Collaborative Advocacy Workshop – March 10/11, 2021

Limited to 40 participants - Register today on the Events Page

CFLCW is offering a special online workshop on March 10 & 11, 2021 from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm each day on the topic of Collaborative Advocacy. This highly interactive program will be conducted by Victoria Smith, JD and Deborah Graham, JD, the Council's 2020 Annual Meeting keynote speakers.

Victoria Smith is a Toronto family lawyer with over 30 years of experience. She has confined her practice to out-of-court settlement work using Collaborative Law/Collaborative Practice and mediation.

The co-author of Collaborative Family Law, Another Way to Resolve Family Disputes, and numerous articles on Collaborative Practice. Victoria was an Adjunct Professor of Collaborative Lawyering at Osgoode Hall Law School. She is a former member of the Board of Collaborative Practice Toronto and a former member of the Board of Directors of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.

Deborah Graham is is the owner of The Settlement Clinic which supports settlement professionals in spreading the word, growing their settlement practices and doing better and better work.

She works exclusively on negotiating settlements through Collaborative Practice or mediation. Deborah is a faculty member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. She was also adjunct faculty at Osgoode Hall Law School where she taught Collaborative Lawyering. She is a guest speaker at Osgoode's LLM program and their Certificate in Family Law where she teaches consensual dispute resolution.

Session details

The session will be held from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm on consecutive days - March 10 and 11, 2021. CFLCW members may participate for a fee of $295. CFLCW will apply for 6.0 Continuing Education Credits. This is a Zoom meeting which will require an audio and video connection. Payment can be made in the Registration & Events of this website.

Introductions, Challenges, Goals

The Evolution to Conflict Resolution Advocacy

Table work-what does advocacy mean to you?  What are the tensions and challenges?
Key assumptions underlying traditional advocacy and why they no longer make sense
Advocacy in a settlement context

Redefining the role of the advocate
What we keep from traditional advocacy and what's new

The spectrum of advocacy within collaborative practice

  1. Appreciating facilitative advocacy the parties and advocacy
  2. Customizing advocacy to the client and the case
  3. When is it appropriate to be facilitative?
  4. When is it appropriate to be partisan?
  5. Risks of too little or too much advocacy
  6. Understanding the resistance to advocacy within our community?
  7. Continual evaluation of advocacy needs

Screening and Process Design:
A Focus on Client Capacity and Engagement

Intake scenarios 

Using Neutrals to Enhance Advocacy 

Table work-what does neutrality mean to you?
What are the limitations of advocacy and collaborative practice?
What factors might lead you to consider a neutral?

  1. party meeting staunch advocate
  2. extreme outrage against perceived unfairness of the law
  3. party obtaining several second opinions, feeling unrepresented
  4. bullying, intimidation, powerful personality
  5. other spouse passive, lacking self-esteem, guilty
  6. borderline personality-Bridget perception of the world, angry
  7. enmeshed clients
  8. ambivalence about separation
  9. lawyer caught between demands of own client in duty to other client and lawyer
  10. numerous meetings without resolution

Using Neutrals to Enhance Advocacy - continued

What can a neutral offer?

  1. Manage client emotional dynamics
  2. Manage professional relationships
  3. Mediate

What training and skills does the neutral need?  - The Edward and Ellen case study

Building Strong Collaborative Teams

The tools we need-communication skills exercises

  1. I statements
  2. Non-defensive questions
  3. Focusing on contribution and not blame

What undermines trust?
What do we do when the other professional is not collaborative?
Carol and Curtis case study

The Role of the Law in an Interest-Based Process

Fact situations 1, 2 and 3                                

Side Deals and Bad Deals

Fact situation 4

Becoming a Reflective Practitioner