WORCESTER – A dispute resolution firm made up of three attorneys and four retired judges has formed in Worcester to help local residents save money on attorney fees and reduce the high cost and lengthy time of litigation through the courts. 

Y.Litigate, which has served nearly 50 clients in their first year, was formed by attorneys Francis J. Russell and Russell P. Schwartz in early 2017.

“[Russell and Schwartz] thought that there was a need for some guidance to avoid high-cost litigation and to have mediation and conciliation. It’s the kind of service you can find in other counties in the state, but it’s just making its way into Worcester County. The inroads are kind of slow here,” said the firm’s director, Michael Herman, a former judicial case manager in Worcester District Court.

“In their practice they noticed litigation was a long, drawn-out situation and very costly. They believe their is a need for mediation and conciliation right here in Worcester,” Herman added.

Y. Litigate takes on cases relating to family law – divorce, child support, alimony, custody – and wills. Both Russell and Schwartz still run their own private practices specializing in family law.

Former probate court judges Lucille A. DiLeo, Joseph Lian, Jr., Susan D. Ricci, and Gregory V. Roach, and attorney Laurie S. Raphaelson make up the panel of mediators for Y. Litigate.

“These judges and attorneys are what makes us unique. They’ve heard everything on both sides — the state side and domestic side of law. They’re well versed in all things family law,” Herman said.

According to Y.Litigate, the cost of litigation can start anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000 to have a lawyer on retainer before the process even begins.

“The average attorney in Worcester County charges $400 per hour. There are some that do it for less, but that’s the typical average,” Herman said. “Working in the courts, I know it takes quite a bit of time to get the case into finalization. If you come to us for mediation or conciliation, it shortens the process and its a much less costly process.”

For more information on conciliation and mediation services from Y.Litigate, check out their FAQ here. To contact the firm, call 508-752-0018.

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