Mediation and Collaborative Law

Mediation is a form of confidential, voluntary alternative dispute resolution that involves an independent, neutral party helping conflicting parties to solve a problem. The neutral party serves to facilitate principled direct negotiation between the disputing parties.

Mediation promotes negotiation, reconciliation, compromise, and settlement. Frequently, disputants and the mediator work together during the entire course of the mediation. In other situations, the mediator will "caucus" with each disputant individually to promote communication of the various parties' goals, interests, and needs. All information disclosed in mediation is confidential.

Most cases can be successfully resolved using the mediation process. If there is no agreement on all issues in mediation, all other options including arbitration and litigation are available for the unresolved issues. Not all issues of the case need to be resolved in mediation to make a successful effort.

Collaborative Law is a structured, multi-disciplinary process in which the disputants, their attorneys, and other professionals agree to resolve all issues in their case without involving a court. They work together, in private, to find a way to meet each individual's needs so that they may collaboratively reach a solution to the dispute. Collaborative law typically involves a team consisting of attorneys, financial professionals, communication specialists, and mental health professionals as required. Collaborative law currently is most commonly used in divorce and other family law disputes. The process is rapidly expanding to other areas of the law.

Ronnie has received formal training in family collaborative law. He holds a Certificate of Conflict Resolution from Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas and is recognized as a Credentialed Mediator by the Texas Mediator Credentialing Association. He is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, the Collaborative Law Institute of Texas, and is a member of the Board of Directors and Treasurer of Denton County Collaborative Professionals.

©2008 Ronnie C. McClure, PhD, CPA