Global Collaborative Law Council

Collaborative Resolution of Civil Disputes

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Welcome New Regional Chairs  

GCLC is pleased to announce the appointment of new Regional Chairs.

South American Region: Marcello Vieira Machado Rodante, San Paulo, Brazil

Western European Region: Florence Gladel   Paris, France

U.S. Central Region: Laura R. Schlenker   Dallas, Texas

U.S. Western Region: Douglas J. Rosner   Calabasas California

U.S. Southeast Region:  Guilene Theodore   Tampa, Florida

GCLC thanks all Regional Chairs for their active efforts to develop training programs for attorneys and other professionals, and promoting the use of the collaborative practice for resolving civil disputes in all areas of law. 

GCLC Members Are Leaders in the Collaborative Movement in Texas  


In June, 2014 during the Annual Meeting of the State Bar of Texas, GCLC President Sherrie Abney, Vice-President Anne Shuttee, and Executive Director, Larry Maxwell were recognized for their contributions to the collaborative law movement in Texas and nationally.

Sherrie is the co-founder and was the first chair of the Dallas Bar Association Collaborative Law Section and currently serves as Chair of the Collaborative Law Section of the State Bar. 


Anne is Immediate Past Chair of the State Bar's Collaborative Law Section. During her tenure as Chair, Anne established a Speakers' Bureau that is providing experienced collaborative lawyers to make presentations on Collaborative Law statewide to local bar association. The State Bar's Speakers' Bureau is patterned after GCLC's Speakers' Bureau, with the goal of educating lawyers, other professionals and the public regarding the benefits of Collaborative Practice. 



Larry was presented with a Certificate of Merit, on the recommendation of the past presidents and Board of Directors of the State Bar, for his contributions to the legal profession and the State Bar of Texas. In making the presentation, Lisa Tatum, a past president of the State Bar, commended Larry "for his diligent efforts in educating members of the legal profession and the public regarding Collaborative Law, promoting enactment of the Uniform Collaborative Law Act, and his dedication to the goal of making the collaborative dispute resolution process as widely know and recognized as mediation and arbitration."  

Speakers' Bureau  

In regions where GCLC has Speakers' Bureau volunteers, GCLC will provide an experienced speaker free of charge to make presentations to bar associations, civic groups, collaborative practice groups, or for club meetings, social events or other networking opportunities. You are invited to take advantage of this opportunity to network with and learn from leaders of civil collaborative movement.

The goal of the Speakers' Bureau is to educate lawyers and other professionals, and the public about the use of Collaborative Practice in areas such as probate, trust and estate disputes, contested guardianships, non-profits and disputes in faith-based organizations, employment disputes, dissolution of closely held corporations, contract and construction disputes and medical error disputes.

To request a speaker or for more information, please contact Melanie Atha, GCLC Director and Secretary, at, or call Melanie at (205) 716-5212


Collab-o-grams: The Newsletter of GCLC  

The electronic newsletter is published quarterly, and goes to all GCLC members and to over three hundred people around the world who are interested in the civil collaborative dispute resolution process. Readers are kept informed regarding collaborative law trainings, and activities in various collaborative communities around the world. If you would like to receive Collab-o-grams and stay abreast of the worldwide collaborative movement, or have trainings or other collaborative law events that you would like to have posted on this website, e-mail GCLC. For information regarding the Benefits of Membership in GCLC, and to obtain a New Member Application form, go to Membership Information.

Why Should Businesses Hire Settlement Counsel?  

The International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR Institute) is an international nonprofit coalition of corporate counsel, top law firms, judiciary and academics, dedicated to providing resources and information in commercial conflict prevention and dispute management. During her tenure as President and CEO of the CPR Institute, Kathy A. Bryan published an article entitled Why Should Businesses Hire Settlement Counsel? in the The Journal of Dispute Resolution, a publication of the University of Missouri School of Law.

Ms. Bryan's conclusion: There is a natural resistance to radical new ideas. Given the rapid growth and stunning impact of CL in family law, it is time to experiment with CL concepts in the business setting. Corporate counsel should take the lead and experiment with using separate settlement counsel and with more pure forms of CL. If successful, CL will begin to take root. 

New York is Interested in Collaborative Law and the Uniform Collaborative Law Act  

Norman Solovay, a Director and Past-president of GCLC, is a prominent New York attorney who has many years of litigation and arbitration experience, In recent years he has enthusiastically supported collaborative law and other ADR processes for resolving civil disputes. He is actively involved with the Dispute Resolution Section of the New York State Bar Association, and he was instrumental in the  January 2011 publication by the Section of a Report of the Uniform Collaborative Law Act supporting the Uniform Collaborative Law Act.

In 2009, Norman Solovay and GCLC Past President and current Executive Director, Larry Maxwell co-authored an article entitled "Why a Uniform Collaborative Law Act?," which was published in Spring 2009, Vol. 2, No. 1, of the New York Dispute Resolution Lawyer, a publication of the Dispute Resolution Section of the New York State Bar Association. The authors strongly support enactment of the UCLA and opine that ". . .the further growth and development of collaborative law holds out significant benefits for clients and the legal profession. . ."

Construction Industry's ConsensusDocs and Collaborative Law  

The Winter 2008 edition of the Construction Law Journal, a publication of the State Bar of Texas Construction Law Section, contains an article entitled Collaborative Law: It's Here and the ConsensusDocs Are, Too, authored by Lawrence R. Maxwell, Jr. and William B. Short, Jr. The article provides a brief historical perspective of the development of the collaborative dispute resolution process, details how the process works and explains the similarities between the protocols and procedures of the collaborative process and the construction industry’s ConsensusDOCS. Gregory M. Cokinos, of the Houston law firm of  Cokinos, Bosien & Young, Editor of the Journal comments that "the collaborative process requires a different approach to resolving disputes with a cooperative mandate and deserves consideration."

Significant Developments in Collaborative Law  

In February 2007, the American Bar Association Section on Dispute Resolution established a Collaborative Law Committee. David Hoffman of Boston, and GCLC members Larry Maxwell of Dallas and Melanie Atha of Birmingham currently serve as Co-chairs of the Committee. The mission of the Committee is to encourage the use of Collaborative Law, educate the Section, the ABA and the public about the use of Collaborative Law, A number of GCLC members actively participate in the work of the Committee.

In August 2007 the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility issued Formal Opinion 07-477 approving the use of collaborative law agreements by lawyers. The ABA Ethics Opinion puts to rest the questions raised by the Colorado Ethics Opinion, and squarely supports the use of collaborative law participation agreements so long as the clients are well informed about the process. In October 2008, the Collaborative Law Committee authored a Discussion Draft entitled Summary of Ethics Rules Governing Collaborative Practice, The paper addresses ethical issues considered in state court opinions issued to date and ABA Formal Opinion 07-477.


In July 2009, at its Annual Meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Uniform Law Commission by a unanimous vote approved the Uniform Collaborative Law Act. In 2010, the Commission approved Court Rules which mirror the original UCLA, and modified the 2009 UCLA to enable states to adopt the Act only in matters arising under a states' family laws. For more information on the UCLA Act/Rules, and an update on enactments and introductions, go to The History of the Development of the UCLA Act/Rules

In 2011, the ABA Collaborative Law Committee developed a Mission Statement and established Sub-committees to carry out its short and long-range objectives. The Committee is most interested in educating the public and the next generation of lawyers as to the benefits of the collaborative process for resolving all civil disputes.

Collaborative Law Brochures  

A series of brochures have been developed which describe the civil collaborative process and explain how the process can be used for resolving disputes in various areas of law. For information on obtaining samples of the brochures, and ordering brochures, e-mail GCLC.

The first book published on Civil Collaborative Law  

Avoiding Litigation: A Guide to Civil Collaborative Law 
        by Sherrie R. Abney, GCLC Co-founder and President

Avoiding Litigation has received excellent reviews, by the late Gay G. Cox, published in The Collaborative Review, and by Lawrence R. Maxwell, Jr., published in Alternative Resolutions.

GCLC will benefit from purchases of Avoiding Litigation: A Guide To Civil Collaborative Lawand other books on the GCLC website: Books from Amazon.

The book has received notable endorsements from around the country:

"Here it is! The definitive book on Civil Collaborative practice!"

                                    Rita Pollak, Co-founder
                                    Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council

"Thank you for providing this excellent work to spread the gospel. Only one as uniquely qualified as you could have transferred lessons learned from domestic practice to the civil arena - and you have performed the task eloquently. Your work will be a useful tool in reforming a flawed legal system."

                                    Nolan Murrah, Program Director

                                    Office of Dispute Resolution, State of Georgia

"Avoiding Litigation provides a great deal of practical information in a theoretical framework that helps both clients and their counsel understand this revolutionary new approach to conflict resolution. I recommend this book to attorneys who are interested in trying this new, better way of practicing law and resolving conflicts."

                                    William M. Andrews, Director
                                    Collaborative Council of the Redwood Empire

"This book is a must read for attorneys interested in exploring the possibility of enhancing their own lives and that of their clients by utilizing this ground-breaking new approach to dispute resolution. Abney's style is eminently readable, and her grasp of collaborative concept is as good as you can get."
                                    Norma Levine Trusch, Past President
                                    International Academy of 
                                      Collaborative Professionals


The first textbook published on Civil Collaborative Law  

    Civil Collaborative Law: a road less travelled
        by Sherrie R. Abney, Co-founder and President of GCLC

GCLC will benefit from purchases of Civil Collaborative Law: the road less travelled, and other books on the GCLC website: Books from Amazon.

Stu Webb, the creator of collaborative law, believes that collaborative practice is beginning to take hold in the area of civil law and when it takes hold, the growth of collaborative practice in that area will equal or exceed the growth that has happened in family law.
"One of the key parties that is making a difference in midwifing collaborative practice in the field of civil law is Sherrie Abney. I am hopeful that Civil Collaborative Law: a road less travelled  and subsequent trainings will create the energy for civil law practitioners to experience the break-through in their area of practice that we family-law practitioners continue to experience as we support clients to achieve collaborative agreements."
                           Stu Webb
                           Attorney at Law
                           Minneapolis, Minnesota
Having trained in civil collaborative law throughout the United States and internationally, Sherrie's textbook has received notable endorsements from around the world.

"Sherrie Abney's relaxed, informative and engaging manner of teaching transitions seamlessly into her style of writing. It is cliché to say that this book is a "must read" for students and practitioners of the collaborative process, but Sherrie's latest text is one which every student and collaborative practitioner will want to have close at hand."

                           Robert Lopich
                           Collaborative Lawyer & Nationally Accredited Mediator
                           Sydney, Australia
"With a very solid background in civil law as a mediator and collaborative lawyer, Sherrie shares her valuable experiences and thoughts with others through her training, this manuscript and may articles focused on the collaborative process. Her training is very complex and focuses not only on theory, but mainly on practical issues. I highly appreciate the materials that Sherrie provides."
                           JUDr. Marie Brozova
                           Prague, Czech Republic
"In this text, Sherrie provides a balanced and comprehensive framework that will enable trainers and law students around the globe to acquire the requisite knowledge and skill in the collaborative dispute resolution process. It will aid readers in developing the capacity to appraise current practice within their locality and to critically evaluate the possibility of a paradigm shift to better serve their clients."

                           Bob Rawlings Onghetich
                           International Law Institute  
                           African Centre for Legal Excellence
                           Kampala, Uganda