About John A. Fiske
(phone and FAX (781) 647-3820)
Michigan Law School 1961
Winthrop, Stimson, Putnam & Roberts in NYC 1961-1964
Choate, Hall and Stewart in Boston 1964-1968
First Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Boston and Legal Advisor to the Boston Police Department, 1968-1974
Executive Secretary to the Mass. Supreme Judicial Court, 1974-1978
June 1978 - June 1979. For a year I travelled with my wife and 3 children, ages 12, 15 and 17 when we started. We bicycled through Europe and backpacked in Asia, living for months in a four person tent and learning family mediation skills.
Of counsel at Healy, Lund and Fiske, now Healy, Fiske. Richmond & Matthew, mediaitng there since September 1, 1979. From being lawyer and mediator about half and half in the beginning, I am now about 99% mediator and 1% lawyer.
I decided to become a divorce mediator during our trip. Back home I started talking to judges, lawyers, therapists, ministers, teachers and anyone who would listen. People thought I was a meditator because no one knew what mediation was, back then. When I said, "I help couples sit and talk and listen to each other and get divorced peacefully," the almost universal response was "That makes so much sense." Harvard Law School Professor Frank Sander said, "You are riding the crest of a wave, but don't give up your day job."
A Massachusetts probate judge, the late Sheila McGovern, recommended I join the law firm of Healy and Lund. Regina Healy and Diane Lund did what she said, and they changed the name of the firm to Healy, Lund and Fiske. They taught me family law and I taught them mediation. Probate Judge Edward M. Ginsburg believed in the process and sent cases to me. My first mediation began with the wife addressing her husband, their two lawyers and me: "We understand we are some sort of experiment!"
After two years of mediating divorces I had my first mediation training when John Haynes and Steve Erickson came to Worcester. Then Margaret Shaw joined with the Mass. Bar Association in 1985 to provide more divorce mediation training, and Chris Moore did the same in 1987. Diane Neumann, Phil Woodbury and I founded Divorce Mediation Training Associates in 1988 and we have been training people in divorce mediation ever since, though Phil took up carpentry (he's in Somerville, and excellent) and gave up mediation a few years ago.
See the website www.dmtatraining.com.
I have probably mediated about 2,500 divorces, separations and contracts to stay married since 1979. In response to requests from families I have expanded my mediation practice to include a broad range of disputes, from siblings trying to decide questions of care of a relative to a father and son reaching a financial agreement. I have volunteered my services as a mediator to my town government: in one case I helped to resolve a dispute between citizens and a town official. The point: mediation is a creative, efficient process for addressing human conflict. You get a place to talk. You stay in charge of your life.
As of January 1, 2012 I became Of Counsel at Healy, Fiske, Richmond & Matthew and no longer a partner. I practice often atf my home ofrfice at 8 French Road, Weston, directions linked above. If Cambridge is more convenient for you we can meet at my law firm, 43 Thorndike Street in the lovely Bulfinch building behind the Middlesex Probate and Family Court near the Lechmere subway.
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