ODR in Family Law

Developments in Texas - and the Rest of the World


Thursday, November 9, 2023
10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. CENTRAL
Online via Zoom

Co-sponsored by Texas A&M University School of Law’s Dispute Resolution Program, Mediate.com, and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts

AGENDA (you can also download the agenda and presenter bios):

10:00 am Central
Nancy Welsh, Frank W. Elliott, Jr. University Professor of Law and Director of the Dispute Resolution Program, Texas A&M University School of Law

10:15 am Central
Reflecting on the Current and Future Use of ODR in Family Law in Texas, the U.S., and Internationally
• Colin Rule, President and CEO of Mediate.com and Practitioner-in-Residence at Texas A&M University School of Law; Co-Editor of special ODR issue of Family Court Review
• Richard Shannon, Chair of the Innovations Work Group of the Collaborative Law and ADR Sections of the State Bar of Texas

11:15 am Central
Family ODR in Canada, with a Focus on AI’s Current and Future Role
• Darren Gingras, Executive Director of SIËSDE Dispute Resolution Technologies
• Anita Savage, Board-Certified Family Law attorney and Partner, Wilson Lake & Savage
12:00 pm Central
The Netherlands’ Experience with Rechtwijzer and Beyond

• Laura Kistemaker, Co-founder and COO, Justice42
• Tawanna Lynn Cesare, Partner, Cantey Hanger LLP, Fort Worth, Texas

12:45 pm
Close / Wrap Up

Learn more about our presenters:

COLIN RULE co-edited the Family Court Review’s special issue* devoted to ODR in family law. He is President and CEO of Mediate.com and Practitioner-in-Residence at Texas A&M University School of Law. In 2011, Mr. Rule co-founded Modria.com, an ODR provider based in Silicon Valley, which was acquired by Tyler Technologies in 2017. From 2017 to 2020 Colin served as Vice President of ODR at Tyler. Previously, he was Director of Online Dispute Resolution for eBay and PayPal and has worked in the dispute resolution field for more than 25 years as a mediator, trainer, and consultant. He is currently Co-Chair of the Advisory Board of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution at UMass-Amherst and has been honored by the American Bar Association with the Frank Sander Award and by the Association for Conflict Resolution with its Mary Parker Follett Award. 

For the past 25 years, RICHARD SHANNON’s practice has focused on family law and conflict resolution in Texas, through coaching, counseling, negotiation and mediation. He is an experienced family law litigator and mediator and serves as Chair of the Innovations Work Group of the Collaborative Law and ADR Sections of the State Bar of Texas. He believes that family law courts, in addition to their traditional functions, should facilitate the healing of human conflicts. He is the founder and president of the Enlightened Family Justice Institute.

DARREN GINGRAS is the Executive Director of SIËSDE Dispute Resolution Technologies. He previously worked at Property Possibilities Inc. as a Founder.  Mr. Gingras’ and Josh Morrison’s article* predicts how Artificial Intelligence can and will assist family dispute resolution processes in the future.  Their piece sketches out not only how these tools will work, but also how lawyers and judges will use them in cases, and how their use may affect the field over the long term.  Mr. Gingras’ presentation will also consider the progress of Family ODR in Canada more generally.  

ANITA SAVAGE is a board certified family law attorney and partner in the Dallas firm of Wilson Lake & Savage.  She is the immediate past-President of Collaborative Divorce Dallas and currently serves as the Chair of the State Bar of Texas’s Collaborative Law Section and the Chair of the Dallas Bar Association’s Collaborative Law Section. In 2020, Ms. Savage was selected to Lawdragon’s Top 500 Leading Family Lawyers in the United States and since 2018 as a Best Lawyer in American for her work in Family Law.  She is also a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation.

LAURA KISTEMAKER is co-founder and COO of Justice42. Justice42 is a legal tech company that developed the online divorce platform Uitelkaar.nl. Previously, Laura worked at The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law. There she was involved in Uitelkaar.nl’s predecessor Rechtwijzer and in various other innovative legal projects.  Ms. Kistemaker’s article* discusses the Dutch experience with the Rechtwijzer and its evolution into Uitelkaar.nl.  Her presentation will also bring us up-to-date on developments in the Netherlands which has been at the forefront of innovation in the use of technology to resolve family disputes.  Ms. Kistemaker has been the person driving much of that innovation.  

TAWANNA LYNNE CESARE, a partner in the Fort Worth law firm of Cantey Hanger, has extensive experience in family law litigation, including complex divorce and property settlement, representation of high net worth individuals, domestic and international child custody matters, terminations and adoptions, paternity establishment, child support, grandparents’ rights, modifications and collaborative law.

* Article links from the Family Court Review are available free to read through December 31, 2023, courtesy of the publisher, Wiley Online Library.