Collaborative Law Institute of Texas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Collaborative Law Institute of Texas
Founded 2003
  • Dallas
Area served
Services Collaborative law training

The Collaborative Law Institute of Texas (CLI-TX) is a non-profit organization, founded in 2003 and headquartered in Dallas, to promote collaborative law as an alternative to traditional litigation in solving divorce disputes. The organization's membership includes lawyers, financial professionals, and mental health professionals who practice collaborative law and/or serve on collaborative law teams.

Mission and Vision Statements[edit]

In May 2013, the organization revised its mission statement to read, “To provide value to our membership through Collaborative Law training, education, and resources, and resources,” and revised its vision statement to read, “To be the premier resource for Collaborative Law in the State of Texas.” [1]


In 1999, as collaborative law was gaining notice around the nation as an alternative to traditional divorce, Dallas attorneys John McShane and Larry Hance invited Pauline Tesler (a collaborative law proponent based in Mill Valley, Calif.) to the State Bar of Texas’ Advanced Family Law Course, an annual four-day educational seminar for as many as 2,000 Texas family law attorneys, to speak on collaborative law.[2]

Houston-based family lawyer Harry Tindall spearheaded efforts to make collaborative law an option for divorcing couples in Texas. In 2001, as a result of Tindall’s efforts, Texas became the first state in the United States to adopt a collaborative law statute.[3] The legislation, termed a "progressive, trends-setting legal model," became official in September 2001.[4]

In 2002, McShane and Hance recruited a group of family lawyers representing some of Texas’ most populous cities and metropolitan areas for the purposes of founding a statewide organization dedicated to collaborative law practice in Texas. That October, the 2nd annual International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP) Conference convened in Galveston, bringing collaborative law practitioners from throughout North America to Texas. The conference included presentations on marketing from the Collaborative Law Council of Wisconsin, including details on how law marketing consultant Elizabeth Ferris (of Milwaukee-based Ferris Consulting) helped the nascent organization develop awareness of collaborative law in Wisconsin.[5]

The Texas lawyers then invited Ferris to participate in a two-day retreat in May 2003, to help create the strategic plan for the new Collaborative Law Institute of Texas, which included the creation of a membership structure and training programs for collaborative law practitioners and family lawyers, financial professionals, and mental health professionals interested in collaborative law.[6]

The nascent organization then began its efforts in educating the public on collaborative law, including releasing a study showing significant reductions in time and money spent in collaborative divorce, when compared to a traditional courtroom divorce.[7] The organization also grew its numbers of lawyers, mental health professionals and financial professionals in Texas seeking to practice collaborative law,[8] and demonstrated that it could be used in cases involving business disputes as well as divorce disputes.[9]


Collaborative Law Institute of Texas maintains a number of committees and sub-committees. Committees include Membership, Marketing, Resources (with Forms & PA, Protocols, Book Task Force, Website, Blog, and Newsletter sub-committees), Professional Training and Education, Community Building (with Practice Groups, IACP, State Bar, and New Partners sub-committees), and Ad Hoc (with Scholarship and Fundraising sub-committees).[10]


The Collaborative Law Institute of Texas, in collaboration with the State Bar of Texas, hosts an annual educational conference on collaborative law, involving a number of the organization’s lawyers, financial professionals and mental health professionals, as well as invited guests. The conference, typically held in March, also marks the start of the term for new Board of Trustee officers. The 2013 edition of the event featured a special presentation by Dallas-based financier T. Boone Pickens, a proponent of collaborative law and a long-time supporter of the Collaborative Law Institute of Texas.[11]

The organization, in addition to hosting its annual conference, also presents a half-day course on collaborative law as part of the State Bar of Texas’ annual Advanced Family Law Course. The conference, held each August in San Antonio, commemorated its 40th year in 2014.[12]

The organization's partnership with the State Bar of Texas also includes the State Bar creating a Collaborative Law Section in May 2010.[13][14]

The organization also provides CLE education programs and other programming throughout the year, coordinated by CLI-TX members and held in a number of Texas cities.

Legislative Efforts[edit]

In addition to Texas becoming the first state in the United States to adopt a collaborative law statute in 2001, Texas adopted the Uniform Family Collaborative Law Act (also known as the Uniform Collaborative Law Act) in 2011. The UFCLA, detailing an expanded list of provisions for collaborative law practice, follows from the 2009 UCLA adopted by the Uniform Law Commission, and Texas is one of eight states to have adopted the legislation as of June 2013.[15] As with the original 2001 legislation, Harry Tindall was instrumental in lobbying the Texas Legislature to pass the UFCLA;[16] they did so unanimously, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed the bill into law on June 17, 2011.[17]


  1. ^ "Collaborative Law Institute of Texas Blog".  Retrieved 2013-6-30.
  2. ^ Rebecca Glass. "Tipping Toward Civility: Developing Collaborative Law in the U.S. and Canada".  International Academy of Collaboraive Professionals website Retrieved 2013-6-30.
  3. ^ Kris Axtman. "Make Way for the Friendly Divorce," Christian Science Monitor, May 24, 2004". Retrieved 2013-7-8.
  4. ^ Andi Wray. "Parting is sweet sorrow when couples collaborative".  Jamaica Observer, Dec. 9, 2002, Retrieved 2013-7-8.
  5. ^ orma Trusch. "What Every Therapist Should Know About Collaborative Law," Law Office of Norma Levine Trusch website". , Retrieved 2013-7-1.
  6. ^ Jennifer Tull. "Lawyers in Community: A Lesson in Precession," Paper delivered to the International Association of Holistic Lawyers Annual Conference, November 2004". , Retrieved 2013-7-8.
  7. ^ Kris Axtman. "Friendly' divorce movement gains ground," Christian Science Monitor, May 21, 2004". , Retrieved 2013-7-1.
  8. ^ Dave Moore. "Happier Ending Through Collaborative Divorce," D Magazine, May 12, 2010". , Retrieved 2013-7-1.
  9. ^ Cheryl Hall. "Ending the Marriage, Not the Business," Dallas Morning News, April 5, 2009" (PDF). 
  10. ^ " "Committees page, Collaborative Law Institute of Texas website". , Retrieved 2013-6-30.
  11. ^ Bill Hetchcock. "T. Boone Pickens on how to save millions on your divorce," Dallas Business Journal, Mar. 1. 2013". , Retrieved 2013-6-30.
  12. ^ "39th Annual Advanced Family Law Course brochure PDF, State Bar of Texas website" (PDF). , Retrieved 2013-6-30.
  13. ^ Collaborative Law Section Bylaws page, State Bar of Texas website.
  14. ^ "2009-10 State Bar of Texas Section Reports". , Retrieved 2013-7-1.
  15. ^ "Alabama Enacts Uniform Collaborative Law Act, Uniform Law Commission website". , Retrieved 2013-6-30.
  16. ^ "Texas Legislature Online". , Retrieved 2013-7-8.
  17. ^ "Uniform Collaborative Family Law Act Signed by Gov. Perry, Collaborative Law Institute of Texas blog, June 20, 2011". , Retrieved 2013-6-30.