02
Jan

From Then to Now: Collaborative Law Act

Since 2005, collaborative practitioners have worked tirelessly to promote the value of collaborative divorce here in New Jersey. Now we are concentrating our efforts on the passage of the New Jersey Family Collaborative Law Act which will provide uniformity to this process by a signed Participation Agreement in every case and privilege for all non-professionals assisting the family. The New Jersey Law Revision Commission has undertaken the drafting of a proposed statute founded on the Uniform Collaborative Law Act suitable for the practice here in New Jersey. Eight other states have already passed similar statutes: Minnesota, Texas, Nevada, Ohio, Utah, District of Columbia, Washington, and Hawaii. The New Jersey Council of Collaborative Practice Groups has hired Valerie Brown to act as our lobbyist in this very important venture. Our hope for the eventual passage of this legislation will insure that a family in New Jersey will have another choice to resolve their marital issues and protect their children with attorneys committed to a confidential resolution without litigation and with a reduction of cost and hostility.

VALERIE BROWN, ESQ.

Valerie Brown, is an attorney and an independent lobbyist. She served for nearly twenty years as Legislative Counsel for the New Jersey Bar Association and for two years as Chief Counsel for Legislation and Regulation for Legal Services of New Jersey. Prior to her representation of the legal community, Valerie advocated on behalf of New Jersey’s K-12 educators and public colleges, representing NJ superintendent of schools and state college presidents. Her government relations career began as an analyst with the New Jersey State Legislature, learning the legislative process from the inside out.

In addition to her admission to practice law in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Ms. Brown is a registered Government Affairs Agent, a NJ Supreme Court-trained mediator, and a certified leadership coach through Georgetown University’s Center for Transformational Leadership.

Among her professional achievements is a 100% track record on the passage of numerous uniform acts, including:

Revised Uniform Principal and Income Act, 1991
Uniform Foreign Country Money Judgments Recognition Act, 1997
Uniform Commercial Code, 2001
Uniform Mediation Act, 2004. She received the New Jersey Bar Association’s Special Recognition Award for her efforts in passage of the UMA, and has received other awards for her legislative successes, including the Equal Justice Medal from Legal Services of New Jersey
Her lobbying efforts also resulted in the enactment of:

P.L. 2007, c. 6, Adds a new cause of action for divorce based on irreconcilable differences
Valerie’s writings on legislation and government relations have been published in the American Bar Association (ABA) Bar Leader and the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) Association Management Magazine. She served on the West Education Law Reporter for more than ten years. Her most recent book, Lobbying for Lawyers, is co-authored with Gregory Nagy, Esq. and published by the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2010.

Valerie is thrilled to be working on behalf of the Council to seek passage of the UCFLA to transform the way family conflict is resolved in New Jersey.

NJCCPG's blog

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