Michael Newman's work is directed toward family law mediation in Monterey County, California. The goal of the mediation process is to produce agreements that both parties can understand and accept as fair. The mediator's role is to facilitate the parties' unique agreement rather than attempting to dictate what is best for the participants. All negotiations in mediation are confidential until reduced to writing, signed by both parties, and usually filed with the Court.
Although Michael began his career as a trial attorney, he has limited his practice to family law mediation for over 20 years in Monterey, California. The focus on California family law is primarily to provide information to participants, giving them a framework for negotiating an agreement. His ongoing graduate work in psychology helps to direct the process toward the unique perspective of individuals experiencing divorce. The assumption is that given enough information and a willingness to negotiate, most people will be better able to work out an agreement that suits their needs through the mediation process than through the advocacy system of the courts.
Mediation takes the place of the court litigation process rather without giving up the protections provided by the legal system. The goal of mediation is to have enough information to explore all possibilities and produce an agreement that is acceptable to both parties—now and in the future. The agreement is then incorporated into the Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage that is filed with the Court.