Collaborative Law Presentation – CBA Canadian Legal Conference – Vancouver Family Lawyers Marla Gilsig and Nancy Cameron QC

From Litigation to Collaboration: Achieving the Full Paradigm Shift for You, Your Firm and Clients –
Improving Access to Justice particularly in Family Law

Practice-Focused Presentation by the CBA’s National Small, Solo and General Practice Forum
2.5 Hours CPD followed by a 0.5-hour Small, Solo and General Practice Forum Business Meeting
Canadian Bar Association Canadian Legal Conference, CBA and CCCA Programs Aug 12 – 14, 2012
Vancouver, BC
Monday, August 13, 2012 from 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM Moderator: Marla Gilsig, GILSIG Family Law

Let go of being the gladiator and become a conflict resolution advocate in a collaborative practice.
Collaborative practice is an enlightened alternative to litigation – a process tailored to the parties and
not the other way around. Lawyers have a joint mandate to empower their clients to create their own
agreement. Learn how to facilitate the exploration of goals and interests as well as legal entitlements
and involve the clients as active participants to arrive at their resolution. We will explore how to
utilize coaches, financial specialists and other neutral professionals and seek the boundaries of the
process. There also will be a discussion of your professional responsibilities and ethical obligations in a
collaborative practice.

Acceptance of collaborative practice is evident in new legislation, such as British Columbia’s Family
Law Act, which recognizes collaborative family law in its definition of family dispute resolution. The
definition is important, because certain other provisions of the Act will likely make family dispute
resolution mandatory before entering into litigation and allow the court to refer parties to family
dispute resolution in the middle of a court action.

We will explain how collaborative practice improves access to justice because it can easily be designed
to provide participants who are elderly or have mental, physical or sensory disabilities with what they
need to participate fully in the process.

The panel is comprised of experienced collaborative lawyers who have made the paradigm shift and
found the practice of collaborative family law to be significantly more rewarding.

Marla Gilsig, Gilsig Family Law (Vancouver)

Nancy J. Cameron Q.C., Nancy Cameron Law Corporation (Vancouver)
Garth Edwards, Cohen Buchan Edwards LLP (Richmond)
Deirdre Severide, Sea Change Collaborative Practice (Delta)

E+ Offers ethics, professionalism and practice management content. Under the new British Columbia
Family Law Act, all family lawyers will have a positive duty to access “whether family violence” may be
present” and, having regard to the assessment, to perform an educational role about family dispute
resolution options and the advisability of different options for the particular client