Miles Mediation & Arbitration Services

ATLANTA OFFICE:
6 Concourse Pkwy., Suite 1950

Atlanta, GA 30328
(678) 320-9118

SAVANNAH OFFICE:
17 Park of Commerce Blvd.
Suite 301

Savannah, GA 31405
(912) 417-2879
All Fax: (404) 389-0831

October 31, 2016 No Comments

ATLANTA, GA., October 31, 2016: Miles Mediation & Arbitration Services, the largest ADR firm in Georgia, today announced that it earned the highest honors in Daily Report’s Annual Best Of Reader Rankings Survey. Miles was named the #1 Alternative Dispute Resolution Firm, and Gregory J. Parent, Team Leader at Miles, earned the distinction of being voted the #1 Mediator/Arbitrator. John Miles, founder of Miles, was voted the #2 Mediator/Arbitrator.

This is the third consecutive year Miles was voted into the top spot, and Mr. Parent’s inaugural award is a category that the Daily Report added this year—a testament to the growing industry of ADR and the need to identify top mediators and arbitrators.

“It’s an honor to be recognized as the premier ADR firm in Georgia,” said John Miles. “I am proud of this accomplishment, not because we won an award, but because of what it represents. It represents our clients’ trust, and it’s their trust that has led to the growth and success of Miles. Greg’s achievement is even more remarkable when you consider that he has only been mediating since 2012. He’s the best in the state and his best years are still ahead of him.”

The Daily Report’s Best Of Readers Ranking Survey gives legal professionals an opportunity to vote for the best legal service providers and products. For more information and to see a list of the complete results, click here.


About Miles Mediation

Voted the “Best ADR Firm in Georgia” three years in a row, Miles provides an experienced panel of neutrals who are leaders in Alternative Dispute Resolution. Known for its commitment to excellence in customer service and mediation, arbitration and special master services, Miles handles all case types and sizes, most notably Personal Injury and complex, multi-party disputes in areas of Medical Negligence, Domestic, Commercial/Business Litigation, Trucking, Real Estate and Construction. The firm has offices in Atlanta and Savannah. For more information, visit milesmediation.com or call 678-320-9118.

October 31, 2016 No Comments

We’re proud to announce that Miles was voted the #1 Alternative Dispute Resolution Firm in Daily Report’s Annual Best Of Reader Rankings Survey. In addition, Team Leader Greg Parent earned the distinction of being voted the #1 Mediator/Arbitrator, and John Miles was voted the #2 Mediator/Arbitrator.

This is the third consecutive year Miles was voted into the top spot, and Greg’s inaugural award is a category that the Daily Report added this year—a testament to the growing industry of ADR and the need to identify top mediators and arbitrators.

“It’s an honor to be recognized as the premier ADR firm in Georgia,” said John Miles. “I am proud of this accomplishment, not because we won an award, but because of what it represents. It represents our clients’ trust, and it’s their trust that has led to the growth and success of Miles. Greg’s achievement is even more remarkable when you consider that he has only been mediating since 2012. He’s the best in the state and his best years are still ahead of him.”

The Daily Report’s Best Of Readers Ranking Survey gives legal professionals an opportunity to vote for the best legal service providers and products. For more information and to see a list of the complete results, click here.

October 31, 2016 No Comments

We’re proud to announce that Team Leader Gregory Parent was voted the No. 1 Mediator/Arbitrator in the Daily Report’s Annual Best Of Reader Rankings Survey. Greg’s inaugural award is a category that the Daily Report added this year—a testament to the growing industry of ADR and the need to identify top mediators and arbitrators.

“Greg’s achievement is even more remarkable when you consider that he has only been mediating since 2012,” said John Miles. “He’s the best in the state and his best years are still ahead of him.”

Greg joined Miles in 2012 and quickly ascended to the level of team leader. He mediates cases involving high-end personal injury, premises liability, trucking liability, toxic torts and employment. He also manages a team of seven neutrals who specialize in mediation, arbitration and special master services.

In addition to Mr. Parent’s award, Miles was voted the #1 Alternative Dispute Resolution Firm in Georgia for the third consecutive year.

The Daily Report’s Best Of Readers Ranking Survey gives legal professionals an opportunity to vote for the best legal service providers and products. For more information about Greg’s award and to see a list of the complete results, click here.

 

October 26, 2016 No Comments

We’re pleased to announce the addition of Stephen “Steve” McKinney as the newest mediator/arbitrator at Miles and member of Team Leader David Nutter’s team.

Steve brings significant experience to Miles, having spent over 28 years as a litigator. He is a sought-after mediator and arbitrator with a national profile who has resolved thousands of disputes and tried cases in venues around the country. He has broad experience handling product liability, broker/dealer, trust and estates, finance, and intellectual property matters. He is also a respected neutral within the ADR community who has presided over many cases to final arbitration ruling.

Before joining Miles, Steve was an Equity Partner at Haynesworth, Sinkler & Boyd in Columbia, S.C., and prior to building his practice there, he served as staff counsel for the Prosecuting Attorney’s Counsel of Georgia and the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office.

I’ve known Steve for over 17 years. He is a man of tremendous integrity and legal mastery,” said Founder of Miles Mediation, John Miles. “He has established himself as an elite mediator and arbitrator, and I’m thrilled he has decided to join Team Nutter. He brings increased depth to a team that specializes in mediating complex commercial matters.”

Steve has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America since 2010 in the topic areas of Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, and Environmental Litigation and by South Carolina Super Lawyers. He received his Juris Doctorate from Emory University School of Law in 1988; a Master of Divinity from the Southern Theological Seminary in 1985; and a Bachelor of Arts from Furman University in 1982.

Steve is available to mediate and arbitrate in metro-Atlanta and South Carolina, as well as other parts of the country.

To learn more about Steve and view his availability, click here.

October 26, 2016 No Comments

We’re pleased to announce the addition of Stephen “Steve” McKinney as the newest mediator/arbitrator at Miles and member of Team Leader David Nutter’s team.

Steve brings significant experience to Miles, having spent over 28 years as a litigator. He is a sought-after mediator and arbitrator with a national profile who has resolved thousands of disputes and tried cases in venues around the country. He has broad experience handling product liability, broker/dealer, trust and estates, finance, and intellectual property matters. He is also a respected neutral within the ADR community who has presided over many cases to final arbitration ruling.

Before joining Miles, Steve was an Equity Partner at Haynesworth, Sinkler & Boyd in Columbia, S.C., and prior to building his practice there, he served as staff counsel for the Prosecuting Attorney’s Counsel of Georgia and the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office.

I’ve known Steve for over 17 years. He is a man of tremendous integrity and legal mastery,” said Founder of Miles Mediation, John Miles. “He has established himself as an elite mediator and arbitrator, and I’m thrilled he has decided to join Team Nutter. He brings increased depth to a team that specializes in mediating complex commercial matters.”

Steve has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America since 2010 in the topic areas of Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, and Environmental Litigation and by South Carolina Super Lawyers. He received his Juris Doctorate from Emory University School of Law in 1988; a Master of Divinity from the Southern Theological Seminary in 1985; and a Bachelor of Arts from Furman University in 1982.

To learn more about Steve and view his availability, click here.

October 20, 2016 No Comments

David Schaeffer recently returned from a climbing expedition to Mount Cho Oyu in the Himalayas, the sixth tallest mountain in the world. An avid climber, David used his recent expedition to raise money for an endowment fund called “Highest Heights” that was created to help the Atlanta Bar Association’s summer law internship program. The purpose of the internship program is to help alumni achieve their goals of becoming lawyers.

In an interview with the Daily Report prior to his hike, David described the program as “the best program that the Atlanta Bar Association has. It makes a difference in these kids’ lives.”

Inspired to contribute to Highest Height’s ambitious goal of raising $100,000, David proposed a fundraiser idea to S. Wade Malone of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, who helps run the program and established its fund. David’s idea was to ask the legal community to support his cause by pledging one cent for every foot of Cho Oyu’s elevation (26,906 feet)  he completed.

David returned to Atlanta a couple weeks ago.  He had to unexpectedly turn around at just under 21,300 feet on the steep snow slopes above Camp One (21,000 feet altitude) after climbing up from the Chinese Base Camp at 16,100 feet, an Intermediate Camp at 17,700 feet, and an Advanced Base Camp at 18,750 feet.  But to put his final accomplishment into perspective, David climbed more than 1,000 feet higher than the top of Denali, the highest mountain in North America.

As a result of the fundraiser, 70 donors have contributed almost $15,000 to Highest Heights. The donation amounts have ranged from $213 (consistent with David’s final distance) on up. It is not too late to pledge $213 (or any amount) to help support the program. For more information contact Denisha Wise at the Atlanta Bar Association: 404-537-4932 or dwise@atlantabar.org.

David has successfully climbed some of the highest mountains in the world. And despite how grueling and unforgiving extreme mountain climbing can be on one’s physical and mental being, David treks on in pursuit of higher heights (his next climb is to the Alps) and noble causes. Everyone at Miles applauds his efforts and that of the Atlanta Bar Association. We are proud to be associated with such a charitable organization and honored to have such a compassionate and hard-working individual as David on our panel.

Mediator David Schaeffer raises $15,000 for Atlanta Bar Association's Summer Internship Program

Mediator David Schaeffer at 21,000 feet on Cho Oyu in the Himalayas. He is holding a sign that reads “Summer Law Internship Program- Atlanta Bar Association- Highest Heights”

October 17, 2016 No Comments
Mediator Burke Johnson

by Burke B. Johnson, Esq.

Much has been written about the extent to which candor during mediation is required.  Some authors argue that deception is part of the “game” of negotiation and is fully expected to occur, whereas others argue that legitimate negotiation requires complete honesty.  This article addresses the issue not from the perspective of scholarly debate, but based upon application of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct and the Professionalism Principles adopted by the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism.

Comment 5 to Rule 2.4 provides “[l]awyers who represent clients in alternative dispute-resolution processes are governed by the Rules of Professional Conduct. When the dispute-resolution process takes place before a tribunal, as in binding arbitration (see Rule 1.0(r)), the lawyer’s duty of candor is governed by Rule 3.3. Otherwise, the lawyer’s duty of candor toward both the third-party neutral and other parties is governed by Rule 4.1.”  Because mediation typically occurs outside the context of a “tribunal” as defined by Rule 1.0, this article will focus on Rule 4.1.

Rule 4.1 provides that “[i]n the course of representing a client a lawyer shall not knowingly: (a)  make a false statement of material fact or law to a third person; or (b)  fail to disclose a material fact to a third person when disclosure is necessary to avoid assisting a criminal or fraudulent act by a client, unless disclosure is prohibited by Rule 1.6.”

Comment 1 to this Rule provides “[a] lawyer is required to be truthful when dealing with others on a client’s behalf, but generally has no affirmative duty to inform an opposing party of relevant facts. A misrepresentation can occur if the lawyer incorporates or affirms a statement of another person that the lawyer knows is false. Misrepresentations can also occur by failure to act.”

Comment 2 to the Rule provides “under generally accepted conventions in negotiation, certain types of statements ordinarily are not taken as statements of material fact.  Comments which fall under the general category of ‘puffing’ do not violate this rule.  Estimates of price or value placed on the subject of a transaction and a party’s intentions as to an acceptable settlement of a claim are in this category, and so is the existence of an undisclosed principal except where nondisclosure of the principal would constitute fraud.”

Comment 3 provides that “[p]aragraph (b) recognizes that substantive law may require a lawyer to disclose certain information to avoid being deemed to have assisted the client’s crime or fraud. The requirement of disclosure created by this paragraph is, however, subject to the obligations created by Rule 1.6: Confidentiality of Information.

The penalty for violation of Rule 4.1 is severe.  In re Ballard, 280 Ga. 504, 629 S.E.2d 809 (2006), the Supreme Court ordered disbarment of an attorney based upon violations of Rule 4.1.

In addition to the applicable Rules of Professional Conduct, Georgia lawyers should also be mindful of and apply the Principles of Professionalism adopted by the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism when negotiating at mediation.  As part of the “Lawyer’s Creed,” Georgia lawyers are encouraged  to offer fairness, integrity, and civility to the opposing parties and their counsel.  The “Aspirational Statement On Professionalism” further provides that Georgia lawyers should “act with complete honesty.”

The American Bar Association addressed the application of Model Rule 4.1 (upon which Georgia Rule 4.1 is based) to mediation in Formal Opinion No. 06-439.  There, the ABA concluded “[u]nder Model Rule 4.1, in the context of a negotiation, including a caucused mediation, a lawyer representing a party may not make a false statement of material fact to a third person. However, statements regarding a party’s negotiating goals or its willingness to compromise, as well as statements that can be fairly characterized as negotiation puffing are ordinarily not considered false statements of material fact within the meaning of the Model Rules.”

Thus, the opinion notes, “a lawyer may downplay a client’s willingness to compromise, or present a client’s bargaining position without disclosing the client’s ‘bottom line’ position, in an effort to reach a more favorable resolution. Of the same nature are overstatements or understatements of the strengths or weaknesses of a client’s position in litigation or otherwise, or expressions of opinion as to the value or worth of the subject matter of the negotiation. Such statements generally are not considered material facts subject to Rule 4.1.”

However, a party’s actual bottom line or the settlement authority given to the lawyer is a material fact.  Near the conclusion of the opinion, it is noted “care must be taken by the lawyer to ensure that communications regarding the client’s position, which otherwise would not be considered statements ‘of fact,’ are not conveyed in language that converts them, even inadvertently, into false factual representations. For example, even though a client’s Board of Directors has authorized a higher settlement figure, a lawyer may state in a negotiation that the client does not wish to settle for more than $50. However, it would not be permissible for the lawyer to state that the Board of Directors had formally disapproved any settlement in excess of $50, when authority had in fact been granted to settle for a higher sum.”

 Lawyers should always remember that their colleagues will judge them by their conduct.  Despite the overall number of lawyers practicing in Georgia, most actually practice in a small “community,” (whether truly geographic, as in a small town, or by practice area) and thus, are likely to encounter each other on a routine basis.  A lawyer’s reputation for honesty or the lack thereof spreads quickly, and the deceitful lawyer will soon lose the trust and respect of professional colleagues.


 

Burke Johnson, Esq. is a mediator with Miles Mediation in Atlanta.  He has over 30 years of experience handling cases of all complexities and sizes, including  automobile, motorcycle and trucking wrecks; premises liability actions (including cases involving claims of negligent security); product liability claims; construction defect claims; commercial general liability claims; professional liability claims; insurance coverage matters; life, health and disability insurance claims; ERISA benefit claims; business and commercial disputes; elder care and adult guardianships; probate and estate litigation; and family law matters. 

To learn more about Burke or to schedule a mediation, please call 678-320-9118 or visit his online calendar.

 

 

October 14, 2016 No Comments
Wendy Williamson, Esq.

by Wendy Williamson, Esq.

*a version of this article was published in the Daily Report


No doubt, the last thing on your mind while watching the first debate was mediation, framing or reframing. The Presidential candidates, however, were purposefully seeking to engage the audience’s “frames” to emotionally pull them toward one side or the other. In our world of sound bites, 24-hour news and increasing divisiveness, we all need to manage our own “frames” very thoughtfully. We have many contemporary names for framing: branding, biases, values, stereotypes, profiling, to name a few.  During the first 30 minutes of the debate, the candidates repeatedly used the following descriptors to cause a desired emotional reaction in their audience:  veteran politicians, the wealthiest, big corporations, the middle class, law and order, jobs going overseas, NAFTA, policing, gun violence, stop and frisk, withholding tax returns, deleted emails, the Islamic State, college debt, equal pay for women, China, Mexico, climate change, etc. It is important for us to recognize that both candidates have been diligently trying to create new “frames” with expressions like “Trumped Up Trickle Down Economics” and “Crooked Hillary.”

Douglas Nolls defines a frame as “nothing more than a reality constructed by our brains to make sense of the world around us.”[1]  Peter Blanciak explains that “our experience of the world is based on categorization of the objects of our perception into classes,’ and that ‘once an object is conceptualized as the member of a given class, it is extremely difficult to see it also as belonging to another class.’”[2] For example, we teach our children that strangers are dangerous and then later we find ourselves struggling with our children who react in fear to every new person they meet.

My definition of framing is a built-in reaction to a term, category, name or group that colors and filters our perception either positively or negatively. Through memory, emotions and environmental cues, we construct frames that define what is important to us or protect us from some danger. Douglas Nolls points out that frames are “generally created pre-consciously, which means that they arise outside of conscious awareness and before we know they have been created.”[3] Can you remember learning not to touch fire or to run if you see a rattlesnake? These frames were implanted in you for a fast reaction necessary for survival. “Framing allows us to almost instantaneously judge a situation, make sense out of, and react. It has strong evolutionary benefit in a dangerous, uncertain environment.”[4]

As a mediator, I am particularly fascinated by what is called “selective perception.” Our frames can literally affect what we see or hear and what we ignore. “What is important to us is within our frame; what is not important does not exist.”[5] We will see and hear things that fit within our frame but we won’t see or hear things that are inconsistent with our frames. This filtering of information leads to “confirmation bias” which causes us to look only for confirming evidence while we reject contradictory, but possibly true, evidence.  If you want an excellent example of “selective perception” resulting in “confirmation bias,” look at the Facebook postings on the days following the debate. One would think two different debates occurred based upon the polar opposite victories passionately claimed by supporters of each candidate.

To understand the effect of framing and how to overcome frames, it is important to understand the biological origins of framing. System 1 thinking is critical to survival and allows us to automatically react to enough information to protect ourselves. System 2 thinking, on the other hand, requires actively looking for information that contradicts or is outside of our frame. System 2 thinking must be intentional and is usually uncomfortable and requires hard work. System 2 thinking is often called “critical thinking.” As a species, we will resort to System 1 thinking unless we are prompted or lured into System 2 thinking, which is the job of a mediator. While our early ancestors relied almost exclusively on System 1 thinking to survive, our generation must use System 2 thinking to manage the information overload that is inherent in our complex, multimedia lives.

I hope you are now seeing how this might impact upon attorneys, mediators and mediation. Some examples of frames [or beliefs] that mediators witness regularly in mediation are listed below:

  • The opponent’s lawyer is corrupt, untrustworthy, crafty
  • Insurance adjustors are stingy and heartless
  • The opponent lies and hides information
  • Plaintiff’s attorneys are greedy and aggressive
  • Defense attorneys are obsessive compulsive, ferreting through medical records and counting pennies
  • Plaintiffs exaggerate their injuries
  • Mediators will agree with everything you say

System 1 thinking in mediation will keep us tied to our positions and resistant to proposals for solutions.  The difficult job of the mediator is to enable each participant in mediation to employ System 2 thinking to take in uncomfortable information and to rationally analyze the facts and proposals during mediation. Using reframing, an experienced mediator can humanize an opponent and normalize the process so that parties can reach outside of their frames and appreciate facts that may not support the conclusions they had reached before mediation. “Reframing is the art and science of employing words and actions in order to alter a person’s perspective of a specific situation with the intention of initiating a change in behavior. The art is in accomplishing the process without manipulating the facts of the situation, the science is doing so at the right time and with the correct results.”[6] For example, helping a party to identify favorable or acceptable terms in an offer from their opponent can be very powerful in overcoming the assumption that all offers will be all bad or hurtful. When one party is operating from the belief that the other party is irrational, explaining an offer in rational terms and explaining the concerns of the other party by using non-accusatory words can help one party recognize the humanity in the other party. Mediators are carefully trained to use reframing effectively to change negatives into positives and to reshape the essence of what parties say to each other into a more palatable form.

I hope that I have changed how you will watch the next Presidential debate. I ask that you write down the “frames” employed by each candidate and I dare you to find any objective data presented by either candidate to support their “frames.”  Do the hard work of separating frames from facts and train your mind to listen openly to both candidates regardless of your pre-debate leanings. Through this exercise, you will learn a great deal about how to work with clients who bring “frames” into your office. I pity the lawyer and client who build a case on frames without undertaking the hard work to look under and around the frame for the “other side of the story.”

_______________________________________

[1]See Douglas E. Nolls, Entrenched Beliefs and the Art of Framing, Mediate.com

[2] See Peter Blanciak, Reframing: The Essence of Mediation, citing Paul Watzlawick, John Weakland & Richard Fisch, Change: Principles of Problem Formation and Problem Resolution (1974). http://www.mediate.com/articles/blanciak.cfm

[3] See Douglas E. Nolls, Entrenched Beliefs and the Art of Framing, Mediate.com

[4] Id.

[5] Id.

[6] Ehsan Zaffar, Context is King: A Practical Guide to Reframing in Mediation, 2008, http://www.mediate.com/articles/zaffarE1.cfm

 


 

Wendy Williamson, Esq. is a mediator with Miles Mediation in Savannah.  She has over 20 years of mediation experience and is widely considered one of the top mediation trainers in Georgia.  To schedule a mediation with Wendy, please call 678-320-9118 or visit her online calendar.

October 12, 2016 No Comments
Cliff Cobb, Esq.

Miles welcomes H. Clifton “Cliff ” Cobb as its newest mediator and member of Team Parent.

With more than 30 years of legal experience, Cliff has devoted most of his legal career to insurance defense. For 15 years he worked at Greer, Klosik, & Daugherty, and until recently as Senior Litigation Counsel at The Hartford, litigating in commercial and personal lines and practicing in the areas of premises liability, product liability, auto/commercial trucking accidents, worker’s compensation, and general liability work.

Cliff has litigated large business disputes and complex liability cases, and he also has 10 years of experience as a plaintiff’s attorney. He has presented at Institute for Continuing Legal Education seminars and is a published author. His pre-law career includes seven years of banking and financial transactions and two years at a Fortune 500 company.

“Team Parent is excited to welcome Cliff Cobb to Miles Mediation. Cliff brings a wealth of experience from working on the defense side for many years, where he was well-regarded and respected as a straight shooter and fair dealer,” said Team Leader Greg Parent. “He also had an entire banking career before entering the law and will also bring a large reserve of experience from the business world with him to our group. We’re excited to welcome him to Team Parent.”

Cliff received his Juris Doctorate from Woodrow Wilson College of Law in 1981 and his Bachelor of Science in Banking in 1976 from the University of Tennessee. He is a registered mediator with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution.

To view Cliff’s availability, click here.

Cliff Cobb after settling his first mediation at Miles Mediation.

Cliff Cobb after settling his first mediation at Miles Mediation.

 

October 12, 2016 No Comments
Cliff Cobb, Esq.

Miles welcomes H. Clifton “Cliff ” Cobb as its newest mediator and member of Team Parent.

With more than 30 years of legal experience, Cliff has devoted most of his legal career to insurance defense. For 15 years he worked at Greer, Klosik, & Daugherty, and until recently as Senior Litigation Counsel at The Hartford, litigating in commercial and personal lines and practicing in the areas of premises liability, product liability, auto/commercial trucking accidents, worker’s compensation, and general liability work.

Cliff has litigated large business disputes and complex liability cases, and he also has 10 years of experience as a plaintiff’s attorney. He has presented at Institute for Continuing Legal Education seminars and is a published author. His pre-law career includes seven years of banking and financial transactions and two years at a Fortune 500 company.

“Team Parent is excited to welcome Cliff Cobb to Miles Mediation. Cliff brings a wealth of experience from working on the defense side for many years, where he was well-regarded and respected as a straight shooter and fair dealer,” said Team Leader Greg Parent. “He also had an entire banking career before entering the law and will also bring a large reserve of experience from the business world with him to our group. We’re excited to welcome him to Team Parent.”

Cliff received his Juris Doctorate from Woodrow Wilson College of Law in 1981 and his Bachelor of Science in Banking in 1976 from the University of Tennessee. He is a registered mediator with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution.

To view Cliff’s availability, click here.

Cliff Cobb after settling his first mediation at Miles Mediation.

Cliff Cobb after settling his first mediation at Miles Mediation.

 

October 4, 2016 No Comments
Wendy Williamson's Online Child Support calculator class

 

Why you need to use the NEW ONLINE CALCULATOR:

Printing the new online child support worksheet requires one push of a button. Did you know that the printed worksheet only contains information completed and relevant to your client?

Features of the NEW Online Child Support Calculator that will help you:

PROTECTION: The New Calculator is ONLINE which means you are protected as follows:

  • SAFE STORAGE: ALL your worksheets will be stored in your online account which can be accessed from any place, at any time, from any device. When your divorce client returns two years later seeking a modification of child support, you will simply go online and open your client’s last worksheet. Your location, a computer hack or an inglorious death of a server will not pose a threat or obstacle to your history of worksheets.
  • AVOID COMPLAINTS: The formulas behind the ONLINE calculator will always be current. Some of you downloaded a worksheet in 2012 and, once you became comfortable with it, you never upgraded your version. If you are calculating child support on an old version, you are calculating with outdated formulas which do not reflect the latest legislation or financial data. You are at risk of clients committing to pay or receive an erroneous amount of child support. The State of Georgia updates annually to reflect current income, percentage and tax data.

EASE OF USE: The New Calculator was developed by practicing judges, attorneys, mediators and child support staff and was carefully designed to make calculation easier for both professionals and lay people.

  • SELF-CALCULATING: If you know the gross amount on the paystub and the pay period [i.e., semi-monthly, bi-weekly) the Online Calculator will calculate the monthly gross income. Many errors happen in these calculations when done by hand so your calculations will be accurate.
  • FAMILIAR BUTTONS AND SCHEDULES: Many requested a familiar format to reduce the learning curve so when you open the online calculator you will see familiar tabs and schedules. There are new buttons too that will make it easy to view a rough draft of the worksheet while you are working. Opening an existing or a new worksheet is fast and easy.
  • TRACKING DRAFTS: Within the “Search Folder” you can create multiple drafts of one worksheet so that you can track changes or store the different worksheets based on different entries or the number of childrenincluded. You can rename each draft for easy access.
  • CLEAR FORMAT: The excel worksheet is visually confusing so a high priority in designing the new calculator was a clear and helpful format that professionals and lay people could easily navigate. You will find space used wisely, with colored buttons and entries clearly shown. You will feel relief.

ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY AND PRACTICAL OUTPUT: Are you tired of printing ten pages with more unused space than used? Another high priority for the new calculator was “one button” printing resulting in a printed worksheet using the least amount of paper and containing only relevant, completed sections. Finally.

FREE TO EVERY USER: You might think that the Excel Worksheet is free but NOT SO. There have been and will be costs to every user in order to upgrade operating systems and Microsoft Office versions to keep up with Microsoft’s annual, profit-driven release of “the newest” Excel version. The expense to the State of Georgia has increased yearly as well and the Excel worksheet will not be available within the next two years. There will be NO cost to users of the new online worksheet.

ACCESSIBILITY: In the “old days” you would need to access your hard drive or jump drive to download a worksheet you are working on. You could not access the worksheet through your phone or Ipad.  Judges often created their own worksheets despite having in hand two paper worksheets from each party. With the new ONLINE calculator, you can share the worksheet by email or “make available to the Court” so that co-counsel and the judge can access a working worksheet. You can access the online calculator through any computer with internet access, your phone or your Ipad. In fact, when I mediate with parties in different rooms, I can access my working calculator from different laptops in each room without having to open and close the worksheet. Amazing!

All of Wendy’s September and October training classes are full. Please stay tuned for future dates and the launch of Wendy’s new mediation training program at Miles. 

If you would like to arrange a training or yourself of your staff, please contact Miles at 678-320-9118, or contact Wendy directly: wwilliamson@milesmediation.com.

 


Wendy Williamson, Esq. is a mediator with Miles Mediation in Savannah.  She has over 20 years of mediation experience and is widely considered one of the top mediation trainers in Georgia.  To schedule a mediation with Wendy, please call 678-320-9118 or visit her online calendar.

October 3, 2016 No Comments
Mediator Arbitrator Joe Murphey, Esq.

On Tuesday, November 8, Joe Murphey will be featured on Atlanta Legal Experts. The show airs weekly on Tuesdays at 8 a.m. eastern and is hosted by Emily Rowell.

According to ALE, the show aims to: Reach all attorneys and associates in the legal field and provide much- needed information to help them on all different hot topics of today’s legal world. Typically guests are attorneys who are experts in their field, representatives of the local legal associations, and a mix of legal professors, authors, and speakers to provide the audience with a resource of information.

If you’re unable to hear the live edition, the full segment will be available to download as a podcast.

For more details on how to hear Joe’s interview, click here: http://atlantalegalexperts.com