Z’s Case for Peacemaking

  • April 2, 2024   •   Written by: Z

Hi there! I’m Z. I’ve been a lawyer for close to fifty years.

Ispent many of those years as a litigator. A pretty tough one, at that. For almost two decades now I’ve completely shifted my focus from fighting cases in court to helping resolve issues outside of the courtroom. I identify as a “peacemaker,” meaning I help people resolve their conflicts peacefully, with dignity and respect. I try my best to help address and resolve conflict underlying the legal issues that bring people to my office, and to help people reach their own agreements. Decision-making is powerful and I don’t believe in anyone giving it up lightly.

The reality of the courtroom

Our legal system is designed to uphold order with rules and procedures. Courts resolve issues by making formal decisions about the law and the facts in individual cases. Judges serve as decision-makers for disagreements that people can’t resolve themselves. They rely on evidence to make the best decisions possible in each case. All of this sounds just fine, in theory. The reality of the courtroom feels very different.

For most people, going to court is a stressful experience that invades your privacy. It takes a long time to resolve a case through the formal process of litigation. Court is expensive, to the pocketbook as well as the heart. Generally, it increases the conflict between you and whoever else is on the other side of your case. Court creates enemies out of friends and families. No one really “wins” in court.

I believe in empowering my clients and their families to make their own decisions, rather than leaving things up to a stranger.

A better way

Fortunately, there is another way. A better way. Imagine resolving disputes with more privacy and much faster – and as a result, for a lot less money. There are alternatives to litigating your problems in a courtroom. These are what we call our “peacemaking processes.” At A to Z Law Erie, we offer the following types of peacemaking processes as alternatives to litigation:

  • Collaborative Process

  • Mediation

  • Unbundled Services

The Collaborative Process, Mediation, and Unbundled Services are all peacemaking process options that empower you to make decisions and reach agreement outside of court. These processes are far better alternatives for individuals and families, especially where children are involved. You retain decision-making power, rather than surrendering it to the court. Do you really want a stranger to make decisions on your behalf? I know I wouldn’t.

Choose your own adventure

Some people are fortunate enough to be able to sit down and work things out together, without any help. Other people simply must have a Judge tell them what to do due to the amount of hurt, anger, distrust, jealousy, or vengeance they just can’t put aside or let go of. It is important to have our courts for these cases.

By the way, if you have this type of case and want our help, you’ll end up working with my daughter and co-founder, the “A” in A to Z Law Erie! She went to one of the top-ranked law schools in the country for trial advocacy and she is well equipped to take your case to trial. She loves peacemaking too, but we understand that our clients have different needs, circumstances, and goals. This is why we continue to offer litigation and peacemaking services as a firm. In another blog I’ll share more about why I chose to become a peacemaker, and why I continue to choose this path. It is a decision that I actively make each day. The power of decision-making is, in my opinion, priceless.

Everyone else somewhere in between these two extremes is an ideal candidate for resolving disputes through peacemaking. This is the work that I am most passionate about. As a peacemaker, I believe in the transformative power of meaningful conflict resolution. I have seen the positive results of successful peacemaking processes. Individuals and families deserve the best outcomes possible for their unique circumstances. This is my case for peacemaking.

Choose peace,


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