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- Massachusetts (2010);
- United States District Court
- Suffolk University Law School (2010);
- University of Massachusetts Amherst (2006)
Awards & Recognition:
- Massachusetts Bar Association Leadership Academy Fellow (2017-2018)
- Rising Star, Super Lawyers Magazine (2015, 2016)
- Deans List, Suffolk Law (2007-2010)
- Distinguished Oral Argument Award (2008)
- Distinguished Brief Award (2008)
- Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation
- Massachusetts Bar Association (MBA)
- Rotary Club
- President – Rotary Club, Wilmington, Massachusetts (2016-2017)
- Finance Committee, Wilmington, Massachusetts (2012-Present)
- Superintendent Search Advisory Committee, Wilmington, Massachusetts (2014)
- Library Strategic Planning Committee, Wilmington, Massachusetts (2014)
- Family Mediation Quarterly, (various articles written)
- Journal of Health & Biomedical Law (Editor in Chief 2009-2010)
Family Law Attorney and Mediator
I’m Attorney Jonathan Eaton and I focus my practice on divorce and family law matters, although my role differs depending on the case. About half my work is devoted to divorce and family law litigation, both as a collaborative attorney and in the traditional litigator sense in the advocate role. I focus the other half of my professional time to my role as a divorce and family law mediator. Whatever the approach, I truly enjoy being a lawyer.
In at traditional litigation, I serve the role of attorney advocate. In that role I serve you, the client, in the pursuit of your ideal result, within the bounds of our ethical rules and your budget. Essentially, you provide me with the facts and circumstances of your case and I ask questions and do discovery to gather all the additional information necessary to build our case. We prepare to go before the judge and we use that preparation to negotiate settlement when it is likely to provide a better result.
I handle plenty of cases in which the other party comes to the table in the early stages of the case, seeking to avoid a costly litigation and other risks of going before the judge, and we’re able to resolve cases quickly and efficiently. Sometimes the substantial majority of my time is spent drafting and negotiating settlement because we are able avoid the entire adversarial process. A significant advantages of this approach is that I can consistently counsel you on the law and what I believe to be the alternative if we were to proceed to court. We can also negotiate settlement, while using continued litigation as leverage to bring all issues to resolution.
Collaborative divorce practice is a hybrid of sorts between mediation and traditional litigation. I represent you in the process, but we push forward in the case prior to filing a litigation, working cooperatively with the other party and his or her attorney. We will sometimes agree to share resources and will enter into a written contract binding us to the process. If the process fails, you and your spouse each must abandon your attorneys (including me) and your experts. As we move forward, we resolve issues, but you each become increasingly financial invested, making resolving the final issues, usually the most challenging issues, more desirable. Collaborative practice is a specialization within divorce and family law and so it’s recommended that both parties engage attorneys trained in the process.
Mediation is a very common way of resolving divorces because, with this approach, we aim to turn conflict and disagreement into cooperation and problem-solving. It’s extremely rewarding for me to find overlap in the position of two parties, who didn’t know agreement was possible. It’s very common for parties to take the position that reaching an agreement would be impossible, only for us to resolve the major issues just a short time later. It’s important that each party understand that I am neither party’s advocate in this process. My job is to find a reasonable agreement on all issues and get your matter resolved fairly and amicably. If you’d like to consult with me about mediation, you should come in to meet with me together so there’s no concern by the other party that he or she has missed something important.
Litigation and Mediation Experience
In the years prior to joining Turco Legal, I practiced law in several capacities, providing me with great perspective and insight in my cases today. Before becoming an attorney, I worked as a behavioral therapist with children having special needs, the skills and experience of which I use nearly every day as an attorney. When I first received my license to practice law I worked as a Judicial Intern in both Lynn District Court for the Honorable Judge Albert Conlon and Milford District Court for the Honorable Judge Robert Calagione. In these roles I worked the judges to provide reliable legal research and to draft early versions of orders and judgments.
In the year that followed my judicial clerkships, I worked at Medical-Legal Partnership | Boston where I advocated for parents and children in the process of being evaluated for eligibility to receive special education and related services. Thereafter, since 2010, I’ve handled divorce and family law cases as an attorney, first at Kelsey & Trask, P.C. and then at a firm I founded with a partner, Finn & Eaton, P.C. where I remained until I joined Turco Legal, P.C.
Community Involvement and Leadership
Consistent with the values of the firm, I believe in the importance of community involvement and leadership. I’ve contributed to our community by supporting organization, serving in roles of leadership, presenting continuing education programs for lawyers, and writing for legal and health periodicals. I am an active member of the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Essex County Bar Association, the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation, the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council, and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. I’m also an active member of Rotary International, the Town of Wilmington Finance Committee, Wilmington Public Library Strategic Planning Committee, and the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce.