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Catherine Conner: A Collaborative Community
Cutting Edge Law Categories:
Collaborative Law and Practice
When my collaborative practice group was faltering, we went looking for experts to talk to about how to shore it up. We found Catherine Conner. Later, we interviewed her in California during October, 2008.
Catherine Conner is a founding partner of Conner, Lawrence & Rodney. She is the immediate Past President of the Collaborative Council of the Redwood Empire http://www.collaborativecouncil.org/index.html and speaks on a regular basis on family law and alternative dispute resolution. She co-authored Collaborative Practice Materials, a practice manual for collaborative practitioners, available at http://www.clr829.com/inner.iml/resources.htm.
The Redwood Empire group is widely believed to be the most successful practice group in the country and Catherine often trains other groups on practice development.
The quality of her contributions to Sonoma County family law was recognized when she was honored as the 2003 recipient of the Rex Sater Award for Excellence in Family Law. Catherine is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell. She has also been chosen as a Northern California Super Lawyer and one of the Best Lawyers of America.
In Part 1, Catherine tells of her early career and development of the practice in the Redwood Empire, getting bogged down in advertising, integrating interdisciplinary professionals into the group, and overcoming challenges.
In Part 2, Catherine continues her story, telling of how she created her "perfect collaborative group" and how they went about the formation of the group, how it is structured, and some of the activities of the board and committees. She gives some examples of the educational programs offered by the practice group.
In Part 3, Catherine continues to talk about the educational programs and about the materials the practice group has put together to support the creation of other groups. I'm particularly interested in how they integrate new members and keep relationships within the group from becoming toxic since I've seen that in many groups.