Pertinent CL Links
(See below for other more general links regarding divorce and life-after-divorce)
In addition to all of the promotional materials for Collaborative Divorce, there are now appearing a growing number of articles that question its effectiveness and even its ethics:
Some comments about Collaborative Law Divorce by an objective attorney Elizabeth Kates in Florida:
This site has a number of articles on collaborative law available for download. Pay close attention to the article "Promise and Perils of Collaborative Law" from 2 Dispute Resolution Magazine 29 (Fall 2005) by author John Lande.
Search for Pauline Tesler and David Weinberg (laywer suggested by Pauline Tesler to mediate Author's case) on search engines for more interesting results as well....
Ethics of Collaborative Divorce:
The American Bar Association and Colorado Bar Assoc. now have issued warnings that collaborative law, as currently envisioned, may be an ethically flawed concept. See http://www.abanet.org/cpr/pubs/subject_index.html#coll
Another article in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin entitiled "Question the Ethics of Collaborative Law" by Joseph Gitlin that quotes from Collorado Bar Association finding and questions the ethics in Illinois as well - on lawyers.com (published Oct 22, 2007): (contributed by Ann Bradley)
http://family-law.lawyers.com/news-headline/Question-of-ethics-in-collaborative-law - SORRY no longer online...
Note: (ABA rules do not apply in CA but this is interesting anyway) Indeed, one of the initial lawyers that the Author contacted for his divorce said that her firm is happy to engage in a non-court solution for divorce - essentially a negotiated settlement with spouse represented by counsel - but that they do not do collaborative law divorces because they believe that the requirement for the lawyers to drop out in case of a conflict that can't be settled is too great a burden on their clients. So, there are attorneys out there that are empirically attempting to stay on the other side of this exact ethics question about CL...
Here is an article published in 2008 by Scott Peppet about the Ethics of Collaborative Law. The article states that there is a lot of confusion about ethics due to the way it is practiced. That certainly seemed to be the case even with the Calif. State Bar (author's complaint).
Discussion of Collaborative Law Divorce: www.mediate.com/collaborativelaw/
Mediators turn a critical eye towards CL. This page has commentary from a collection of attorneys on Collaborative Law. One article makes the following statements:
Recently, the Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility of the American Bar Association (“ABA Committee”) issued its Formal Opinion 07-447 (August 9, 2007) determining that a lawyer may represent a client in the collaborative law process:
“Before representing a client in the collaborative law process, a lawyer must advise the client of the benefits and risks of participation in the process. If the client has given his or her informed consent, the lawyer may represent the client in the collaborative law process. A lawyer who engages in collaborative resolution processes still is bound by the rules of professional conduct, including the duties of competence and diligence. (Id. at 1)."
Important that collaborative attorneys, while operating under different guidelines as per the collaborative contracts, must follow the rules of professional conduct, including basic advocacy for client and lawyer-client confidentiality! The California State Bar apparently is not so sure about the above statement, given their decision about the complaint filed for my case regarding violations of confidentiality and the CL contract itself! With all these competing views about what constitutes a Collaborative Divorce, what are the poor clients supposed to do to protect themselves? -Author
A Skeptical View on Collaborative Divorce by Professor Susan B. Apel of Vermont Law School :
See Collaborative Law: A Skeptic's View --> SORRY, this article is no longer up on web. You may be able to get a copy to read by contacting the author linked above...
contains numerous quotes by Pauline Tesler and alternate points of view... This is an excellent paper that boils down a number of key issues about Collaborative Divorce mentioned via experience on this web site. It identifies potential problems and statments by advocates of CL that can be questioned. Additionally, it notes that the collaborative divorce proponents often only compare to a court case rather than the wider spectrum of possibilities for getting a divorce that lie between do-it-yourself and a full blown court case.
For those who want to read Tesler's reference on Collaborative Divorce:
Link to Tesler's book and reviews of it on Amazon.com (some reviews are by her co-workers/partner) There was a review of Tesler's book by Eugene Seltzer (Author's divorce lawyer), but it seems to have vanished around mid October 2007, just after this site became active!
And don't forget to read the book review of Collaborative Divorce by Pauline Tesler and Peggy Thompson on this site.
Collaborative Law Divorce descriptions on the web:
DivorceNet's FAQ on CL: written by Tesler. . what a coincidence.. #1 hit on Google search for CL divorce
Divorce Source.com : description, guidelines, and hawking books
Lawyers.com general description of CL divorce
Minnesto site hawking CL divorce, Tesler book, Web book - has .org domain, but promotes products. Their mission is "To attract, support and train members to advance the practice and values of Collaborative Law."
Collaborative Law "Institute" of Texas. Contains Power-Point presentation about benefits of CL
Handbook for Clients given to ex-wife by her attorney at start of case and copied for me. Section 12 is especially relevant in our case and described in the Author's Story...
SORRY - This handbook is no longer online. There seem to be a number of Collaborative Law Divorce Handbooks available for sale online now. I suppose they had to monetize this too! One site allowed it for clients only, and other offer a printed book... Let the author know if you find a handbook for free anywhere, please...
1. An alternate version of the Principles and Guidelines for Collaborative.
2. A Collaborative Law site FAQ mentioning fee parity.
3. Article quoting Pauline Tesler as saying fee party is first task of collaborative law matter.
4. Collaborative site mentioning in its FAQ that fee parity is standard practice.
5. Collaborative site that describes fee parity as an essential part of the CL contract
6. Section IV of Principles and Guidelines on CollaborativeLaywers.org site: “We agree that our attorneys are entitled to be paid for their services, and the first task in a collaborative matter is to ensure parity of payment to each of them. We agree to make funds available for this purpose.”
[Author's Note: I could not actually find the standard language for Confidentiality in our Stipulation contract, which is interesting since it appears in the literature extensively. I don't even know what that means for my case, but it seemed clear that confidentialty was NOT guaranteed after discussions with my lawyers who said in meetings they could share info as they pleased. Towards end, I put "CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATION" on most of my emails to my lawyer so that he would not share them, but I had no way of following up on that. In any case, the standard language for sharing info in the Principles and Guidelines was indeed there, and links below show that Confidentiality is not guaranteed as a matter of practice in CL cases...]
[Nov 2007: The book reviewed on this site states that lawyer-client confidentiality must be maintained in collaborative divorce and that is the Author's current understanding as well. Have heard it from other sources as well. Perhaps it is dependent on which state the divorce is in...]
[Jan 2008: Seems like there is endless confusion about this very important basic code of conduct , lawyer-client confidentiality, for a collaborative attorney! One can find numerous references on internet stating that clients "waive confidentiality" in a collaborative case. Others state clearly that such basic rights have to be mantained in a collaborative case. The fist link below shows the two peacefully co-existing.
Indeed my first-round State Bar Complaint against the attorneys on my case complaining of disclosure of confidential information resulted in a letter from the Bar stating, "It appears that in the Collaborative Law divorce process requires honest disclosure. If you didn't want to go through this process and to have honest disclosure of all information pertinent to resolving the issues, you could have made the choice, to stop participation, as indicated by your attorney." Honest disclosure was not an issue for me. It was my attorney telling the other attorney about my private conversations with him (and vica versa for wife) that I found improper, and very complicating in the case that the opposing attorney takes a more aggressive stance. Such disclosures interfer with basic advocacy for the client. In any case, facts pertinent to the case should be things like full financial disclosure and not private conversations about how to settle! -Author]
Presentation about CL - See Pages 18-20 for Confidentiality along with regular lawyer relationship in CL. States clearly that collaborative attorney MUST follow basic code of conduct and maintain confidentiality with clients:
Link to site of Michael Barnes, clinical psychologist which discusses the statement of understanding in a CL case. Search for Confidentiality to see that it is waived.
Another site which contrasts confidentiality between normal cases and CL cases:
Another white paper on CL and how it works, stating that spouses are asked to give up confidentiality:
These links were supplied by readers of this site...
ASSOCIATION OF FAMILY AND CONCILIATION COURTS SITE:
Divorce Resources for Families http://www.afccnet.org/resource-center/resources-for-families
The Ultimate Guide to Thriving As A Newly Independent Woman http://closetbox.me/ultimate-guide-to-thriving-as-independent-woman
Single Parent Advocate http://www.singleparentadvocate.org
Parents Without Partners (PWP), the largest international, nonprofit membership organization devoted to the welfare and interests of single parents and their children. http://www.parentswithoutpartners.org
Single Parents Network http://singleparentsnetwork.com
National Stepfamily Resource Center http://www.stepfamilies.info
Divorce After Adoption: A Parent's Guide http://www.myfloridalaw.com/divorce/divorce-after-adoption-a-parents-guide/
Post-Divorce Check-List http://family.findlaw.com/divorce/checklist-post-divorce-actions-to-take.html
Financial Savings & Debt Management http://www.calculators.org/savings
Protect Your Credit In a Divorce http://www.aarp.org/money/credit-loans-debt/info-12-2012/protect-your-credit-in-divorce.html
Surviving Financially After A Divorce https://www.institutedfa.com/Surviving-Financially-After-Divorce-1
How to Fix It Yourself http://www.homeadvisor.com/r/how-to-fix-it-yourself-101
Home Safety Web Site, if you're new to taking care of things in a house. www.budgetdirect.com.au/homehazards
Smart Ways to Split the House After Divorce http://realestate.aol.com/blog/on/smart-ways-split-house-divorce
Here are a few links to good resources for addiction and healthy living for teens submitted by a reader of this site:
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