Category Archives: Collaborative Family Law

joseph noto presentation on interdisciplinary team

child support

Joseph C. Noto. a collaborative divorce lawyer in Bergen County, was asked to make a presentation on May 19th on the interdisciplinary team approach in a collaborative divorce case to the “Mid-Jersey Collaborative Law Alliance” and “when do you start the InterdisciplinaryTeam Approach?  Joseph Noto first established what is an interdisciplinary team.  He told them that the team consists of two (2) attorneys, and a neutral: faciliatator/mental health professional, a financial professional and a parent/child specialist when there are children in the family.  All of the members of the interdisciplinary team are collaboratively trained.  Joseph Noto then explained the role of the interdisciplinary team, which is to help the parties arrive at an outcome that they think is in the bests interest of their family.  He then explained that the team should start right at the outset of the collaborative case.  Since the team controls the Process and the clients control the Content and Outcome, all the team members need to know what is going on in the case all the time. He explained that the facilatator/mental health neutral helps the paents work out what they think is the best custody and parenting plan for their children, if there are children in the case, and is in every joint session with the parties, as well as when they meet with the financial person to discuss the financial matters to arrive at a settlement, if they do not work it out in the joint sessions.  The financial professional garners all the financial information of the parties to disseminate to the parties and attorneys in order that the parties can work out alimony and child support, if appropriate, and the division of the equitable assets and liabilities of the parties. The neutral child specialist is brought in and meets with the children BEFORE a parenting plan is worked out with the facilatator/mental health neutral. This child specialist is the voice of the children and generally only one or two sessions are needed with the children and the team and parents are then informed of the childrens’ feelings.  Mr Noto then explained that although at first blush it seems like this is very costly process, since there a lot of  people in the case, actually it saves the clients money since they have a neutral who is using their discipline to help the parties work out their concerns at a lower cost rather than two attorneys who will cost considerably more and are not as qualified in those disciplines.  Generally, the clients save over 35% using the interdisciplinary team approach over the litigation process and it is consideraly faster to get divorced.  Joseph Noto said that this model, in his opinion, is the best model to use since it lets the parties decide what is best for their family and not the courts. There were 25 people present at the presentation, consisting of lawyers, mental health and financial professionals,  all of whom are collaboratively trained.  After numersous questions the collective agreement was that the interdisciplinary team approach from the beginning is the best way to go.  Some members gave examples of how a case failed since they either didn’t use a nuetral or brought them in too late.  Joseph Noto said he felt like “Johnny Appleseed”  spreading the word on the “interdisciplnary team approach from the outset” and thanked the members for asking him to make the presentation and helping him in speading the word.

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Ethics and Collaborative Law Process

bergen county divorce attorney joe noto esq.

The Collaborative Divorce Association of North Jersey (the Association”) held a seminar on April 21, 2015 regarding Ethics and the Collaborative Law Process.  Larry Esposito, president of the Association conducted the presentation and Joseph C. Noto, a Bergen County collaborative law attorney and a Board director and member of the Association, said he did a great presentation on the subject.  Larry integrated Opinion 699 of the Advisory Committee of Professional Ethics with the relevant N.J. Rules of Professional Conduct, the International Association of Collaborative Professionals ethical standards and the recently passed New Jersey Family Collaborative Law Act.  The attendees of the Association were all collaborative law attorneys and the discussions addressed: screening issues before a client may enter into the collaborative law process; how ethics apply to the Participation Agreement, which every client must sign to commence the collaborative law process; confidentiality issues, discovery issues, cut off dates and advocacy issues during the process.  This subject is of great concern to collaborative law attorneys since they represent a client on a very limited basis during the collaborative process and facts arise regarding all these issues which must be dealt with ethically.

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Ross Evans Public Awareness of Collaborative Professionals

bergen county divorce attorney joe noto esq.The New Jersey Council of Collaborative Practice Groups had its annual dinner at Maggianos Resaurant in Bridgewater, New Jersey on Wednesday, March 18, 2015 and its guest speaker was Ross Evans, a former president of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, (the “I.A.C.P.”).  The topic was “Public Education: Building Awareness in your Professional Communities.”  Joseph C. Noto, a Bergen County collaborative divorce lawyer attended the same, along with several other members of the Collaborative Divorce Association of North Jersey (CDANJ), and he said the turn out was great with over 83 collaboratively trained  professionals attending, which consisted of collaboratively trained lawyers, and mental health and financial professionals. Ross Evans spoke about how the eight Collaborative Practice Groups in New Jersey can inform other professionals, such as the clergy, and have them help bring public awareness of the collaborative professionals and what they do and who they are since the passing of the New Jersey Family Collaborative Law Act.

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Conflict Transformation seminar Nancy Cameron

bergen county divorce attorney joe noto esq.

Joseph C. Noto, a Bergen County collaborative divorce lawyer, attended on February 26, 2015 a seminar conducted by Nancy Cameron, Esq, who discussed “Conflict Transformation”.  It was held by the New York Association of Collaborartive Professionals and The Collaborative Divorce Association of North Jersey.  Over 50 collaboratively trained professionals, which consisted of lawyers, mental health and financial people, showed up to listen to this exciting subject.  It was an interactive workshop designed specifically to help learn more about conflict as well as gain greater comfort with engaging constructively in conflict.  Joseph  C. Noto, through Nancy Cameron’s seminar on Conflict Tranformation, got a better understanding of what happens to him in conflict, and a better recognition of what happens to his clients,and how to guide his clients and himself through some of the most difficult moments in the collaborative process.  Joseph C. Noto has an even better appreciation of how to create dialogue with his clients to assist them in moving from reactions of blame and defensiveness to a dialogue about their most important needs and interest.

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joseph c. noto Interdisciplinary collaborative Law Process Training

Joseph C. Noto, a collaborative divorce attorney, Board member of the Collaborative Divorce Association of North Jersey, (the”CDANJ”), and a trainer in the Interdisciplinary Collaborative Law Process, states that the first two (2) days of interdisciplinary collaborative law training of the three (3) day training held by the CDANJ is going very well.  Minor set back because of the snow, however all the 12 attendees have shown up and the Interdisciplinary Collaborative Law process training is being taught to them.  Along with Joseph C. Noto is Adam Berner, Esq., Shireen Meistrich, a L.C.S. W., and Walter Loeffler, C.P.A., all of which make up the Interdisplinary Collaborative Law process training Team. The attendees are learning how the Interdisciplinary collaborative law process is the best way for a couple in transition to get a divorce since the spouses can do it without going to court. The Team approach helps these couples resolve what THEY think are the best solutions for the family and NOT a judge,  Day three (3), weather permitting, is scheduled for February 23rd, where all the attendees will get a Collaborative Law Training Certificate of completion.

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Victoria Smith presentation Exploring Collaborative Advocacy

Joseph C. Noto, a Bergen County collaborative divorce lawyer and Board member of the Collaborative Divorce Association of North Jersey, (“CDANJ”), said he attended the CDANJ annual retreat where Victoria Smith. ESQ, did a presentation on Exploring Collaborative Advocacy. Joseph C. Noto said it was fantastic. She showed among other things how you can determine where your colleage or other team members are on the Spectrum of Advocacy when doing a collaborative case. Are they facilative or partisan or somewhere in between? This matters to everyone in the case so that you know how to deal with an issue that may arise. The partisan approach is all about the law and facilitaive is let the clients work out the solution and you help them to so, notwithstanding the law. She also showed how the brain is so wired that you now know why a peron would turn down a reasonable offer. This applies to every day life as well. All about the frontal lobe cortex and the Amygdala, the integrative center for emotions, emotional behavior and motivation. Joseph Noto said it was a well worthwhile retreat to attend. Continue reading

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Joseph C. Noto New Jersey Family Collaborative Law Act

Joseph C. Noto, a Bergen County collaborative divorce lawyer, spoke to the Bergen Mediators PCG on February 4, 2015 on the New Jersey Family Collaborative Law Act, the benefits of doing a collaborative divorce, and the similarities and differences between a collaborative process and mediation process. Joseph Noto said the attendees were all mediators and were very interested in the collaborative divorce process and asked many questions about the Act. He explained that the similarites are: both processes are voluntary and can be terminated without a reason; the goal is what is in the best interest of the family; generally faster and cost effective compared to a contested divorce in court; and it is confidential in both processes. The difference is that in a collaborative divorce if the party terminates the process the collaborative divorce attorney can not represent his client in the contested divorce, whereas as a mediator friendly attorney may still represent a party in court. The attendees received a very clear understanding of the New Jersey Family collaborative Law Act and thanked Joseph Noto for his presentation.

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CDANJ Retreat Victoria Smith JD

Joseph C. Noto, a collaborative divorce attorney in Bergen County and who is a Director and member of the Collaborartive Divorce Association of North Jersey (“CDANJ”), says he is going this coming Sunday, February 8, 2015, to the CDANJ annual retreat. The guest speaker is Victoria Smith, J.D., who is a Toronto family lawyer with over 30 years of experience, of which 13 years has been confined in her practice to settlement work – Collaborative Practice and Mediation.  Victoria Smith is a member of Chestnut Collaborative Solution, a group of 11 independent Collaborative Professionals inToronto.  She says her life work is to help her clients resolve conflict wisely and with dignity, and to support an evolution in the legal profession from adversarial advocacy to conflict resolution advocacy.  Joseph Noto says that among her many other achievments she is a member of the Board of Directors of Collaborative Practice Toronto and was a former director of the International Academy of Collaborartive Professionals.  She is an Adjunct Professor of Collaborative Lawyering at Osgoode Hall Law School and has written numerous articles on the Collaborative Practice. He looks forward to an exciting retreat and listen to what Victoria has to present.

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introductory Interdisciplinary collaborative law training Joseph Noto

The Collaborative Divorce Association of North Jersey is holding it first Introductory Interdisciplinary Collaborative Law training on February 2, 9, and 10th at the Bergen County Bar Association located at 15 Bergen Street, Hackensack, NJ. This is the first time in New jersey that it will be for three (3) days and lawyers, mental health and financial people are welcome to attend. It costs $595.00 and you get a continental breakfast and lunch each day. The  trainers are: Joseph C. Noto, Esq., Adam J. Berner, Esq,, Shireen Meistrich, L.C.S.W., and Walter E. Loeffler, C.P.A. The times are from 8:30 AM to 4 PM. For lawyers there are 24 NJ CLE credits which are pending. If you are interested in attending contact Joseph Noto at 201-847 0999 for the application. It is limited to the first 25 that register.  Joseph Noto says that it is an intensive three (3) day training providing a sound foundation on the nuts and bolts of collaborative divorce with role play of a collaborative case including mental health professionals and financial professionals in the role play. The program will demonstrate and will train you in the concept and skills necessary for a succesful collaborative practice towards helping couples and their children reach optimal solutions.

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NJ Council of Collaborative Practice Groups party and Joseph Noto

Joseph Noto, a Bergen County collaborative divorce lawyer, attended on November 13,  a celebration of the passsing of the New Jersey Family Collaborative Law Act.  The New Jersey Council of Collaborative Practice Groups recognized Asm. Patrick Diegnan for his outstanding leadership at a reception held at Olio’s in Woodbridge. Asm.  Diegnan was a prime sponsor and spearheaded passage of the New Jersey Family Collaborative Law Act (NJFCLA) in the State Legislature.

The new law. P.L. 2014, C. 50, empowers families to divorce with dignity and self-esteem, without resort to conventional litigation.   The Act was widely praised by both parties and the law passed all legislative committees and both Houses without a single ‘no’ vote. And the new law gained widespread endorsement of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP), New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA), New Jersey Law Revision Commission (NJLRC), and all five New Jersey Uniform Law Commissioners.

Joseph Noto also said that Asw. Schepisi, from Bergen County, said in her opening remarks upon receiving the Council’s award for her work on passage of the new Act: “Once the decision to divorce, there is an emotional and financial toll on couples and families. This new law empowers couples and families to divorce with dignity and respect, supporting them. It is a better solution to a very difficult problem.”

The NJ Council of Collaborative Practice Groups also recognized Thomas Lynch, Chief of Staff to Asm. Diegnan, and Laura C. Tharney, Esq., Executive Director of the NJ Law Revision Commission for their outstanding service.

The New Jersey Council of Collaborative Practice Groups supports excellence among the community of collaborative professionals, and promotes and expands the use of quality Collaborative Practice throughout New Jersey. The Council serves as a unified voice and central resource for education, training, networking and development of standards of practice as well as expanding public and professional awareness. Joseph Noto. a member of the Council’s legislative committee, said it was a fantastic party.

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