Owner Spotlight : Brian James
I’m Brian James, proud owner of C.E.L and Associates, Inc.
I look forward to sharing my story. I hope that you will enjoy getting to know me better.
I graduated from Byron High School in 1990 and Northern Illinois University in 1994.
I have been mediating since 2005 and working with high conflict families since 1994. I help people facilitate communication and interactions with each other with a goal of reaching favorable agreements. I handle issues that may be present in a divorce, separation, post-decree, unmarried, same sex, family, business and any other case wherein people have conflicts and desire to resolve those conflicts out of court, reduce costs and reach positive agreements.
I started C.E.L. and Associates in late 2005 to help people going through separation and divorce with an alternative to litigating in the court. I found that mediation was a viable way of keeping people out of court and at the same time, helping them facilitate proper, equitable agreements that have their children's best interests at heart and make sense for everyone. Instead of the win-lose court process, mediation provides for somewhat of a win-win for both parties, as they are the ones negotiating the agreements.
As a divorce and family mediator, I assist people in reaching their target agreements. It is my responsibility to help people get unstuck when they feel that reaching agreements is unlikely or impossible. I facilitate alternatives and resolutions for conflicts and problems that my clients want to agree on with each other but have difficulty doing so.
The most enjoyable part of my job is helping my clients reach agreements that are good for them and their children while keeping the costs low and keeping them away from litigation. As someone who has worked in the courts in the past, I value the ability to keep my clients out of court.
On average, I work ten hours a day. Every day is different in my practice. On a typical work day, I meet clients who are either divorced, getting a divorce, separated or unmarried with children. Occasionally, I also meet with my client’s minor or adult children when their parents pass away or need intervention when making decisions. I typically mediate for three to six hours a day. When not I’m not mediating, I work on mediation agreements, answering emails, communicating with clients, lawyers and therapists in person or on the phone at any convenient location with a Wi-Fi connection.
The most important decisions I face are those that help ensure my clients reach an agreement they know is right will work for them. I need to be dedicated and focused 24/7. The work I do and decisions made have long term effects on my clients.
As a mediator, my ability to empathize, help people in conflict and facilitate communication is paramount to my success. By listening to client’s wants, needs, and fears, I can offer assistance and advice as they work to come to an agreement that works for them.
I attribute my success to my goal of helping everyone I work with. I approach everything I do with a positive attitude, knowing that I will make a positive difference in someone’s life.
I admire any business or individual that puts their client’s best interest above their own. I greatly respect anyone who is willing to do what’s best for their client, even if it isn't best for them financially. I work a lot with family law attorneys and admire attorneys who practice "peaceful divorce” over those looking to stir the pot and run up their fees.
When I am not working I like to spend time with my friends and family, work on my yard and educate volunteers at domestic violence agencies about divorce, problem-solving, empathy and the court system. I genuinely believe in volunteering at these organizations and in mentoring new mediators.
The most satisfying moments in my personal life have been getting married and the birth of my two sons. My wife, Cindy, has had the most impact on my leadership style. She has taught me many times over to be the best person I can be every day.
I have enjoyed sharing my story about the things which matter to me and how they influence the way I do business.
If you or someone you know could benefit from our expertise in divorce mediation and parenting coordinator services in Chicago, Illinois, I invite you to get in touch. Please visit our website at www.yourdivorce.org.