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July 18, 2019

July 2019 - Collaborative Law Committee

Message from the Co-Chairs

Collaborative Law is continuing to evolve, both within its original divorce context and the new areas into which it has been expanding. As a dynamic, flexible approach to structured negotiations, it focuses clients on their interests while helping to focus lawyers on advocacy in problem solving.  Our articles this month give a sense of some of the new, creative thinking among practitioners.

If you are trained in Collaborative Law, or just interested in learning more about it, the Collaborative Law Committee wants YOU as a member. Membership in our Committee is free with your Dispute Resolution section dues, so join us. Our mission of expanding the understanding and use of Collaborative Law is carried out through energetic member participation in our sub-committees and informative bimonthly conference calls. Please visit our Committee’s ABA Connect page to learn more about our work and how to be involved, or contact one of us.

Jeffrey Fink
[email protected]

Irwin Kuhn
[email protected]

Featured Articles

Collaborating with Listening in Mind
By Anita Dorczak

So what does “listening” mean anyway? It is usually viewed as a passive act, just a small part of human communication. As lawyers we focus on speaking and persuasive arguments. Listening training is not required at most universities or continuing education programs. Listening, however, is different from hearing.

Collaborative Law, Partnerships and Prenups
By Jeffrey N. Fink

Several years ago, I spoke on a few conference panels about expanding the use of collaborative law techniques to contract preparation, particularly relationship-heavy contracts like prenuptial agreements and partnership agreements. It was all theoretical. The speakers on the panels were being creative to try to provoke discussion. Nobody on the panel had actually done one.

Collaborative Practice -- What’s Beneath the Tip of the Iceberg
By Laurie Israel

I’ve been practicing collaborative divorce in Massachusetts for over 19 years. (I was in the first training class in Boston in April 2000.) Even so, I find that most people are still unfamiliar with collaborative practice (CP). And when they are aware of it, one of their primary misconceptions is that collaborative practice means weakness.

Expanding the Collaborative Process Beyond Family Law
By Lawrence R. Maxwell, Jr.

The collaborative dispute resolution process is not just for family law matters. After seeing the benefits that the collaborative process brings to resolving family law matters quickly and economically, creative lawyers around the country are using the collaborative approach to resolve disputes arising in many areas of civil law.

Re-imagining collaborative law, as well as dispute resolution itself 
By Michael Zeytoonian

I first heard about collaborative law (CL) in 2002 as it began to spread around Massachusetts. It is an inspiring, rational approach to resolving disputes and it was good getting to know and learn from local people involved in teaching, promoting and using CL.

Leadership Nominations

The Dispute Resolution Section membership will vote on new members of the Section council and executive committee on August 10th. The Section’s Nominations Committee submitted the slate of leadership nominations in June.

Ethical Guidance for Mediators

The ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Committee on Mediator Ethical Guidance provides advisory responses to requests for ethical guidance based on the American Bar Association/American Arbitration Association/Association for Conflict Resolution Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators (2005).  The scope of the Committee is limited to the consideration of ethical issues pertaining to mediation.

Submit an Ethics Inquiry to the Committee on Mediator Ethical Guidance

Read the Advisory Opinions Issued by the Committee in the Library of the Dispute Resolution Ethics “Open Forum” Connect Community. 

ABA Membership – Complimentary Group memberships

ABA members can now join the Law Practice, Solo, Small Firms, and the General Practice Divisions for free. Try out these ABA groups and access their exclusive content to advance your practice.