South Florida Attorney Doreen Yaffa Makes the Case for Compassion in Family Law
Doreen Yaffa’s method to family and marital law extends far beyond the courtrooms and mediation proceedings in which she’s honed her craft. The Boca Raton attorney has been practicing law for 25 years. Even though she’s greater than cozy litigating on her clients’ behalf, she’s often racking her brain for alternative means of resolving conflicts. Speaking on the extra burdens many faced following the Great Recession, Yaffa stated that period pressured her to reconsider her espouses’ recommendation.
“People began to truly consider ‘Why am I spending all this money on litigating? Why am I spending 1,000 dollars to try and prevent my spouse from getting this 20 dollar chair?’” she stated. “It made me observe my practice differently, and I felt that I had an obligation to take every customer on as a person and help them to apprehend it’s greater than simply the balance sheet. It’s the emotional toll that the litigation takes on you.”
Yaffa admits her coverage of choosing her battles cautiously, and even her passion for marital and circle of relatives law might also stem from her precarious upbringing. At the age of 5, she moved to Miami from Massachusetts with her sister and mother. Yaffa’s father was an ephemeral presence in her life, leaving it on her mother to single-handedly guide their circle of relatives.
“My mother, lamentably, become suffering,” she stated. “She became herself working two jobs … looking to make ends meet for my sister and I. I’m fortunate in the feel that she taught us to be self-enough constantly, have schooling, pursue your dream … and usually have that to fall again on. That changed into embedded in me at a completely younger age … and it’s something that I convey forward today.
Yaffa’s grit noticed her operating and studying from the time she becomes 16 years vintage, up until her first 12 months of regulation faculty at Nova Southeastern University. Nowadays, her range of capabilities is legally tailor-made and customized to fit her personal clients’ desires, although she has the desired approach to resolving disputes.
“I nonetheless litigate, I nevertheless go to court docket, I’m nonetheless board-certified. However, I truely try very difficultly to look if there may be a way of settling it without being perceived as being susceptible necessarily,” she stated. In 2016, Yaffa became skilled in the circle of relatives’ collaborative regulation, which applies a greater team-oriented effort to managing conflicts with mental health specialists and forensic accountants.
“You step out of doors of litigation and … You meet, you signal a participation settlement, you’ve got agendas, you’ve got time frames, you have discovery, and you ultimately, hopefully, paintings via figures with greater creativity, extra leeway, and you come to an agreement,” she stated. “I’ve had several instances, all of which [but] one did not settle collaboratively … High-net-well worth cases. And they’ve saved lots of money and several times and plenty of aggravation now not having to be worried in litigation.”
Yaffa’s excitement for innovative approaches to the circle of relatives law has also led her in recent years to offer counseling and existence coaching sessions to her customers free of charge. She started out presenting the service after carrying out her own research into mental wellness practices and knowing that it can have a tangible impact on her customers and peers.
“I started speakme to my clients on a distinctive level, and they became fascinated and that they desired to understand greater,” she acknowledged. “So I stated permit me to throw it available, I’ll do this group, see if all and sundry’s involved. I asked them … ‘Do you need to be my guinea pigs? I’m no longer certified yet as a lifestyles train. However, I’m inclined to proportion and talk and concentrate.’ And it started with some human beings, and it’s grown to where my convention room which holds — now not very effectively — about 15 is packed each month.”
Although Yaffa has, due to the fact, earned certification as an existence train, she nevertheless has ambitions to deliver what she’s found out to the bigger criminal community.
“If I can convey something to the legal professionals inside the community that can assist them on some level, how cool could that be?” she stated. “They get the prison schooling, they get the professional education, but they don’t get the ‘How do I stability my lifestyles?’ schooling. … I suppose it’s something attorneys need.”