A Legal and Mediation Library and Nelson Mandela and John Haynes

As I have set up Ian Walker Family Law and Mediation Solicitors, I have had to decide how to stock my library. Books or eBooks?  Or with so much on the internet, why even bother at all?! In the end I have gone for the paper copy of the leading book in each of my main fields; Duckworth on Matrimonial Finance [A very thick volume which is updated as the year progresses] Hershman and McFarlane: Children Law and Practice [similar but four volumes] and for mediation; ADR: Principles and Practice by  Henry Brown and Arthur Marriott, QC. Incidentally it was Henry Brown who trained me as both a Family and Civil/Commercial Mediator. Even more incidentally I found out toward the end of last year that he had once acted for Nelson Mandela. Henry is a brilliant guy. He was behind the use of mediation to resolve financial arrangements after divorce in the UK. Henry decided to train as a mediator and traveled to New York to be trained by the late, great John Haynes who was a pioneer of mediation [see http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/2000/mar/09/guardianobituaries1 ]. Henry subsequently became one of the founders of FMA and Mediation training by SFLA (now Resolution) . I was trained as a Mediator by Henry in 1996. At the time John Haynes was also training in the UK for an organisation called BALM; British Association of Lawyer Mediators. It was easier to persuade my then employers to let me train with SFLA, because a) it was cheaper! and b)they had heard of SFLA (but not BALM), It was excellent training, I do not regret the choice. Its a shame I couldn’t have done both. This brings me to the best book in my library;  John Haynes; “Fundamentals of Family Mediation”. I bought it when I trained as a mediator. Its a slender tome; only a bit over 250 pages, with diagrams and checklists, and in a reasonable sized type face. Its my best book because it reminds me that Mediation is a fundamentally simple process. I read things by other mediators sometimes trying to complicate the process, perhaps to add their own mark (as they see it), but Mediation is a simple process and it works! So there they are, with a few others on my bookshelf in my office in Honiton.

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