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Family DR options advice – carrot or stick?

16 December 13

Preview of the 2014 Portfolio training programme for family lawyers

by Anne Hall Dick

Would you like to do training which has been “100% recommended” and described as “an essential tool to future caseload”, “very human, very necessary”, “essential training for a family lawyer”, and “crucial training”?

Or, coming at it from a different angle, would you like assistance to comply with the recent guidance from the Law Society of Scotland in relation to rule B1.9? Just by way of reminder, the guidance highlights the need to be able to discuss and explain available dispute resolution options, including the advantages and disadvantages of each, to enable the client to make an informed decision about that aspect.

This guidance might provide the nudge, or the chance of adding skills to your repertoire might be the incentive, to consider extending your own range of dispute resolution options. Whatever the motivation, family lawyers have the opportunity to embark on the Portfolio programme, run under the wing of Consensus and CALM, starting in March 2014.

The Portfolio provides a cornucopia of training opportunities. There are one-day trainings (13 March, 21 August), which cover negotiation theory and skills, including considering the range and impact of different forms of dispute resolution, and half-day trainings which help you understand the psychological impact of conflict and loss (15 May), normal child development (18 September) and children’s reaction to separation (7 November, provisional).

A combination of those modules can be the gateway to the two-day training in collaborative practice (11-12 June), or three-day training in core mediation practice (tbc). The day and the half-day modules can also be attended as standalone training.

The choice of process used to sort things out following a separation will be a significant factor in how a post-separation family functions. Being able to assist clients to make the right choice of dispute resolution option is one of the most important areas of advice family lawyers can give. Using the appropriate form of dispute resolution should provide the most satisfactory journey through the process for clients and solicitors alike.

Full details can be obtained from lorna.mcintyre@flmscotland.co.uk

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