governmental benefits that are available to children and adults with special needs. 

3:00 pm Break 

3:10 pm  Ethics in Practice: Drafting Agreements and Client Maintenance 

Rachel Green, Esq., Robert K. Collins, Esq., and William Hoefer, Esq.
(Lara Traum, Esq., Moderating)

2 CLEs

This session will address ethical concerns that come up for mediators in practice. The panelists will first discuss issues that arise for mediators who also draft agreements, focusing on drafting conflicts, professionalism, enforcement, overlapping attorney ethics, and industry norms. Panelists will then highlight ways mediators can handle the ethical issues surrounding "clients who follow up". They will focus on how mediators should respond to individuals who seek advice or assistance outside of  the mediation session, both during the pendency of a mediation process and after an agreement has been signed. They will address whether attorney-mediators may assist individuals with other legal matters after the agreement has been signed, such as drafting wills or assisting with deed transfers. They also will discuss whether mental health-professional mediators may form individual therapeutic relationships with parties after the agreement has been signed.

4:50 pm  Wrap up and closing remarks

Early Bird - November 1 -27 - Members: $105, Non-Members: $130
Standard Rates - November 28 - December 7 - Members: $115, Non-Members: $140

No Walk-ins: All registrations must be received by close of business Dec. 7th

- Continental breakfast and lunch are included.
- Presentation materials will be available electronically.
- Non-members who join NYSCDM are eligible for member rates.




Important Details

CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION: “New York State Council on Divorce Mediation has been certified by the New York State Continuing Legal Education Board as an Accredited Provider of continuing legal education in the State of New York from July 25, 2015 – July 24. 2018.” CLE credits will be earned depending on sessions attended.

FINANCIAL HARDSHIP: NYSCDM’s Financial hardship policy is available upon written request. To apply, write Kathy Jaffe at Kathy Jaffe Mediation Services, LLC, 7 Dakota Court, Suffern, N.Y. 10901


REFUNDS: For requests received via email by November 24th, refunds will be granted as follows: amount paid, less a $25 administrative fee. Thereafter, no refunds will be granted.

SPECIAL NEEDS: If you need dietary or ADA accommodations or have other special needs, please indicate them on the online registration form or email