Summit Mediation: Guiding Parties toward Resolution

If you find yourself in need of conflict resolution and do not want to enter into an adversarial legal proceeding, mediation may be right for you.

As a neutral mediator, Attorney Lea Occhialini assists two or more people in resolving disputes by facilitating open, respectful communication and guiding parties toward resolution.  She represents neither party, instead working as a neutral, taking into account everyone’s particular needs.  She provides an unbiased setting for addressing the complicated issues which often block problem-solving and prevent people from moving on to the next steps in their lives.  Her comprehensive conflict resolution services are custom-tailored and provide the professional focus necessary to facilitate effective discussion. As an attorney, she is also qualified to draft Separation Agreements and other legal documents which can be submitted to the Court.

Flexible appointments and free initial consultations are available Monday – Friday, 9am – 6pm. Early morning, late evening, and weekend times are available by request.

What is mediation?

Mediation is a form of conflict resolution which is an alternative to litigation and the adversarial process.  A neutral third-party mediator meets with both parties—together and separately—to facilitate open communication, define issues, and explore mutually satisfactory solutions which may be written into a fair and realistic agreement.

A mediation session takes 1.5 to 2 hours.  Depending on the situation, several sessions may be needed before a final agreement is reached.

Using Mediation as a Way to Solve Conflict is Voluntary, Impartial, Confidential, and Empowering.

What is the role of the mediator?

A mediator assists two or more people in resolving disputes by facilitating open, respectful communication and guiding parties as they develop a plan and strategy for their particular situation.  Mediators do not make decisions for the parties, do not impose solutions, nor do they take sides or advocate on a party’s behalf.  As a neutral, a mediator does not push for any particular position or outcome, instead empowering parties to create their own plans and decisions that work best for everyone involved. Mediators are able to custom-tailor the mediation process to each unique situation and provide the professional focus that is often necessary to facilitate discussion in an efficient and effective manner.  Importantly, a mediator is able to draft an Agreement that the parties follow into the future.  Attorney-Mediators are able to provide legal information to parties and draft legal documents that can be submitted to Court.  Attorney-Mediators do not provide legal advice and do not represent either party.

Why choose mediation over litigation?

Mediation has become an increasingly popular method of alternative dispute resolution due to its many benefits over litigation and the adversarial process. Mediation is fast and effective, less expensive, and custom-tailored to the unique needs of each party:

Practice Areas

In Divorce Mediation, married, unmarried, separated or divorced couples can address conflict and complex issues, including children, assets, property and debt. Mediation provides the opportunity for parties to come to a mutually-beneficial agreement addressing the goals and issues they define through the mediation process. An attorney-mediator can write up Separation Agreements and other legal documents which can be submitted to the Court. Divorce mediation also provides the opportunity to improve the ongoing communication and relationship between the parties, as well as resolving the specific issues that brought them to mediation.

  • Divorce/Separation
  • Same-sex Couples
  • Never Married Couples
  • Parenting Schedules and Visitation
  • Child Support
  • Spousal Support
  • Property and Asset Division
  • Modification/Post-Divorce
  • Future Communication and Relationship

In Elder Mediation, family members and/or other caregivers (such as healthcare providers or therapists) can address conflict and complex issues related to the lives of elders. Mediation provides the opportunity for parties to come to a mutually-beneficial agreement which addresses the goals and issues they define through the mediation process. A mediator can write up the agreement that parties follow into the future. Elder mediation also provides the opportunity to improve the ongoing communication and relationship between the parties, as well as resolving the specific issues that brought them to mediation.

  • Estate planning and Inheritance matters
  • Will and Trust matters
  • Personal property distribution
  • Finances and bill paying
  • Medical Decisions
  • End of life planning
  • Communication between family members
  • Services needed in home
  • Nursing home care
  • Residence options
  • Caregiver burnout
  • Driving and transportation
  • Dealing with crisis

In Family & Relationship Mediation, people can address the complicated issues which arise within their significant ongoing relationships. Mediation provides the opportunity for parties to come to a mutually-beneficial agreement which addresses the goals and issues they define through the mediation process. A mediator can write up the agreement which parties follow into the future. Family & Relationship mediation also provides the opportunity to improve the ongoing communication and relationship between the parties, as well as resolving the specific issues that brought them to mediation.

  • Sibling communication
  • Parent & Teen communication
  • Same-sex Couples
  • Communication between family members
  • Marital mediation
  • Cohabitation & Roommates
  • Co-workers
  • Business Partners

About Lea T. Occhialini

Attorney Occhialini received her degrees from Smith College and American University’s Washington College of Law. She received her mediation training from The Mediation and Training Collaborative of Greenfield, MA and Elder Decisions of Norwood, MA.

She is a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association, Hampden Bar Association, Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association and the Massachusetts Council of Family Mediation. In addition, Attorney Occhialini has worked in collaboration with the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General serving as the Face-To-Face supervising mediator in Holyoke, Northampton and Greenfield District Courts.

She currently acts as the Community Case Mediation Coordination Specialist at The Mediation and Training Collaborative in Greenfield, MA.  She is the founder of Summit Mediation Services in Longmeadow, MA and is currently serving clients in Hampden and Hampshire counties.