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The Texas Rule Against Perpetuities is the law that limits the duration of a trust. For years, you could only provide that a trust stretch to "21 years after a life in being." Generations of law students have scratched their heads over that one. As of 9/1/21, that...

The Ackerman Model for Negotiation

In his excellent book on hostage negotiation, “Never Split the Difference,” Chris Voss describes a method of negotiation, which he attributes to Mike Ackerman, “an ex-CIA type.” I have been using variations of it effectively for years. It’s simple and applicable in...

Now Offering: Parenting Facilitation Services

For those interested in parenting facilitation or parenting coordination, let it be known that last fall, Children in the Middle (Aaron Robb and Bradley Craig) put me through their boot camp and certified me as qualified to offer these services. For the unfamiliar,...

Tips for Mediators

Use pre-mediation telephone conferences. This is a great opportunity to establish rapport, or identify conflicts. It will help prepare you for what lies ahead, and preparation is a key element of success in any venture. Don’t insist on a joint session. Let the attorneys guide you on this. Unless there is a lot of animosity […]

Never Split the D – Ch 1

Voss begins Never Split the Difference with a great anecdote about his going to Harvard, the Mecca of Negotiation study, armed with his own theories, which have been tested in real time. He is immediately confronted by Robert Mnookin, director of the Harvard Negotiation Research Project and author of Bargaining with the Devil.  Mnookin says, “We […]

Post-Divorce Receivers

Two drafting tips for my colleagues: Tip #1: Re drafting orders appointing receivers to sell real estate after divorce: In a post-divorce case, when it becomes necessary to appoint a receiver, the best practice is for the order to require that the receiver sell the property for a “reasonable price” within a “reasonable time,” instead […]

Negotiation Book Study

For readers who are members of the Negotiation Study Group on Facebook, I invite you to join me in a bit of self-study. One thing I would like to do with this group is to select books to study and share comments on FB. As the administrator of the group, I am going to assert […]

Why a Trust is a Must for Middle Class Couples

Most of us middle class types, endangered species though we may be, love our heirs but may not understand that if we spend a few hundred dollars on estate planning, we can save our heirs thousands. How? One simple method is by using trusts as strategic tools to: (1) provide protection for surviving spouses and […]

Advanced Negotiation Skills Workshop (2018)

    I am proud to announce that the ADR and Collaborative Law Sections of the Dallas Bar Association have invited me to facilitate an Advanced Negotiation Skills Workshop on June 11, 2018 at Belo Mansion from noon until 1:00 p.m. This will be an interactive session combining basic, albeit overlooked concepts, with cutting edge […]

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