In December, Larry Hance presented to the Dallas Bar Association’s Collaborative Law Section. His topic: “What Would Happen if an Entire Town Embraced Collaborative Law? The Lessons of Medicine Hat.”
What, you might ask, is Medicine Hat and what does it have to do with family law? Medicine Hat is a town in Alberta that had the unique opportunity to implement the collaborative divorce system completely. Essentially, every family law practitioner in town encouraged clients to implement collaborative law as a standard form of divorce resolution and the town bought in.
“Medicine Hat is part of the rich history of Collaborative Divorce,” says Hance, “and it began there about the same time as it [Collaborative Divorce] did in Dallas (1990). The full conversion of the Medicine Hat legal community from litigation to collaborative was quick and had a positive impact on the entire town. Those of us who know the value of Collaborative Divorce would love to see that kind of impact in Dallas–and across Texas.”
While we may not be ready to scrap litigation in Dallas entirely, the more widespread the utilization of the collaborative process instead of the courthouse could be profoundly positive for any community, including those in Texas!