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Collaborative Law Section

Collaborative law promotes the private reconciliation of disputes through goal-oriented and client-driven negotiations.

The Collaborative Law Section provides a forum for lawyers and other professionals to promote and expand the use of collaborative law concepts during negotiations and throughout various areas of legal practice. We believe that collaborative tools can be successfully applied in civil, family, probate, insurance, employment and business disputes, and incorporated into the general practice of law.

Through early education of law students, education of attorneys in all practice areas, and education of the public, our goal is to promote private reconciliation of disputes, through goal-oriented and client-driven negotiations.

Meeting Schedule:

The Collaborative Law Section typically meets at noon on the FOURTH WEDNESDAY of each month at the Belo Mansion.   

Follow us on Twitter here: @CollabLawTx


Upcoming Section Meetings


WEDNESDAY, June 26, 2019 at 12:00 P.M.

"Being Guided by Your Next Good Decision"

Speaker Sharon Corsentino Mediations, PLLC

Why are collaborative law practitioners reluctant to incorporate mediation earlier in the process?  When is the proper time to bring in a mediator in a collaborative case?  Sharon Corsentino, a Credentialed Distinguished Mediator, will discuss her path from litigation to collaborative law to mediation and using mediation in collaborative cases.  She will also cover case law regarding mediation.


Training Opportunities


June 14, 2019 from 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
Collaborative Law Section CLE at the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting in Austin


This year, the Collaborative Law Section is extremely honored to present Conscious Contracting: Building More Satisfying, Resilient Contracts Through Interest- Based Negotiations- an Innovative Contract Drafting Tool”  presented by Linda Graham Alvarez. 


Linda Graham Alvarez speaks and trains across the nation and internationally on conscious contracting and the process of discovering agreements. In Ms. Alvarez’ words, conscious contracting creates sustainable documents that enhance relationships with clarity of both content and context.   In her book Discovering Agreements, Ms. Alvarez teaches an innovative approach to generating legally enforceable documents that embed responsive, resilient operating systems into contractual relationships; this practical, easily implemented process empowers parties to build sustainable business relationships, replacing the old style foundation of distrust and adversarial posturing with one of alignment and affinity – without sacrificing either party’s power or credibility.


Affiliate Membership


The Collaborative Law Section  of the Dallas Bar Assocation welcomes Affiliate Members who are not attorneys but who are interested in collaborative law. Please see the link below for an Affiliate Member application.
Spotlight Affiliate Member

Our Spotlight Affiliate for June is John Snell. John is a Certified Divorce Lending Professional (CDLP) and can be an invaluable resource when it comes to owelty lien refinancing for the retaining spouse and home purchase pre-qualification for the departing spouse. John believes in the Collaborative process, having taken Basic Training in 2015, as well as attending Spring Conference in 2016, 2017, and 2019. Always an educator, John has developed and taught multiple CLE courses on divorce/mortgage issues. John holds two graduate degrees from the University of Michigan (M.B.A. and M. Architecture). He has been married for 31 years to his wife, Cherie, and they enjoy travel and college football now that their two young adult children have left the nest. 


Section Officers:

Name: Esther Donald
Officer Position: Chair
Firm: Goranson Bain Ausley, PLLC
Firm Address: 8350 N. Central Exwy, Ste. 1700
Firm City, State, Zip: Dallas, TX 75206
Business Phone: 214-373-9959

Name: Raechel Parolisi
Officer Position: Vice Chair
Firm Address: PO Box 226268
Firm City, State, Zip: Dallas, TX 75222
Business Phone: 469-443-4069

Name: Lindsey Obenhaus
Officer Position: Secretary

Firm: Goranson Bain Ausley, PLLC
Firm Address: 8350 N. Central Exwy, Ste. 1700
Firm City, State, Zip: Dallas, TX 75206
Business Phone: 214-373-7676

Name: Brett Christiansen
Officer Position: Treasurer
Firm: Christiansen Davis LLC
Firm Address: 4100 Spring Valley Rd., Ste. 450
Firm City, State, Zip: Dallas, TX 75244 
Business Phone: 214-838-3501

Name: Anita Savage
Officer Position: Programs Chair
Goranson Bain Ausley, PLLC
Firm Address: 8350 N. Central Expwy.  Ste 1700
Firm City, State, Zip: Dallas, TX 75206
Business Phone: 214-373-7676

Name: Stephen Rizzieri
Officer Position: Immediate Past Chair
L. Stephen Rizzieri, PLLC
Firm Address: 8150 North Central Expy, 10th Floor.
Firm City, State, Zip: Dallas, TX 75206
Business Phone: 214-434-1017

Name: Robert Tobey
Officer Position: DBA Board Advisor
Johnston Tobey Baruch, P.C.
Address: P.O. Box 215
City, State, Zip: Addison, Texas 75001
Business Phone: 214-741-6260

Resource Links

State Bar of Texas Collaborative Law Section

ABA Dispute Resolution Section’s Collaborative Law Committee

International Academy of Collaborative Professionals

Global Collaborative Law Council

Collaborative Law Institute of Texas

Houston Bar Association Collaborative Law Section

Lubbock Bar Association Collaborative Law Section

Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council

Section Membership:

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Collaborative Law section, please click here to join online or send a letter of request and the $20.00 annual membership fee to:
2101 Ross Ave
Dallas TX, 75201
Please note that you must be a member of the Dallas Bar Association to join a section. If you have any questions regarding sections membership, please contact the DBA membership department.


Affiliate Membership available for Non-Attorneys. Please click here: Affiliate Member Application to fill out the form online, or click here for a downloadable version. Please send your $20.00 annual membership fee to: 

Section Admin-Mass E-mail/Roster

Section Admin-Webpage

For questions regarding Section email/roster/webpage, email Jessica Smith or call 214-220-7477.  


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