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Jennifer Gunnin Guest Speaker at Collaborative Staff Training

Family Diplomacy is proud to announce that our own paralegal, Jennifer Gunnin, is scheduled to be a guest speaker at a unique collaborative training geared towards managing attorneys and staff: Managing Your Collaborative Practice for Passion & Profit.  The training is hosted by Joryn Jenkins of Open Palm Law and also includes a guest appearance by internationally renowned collaborative lawyer and mediator Forrest (Woody) Mosten.

Managing Your Collaborative Practice for Passion & Profit is taking place this Friday, January 22, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time at the Hillsborough County Bar Association building, located at 1610 North Tampa Street, Tampa, Florida 33602.  Registrants may also attend via live stream over the internet.

Below is from a recent flyer:

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Collaborative Training for Family Law Staff

When a potential client calls your firm, who is the first person with whom she speaks?  When a potential clients arrives at your office, who is the first person that he sees?  If you are a collaboratively-trained attorney, mental health professional, financial professional, or mediator, there is a good chance that your staff is the first voice that a potential client hears, the first face that a potential client sees.

How is that staff member representing you?  Is that first interaction being used as an opportunity to familiarize the client with the term “collaborative practice?”

Joryn Jenkins

Those first interactions are but one of the many different skills that a friend and mentor of mine, Joryn Jenkins, will discuss in her unique collaborative training geared towards professional staff.

The training will take place in Tampa, Florida, on January 22, and it will also be streamed live for professional staff that is outside of the area.

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Cordover Guest Speaker at Nova Southeastern University

Tampa Collaborative Family Law Attorney Adam B. Cordover was a guest speaker at Nova Southeastern University’s 3-Day Collaborative Training, held November 6-8.  Adam spoke on the topic of “Troubleshooting the Collaborative Divorce Roadmap.”

Attorneys, Mental Health Professionals, and Financial Professionals attended the training, though there was also a large contingent of mental health students.  This conference was meant to kick start a groundbreaking program/clinic where the students would team up with professionals and offer collaborative divorce services to veterans.

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Money Talk 1010 AM: Cost Savings of Collaborative Divorce Compared to Trial Divorce

I recently was at the St. Petersburg studios of Money Talk 1010 AM with fellow attorney Joryn Jenkins to discuss, among other things, how a collaborative divorce tends to make more financial sense then going through the traditional courthouse divorce.  The discussion was facilitated by Let’s Talk Law’s Roxanne Wilder and sponsored by Next Generation Divorce.

The radio program begins around the 5:30 mark after the jump below.

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Podcast: Linda Solomon Discusses September St. Petersburg Collaborative Training

Recently, Linda Solomon, a Licensed Professional Counselor, appeared on the Divorce Without Destruction podcast to talk about the unique introductory collaborative training that she and the Lone Star Trainers are putting together for both civil law and family law professionals.  The training will take place September 11-12, 2015, at the beautiful St. Petersburg Yacht club in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Attorneys, mental health professionals, financial professionals, and mediators can learn more and sign up here.

For those who don’t know, Linda Solomon is one of the founders of the Neutral Facilitator model of collaborative practice that is most commonly used here in Florida.

You can listen to the podcast after the jump.

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International Academy of Collaborative Professionals Educational Forum

I am president of Next Generation Divorce, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and Florida’s largest collaborative practice group.  Next Generation Divorce is composed of over 130 members who are attorneys, mental health professionals, and financial professionals dedicated to helping families resolve divorce and family law issues privately and respectfully, through the collaborative process.  Next Generation Divorce’s practitioners cover the Greater Tampa Bay area, with offices in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Sarasota, and Manatee Counties.

Forumhighlights WebMembers of Next Generation Divorce are also required to register with an umbrella organization, the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (“IACP”).  The IACP has over 5,000 members of various disciplines working in at least 27 different countries.  And, every year, the IACP puts together a massive conference, the Forum, which helps collaborative professionals refine their skills and learn advance topics in collaborative practice.

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Video: Linda Solomon And The Neutral Facilitator Collaborative Divorce Model

Collaborative divorce has one simple requirement: The spouses must each retain attorneys who focus solely on helping them reach an agreement on all issues.  The collaborative attorneys are private problem-solving specialists, and they cannot be used in contested court hearings.  This requirement creates a safe, non-adversarial environment so that each spouse knows that the other spouse’s attorney is not attempting to gather information to use against him or her later in court.  It also ensures that resources are directed towards helping the clients reach an agreement rather than wasted in opposition research or dirty trial tactics.

There are many different models of collaborative divorce that are used throughout the world.  The model that is most frequently used here in Florida involves one neutral facilitator, who generally has a mental health background, and one neutral financial professional.  This model was created in Texas by, among others, Linda Solomon, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

You can learn more about Linda Solomon and the beginning of this model in the video below from Cutting Edge Law:

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Podcast: Forrest “Woody” Mosten on Building a Collaborative Practice

Forrest “Woody” Mosten, an internationally renowned collaborative professional and mediator and author of the Collaborative Divorce Handbook, The Complete Guide to Mediation, and Unbundling Legal Services, was recently in Tampa to put on a workshop sponsored by Next Generation Divorce.

During a lunch break at the workshop, Woody spoke with Dr. Garin Vick for his podcast show, Divorce Without Destruction.  Woody and Garin discussed how attorneys, mental health professionals, and financial professionals could build a full-time peacemaking practice.  Again, this was recorded during a lunch break of a two-day conference, so the audio is not the greatest, but Woody offers great advice for divorce professionals who want to help their clients via collaborative practice and other non-litigation methods.

This podcast may be of interest not only to professionals, but also to divorcing spouses to get a glimpse of the passion that collaborative professionals tend to have for helping their clients:

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Freezing High Conflict Divorce Litigation for the Collaborative Process

I strongly suggest that any person who is in the initial stages of a Florida divorce consider engaging in the collaborative process from the very beginning.  This simply means that each spouses hires an attorney solely for the purpose of helping them reach a divorce agreement.

The attorneys are contractually prohibited from wasting time and money on preparing for trial (90% or so of all divorce cases settle, yet millions and millions of dollars are spent each year preparing for a trial that rarely happens).  Discussions are held in a private, respectful, and transparent atmosphere, and other professionals are brought in as needed to tend to the parties’ financial and emotional needs.

But some clients are resistant to the collaborative process because of perceived cost issues or they feel they need to have a gunslinger to take out their spouse.  And many attorneys will not engage in the collaborative process because litigation work is pretty profitable or they have not invested the time and money in taking an introductory collaborative training.

And so there are plenty of divorce battles going on in the Florida court system.  It is not uncommon for those battles to go on for two, three, four, or more years, and for the parties to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorneys’ fees, expert witness fees, deposition fees, document production fees, forensic evaluation fees, court reporter fees, and so on, and feel no closer to a final resolution of their divorce.

But there is something that can be done to change the dynamics.

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Advanced Training: Get More Collaborative Cases!

Are you an attorney, mental health professional, financial professional, or mediator who wants to build a profitable and satisfying collaborative practice?  Do you want more collaborative cases? Next Generation Divorce has a training geared to you:

Woody Mosten is Coming to Tampa February 27-28, 2015.  Click Here To Learn More

Forrest “Woody” Mosten has an international reputation for high quality Mediation and Collaborative training from introductory courses to advanced supervision for highly experienced peacemakers. He maintains an intense focus on cutting edge issues in law and the craft of conflict resolution skill building, and enjoys helping other professionals build their own profitable practices.

Woody Mosten’s Training is an Approved Continuing Education Provider by the California State Bar CLE & Family Law Specialization, the California Psychological Association Accrediting Agency, and the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Most courses are approved by the Association for Conflict Resolution and may qualify for credit by other agencies and organizations throughout the world.

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