Collaborative Family Law Institute
Coral Gables, Florida 33134
At The Law Offices of Robert J. Merlin, P.A., we are dedicated to using our experience to make a positive difference in our clients' lives. Through client education, a focus on out-of-court resolutions, and a passionate approach to our work, Robert J. Merlin and his associate and staff help guide families through the complex areas of family law and divorce.
Our practice is limited to family law, and we do not litigate any longer. We specialize in the Collaborative Process, mediation, direct negotiations and other methods to facilitate out-of-court settlements. We represent clients in dissolution of marriage matters, paternity matters, the preparation and negotiation of pre- and post-nuptial agreements and settlement agreements and we are available on a consultation basis to clients and other professionals.
Robert J. Merlin is experienced in Collaborative law, mediation and direct settlement negotiations. His firm no longer represents clients in contested litigation because very few cases should ever have to go to court and reasonable people should be able to resolve their differences without doing battle in a court. Bob would prefer to help his clients resolve their differences in a respectful and non-adversarial manner. Robert Merlin is a Florida Bar Board Certified Family Law Specialist, he is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator, he has received numerous special trainings in the Collaborative Process and Peacemaking and he meets the IACP standards as a Collaborative trainer.
Professional ActivitiesIACP: Board of Directors - 2016 - Present; Co-Chair or Chair of UCLA Advisory Task Force - 2016-2019; Co-Chair of Fundraising Committee - 2016-2019 Past President and former Secretary and Marketing Committee Chair of Collaborative Family Law Institute Collaborative Family Law Professionals of South Florida - Member South Palm Beach County Collaborative Law Group - Member and helped to create the group Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals - Member of Board since creation, past co-chair (2 years) of annual conference; Chair of creating of accreditation standards Past Chair of the Mediation and Collaborative Law Committee of the Family Law Section of The Florida Bar Past Chair of the Florida Family Law Rules Committee of The Florida Bar Led efforts to pass the Uniform Collaborative Law Act and Rules in Florida Past President of the Florida Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts Created Task Force to study Family Court Intake System in Florida
University of Florida, 1976, BS in Accounting
University of Florida, 1978, JD with honors
CommentsAfter having practiced as a Family Lawyer specializing in complex marital litigation, I came to the conclusion that there must be a better way to handle family matters. I am convinced that the Collaborative Process and other Peacemaking methods are the preferable ways for divorces and other family disputes to be resolved, and I believe that such dispute resolution methods are the wave of the future. I spend a significant amount of time working to make the Collaborative Process more well known throughout the State of Florida, in the United States and internationally. I am a past President of our local practice group and have been on the board of our statewide council, the Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals, since its inception. My goals are to involve as many multidisciplinary Collaborative professionals as possible in the Collaborative World and to teach the general public that the Collaborative Process is a viable, and usually preferable, alternative to traditional litigation. I teach the Collaborative Process to other professionals and I lecture on Collaborative Law throughout Florida. I have been personally involved in drafting and working on the adoption of a Collaborative statutes and rules in Florida, having succeeded in passing the Florida Collaborative Law Process Act in March 2016 and having succeeded in convincing the Florida Supreme Court to adopt rules of procedure and professional conduct. The statutes and rules all went into effect on July 1, 2017.
Basic and intermediate Interdisciplinary Collaborative Training; establishing a Collaborative Law practice; creating and operating a Collaborative practice group
Basic Interdisciplinary Training - November 2010, November 2011, May and November 2012, May and June 2013, June and November 2014, May 2015, December 2015, February 2016, March 2016, July 2016
Intermediate Interdisciplinary Training - May 2013
University of Florida Levin College of Law - Lecturer on Collaborative Family Law during Fall and Spring semesters each year
Frequent lecturer on Collaborative Law to local Bar Associations
Presenter - American Psychological Association - Florida Chapter
Presenter - Association of Marriage and Family Therapists - Florida Chapter annually since 2012
Presenter - Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals annual conference - 2013, 2014 and 2015
Basic Interdisciplinary Training November 2010 - University of Miami College of Law
Basic Interdisciplinary Training June 2011 - University of Florida Levin College of Law
Basic Interdisciplinary Training November 2011 - Miami, Florida
Basic Interdisciplinary Training June 2012 - University of Florida Levin College of Law
Basic Interdisciplinary Training November 2012 - Miami, Florida
Basic Interdisciplinary Training May 2013 - Tampa, Florida
Intermediate Interdisciplinary Training May 2013 - Tampa, Florida
Basic Interdisciplinary Training June 2013 - New Hampshire
Basic Interdisciplinary Training November 2013 - Miami, Florida
Basic Interdisciplinary Training June 2014 - Boca Raton, Florida
Basic Interdisciplinary Training December 2014 - Boca Raton, Florida
Basic Interdisciplinary Training June 2015 - Miami, Florida
Basic Interdisciplinary Training December 2015 - Miami, Florida
Basic Interdisciplinary Training February 2016 - Jacksonville, Florida
Basic Interdisciplinary Training March 2016 - Miami, Florida
Basic Interdisciplinary Training July 2016 - Panama City, Florida
Lana Stern, Ph.D.
Rosemarie S. Roth, Esquire
Pamela Schneider, Esquire
Paul A. Garcia, C.P.A.
Edward Sachs, C.P.A.
Eilene Brodie, C.P.A.
Lauren Davis, Esquire