Collaborative Law seminar focuses on civil practitioners, in-house counsel

Issue May 2008

The first collaborative law seminar to focus specifically on civil practitioners and in-house counsel was co-sponsored by the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council on April 10 and 11 at the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Boston office.

Collaborative law is a growing area within the alternative dispute resolution movement that touts time and cost savings in a process that allows the parties involved to come up with the best possible outcome. However, it’s a practice method that is still seeking mainstream acceptance with everyone from clients to judges.

Panelist Karen J. Levitt, of the Levitt Law Group in Lowell, said, “I think it’s going to be a client-driven movement, in many ways.”

Noting that it is not a “cheap” alternative, Levitt said, “This may be a more cost-efficient way to do things.”

Panelist Michael A. Zeytoonian, of Hutchings, Barsamian, Mandelcorn & Zeytoonian LLP in Wellesley, said he was encouraged by the strengthening relationship between MCLC and the MBA. He said he hopes the program will be the first of more focused general trainings.

Levitt said that MCLC has trained more than 500 attorneys and other professionals just in Massachusetts.

Theodore M. Hess-Mahan, an attorney at Hutchings Barsamian, said he was intrigued by the concept.

“More than once, I’ve wondered if there wasn’t a better way than to hammer each other over the head,” Hess-Mahan said.