Dedicate to Collaborate

Reflections from a peacemaking lawyer and mediator dedicated to collaborative problem-solving.
Aug
08

Six questions to ask yourself to keep a difficult conversation on track.

Six questions to ask yourself to keep a difficult conversation on track.
"We need to talk." These may be the four most feared words in the English language. Because as we all know from experience, what happens next is usually pretty ugly. You know how it goes: Say you've got a big deadline at work. On Monday, you asked your partner for help cleaning up this week. On Thursday, you come home late and tired to three days w...
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Jul
25

What’s the difference between a disagreement and a conflict and a dispute? (Hint: just knowing this one thing can help you solve some seriously stubborn problems.)

What’s the difference between a disagreement and a conflict and a dispute? (Hint: just knowing this one thing can help you solve some seriously stubborn problems.)
You'd think that when it comes down to it, a fight is a fight is a fight. No matter what you call it, you've still got two sides trying to get their needs met, two people not getting what they want, and one big problem to be solved, right? Actually ... wrong. A disagreement is different from a conflict, which is again different from a dispute – ​ a...
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Jul
11

6 Ground Rules for Resolving Disputes

6 Ground Rules for Resolving Disputes
Imagine for a minute that it's 200 years ago. We have the medical technology to do surgery, and survival rates are OK. But surgery always involves a great deal of violence to the body. A simple thing like removing an inflamed appendix might mean that you have to open up a person's abdomen entirely, rather than making the tiny incision required toda...
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Jun
27

The 3 mindset shifts you need to solve complex conflicts.

June-2018-2
Figuring out a solution to a complex conflict is almost never totally straightforward, never mind easy or fun. (After all, it's called dispute resolution for a reason.) But some conflicts are more complicated than others simply because of the factors involved. Situations in which spouses are living in real estate purchased by their soon- to-be-ex's...
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Jun
14

Why Quitting Court was the Best Decision I’ve Ever Made — For Myself and My Clients

Why Quitting Court was the Best Decision I’ve Ever Made — For Myself and My Clients
Imagine that it's 1991. I've just graduated law school, passed the bar, and am tearing up the courtrooms like nobody's business. Divorce cases? Settled. Custody hearings? Taken care of. Business disputes? Done and done. I'd gone into law with an absolute passion for protecting my clients. I'm an advocate right down to my bones — there's nothing I l...
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May
30

When an Award is More than an Award...

When an Award is More than an Award...
This spring I had the great honor of receiving a Women of Achievement Iris Award — a wonderful tradition of celebrating women leaders in my area. As I stood on the stage, surrounded by women who've shaped not only the community I live in, but their industries as a whole, I was so grateful to be a small part of a much bigger movement. Because while ...
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Jun
13

Ron Ousky Advanced Collaborative Practice Training in Vancouver — Register Now

Ron and I are part of a North American training group called Peacemaking Practice Trainers. I'm thrilled he is coming to Vancouver to offer this summer workshop. Ron literally wrote the book on Collaborative Law, and has been in the movement since the beginning. Take advantage of this unique and incredible opportunity to learn from Ron Ousky! July ...
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Jun
08

ABA First Annual Practice Development Institute

ABA First Annual Practice Development Institute
Register Now for the ABA First Annual Practice Development Institute with Woody Mosten​ The American Bar Association Announces its First Annual Practice Development Institute Early Bird Rate Ends June 16, 2017 Check out the Brochure Hotel & Travel Information ​​ Please join Master Trainer Forrest (Woody) Mosten, and a team of co-associate train...
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Nov
01

My Approach To Family Law

My Approach To Family Law
During my first few years of practice, I was dismayed to see families battling in court and judges delivering verdicts with very little information to go on. Instead of searching for mutual solutions, clients and their attorneys were fighting to "win". This approach invariably cost the client and their family a lot of money and heartache.  I k...
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Oct
19

A Few Things I’ve Learned Along The Way…

A Few Things I’ve Learned Along The Way…
Today I celebrate 25 years as a lawyer. Holy smokes it's been quite a ride. When I first started practicing law, I was 27 years old. I was the fourth woman lawyer ever hired in a mid-sized law 'cowboy' law firm whose motto was "shoot first, ask questions later." Litigation was the default problem-solving tool, and I earned my chops in the cour...
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