Last month, I traveled to Las Vegas – not for the usual adult fun — but a truly rewarding experience. For two days, Sherrie Abney and I lead an international group of novice and experienced Collaborative Practice professionals in an advanced civil collaborative training at the Global Collaborative Law Council’s Annual Conference.

Participants were challenged to engage in a multi-day evolving facts pattern involving a once closely-held robust commercial real estate partnership that had derailed. Attendees got the opportunity to develop the fact pattern utilizing attorney-client meetings, professional meetings, and full team interest and option sessions. With Sherrie Abney’s guidance, the fact pattern continued to develop into a multi-party dispute (typical in a commercial setting), allowing participants to focus not only on goal setting, but interim solution-making efforts, and long-term planning.

To facilitate the “paradigm shift”, well-known in Collaborative Practice parlance, we also utilized individual party information, and general role play material with some malleability. This dynamic was really impressive for Sherrie and me, as we allowed the “partners” to navigate their internal dispute, consider external reputational and financial factors, and even work on the rehabilitation of their fractured partnership to meet mutual interests – the true test of Collaborative Practice.

Enhancing the training this year was the presence of Stu Webb, Collaborative Law’s founding father. Stu added his insight in helping us explore Collaborative Law’s implications and understanding its beneficial application for businesses. Post-conference, GCLC has continued to focus our efforts on galvanizing Collaborative Law divorce practitioners in expanding their expertise beyond divorce.

As I get ready for this year’s IACP Forum in Seattle, I am excited for this renewed enthusiasm in Civil Collaborative Practice’s growth!

Marc Sheridan
Mt. Kisco, NY