Roger R. Harada
Attorney at Law

 

475 S. Arlington Ave.
Suite 1A
Reno, Nevada 89501
(775) 787-7200

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My Practice Philosophy

Mediation/Arbitration

     Under the right circumstances, if you and your spouse are amicable and agreeable, you may be able to effectuate a simple divorce with the use of just one attorney through the process of mediation, thereby saving a significant amount of money, time and frustration.  Additionally, your divorce can be “co-mediated” with a mental health professional also skilled in mediation who can bring in their expertise to assist the attorney in resolving complex emotional or child related issues should the need arise.  

     Simply stated, mediation is “assisted negotiation.”  The mediator is an impartial neutral, with no vested interest in any particular outcome except to ensure that the process by which each participant finds his or her way to an agreement is a fair one.  A skilled mediator helps to create an atmosphere in which the participants can communicate more effectively and better understand both their own and the other’s point of view.  The mediator never imposes a solution upon the parties nor presumes to advise them what they “should” do.  The mediator also helps the parties to identify and articulate all concerns and interests that may need to be addressed and to acquire all the information needed to reach an informed decision.

     A more apt term for “divorce mediation” would be “separation agreement” mediation.  When a couple is in the process of divorce, they need to make important decisions about: future parenting arrangements, child support, property distribution, and spousal maintenance.  The decisions a couple ultimately makes about these issues are memorialized by the attorney mediator into a legal document entitled a “Marital Separation Agreement, or MSA.”  When signed by the parties, the MSA becomes a legally-binding contract.  That agreement is ultimately filed in court and is incorporated into the divorce decree.

     As your mediator, I do not act as an attorney, and I give no legal advice to either spouse to the advantage of the other.  Whatever is said to one spouse will be said to the other.  I will however give the parties all the legal information to the extent they need or ask for it, and alert both parties of issues that my years of divorce litigation experience has taught me.

     Choosing mediation does not mean forsaking lawyers.  Although participants are typically not interested in bringing an attorney to the session itself, each may wish to consult with their own attorney before or between sessions.  I may also be brought in by the parties or their attorneys to mediate a divorce already in the litigation process, and that may be for a global divorce settlement, or simply to mediate a particular issue that is keeping the parties from settling a divorce matter.  Many parties have a strong preference not to bring in independent counsel until they are ready to sign the Marital Separation Agreement.  However, at that stage, I recommend that each retain independent counsel to review a preliminary draft of the agreement if they have any concerns.  Again, as with everything else in mediation, this is their decision to make.

     A lawyer is just one of a number of professionals a mediation participant may consult to help in making a prudent decision.  If information is power, an imbalance of power is often remedied by consultations with attorneys, accountants, financial planners, mental health professionals, child psychologists or anyone else who might help clarify important issues.  In the mediation session itself, the participants and the mediator review the financial statements item by item for clarification or elaboration to ensure that both parties are fully informed. 

     Mediation holds the promise of making divorce no more traumatic for the children than it has to be, nor less dignified to the participants than it can be.  In ever-increasing numbers, individuals, families, businesses and community groups are turning to mediation as a calmer, and more economical method of resolving disputes. 

The Importance of Your Initial Consultation

    If you believe you have been harmed by the wrongful acts of another, you should call me immediately. In our phone conversation I can quickly assess whether we should meet in-person for an initial consultation. All of my initial consultations personal injury cases are free of charge. My initial consultations take time, and you will always meet with me in person and not some paralegal whose only job is to “sign you up.” During this consultation:
 

  1. I will ask questions to fully understand the most relevant facts of your case;
  2. I will share with you my opinions about how the facts of your case relate with the law so that you fully understand where you stand legally; and,
  3. We will come to know each other such that we can mutually decide if I am the right person to handle your case going forward.

If you are not sure you are a victim of a tort such that you are entitled to recovery, call me anyway; it is free and there is no downside in calling. However, not knowing if you can recover compensation from being wronged, or not finding out quickly enough, can add to the harm done to you because it can greatly affect how much, if any, compensation you get for your damages.

What to Expect from Me as Your Attorney

    All of my legal training and experience has been about me being a trial lawyer, and I am proud to be called that..., a trial lawyer. I am very comfortable in the courtroom with hundreds of contested court appearances under my belt. Sadly, many attorneys who say they practice personal injury law consciously try to avoid going to court... I am not one of those. Unlike many lawyers you might see in commercial advertisements, I am in the “practice of law” and not in the “business of law,” and there is a world of difference between the two. In tort litigation, you need an attorney who is an experienced and seasoned litigator who is not afraid of going to court. Just as you would not want to take a knife to a gunfight, in a personal injury action where you have to fight to get people or insurance companies to compensate for damages done, you want to be represented by someone who is a true trial attorney who is out to get you a full and complete recovery for your damages. See my Biography Page on this website for a more detailed summary of my training and experience regarding litigation.

    I welcome and request my client’s full participation and involvement as their case goes forward. As a client of mine, you can always expect to be in control of your case and called upon to make the informed substantive decisions regarding you case with my advice and counsel. You will also receive copies of all correspondence and pleadings generated in your case, and I always make myself readily available to my clients to answer any questions they may have throughout their case. Lastly, you have my pledge that you will always get a prompt return phone call from me (or my assistant if I am unavailable, such as in court) anytime that you call my office. See my Frequently Asked Questions page for more information about personal injury cases.

 

 

 

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