Lawyer Monthly - April 2024

APRIL 2024 In this edition of Lawyer Monthly, we focus on legal professionals who have made noteworthy contributions to their fields. Our coverage spans a range of specialties, highlighting individuals and firms that stand out for their expertise and impact. On the front cover, we feature Marie Schoeb of Busciglio Sheridan & Schoeb, recognizing her significant achievements and leadership in the legal community. Within these pages, we introduce Kristin DeJarlais from Veritas Legal Associates, acknowledged for her adept handling of corporate law challenges. Her expertise in navigating complex corporate matters has garnered respect across the legal sector. We also spotlight Nazar Chernyavsky from Sayenko Kharenko, whose work in international law, particularly in cross-border transactions and finance, has contributed to his reputation as a key player in the field. Chernyavsky’s efforts demonstrate the global reach of legal expertise. Additionally, we focus on Nanette McCarthy of GMR Family Law LLP, a firm dedicated to family law. McCarthy’s approach prioritizes empathy and resolution, offering a model for handling familial legal issues with care and professionalism. This issue aims to shed light on the dedication and achievements of these professionals. Their work not only enhances the legal profession but also serves as an inspiration for others in the field. We hope their stories encourage a continued pursuit of excellence and integrity in legal practice. Warm regards, Mark Palmer Editor, Lawyer Monthly Marie Schoeb Discussing Personal Injury in Florida Kristin DeJarlais Why Consider a Collaborative Divorce in Nebraska? 4 10 LAWYER MONTHLY©2024 Universal Media Limited Lawyer Monthly is published by Universal Media Limited and is available on general subscription. Readership and circulation information can be found at: The views expressed in the articles within Lawyer Monthly are the contributors’ own. All rights reserved. Material contained within this publication is not to be reproduced in whole or in part without prior permission. Permission may only be given in written form by the management board of Universal Media Limited. Approx. 302,000 net digital distribution.

Production Team: Emma Tansey, Luke Ostle Sales Enquires: Jacob Mallinder @lawyermonthly @LawyerMonthly @lawyermonthly company/lawyer-monthly Universal Media Limited, PO Box 17858, Tamworth, B77 9QG, United Kingdom 0044 (0) 1543 255 537 CONTENTS AN INTERVIEW WITH... 4. Marie Schoeb Discussing Personal Injury in Florida 10. Kristin DeJarlais Why Consider a Collaborative Divorce in Nebraska? 18. Nanette A. McCarthy Understanding the Benefits of Collaborative Divorce and Mediation in Illinois 22. Nazar Chernyavsky Technology Law and AI in Ukraine SPECIAL FEATURE 26. Business Buyers Beware When Dealing With A Material Adverse Change with Alexander Edwards TRANSACTIONS 32. UPayments Major Share Transfer Deal with Dr. Abdulwahab Sadeq, Meysen 36. Athens International Airport’s IPO with Yiannis Palassakis, DVLaw 40. Decathlon’s Opening of a Retail Store in Clerys with Kelly O’Hara, Dillon Eustace 42. Equine Care Group Acquired Cento Firori 43. “K” Line’s Prepack Sale Takeover of Airseas 44. Ancala’s €1.4 Billion Closing of the Third Flagship Infrastructure Fund Nanette A. McCarthy The Benefits of Collaborative Divorce and Mediation in Illinois Nazar Chernyavsky Technology Law and AI in Ukraine 18 22

Marie Schoeb 4 LAWYER MONTHLY APRIL 2024 What are the top causes of personal injuries in Florida? The umbrella of “personal injury” law is home to many different sub-categories. At the most basic level, personal injury cases most commonly arise from the negligence of one party that resulted in injuries and other related damages to the other party. Negligence is broken down into four elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages. For example, in a car accident, if the at-fault party runs a red light and T-bones another vehicle that had the right-of-way, the victim of that accident would need to prove: 1) that the at-fault driver had a duty to drive their vehicle in a re asonably safe manner, 2) the at-fault driver breached that duty by failing to pay attention and drive in a reasonably safe manner, 3) the at-fault driver’s breach of that duty caused the injuries and other related damage to the victim, 4) what those damages are (injuries, past lost wages, past and future pain and suffering, loss of future earning capacity, etc…). Car accidents and premises liability (including slip-and-falls, and other similar cases with injuries caused by an unsafe condition on the premises of an individual or entity) are of the two most common types of personal injury cases. Licensed to practice law in all Florida State Courts and Federally in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Marie embarked on her career as a Prosecutor in Florida’s Sixth Judicial Circuit. In the crucible of the courtroom, she honed her craft, fearlessly tackling everything from DUIs to First Degree Murders, earning the title of Lead Trial Attorney within a year of joining the State Attorney’s Office. Now, Marie stands as a formidable force in both criminal and civil litigation, with her focus on Personal Injury (car accidents, slip-and-falls, wrongful deaths, dog bites, nursing home negligence, and medical malpractice), First-Party Property (home insurance claims), and Criminal/ Traffic Defense cases. Her victories against insurance giants are legendary, securing exceptional outcomes for her clients and earning her accolades like Super Lawyer Rising Star, Tampa Bay Magazine’s Top Attorneys & Rising Stars, and a coveted spot as one of Tampa Bay’s Top 10 Attorneys, nominated by NAOPIA. But Marie is more than just a legal luminary – she’s a relentless negotiator, a devoted mother and spouse, and conversational in 3 different languages, including English, Spanish, and Italian. In the arena of law, Marie Schoeb isn’t just a name – she’s a force to be reckoned with, a beacon of justice, and a champion for those in need. Introducing Marie Schoeb, leading the dynamic personal injury team at Busciglio Sheridan & Schoeb. Not only is she one of the rare Florida natives, but she grew up and has lived in the Tampa Bay area her entire life. This year, she celebrates one full decade serving the legal needs of not only her home-town community but also clients throughout the entire state of Florida. She’s a proud alumna of the University of South Florida, where she honed her skills in Business Economics before diving headfirst into the world of law at Stetson University College of Law. An Interview with... Discussing Personal Injury in Florida

WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM 5 Other types of cases that commonly arise under the personal injury umbrella in Florida are wrongful death, medical malpractice, dog bites, and nursing home negligence. What are Florida’s No-Fault Laws? You may have heard that Florida is a “No-Fault State”, but what does that really mean? In Florida, the No-Fault laws were enacted in relation to car accident cases to relieve some of the burden on all parties involved immediately following the accident. The idea was, in part, that they did not want people injured in a car accident to avoid seeking medical treatment for their injuries while they waited for insurance companies to make liability determinations. Instead, Florida’s NoFault laws require Florida drivers to At the most basic level, personal injury cases most commonly arise from the negligence of one party that resulted in injuries and other related damages to the other party.

carry at least $10,000.00 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. This means, that regardless of who is determined to be at-fault, under the most common PIP policies, PIP will generally provide coverage of up to 80% of the medical bills submitted to them, up to the policy limits of $10,000.00, depending on the injuries and diagnoses. Under some PIP policies, the individual may also recover up to 60% of lost wages submitted to the insurance company, but it would typically all come from the same $10,000.00 PIP coverage. In order to trigger PIP coverage, it is important that the injured person is treated within 14 days of the accident. Failure to treat within the first 14 days of the accident would likely result in the insurance company denying PIP coverage. What is Florida’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases? Prior to Florida’s New Tort Reform Law that went into effect on March 24, 2023, the statute of limitations for basic negligence cases, such as car accidents and premises liability cases (not involving death), was four years from the date of loss. That means the lawsuit must be filed within four years from the date of the accident. For car accidents and premises liability cases that occurred prior to March 24, 2023, the four-year statute of limitations still applies, however the other changes in the Tort Reform Law, other than the shortening of the statute of limitations, will affect those cases that occurred prior to March 24, 2023, but were filed after March 24, 2023. Accidents and premises liability cases, like slip-and-falls, that occurred after March 24, 2023, must be filed within two years from the date of loss under Florida’s New Tort Reform Law. Generally speaking, many of the other areas that fall under the umbrella of personal injury, like wrongful death, medical malpractice and nursing home negligence, must be filed within two years from the date of loss. Failing to file a lawsuit prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations applicable to your case will likely result in you losing the ability to recover anything in your case. How does personal injury compensation work in Florida? In Florida, there are various ways a person can be compensated in a personal injury case. Common areas of recovery, both non-economic damages as well as economic damages, including but not limited to: - past and future medical expenses, - past and future pain and suffering, - past lost wages, - loss of future earning capacity, - damages related to mental anguish, - out-of-pocket expenses and - loss of enjoyment of life. Using a non-fatal car accident for example, insurance companies evaluating the claim will take a look at liability issues, medical treatment, diagnoses, past medical expenses, lost wages, future treatment recommendations, proof of mental anguish, out-of-pocket expenses, and a proposed calculation for pain and suffering, among other things, in their determination of how to value the case. An experienced personal injury attorney knows what documents are needed and what arguments need to be made to maximize and support the valuation of their client’s claim. Most personal injury attorneys can be retained with a signature on a contingency fee agreement. This means that you will not owe your attorney fees and costs unless they win with either a settlement agreement or at trial. In most personal injury cases, the attorney will be owed a percentage of the settlement proceeds for attorney’s fees, plus costs incurred in pursuing the claim. How do I prove a personal injury claim in Florida? Personal Injury claims can be proven in a variety of ways. Testimony of the parties, witnesses, and experts; medical records; medical bills; lost wage documentation and 6 LAWYER MONTHLY APRIL 2024 Most personal injury attorneys can be retained with a signature on a contingency fee agreement. This means that you will not owe your attorney fees and costs unless they win with either a settlement agreement or at trial.

testimony; photographs, videos, phone records, etc. Prior to filing the lawsuit, proving up the claim relies heavily on the documented evidence, whereas after a lawsuit is filed is where more testimonial evidence is presented. However, in a case like a medical malpractice case, for example, experts must be retained at the beginning of the claim to properly put the other party on notice of the claim under Florida law. Being well-versed in the rules of evidence to assure that the proper foundation is laid to allow the evidence to be admissible is critical. What should I do in the first 48 hours for a Florida Personal injury claim? In a Florida Personal Injury claim, your health is of the utmost importance. Seeking medical attention as early as possible is important. If you are able, it will be very helpful to your claim to gather information at the scene of the incident like names of witnesses, insurance and contact information from the other party, photographs and/or videos, taking notes on statements that are made and who made them, making a list of providers that you are seeking medical treatment with, and calling police to the location of the car accident, and while it is not required to retain an attorney in a personal injury claim, having their experience on your side, fighting on your behalf, especially with no upfront fees or costs, may give you some peace of mind and ensure you are exhausting all avenues to maximize the value of your claim. What is the comparative negligence rule in Florida? The comparative negligence rule in Florida has undergone some major changes under Florida’s New Tort Reform Law, that went into effect on March 24, 2023. Regardless of the date of loss, if the lawsuit for a claim was filed after March 24, 2023, it could be subject to the new law depending on what type of claim it is. The comparative negligence rule means that the Plaintiff’s damages could be decreased if they are found to have contributed to their damages by their own negligence. Prior to Florida’s New Tort Reform Law, Florida followed the pure comparative fault doctrine. That is, even if a Plaintiff was mostly at-fault for their injuries, the damages awarded to them would be reduced proportionally based on the percentage of fault assigned to the Plaintiff. Since Florida’s New Tort Reform Law, Florida now follows a “modified comparative negligence” system. This means that if the Plaintiff is found to be more than 50% at fault for the car accident, for example, then they will not be able to recover any damages against the Defendant. Have there been any recent personal injury law changes in Florida? On March 24, 2023, Florida’s New Tort Reform Law went into effect and made significant changes to the existing laws that applied to many different types of personal injury claims. We will not discuss each and every change in this article, but just highlight a few of the most significant changes. Some of these changes have been explained in greater detail in some of the other areas of this article, but here are some of the more significant changes under Florida’s New Tort Reform Law: First is the change from pure comparative negligence to modified comparative negligence standard. That means prior to this new law going into effect, Plaintiffs were able to recover for damages against the other party, even if they contributed to their injuries with their own negligence, under the old law, for example, if damages were found to be $100,000.00, but the Plaintiff was found to be 60% at-fault, they would recover $40,000.00 (the total damages reduced proportionately by Plaintiff’s assigned fault percentage). Under the new law, if the Plaintiff in that same example was found to be 60% at WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM 7

fault, they would not be able to recover anything. This has been applied to almost all negligence cases except for medical malpractice cases. Second, prior to the passing of Florida’s New Tort Reform Law, a Plaintiff had four years from the date of loss in standard, non-fatal negligence cases. The new law has shortened that from four years to two years. If a car accident occurred prior to March 24, 2023, that case would still have the 4-year pre-tort reform statute of limitations, but other tort reform changes, such as the modified comparative negligence standard, would still apply to those cases if the lawsuit was filed after March 24, 2023. Third, the admissibility of how a Plaintiff can present evidence the amount of their medical bills was significantly changed under Florida’s New Tort Reform Law. Prior to the new law, Plaintiffs were allowed to present the full amount of charged medical expenses to a jury. Since the new law was passed, Plaintiff’s are limited in what amounts they can present for 8 LAWYER MONTHLY APRIL 2024 It is important that a personal injury attorney gives realistic expectations about the potential issues that may arise and takes the time to explain the process to their clients.

their past and future medical expenses. Specifically, if the Plaintiff has health insurance, regardless of whether their treating doctor used that, they would only be able to present evidence of the amount the insurance coverage would be obligated to pay the provider plus the plaintiff’s portion of the medical expenses. If the Plaintiff does not have health insurance or has Medicaid or Medicare, they would only be able to present 120% of the Medicare reimbursement rate in effect on the date the Plaintiff incurred the medical services, or if there is no applicable Medicare rate, they would only be able to present 170% of the applicable state Medicaid rate, regardless of what they actually owe the provider. For evidence of future medical expenses, under the new law, Plaintiffs can only present what their insurance coverage would provide plus their portion of the medical expenses under their insurance coverage contract. For those that don’t have insurance or carry Medicaid or Medicare, they would only be able to present 120% of the Medicare reimbursement rate at the time of trial or 170% of the applicable state Medicaid rate to support the amount of future medical expenses, regardless of what a particular provider would actually charge or accept. There were other notable changes introduced by Florida’s New Tort Reform Law that we encourage you to look into related to changes in Plaintiffs’ rights in bad faith actions against insurance companies, significant changes in what juries can consider in negligent security cases, and changes in the awarding of attorney’s fees and calculations of the same. Can you sue the government for negligence in Florida? The short answer is yes, but there are many specific prerequisites that could affect your ability to sue them if not properly followed. Under Florida Statute, there are strict pre-suit notice requirements that must be complied with, and a waiting period of up to 6 months from that pre-suit notice. Important considerations should be contemplated when deciding to pursue an action for standard negligence and wrongful death in cases against the state entity. Most notably, there are statutory damage caps of $200,000 for a single state entity, or $300,000 for multiple state entities. This means that even if the jury awards $500,000, for example, in a car accident case where a law enforcement officer was negligent and caused injuries or death to the Plaintiff, the award would be reduced to the statutory amount allowable for that cause of action. For further details, please reference Florida Statute 768.28. What type of personal injury claims have you worked on in Florida? I have handled various types of personal injury claims, including accidents involving vehicles, pedestrians, motorcycles, semi-trucks, commercial vehicles, and ATVs; wrongful death claims; medical malpractice; nursing home negligence; dog bites, and premises liability claims with various types of dangerous conditions on the premises resulting in injury and/or death. What makes a great personal injury lawyer in Florida? Compassion, diligence, experience, patience, and availability are what I would say lays the framework for a great personal injury lawyer in Florida. It is important that a personal injury attorney gives realistic expectations about the potential issues that may arise and takes the time to explain the process to their clients. It is important to be compassionate and understanding of what the client is going through. Even if the case may not be worth millions of dollars, it is still overwhelming and lifealtering for their client. Taking the time to explain things and educate clients on how these cases work and addressing the strengths and weaknesses of each claim will allow the client to confidently make an informed decision on how to proceed, with their lawyer on the front lines diligently fighting to maximize the value of their claim. No client should ever feel that they are just a number; they should feel valued and know that their case is being taken seriously by the attorney they have trusted with their case. A great personal injury attorney will make themselves available to answer their client’s questions and walk them through the process. With 3 convenient locations in Tampa Heights, South Tampa and Brandon, we are ready to meet you where you need. Give us a call today: 813.225.2695 Compassion, diligence, experience, patience, and availability are what I would say lays the framework for a great personal injury lawyer in Florida. WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM 9

Kristin DeJarlais 10 LAWYER MONTHLY APRIL 2024 An Interview with... Why Consider a Collaborative Divorce in Nebraska? Collaborative practice is a voluntary dispute resolution process. Collaborative divorce in Nebraska is a highly specialized area and only a small number of attorneys are certified to engage in this alternative to the traditional adversarial divorce process. Collaborative law is an alternative dispute resolution technique that helps promote communication and peace during a divorce or custody issue. This technique is a proven problemsolving option to help divorcing couples achieve resolution without having to go to court, create additional hostilities or harm their children. Lawyer Monthly recently caught up with collaborative law expert and attorney - Kristin DeJarlais from Veritas Legal Associates - Lincoln, Nebraska to discuss collaborative law and collaborative divorce.

WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM 11 As a family lawyer with expertise in divorce, custody, guardianships, and adoption and servicing Southeastern Nebraska including the counties of Lancaster, Gage, York, Seward, Otoe, and Cass. Can you explain collaborative law and collaborative divorce, what it means and how it works? At Veritas Legal Associates, we understand that navigating family legal matters can be complex and exhausting, both emotionally and financially. Collaborative law and collaborative divorce offer an alternative approach that prioritizes cooperation and mutual respect, particularly in sensitive matters like divorce. Collaborative divorce is a method of resolving disputes outside of the courtroom setting. It involves both division and pride ourselves on developing nuanced solutions that respect each family’s distinct circumstances. Our introduction to collaborative divorce services marked a pivotal turn in our professional ethos. Observing the heavy toll that adversarial divorce proceedings took on our clients—and on us by extension—we sought a more constructive approach. Collaborative divorce stood out as a process that aligns with our values, mitigating the emotional burdens traditionally associated with divorce. Offering collaborative divorce services became a clear choice after seeing its uplifting effects on the divorce process. This approach heralds a spirit of unity and typically culminates in outcomes that satisfy all parties, with the welfare of children taking center stage. Embracing collaborative practices, Veritas Legal Associates enriches our legal prowess, renewing our pledge to resolve family law with dignity. Esteemed to offer such services, we guide families to peaceful, respectful resolutions, prioritizing their best interests. Our steadfast commitment is to ensure fair and compassionate legal experiences for all clients. Kristin, can you provide some insight into your route to law, experience, and expertise in the field of family law and when and why did you start providing collaborative divorce services? At Veritas Legal Associates, our trio of attorneys is unified by a foundational commitment to justice and legal advocacy. My own foray into law began with a fascination for the complexities of family law, where I found personal relationships often deeply entangled with legal principles. This dedication earned me the CALI award in Family Law, and further drove me to actively participate in the Legal Assistance to Minnesota Prisoners (LAMP) clinic, where I provided probono Family Law services to Minnesota prisoners. Throughout the years, our staff has deepened its expertise in family law, underpinned by a heartfelt desire to guide clients through their most daunting and intimate life transitions. We specialize in divorce, child custody, and property Embracing collaborative practices, Veritas Legal Associates enriches our legal prowess, renewing our pledge to resolve family law with dignity.

parties, their respective specially trained lawyers, and a team of professionals. In addition to the attorneys, the team of professionals includes a financial advisor, therapist(s), and if applicable, a child specialist. The team provides support and guidance throughout the process. All team members are committed to working together to find mutually beneficial solutions on issues such as asset division, child custody, and spousal support for the entire family, not just one person. This approach fosters open communication and encourages the parties to actively participate in crafting agreements that meet their unique needs and circumstances. One of the key aspects of collaborative law is the commitment to resolving disputes amicably and without resorting to litigation. Both parties sign a participation agreement, agreeing to work towards a settlement and to refrain from taking the matter to court. If the collaborative process breaks down and litigation becomes necessary, the parties must retain new legal representation, adding a further incentive to work together towards resolution. Collaborative law empowers individuals to maintain control over the outcome of their family matters, promoting a more cooperative and less adversarial approach to conflict resolution. By prioritizing the needs and interests of all involved parties, collaborative divorce can often result in more durable and satisfying outcomes and, most importantly, can keep the family relationships intact after a divorce, particularly when compared to traditional litigation. At Veritas Legal Associates, we are proud to offer collaborative law services to clients throughout Southeastern Nebraska, including the counties of Lancaster, Gage, York, Seward, Otoe, and Cass. Our team of experienced family lawyers is committed to guiding you through the collaborative process with compassion, professionalism, and dedication to achieving positive outcomes for you and your family. For anyone contemplating divorce, separation, modification, or custody in Southeastern Nebraska, but concerned about the possible hurt it could cause you, your spouse and/or your children why should collaborative divorce be considered? Collaborative divorce offers a unique approach to resolving family disputes that prioritizes cooperation, communication, and respect. One of the primary reasons why collaborative divorce should be considered is its focus on minimizing the emotional impact on all involved parties. Divorce and family disputes are inherently stressful, but the collaborative process seeks to mitigate that stress by fostering a more amicable and supportive environment. Unlike traditional litigation, which often escalates conflict and pits parties against each other in a courtroom battle, severely damaging familial relationships post-divorce, collaborative divorce encourages open dialogue and collaborative problem-solving. By working together with trained professionals, including lawyers, financial advisors, and mental health professionals, couples can navigate the divorce process with empathy and understanding. The biggest benefit of collaborative divorce is the ability for parties to maintain an amicable relationship after divorce, particularly when children are involved. For parents, collaborative divorce offers the opportunity to maintain a positive co-parenting relationship, even after the marriage has ended. By working together to create a parenting plan that prioritizes the best interests of the children, parents can minimize conflict and provide a stable and nurturing environment for their kids during and after the divorce. Additionally, collaborative divorce empowers individuals to retain control over the outcome of their divorce. Rather than having a judge make decisions on their behalf, couples have the opportunity to craft creative solutions that meet their unique needs and circumstances. This 12 LAWYER MONTHLY APRIL 2024

can lead to more satisfying and durable agreements that lay the foundation for a successful post-divorce future. What are the conditions for collaborative law and collaborative divorce? First and foremost, both parties must be willing to participate in the collaborative process in good faith. This means committing to open communication, transparency, and a sincere desire to reach a mutually beneficial resolution. Without genuine cooperation from both sides, collaborative law is unlikely to succeed. Secondly, each party must retain their own specially trained collaborative lawyer. These lawyers are not only skilled in negotiation and conflict resolution but also committed to the principles of collaborative law. They will advocate for their clients’ interests while also working towards finding common ground and reaching agreements that benefit both parties. Another condition for collaborative law is the willingness to disclose all relevant information and documentation openly and honestly. Transparency is essential to the collaborative process, as it allows both parties to make informed decisions and negotiate in good faith. Additionally, collaborative law often involves the use of other professionals, such as financial advisors, mental health professionals, and child specialists. These experts may be brought in to provide guidance and support in areas such as financial planning, co-parenting arrangements, and managing the emotional aspects of divorce. Finally, both parties must agree to resolve their dispute outside of the courtroom setting. This means committing to finding solutions through negotiation and mediation rather than resorting to litigation. In fact, one of the key components of collaborative law is a commitment from both parties to refrain from threatening or initiating court proceedings during the collaborative process. Without these key ingredients, collaborative divorce is not likely to succeed. How successful is collaborative divorce and what happens if the collaborative divorce process fails. What are the options? Collaborative divorce has proven to be highly successful for many couples seeking a more amicable and cooperative approach to ending their marriage. While success rates may vary depending on individual circumstances, studies have shown that the majority of collaborative divorces result in mutually acceptable agreements, with fewer post-divorce conflicts and higher levels of satisfaction among participants. The success of collaborative divorce lies in its emphasis on communication, cooperation, and problem-solving. By working together with specially trained collaborative lawyers and other professionals, couples are able to address their concerns and interests in a constructive and respectful manner, leading to more durable and sustainable agreements. However, it’s important to acknowledge that collaborative divorce may not be the right fit for everyone, and there are instances where the process may fail to produce a resolution. If this happens, there are several options available: Transition to Litigation: In some cases, if the collaborative process fails, the parties may choose to pursue traditional litigation to resolve their dispute. This involves each party retaining new legal representation and presenting their case in court for a judge to make a decision. Mediation: If the collaborative process breaks down but the parties are still committed to finding a resolution outside of court, they may opt for mediation. In The biggest benefit of collaborative divorce is the ability for parties to maintain an amicable relationship after divorce, particularly when children are involved. WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM 13

14 LAWYER MONTHLY APRIL 2024 Rather than resorting to adversarial litigation, collaborative divorce encourages cooperation and understanding between spouses to find resolutions that meet both parties’ needs and concerns. informed guidance and ensure that agreements reached are fair and legally enforceable. Is a collaborative divorce less costly than a traditional divorce? In many cases, collaborative divorce can indeed be less costly than a traditional divorce. Here’s why: Set Price Structure: One of the advantages of collaborative divorce is the ability to agree upon a set price structure at the outset of the process. Unlike traditional litigation, where costs can escalate unpredictably due to ongoing court appearances and legal maneuvers, collaborative divorce typically involves a clear fee arrangement that provides transparency and predictability for both parties. Minimized Court Costs: Traditional divorces often involve numerous court appearances, filings, and procedural expenses, all of which can significantly escalate costs over time. Collaborative divorce, on the other hand, aims to resolve disputes through negotiation and mediation, thereby reducing or even eliminating the need for court intervention and associated fees. mediation, a neutral third party, known as a mediator, facilitates discussions between the parties to help them reach a mutually acceptable agreement. Arbitration: Arbitration is another alternative dispute resolution method where a neutral third party, known as an arbitrator, hears the arguments and evidence presented by both parties and renders a binding decision. Negotiation: Even if the collaborative process fails, parties can still negotiate a settlement outside of court with the assistance of their lawyers. Is collaborative divorce just about problemsolving to minimize the impact of conflict on you, your children, family, and life. What makes a successful collaborative divorce lawyer? In a collaborative divorce process, the emphasis is on open communication, negotiation, and reaching mutually beneficial agreements. Rather than resorting to adversarial litigation, collaborative divorce encourages cooperation and understanding between spouses to find resolutions that meet both parties’ needs and concerns. A successful collaborative divorce lawyer possesses several key qualities and skills essential for guiding clients through this process effectively: Communication Skills: Effective communication is paramount in collaborative divorce. Lawyers must be adept at facilitating constructive dialogue between spouses and ensuring that each party’s interests and concerns are heard and understood. Negotiation Skills: Collaborative divorce involves negotiation to reach settlements on various issues such as property division, child custody, and spousal support. A successful lawyer can skillfully negotiate on behalf of their client while maintaining a cooperative atmosphere. Empathy and Understanding: Divorce is an emotionally charged experience, and a successful collaborative divorce lawyer demonstrates empathy and understanding towards their clients’ emotions and concerns. They provide support and guidance throughout the process, helping clients navigate difficult decisions with compassion. Problem-Solving Abilities: Collaborative divorce often requires creative problemsolving to address complex issues and find mutually acceptable solutions. A successful lawyer approaches challenges with a solutions-oriented mindset, seeking innovative ways to resolve conflicts and meet clients’ goals. Commitment to Collaboration: A successful collaborative divorce lawyer is committed to the principles of collaboration and works diligently to foster a cooperative environment throughout the process. They prioritize respectful communication, transparency, and shared decision-making to achieve positive outcomes for their clients. Legal Expertise: While collaboration is the focus, a successful lawyer still needs a strong understanding of family law and relevant legal procedures to provide

Efficient Resolution of Issues: Collaborative divorce encourages open communication and cooperative problemsolving, leading to more efficient resolution of issues such as asset division, spousal support, and child custody. By avoiding prolonged legal battles, couples can save both time and money in the divorce process. Lower Emotional Costs: While not directly financial, the emotional toll of a divorce can have long-lasting effects on individuals and families. Collaborative divorce prioritizes respectful communication and mutual respect, which can help minimize emotional stress and its associated costs, including therapy or counseling expenses. Personal Buy-In and Satisfaction: In collaborative divorce, both parties have a personal buy-in to the decision-making process. By actively participating in negotiations and reaching agreements that reflect their interests and concerns, individuals are more likely to feel satisfied with the outcome. This satisfaction can contribute to long-term financial savings by reducing the likelihood of future disputes or litigation over unresolved issues. It’s important to note that the cost savings associated with collaborative divorce can vary depending on the complexity of the case, the willingness of both parties to cooperate, and other factors unique to each situation. However, for many couples, choosing a collaborative approach can offer significant financial benefits compared to traditional litigation. How long will the Collaborative Divorce process take? While the duration of Collaborative Divorce can vary depending on various factors, I’m pleased to offer some insights into what typically influences the timeline: Complexity of Issues: The complexity of the issues involved in the divorce can significantly impact the timeline. Collaborative divorce can involve various matters such as asset division, child WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM 15

these issues. Instead of resorting to traditional litigation, where decisions are imposed by a judge, collaborative divorce encourages open communication, compromise, and creative problemsolving with the assistance of trained professionals. Collaborative divorce professionals, including lawyers, financial advisors, mental health experts, and child specialists, facilitate discussions and negotiations to help the parties reach mutually acceptable agreements. These agreements may involve compromises and concessions from both sides, but the goal is to find solutions that meet the needs and interests of everyone involved, including any children of the marriage. That being said, collaborative divorce may not be suitable for cases involving extreme conflict, domestic violence, or where one party is unwilling to engage in good faith negotiations. In such situations, alternative dispute resolution methods or traditional litigation may be more appropriate. 16 LAWYER MONTHLY APRIL 2024 custody, spousal support, and more. If these issues are straightforward and both parties are amenable to compromise, the process may move more swiftly. However, if there are complex financial assets or highly contested matters, it may take longer to reach agreements. Willingness to Cooperate: Collaborative Divorce relies on both parties’ willingness to cooperate and engage in constructive dialogue. If both spouses are committed to the process and actively participate in negotiations, it can expedite the timeline. Conversely, if there are frequent delays or disagreements that hinder progress, it may prolong the process. Availability of Professionals: Collaborative Divorce involves the collaboration of various professionals, including lawyers, financial advisors, and mental health professionals (if necessary). The availability and scheduling coordination of these professionals can impact the timeline. Prompt responses and efficient communication among all parties involved can help keep the process on track. Court Scheduling (if applicable): Unlike traditional divorces, Collaborative Divorce typically does not involve court appearances. However, if the parties need to obtain court approval for their agreements or if there are ancillary court proceedings involved, such as filing the final divorce decree, the court’s schedule may influence the overall timeline. Preparation and Documentation: Adequate preparation and documentation play a crucial role in expediting the Collaborative Divorce process. Both parties should gather necessary financial documents, disclose relevant information, and come prepared for negotiations to facilitate efficient decision-making. While Collaborative Divorce generally offers a more streamlined and efficient alternative to traditional litigation, it’s essential to recognize that each case is unique, and the timeline can vary accordingly. At Veritas Legal Associates, we prioritize guiding our clients through the Collaborative Divorce process with care, efficiency, and a commitment to achieving positive outcomes in a timely manner. Isn’t this only for cases where everyone agrees? Collaborative divorce is not exclusively reserved for cases where everyone agrees on every aspect of the divorce. While a high level of cooperation and willingness to negotiate is certainly beneficial, it’s not always the case that both parties fully agree on all matters from the outset. In fact, the collaborative process is specifically designed to address conflicts and disagreements in a constructive and non-adversarial manner. In many collaborative divorces, there may be areas of contention or disagreement between the parties. However, the key difference lies in the approach to resolving

Ultimately, collaborative divorce offers a constructive and cooperative approach to resolving conflicts and reaching agreements, even in cases where there are disagreements between the parties. It empowers individuals to have more control over the outcome of their divorce while minimizing the emotional and financial costs typically associated with adversarial litigation. How is the collaborative process different from mediation? The collaborative process and mediation are both alternative dispute resolution methods used to resolve conflicts and reach agreements, particularly in divorce cases. While they share some similarities, they also have distinct differences in their approach and structure: Collaborative Process: Team Approach: Collaborative divorce involves a team of professionals, including lawyers, financial advisors, and mental health experts, who work together to assist the parties in reaching agreements. Voluntary Participation Agreement: Before starting the collaborative process, both parties sign a participation agreement committing to resolve their disputes outside of court. If either party decides to pursue litigation, both collaborative lawyers must withdraw from the case. Face-to-Face Negotiations: The collaborative process typically involves face-to-face meetings between the parties and their collaborative professionals to discuss and negotiate various issues, such as asset division, child custody, and spousal support. Focus on Interest-Based Negotiation: Collaborative professionals facilitate discussions aimed at identifying the underlying interests and needs of each party, rather than focusing solely on legal rights and positions. Customized Solutions: The collaborative process allows for customized solutions that address the unique needs and circumstances of the parties and their families. Confidentiality: Discussions and negotiations within the collaborative process are confidential and cannot be used against either party in court proceedings. Mediation: Neutral Mediator: In mediation, a neutral third party, known as the mediator, facilitates negotiations between the parties. The mediator does not represent either party and does not provide legal advice. Voluntary Participation: Mediation is typically voluntary, and both parties must agree to participate. However, in some cases, courts may order mandatory mediation before proceeding with litigation. Focus on Facilitation: The mediator’s role is to facilitate communication and assist the parties in reaching their own agreements. Unlike collaborative professionals, mediators do not actively advocate for either party’s interests. Informal and Flexible: Mediation sessions are often more informal and flexible than collaborative meetings, allowing the parties to explore various options and solutions. Non-Binding: While agreements reached in mediation are generally non-binding, parties can choose to formalize their agreements into legally enforceable documents, such as a divorce settlement agreement. In summary, while both the collaborative process and mediation offer alternatives to traditional litigation, they differ in their approach, structure, and the involvement of professionals. Collaborative divorce involves a team-based approach with a focus on interest-based negotiation and customized solutions, while mediation utilizes a neutral mediator to facilitate communication and agreement between the parties. Ultimately, the choice between collaborative divorce and mediation depends on the parties’ preferences, the complexity of the issues, and the level of cooperation between the parties. At Veritas Legal Associates, we are dedicated to supporting our clients through the collaborative divorce process with integrity, professionalism, and a commitment to achieving favorable outcomes while minimizing the emotional and financial toll of traditional litigation. We hope this article provides insight into the essence of collaborative divorce and what distinguishes a successful collaborative divorce lawyer. Should you require further information or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us! WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM 17 Contact: 610 J Street, Suite 320, Lincoln, NE 68508 Email: Tel: (402) 325-8469 Unlike collaborative professionals, mediators do not actively advocate for either party’s interests.

Even at the start of her family law career in 1995 as a fierce litigator at a well-known matrimonial firm in Chicago, deep down Nanette knew she would be most effective at helping families if she led her own firm. Realizing that goal eight years later, she founded what today is GMR Family Law LLP - a highly respected boutique divorce practice in Chicago. Since then, Nanette has worked with individuals in highly complicated divorce situations, including those involving main wage-earners with complex compensation structures, overseas assets, special needs children, and mental health issues such as borderline personality disorder, narcissism, and bipolar disorder. Nanette has been appointed by the Cook County Court to act as a child’s representative and guardian ad litem in custody and visitation proceedings. As a result of this, Nanette’s experience includes hearing and understanding the perspective of children caught in the middle. Nanette guides her clients toward alternative dispute resolution settings such as collaborative divorce and mediation; however, Nanette understands not every client is able to take advantage of these processes. As a skilled and experienced litigator, Nanette can masterfully guide clients through traditional litigation if the alternatives do not prove fruitful. Lawyer Monthly caught up with Nanette to discuss the Benefits of Collaborative Law and Mediation in Chicago. 18 LAWYER MONTHLY APRIL 2024

Nanette A. McCarthy WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM 19 heads. Fortunately, about 10 years into my career, the collaborative law process was emerging in Chicago. I took the training to become a Fellow and learned how much more private, respectful and creative solutions could be for individuals. What is your particular approach to collaborative divorce and mediation and are there a set of principles or guidelines you adhere to for collaborative divorce and mediation settings to achieve a positive outcome for all parties? I approach collaborative and mediation cases in much the same way I approach litigated cases because regardless of the divorce process, there are four main components. These are (1) determining or isolating the critical issues, (2) information gathering, (3) negotiating and (4) finalizing all the paperwork. These are all very important steps and how long each step takes, various from case to case. How long have you been working with clients in Chicago in alternative dispute resolution - specifically collaborative divorce, and mediation? While my entire 29-year career has been focused on the practice of family law, it was not until after about 10 years of practicing that I more adamantly focused on resolving issues outside of court. I would frame myself in those first 10 years as a young attorney trying to prove herself in a predominantly tough and masculine field where being called a pit bull was a compliment. It was not until I had plenty of courtroom experiences that I realized how unhappy I was with myself as a person and how debilitating the process could be for people caught in a system geared toward destroying the other party. At this point now in my career, I don’t enjoy being called a pit bull. That name points to someone who approaches disputes with overt anger and aggression which to me, is more theatrics than problem-solving. I have never felt I made the best choices when fuelled with anger and aggression. I have far more satisfaction in results when problems are solved with cooler An Interview with... Understanding the Benefits of Collaborative Divorce and Mediation in Illinois Nanette A. Mccarthy Principal Partner GMR Family Law LLP 161 N Clark Street, Suite 3500, Chicago, IL 60601 Direct: 312.376.4433 Office: 312.782.4244 Fax: 312.782.4247

What is most important to understand about mediation and collaborative law is we do not get to the negotiating stage until everyone is comfortable with the information which has been exchanged. For example, I may hear from a client that she does not believe her spouse will share all his compensation information or about all the assets in that spouse’s name. That client will express apprehension about commencing negotiations because she will not feel ready to negotiate and worry that she will feel bullied into making decisions. I let everyone know we will NOT start negotiations until everyone feels satisfied with the information that has been exchanged. If we don’t know something, we ask questions and gather information until all our questions are answered. This is important for both parties to understand because any agreement reached that is based on incomplete information will be precarious and subject to falling apart or not followed later. It is simply not worth it. What are the key differences between collaborative divorce and mediation? In general, mediation involves a mediator, the two parties, and their respective lawyers. The collaborative process involves a financial neutral, a coach, the parties and their respective lawyers. A significant difference between the two is participation in collaborative divorce requires the signing of a participation agreement. This agreement provides that if the parties are unable to resolve all of their issues within the collaborative process and if they then chose litigation, then none of the professional participants in the process can continue in the case. The parties will each need to retain new attorneys and none of the information shared in the collaborative process can be used by the newly retained lawyers later in litigation. Many professionals refer to the collaborative agreement as the glue which keeps the process together. Mediation, on the other hand, can be started at the beginning, middle or end of a case to resolve individual or the global issues. For example, parties may participate in mediation to finalize their parenting agreement, then return to traditional litigation to resolve financial issues, all the time with the same lawyers. What is the process for collaborative divorce and what are the possible outcomes of collaborative divorce in Illinois? If someone wants their divorce to be collaborative, they need to seek out a lawyer who is collaboratively trained. In Illinois, this can be done by going to the Collaborative Divorce Illinois website. Most States have a collaborative community, and an internet search should provide resources for individuals in different areas. The reason most people should resolve their case outside of court as opposed to trial is agreements reached outside of court tend to have fewer post-decree issues, tend to preserve the relationship between the parties, and tend to cost less in terms of time and money overall. A couple who has dissolved their marriage through the collaborative process or mediation enjoy these benefits as well as increased privacy of intimate family issues, more control over the outcomes, and greater bandwidth to pick 20 LAWYER MONTHLY APRIL 2024 While my entire 29-year career has been focused on the practice of family law, it was not until after about 10 years of practicing that I more adamantly focused on resolving issues outside of court.

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