I am past chair of the Cincinnati Academy of Collaborative Professionals. Our group is a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization created to educate the public about the benefits of Collaborative Family Law. We began as a lawyer only group with a small number of committed Domestic Relations attorneys who knew there must surely be a better way to solve the problems that couples face when transitioning out of a marital relationship.
The Cincinnati practice group began in the early 1990’s. Lawyers active in the alternative dispute resolution movement (mediators and arbitrators) were introduced to the concept of Collaborative Law developed by an attorney from Minneapolis, Minnesota, named Stu Webb. Mr. Webb’s determination to find “a different way” for divorcing couples quickly spread among members of the alternative dispute resolution community nationwide. A mediator from northern California, named Chip Rose, initially trained the attorneys from Cincinnati, in the Collaborative methods. It was a new paradigm, using mediation skills in a bi-lateral setting where adversarial litigation was not involved. The brightest and the best Domestic Relations attorneys in Cincinnati were invited to become members of the Collaborative Family Lawyers of Cincinnati. Mutual respect and trust amongst the attorneys facilitated the formation of the group and served as the foundation for building upon a shared vision. The group has written and established requirements for membership as well as protocols for practice. We now have over 70 members.