Wednesday, October 31, 2020

American Bar Association Ethics Opinion Confirms Collaborative Law is Ethical Mode of Practice

In the words of Boston collaborative lawyer David Hoffman, "The civilized resolution of conflict in American society recently took a giant step forward with the issuance of an important ethics opinion by the American Bar Association (ABA) upholding the use of "collaborative law" agreements by lawyers."

The opinion, issued in August 2007, affirms that lawyers do not need to be gladiators in order to satisfy fully their ethical duty to represent clients diligently. Rather, it is entirely ethical for lawyers to work solely toward an out of court settlement that is acceptable to the clients, if that is what their clients have directed them to do. Provided the clients are fully informed about their conflict resolution alternatives and make an informed choice of collaborative law, there is no ethical rule that prevents lawyers from being hired solely to work toward settlement, and to be barred by the collaborative participation agreement from taking the matter to court.

The ABA ethics opinion squarely rejects as wrongly decided a maverick advisory opinion issued in early 2008 by the Colorado Bar Association, the sole such opinion finding ethical barriers to the practice of collaborative law. The Colorado opinion has caused some unease among practitioners, even though it was never binding even in Colorado. This new and far more authoritative opinion from the American Bar Association should put those concerns to rest.

To read more about the opinion, see David Hoffman's op-ed piece in the Christian Science Monitor:


A healing approach to the law


David A. Hoffman


The Christian Science Monitor


The Christian Science Monitor


Oct 9, 2020

Collaborative Divorce Becoming Known to United Nations Job-Seekers

Several collaborative divorce author/trainers are being featured on a Geneva-based website that posts job listings offered by the United Nations as well as a number of international human rights/humanitarian NGO's. This is another example of collaborative practice becoming increasingly visible in the mainstream international conflict resolution community. Many thanks to whoever is responsible for adding our publications to the "authors" section of this website. Check it out:

Tuesday, October 30, 2020

Collaborative Divorce Doesn't Have to be "Nicey Nicey" to Work

Wendy Spencer, a divorce financial analyst, has posted an illuminating story of a difficult and painful divorce handled the collaborative way. The marriage ended badly---the husband had engaged in a hurtful and deceitful affair---but the divorce process, though challenging, achieved important goals identified by the wife.

You don't have to feel friendly toward your divorcing spouse to want a civilized, integrity-based divorce. Strong negative emotions may be present, but that doesn't mean divorcing spouses have to spend their savings on emotion-fueled legal battles. Collaborative divorce team services helped the couple Spencer writes about to achieve a good resolution without war.

She describes collaborative divorce as "mediation on steroids." Read her blog entry for the full story: