About Robin Masson

About Robin Masson

About Robin Masson Mediator Santa Barbara

I am passionate about mediation because it works.  Not only does it cost less than going to court, but you, the clients, are in control of the process and the outcome.  You engage in constructive problem-solving that maximizes each person's satisfaction.  Mediation is private and confidential.  And it honors relationships among family members, in the community, and among business associates.

I am a former litigation attorney and, despite my best efforts to resolve matters amicably, I also had the painful experience of having to sue my former law partner to enforce our partnership agreement. So, I know, first-hand, just how disempowering, expensive, and time consuming it can be to resolve conflict through the courts. And I also know how limited the options available in court are. So, I transitioned from “gladiator” to “facilitator,” and I have spent the last 25 years as a mediator, helping clients to resolve their disputes with creative solutions that give each person more of what’s important to him/her, while tailoring the result to the unique needs of the parties.

I attended Law School at George Washington University Law School and upon graduation, worked at Western New York Legal Services (a precursor to Legal Assistance of Western NY) representing migrant farmworkers who came to upstate New York to pick apples and cherries, and harvest crops in employment and other legal matters.  I then taught at Cornell Law School in the Legal Aid Clinic, where I taught law students how to practice law, and supervised them as they advised and represented low income clients in family law, public benefits, housing, and consumer matters. 

After nearly a decade of teaching, I opened my own law firm in Ithaca, NY, where I represented clients in family law, elder law, real estate, estate planning and probate, small business, and other civil matters. I eventually transitioned out of litigation and focused my practice on consensual dispute resolution, including mediation and Collaborative Practice. I was Accredited as a Divorce Mediator by the  New York State Council on Divorce Mediation and was a founding member of the Ithaca Area Collaborative Law Professionals practice group.

Now based in Santa Barbara, California, I practice only mediation and I participate in Collaborative Practice as a process facilitator and conflict coach.

My initial mediation training was with  Community Dispute Rsolution Center in Ithaca, NY, where I learned Transformative Mediation and took intensive training in mediating child custody disputes.  I was an active volunteer for several years and served on the Board of Directors and as Board Chair.  I immersed myself in further intensive advanced mediation training with the Center for Understanding in Conflict.  I am also trained in Collaborative Practice and was a long-time member of the  International Association of Collaborative Professionals. I am a "training junkie" and have continued to participate in trainings and workshops to hone and advance my skills: most recently I attended a webinar by the Academy of Professional Family Mediators and a three day Family Mediation Institute offered by the Souther California Mediation Association.  I have conducted hundreds of mediations and collaborative cases.

When I am not mediating, I give back to my community as volunteer with the Women's Fund of Santa Barbara, where I research and review proposals for grants to organizations that serve underserved women, children, families and seniors in southern Santa Barbara county. And for fun, I like to travel, read good books, enjoy live music and dance, meet new people, and enjoy good food and wine with friends and family.

I am a member of the following professional organizations:  California Women LawyersSanta Barbara Women LawyersThe Divorce Transition  ProfessionalsProvisors.

Testimonials

Robin is smart and knows the law and also listens to you and acts on your goals. She is professional, personable, and holds her ground in a non-confrontational manner. I enjoyed working with her and highly recommend her.
Micheline Zion, Purchasing Analyst
Q2 Solutions

Articles

Gray Divorce

By Robin Masson on Jun 29, 2021 in Divorce Mediation

Many of the divorces I mediate are for couples in their 50's or 60's, known as "Gray Divorces". The emotional, financial, and social issues involved make these divorces particularly suited to the creativity and flexibility inherent in mediation, rather than the "one size fits all" approach of litigation.

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ON-LINE MEDIATION NOW AVAILABLE

ON-LINE MEDIATION NOW AVAILABLE
By Robin Masson on Mar 28, 2020 in Cohabitation Mediation, Divorce Mediation

In these time of social distancing, I am offering on-line conflict resolution services using Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, and Google Hangouts. Call to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.

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Divorce Now or Later? Timing Matters!

Divorce Now or Later?  Timing Matters!
By Robin Masson on Jul 31, 2018 in Divorce Mediation

Changes in the U.S. tax law, effective January 1, 2019, may have significant impacts on the financial consequences of your separation or divorce.

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Negotiate in Mediation for What You Need -- And Get It.

Negotiate in Mediation for What You Need -- And Get It.
By Robin Masson on Jul 22, 2017 in Divorce Mediation

Face it: most of us are not very good at asking others for what we need. We tend to come off as either too aggressive or wishy-washy. Moreover, when we're in conflict, our asking skills tend to deteriorate into either demanding bitchiness or passive-aggressiveness that descends into resentment. Not a good look, on anyone.

But, there's a way to ask for what you need and to enlist others in giving it to you, by being respectfully assertive. It requires communicating clearly what your needs are, how others' behavior affects you, and enlists others in satisfying your needs.

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Cohabitation Mediation - What I Wish I'd Known Before Moving in Together

Cohabitation Mediation - What I Wish I'd Known Before Moving in Together
By Robin Masson on Jun 09, 2017 in Cohabitation Mediation

Much less planning goes into cohabitation than into a wedding, but it is, in many ways, a bigger legal, financial and emotional step.

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