Conflict Resolution – Mediation – Collaborative Divorce
Collaborative Separation – Negotiation out of Court
I have been a lawyer for 35 years. From 1982 to 2004 I was a general practitioner which included litigation. In 1997 mediation started being a more substantial part of my practice. And in 2004 I began practicing as a collaborative lawyer.
Since 2004, I practice mostly as a mediator and as collaborative divorce lawyer. That year I made a major change in my practice, a 180 degree turn, by putting aside the adversarial process of position based negotiations and litigation (contested procedures and trials), to a practice centered on mediation and collaboration, therefore focused on interest based negotiations for my clients. In other words, that the needs of my clients be at the center of the negotiations in mediation, collaborative divorce, collaborative separation or in negotiations out of court to find the appropriate solutions to their disputes and conflicts. I do not go to court and I do not litigate. My practice is thus court free and litigation free. I MEDIATE AND I COLLABORATE!
When the decision has been taken to proceed in mediation the next step is to choose a mediator. The experience of the mediator you will retain is a key factor to your mediation. I have a continuous day-to-day mediation practice. In the last 20 years over 1500 persons have retained me as their mediator.
Collaborative family law, also named collaborative divorce or collaborative separation, is a field of practice exercised by family lawyers in Quebec since 2003. I was one of about forty lawyers that were the first to be trained in Quebec in 2003 to become collaborative divorce lawyers. Since then, several lawyers have followed the training. It is an alternate dispute resolution (ADR) process. As in mediation, it is an interest based negotiation, and not a position based negotiation.
The practice of law today, more than ever before, requires a lawyer to negotiate with his counterparts. Since I have started practicing as a mediator in 1993 I have used the negotiating techniques of active listening when I negotiate with other lawyers.
The Quebec Ministry of Justice offers in the Courthouses of Quebec parenting after separation information sessions to parents who are separated with children under their care and who have not been able to reach an amicable agreement. The sessions are given by certified family mediators, and I am one of those that offers those information sessions. I inform the parents on the topics of mediation and some of the judicial aspects further to a separation.
It is always a pleasure for me to communicate my know-how and experience as a supervisor in family mediation to upcoming family mediators who have to be supervised to obtain their certification.
I have been for some years now on the training committee of the Quebec Collaborative Law Group. I am a co-trainer in collaborative family law to lawyers who want to practice in that field. This way I can pass on my knowledge and my experience, which I have done with pleasure to lawyers in different regions of Quebec, in New Brunswick and in Geneva, Switzerland.