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Press Release: Managing Your Collaborative Practice

By Joryn Jenkins


Press Release: Managing Your Collaborative Practice

On January 22, 2016, Joryn Jenkins, a collaborative attorney and author of War or Peace, I Never Saw My Father Again, and A Free Divorce Handbook, will present her inaugural collaborative staff training, Open for Business, Managing Your Collaborative Practice for Passion and Profit in sunny Tampa, Florida. Renowned collaborative attorney, Forrest “Woody” Mosten, among others, will make a guest appearance.

Collaborative practice is a process for resolving divorce and other civil issues that does not involve the courts in an adversarial way. It provides a unique settlement process alternative to expensive, time-consuming litigation. It does not rely on court-imposed resolutions but instead permits the parties to negotiate in an atmosphere of honesty, cooperation, integrity, and professionalism geared toward the future well-being of the restructured family. In this process, each party hires an attorney trained in collaborative practice and interest-based negotiation. The collaborative attorneys pledge to withdraw if the parties are not able to reach a resolution out of court. This assures that everyone is committed to the settlement process. A neutral facilitator guides the meetings and is trained at spotting emotional pitfalls that may keep the parties from effectively negotiating. Additionally, a neutral financial professional helps the parties to compile their financial discovery documents and provides ideas for settlement of financial matters.

As Jenkins transitioned from a litigator to a collaborative attorney, she noticed that her office and staff remained litigation-minded. Rather than focusing on peacemaking, they stuck to their old adversarial habits. Jenkins soon realized that, just like collaborative attorneys and professionals, staff needed training to effectively make this difficult paradigm shift. Attendees will learn that the goal in the collaborative process is not to break down the other party, as is often the case in litigation, but instead, to work as a team to reach an agreement that meets both parties’ most important interests. Collaborative team members focus their energy on being positive and efficient, rather than on being defeating and damaging. Working as a team, they encourage the rest of the team, including the parties, to remain open-minded and creative. Rather than acting in knee-jerk opposition, a collaborative attorney and her staff will try to put the other side at ease and direct the parties on what is best for their families, regardless of what the law says.

Joryn likes to tell her clients “The law should be your last resort.”

The January 2016 training will teach staff members (and professionals who have also registered) how to ensure that their clients experience the best divorce possible – divorce with dignity, a positive and healthy step toward a restructured family’s future. Not only will attendees get a peek into what happens behind those closed doors in the privacy of the collaborative divorce conference room, but they will learn the appropriate attitude and standards to run a collaborative business more smoothly.

They will learn the importance of a peaceful office ambience, which must cocoon clients in an inspirational atmosphere that will empower them to make the right decisions for their families. In this hands-on training, attendees will role play how to answer a cold-call and explain the various divorce process options, how to welcome team members to the office, and how to deliver a collaborative divorce pitch.

Jenkins will equip collaborative staffers to talk-the-talk and walk-the-walk, ensuring that a collaborative professional’s team’s culture, office policies and procedures, and space’s infrastructure all project the peacemaking environment necessary for a successful collaborative firm.

Joryn, attorney and Open Palm Founder, began her own firm here in Tampa after a 14-year career in law, 2 of which she served as a professor of law at Stetson University. She is a recipient of the prestigious A. Sherman Christensen Award, an honor bestowed upon those who have provided exceptional leadership to The American Inns of Court Movement. For more information on Joryn’s professional experience, take a look at her resume.

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