Collaborative Law History
Collaborative Law was started by a divorce lawyer in Minnesota by the name of Stu Webb approximately 20 years ago. He had been going through the stress and distress of family law litigation for about 30 years and had reached the point where he was ready to pack it in. He felt that there had to be a better way for people to deal with these very important issues in their lives instead of going to court. So he spoke to a few of his colleagues and a judge and they started to work out a process.
The collaborative process is voluntary and confidential. All of the parties enter into it committed to engage in principled negotiation with a view to settling the dispute without going to court. The lawyers' role is that of legal adviser and of ally to their clients. They will facilitate and guide the negotiations while the clients themselves conduct the negotiations.
A Participation Agreement which sets out the rules governing the process and the obligations of the parties is signed by the clients, the lawyers and any experts. Collaborative Practices has spread exponentially throughout the United States, Canada, UK, Australia and Europe since 1990.
The International Academy of Collaborative Professionals(IACP) is an international interdisciplinary organisation promoting collaborative practice around the world. There is a wealth of information available on that site for those interested in further researching this exciting development to dispute resolution.