Attorney Karen J. Levitt was a guest speaker along with Collaborative Coach Michelle Tetreault, LICSW, at a Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council practice group meeting of the Tri River practice group, held on November 16, 2017. Attorney Karen J. Levitt and Michelle Tetreault spoke about some of the dynamics and challenges for same sex couples in divorce. The meeting was well attended with a lively discussion amongst attorneys, financial professionals, and mental health professionals about the issues presented. Ms. Tetreault has been in private practice in Exeter, New Hampshire for over twenty (20) years, and works primarily with couples. Michelle and Attorney Levitt were some of the co-authors of the MCLE publication, Collaborative Law: Practice and Procedures, MCLE’s first manual on collaborative practice.
The Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council sponsored workshop entitled “Ethics: Maintaining Our Collaborative Compasses”, which was held on November 14, 2017 at the Courtyard Marriott in Woburn, MA was well attended by professionals from various disciplines including legal, financial and mental health. Attorney Karen J. Levitt’s co-presentation with Attorney Jeffrey Fink, Coach/Facilitator Linda Cohan, and Financial Professional and CPA Lauren Desforge started with some background information about legal ethics including those of the ABA, IACP, and Massachusetts, and about the ethical boundaries for financial professionals and mental health professionals. Following the lecture component were role plays, as well as discussion, to educate and create dialogue about ethical issues that arise not just in Collaborative practice but in litigation and mediation as well. The program got rave reviews!
Attorney Karen J. Levitt was again invited by Attorney Paula Kaldis, Assistant Dean of the Massachusetts School of Law, to speak at Professor Kaldis’ Collaborative Justice class on November 7, 2017. Attorney Levitt enjoys sharing her experiences with law students. The law students in the class were exploring conflict resolution and its application not just in family law but in other practice areas. Attorney Karen J. Levitt spoke about family law dispute resolution including Collaborative Law and Mediation, and the differences between those process options for resolving conflict as compared to litigation. The students were provided with some background regarding the development of Collaborative Law and Mediation in Massachusetts, and the many ways in which conflict resolution outside of Court can at times better serve the goals of parties and children in family law conflicts, by meeting their needs and interests rather than using a “win-lose” perspective.
Karen also attended the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP) annual conference in Philadelphia this year from October 12-15th, 2017. Almost 500 people from around the world attend this conference, and there was a large contingent from Massachusetts as well. Guest speakers at the conference included Attorney David Hoffman and Attorney Daniel Shapiro, both experts and well known in the legal dispute resolution community. Attorney Karen J. Levitt Levitt attended a number of programs on conflict resolution, leadership in legal and collaborative communities, and an interesting program on the use of Collaborative Law and Elder Care coordination. The IACP’s conference next year is in Seattle which Karen hopes to attend.