I had the immensely good fortune to be invited to America and Canada to speak to the collaborative law communities in Cincinnati and Oakville, nr Toronto last week.
I was hosted in Cincinnati by the charming Maury White, who runs an exceptional collaborative divorce office on the north side of town. We presented to about 38 of his Ohio collaborative practitioner colleagues some of whom had driven 4 1/2 hours to get there. Let me tell you, when you know people are driving that far you know you have to make it worth their while.
The day’s session on Understanding Conflict in Collaborative and Family Law was very well received.
I was taken to watch Cincinnati Reds play in the evening as well.
They play baseball. Baseball is a curious mix of the incredibly slow interspersed with explosive bursts of action, not all of which is productive. The tension that mounts as bases 1, 2 and 3 all get loaded is close to unbearable and the constant promise of a home run, at any time, is really seductive.
A steady stream of bud and hot dogs, rounded off with supper at Cincinnati’s Skyline Chili (only one `l’) house made for a most enjoyable first visit to Cincinnati. If it’s chili you want, preferably with half a block of grated cheese on top, Skyline is the place.
I look forward to returning in Spring 2012.
After Cincinnati I took the short flight to Toronto where I was collected by my kind host Joelle Adelson, an up and coming collaborative practitioner who is making a great name for herself in the Toronto and Oakville region.
Again we had about 37 guests gathered in a stunning yachting club/marina just east of Oakville on the lake.
Understanding Conflict was again received very well although it was a hot hot day. The large windows behind me which afforded a beautiful view in the morning became quite uncomfortable.
Again I was entertained in the evening with a fascinating meal and discussion at Jonathan‘s Restaurant, Oakville, before travelling to the big smoke, Toronto, on Friday. There was also an amazing Thai restaurant in Oakville, the Soontorn Bahn where we had eaten the previous night.
Having checked into a weird hotel (no bar, no restaurant) I then went downtown to meet with Hilary Linton from Riverdale Mediation for a fascinating conversation about mediation and collaborative process, mediation/arbitration hybrids and introducing mediation into the northern-most reaches of Canada.
Hilary does great work on screening for mediation and convinced me of the need to do more of this within collaborative law as well. I felt that we consider screening but I am not sure we actually do it.