Saturday, March 17, 2021

Audacious Billboard Campaign

The International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, working with collaborative lawyers in Cincinatti, Ohio, have designed a billboard as part of a comprehensive IACP public education campaign to make collaborative divorce widely known and understood.

The Cincinatti Academy of Collaborative Professionals has the image displayed on at least nineteen billboards throughout Cincinatti.

The striking design has a solid black background, with images of men's, women's, and children's faces displayed across the center. At the top, in white, the words "A Different Way to Divorce." Across the bottom, the IACP logo, followed by the group's web address.

I'm looking forward to the day when people see this image as they board a plane in Ohio, and again when they land in San Francisco, or Toronto, or Dublin, or Paris. And I don't think I'll have to wait all that long!

Forty New Collaborative Lawyers in Scotland

About forty family law solicitors--and one life coach!--completed a two-day basic training in collaborative law yesterday, here in Edinburgh. Energy and participation levels were high throughout the two days.

At the end of the second day, a young solicitor came up to thank me and began to cry, she was so moved by the possibilities for a value-rich, integrity-based kind of work with clients that had been explored in the training.

That happens now and then, and it helps me remember how profoundly different it is to work in this way with divorcing families.

I just can't recall the last time I saw a family lawyer cry at a conventional continuing education program. But if it ever happened, I am sure it was from boredom.

During discussion of one of the roleplay experiences, one woman observed with a kind of wondering amazement, "I was in effect asking Henry (the husband in the roleplay) to assess his own moral stance with respect to his family!"

These new "graduates" join about 80 colleagues who have previously attended collaborative law trainings in Glasgow and Edinburgh. The revolution is in full swing here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2021

Colorado Bar Ethics Opinion: take two pinches of salt and feel better in the morning

The ethics committee of the Colorado State Bar Association has issued an opinion regarding the ethics of collaborative law, which has generated widespread criticism for its unsound reasoning and internal contradictions. It has also been faulted for unsubstantiated and inaccurate but sweeping generalizations about the nature of collaborative practice.

Practitioners and clients alike should take the Colorado opinion with a healthy grain of salt. It is non-binding, even in Colorado, and prevents no lawyer or client even in Colorado from electing collaborative legal representation. The opinion stands alone in its obvious hostility to collaborative legal practice--and in its faulty reasoning. All other ethics opinions to date have supported the informed choice of collaborative law.

Practitioners should note that the Commission on Uniform Laws is presently considering a model Collaborative Law statute. North Carolina, Texas, and California already have statutes in place recognizing collaborative law.

The International Academy of Collaborative Professionals has recently announced appointment of an Ethics Task Force, chaired by Pauline Tesler. The Task Force plans to issue a White Paper on the ethics of collaborative practice sometime later this year.

Meanwhile, for a point-by-point critique of the Colorado opinion, see John Crouch's posting on the Family Law Blog: