ADR Training

Collaborative Law Practice Series - 2018

This four-part series of free 60 minute webinars will guide you through the ins and outs of collaborative law practice.  Register for one or more webinars.  All webinars begin at noon and  end at 1 p.m.  you must register to participate in the webinar. 

This series is sponsored by: the Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution, the Birmingham Bar Association – Collaborative Law Committee, Birmingham Bar Collaborative Law Alliance, and the Dispute Resolution Section of the Alabama State Bar.

  • Past - Part 1: “Introduction to Collaborative Law Practice” - August 24, 2018
    Missed this webinar? View the recording on the Collaborative Law Practice Series page. Note: CLE Credit is not available for viewing the webinar after the event.
  • Past - Part 2: “Focus on Team: Breaking Down Roles” - September 21, 2018
    Missed this webinar? View the recording on the Collaborative Law Practice Series page. Note: CLE Credit is not available for viewing the webinar after the event.
  • Past - Part 3: “The How To’s of Collaborative Law” - November 2, 2018
    This was the third of a four-part series of 60 minute webinars to guide you through the ins and outs of collaborative law practice. Faculty included:  Frances Nolan, Steven Gregory, Brian Turner, Melanie Merkle Atha and Virginia Miller.  You may read more about the faculty below. 
  • Past - Part 4: “Informed Consent/Civil Collaboration” - December 7, 2018
    This was the fourth of a four-part series of free 60 minute webinars to guide you through the ins and outs of collaborative law practice.  Faculty included:  Frances Nolan, Steven Gregory, Brian Turner, Melanie Merkle Atha and Virginia Miller.  You may read more about the faculty below. 

To Register:

Download and complete the registration form.

Collaborative Law Practice Series
Information and Registration Form (pdf)

Mail. Send your registration to:
  Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution
  Attn: Eileen Harris
  PO Box 5042
  Montgomery, AL 36103-5042

Email. Send your registration form to:

You must register to access the webinars. You will receive instructions on how to access the webinar the day prior to the event.

About the Faculty

Melanie Merkle Atha, Cabaniss Johnston Gardner Dumas & O’Neal LLP, Birmingham.
Melanie received her J.D. from Vanderbilt University and her B.A., magna cum laude, in Political Science from Birmingham-Southern College. Since 2011, she has been practicing Collaborative Law. She is the President of the Board of Directors of the Global Collabo-rative Law Council, an international collaborative practice group dedicated to expanding the use of Collaborative Law to areas of the law other than domestic relations. She currently serves as Co-Chairman of the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolu-tion’s Collaborative Law Committee. She is Immediate Past President of Birmingham Collaborative Alliance, Alabama’s first and only Collaborative Law Practice Group, of which she is a founding member. She is a member of the International Academy of Collabora-tive Professionals, the international consortium of lawyers, financial professionals and mental health professionals who are committed to helping clients resolve family disputes outside of traditional legal forums. She founded the Birmingham Bar Association Collabora-tive Law Committee in 2016, and served as its inaugural chairman. She has extensive training in Interdisciplinary Collaborative Practice. She served on the Alabama Law Institute’s Committee on Collaborative Law and the Collaborative Law Rules Committee, and was part of the group which vetted the Uniform Collaborative Law Act (“UCLA”), enacted by Alabama’s legislature in May, 2013. (The UCLA went into effect on January 1, 2014.) A veteran trial lawyer, Melanie was elected by her peers as a Charter Fellow in The Liti-gation Counsel of America, a national trial lawyer honorary society. She was recognized by Super Lawyers as one of the top 25 women lawyers in Alabama for 2013, and is regularly listed in The Best Lawyers in America. She regularly writes about and lectures on Collaborative Law.

Steven P. Gregory, Gregory Law Firm, PC, Birmingham.
Steven focuses exclusively on dispute resolution: Civil Litigation; Arbitration; Mediation; Collaborative Law; Aviation Law and Litiga-tion. Steven is a member of the Commercial Panel of Arbitrators for the American Arbitration Association and the panel of arbitrators for the Financial Regulatory Authority. He has been appointed to almost one hundred arbitration panels and has been chosen by the parties and their counsel to chair at least half of those panels. Steven has mediated numerous cases encompassing a wide variety of legal issues. In June of 2016, he attended a one week conference on mediating complex disputes at the Harvard Law School’s Pro-gram on Negotiation. Steven completed a forty-hour course in Divorce and Family Mediation and a two day course in Domestic Vio-lence Mediation. He is a registered domestic relations mediator. He completed formal training in collaborative law in 2018. Steven attended the University of Alabama and earned his J.D. in 1991. He is a member of the Birmingham Bar Association (member, Col-laborative Law Committee), the Alabama State Bar, the American Bar Association (Section of Dispute Resolution (Arbitration Commit-tee, Collaborative Law Committee, Mediation Committee, Securities in ADR Committee)), the Atlanta International Arbitration Society, and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.

Virginia Miller, Sexton/Miller LLC, Birmingham.
Virginia is an attorney who has practiced in Alabama for sixteen years and is a member of the firm Sexton/Miller LLC. She has exten-sive training in the area of collaborative law and is a registered mediator in Alabama. She has had the opportunity to serve in several positions on both the Birmingham Collaborative Alliance’s Executive Board as well as the Executive Board of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section of the Birmingham Bar Association including being the current chair for the Birmingham Collaborative Alliance and the immediate past chair for the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section of the Birmingham Bar Association. She also sits on oth-er boards including the Birmingham Bar Foundation where she coordinates an outreach program called Resolve 2 Solve where attor-neys in the Birmingham Metro Area volunteer in local schools in order to teach children alternative methods of resolving disputes. Virginia has also coached the Mediation Team at Cumberland School of Law since 2014. Virginia graduated from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in 2000 with a J.D. and is licensed in both Alabama and Georgia.

Frances Nolan, Nolan | Byers PC, Birmingham.
Frances is not your typical attorney. She was inspired to become a lawyer by the struggles of her parents and numerous friends for whom the divorce process was especially challenging. Having studied psychology and social science in college, divorce law provided the perfect marriage of her educational experiences with the opportunity to make a personal difference in the lives of others. After practicing family law at The Crittenden Firm, PC for eight years, she and colleague Leigh Byers co-founded Nolan Byers, PC. To-gether, they designed a boutique family law firm that is dedicated to empowering clients who face the stress inherent to divorce and other matrimonial law matters. Frances works to understand each client’s goals and concerns and to educate them about options for achieving their desired outcomes. For some, the traditional court process provides the structure and security required. For others, private, out-of-court methods may be preferred. Frances was instrumental in bringing Collaborative Divorce to Alabama. As a certi-fied Collaborative lawyer, Frances co-founded and served as the inaugural President of Alabama’s first Collaborative Practice Group, Birmingham Collaborative Alliance (BCA). Frances earned her J.D. from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University where she graduated cum laude.

Brian D. Turner, Jr., The Law Offices of Brian Turner, LLC, Birmingham.
Brian has represented a wide range of clients facing many types of issues. He has helped families put the pieces back together and represented small businesses facing today's challenges. Brian has successfully represented clients in many forums, from local court-houses to national mass tort claims. He is also a trained Collaborative Law professional. He has worked on national litigation commit-tees, including steering committees and various sub-committees for several pharmaceutical mass tort litigation matters. Through all of this, he has found that most disputes are resolvable when the parties take the time to listen to one another. Brian's experience, knowledge of the law, and creativity, along with his representing the varied interests of individuals and businesses, plaintiffs and de-fendants, has given him a unique and insightful perspective allowing him to effectively serve his clients. Brian graduated from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in 1995 and received formal training as a mediator for civil and family law matters. He has been a member of the Alabama Civil Court Mediator Roster since 2002.

Sponsored by

Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution
Birmingham Bar Association, Collaborative Law Committee
Birmingham Collaborative Law Alliance
Dispute Resolution Section of the Alabama State Bar



Private Judges

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Mediation is a confidential, informal process during which an impartial third party, the mediator, assists disputing parties in reaching a mutually acceptable agreement regarding their dispute.

  • General Mediation offers a path to resolving many disputes. - More -
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  • Forclosure Prevention and Mortgage Modification Mediation offers specially-trained mediators to assist Alabama citizens with foreclosure and mortgage problems by mediating between the homeowner and the mortgage holder. - More -

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Alabama CDR is the state office of dispute resolution. At the Center, we work with the courts, the Alabama State Bar, state agencies, schools, community mediation initiatives, and businesses to promote early and peaceful resolution of disputes. We are the administrative arm of the Alabama Supreme Court Commission on Dispute Resolution.


Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution
PO Box 5042, Montgomery, Alabama 36103-5042
(334) 356-3802

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