Central Vermont Collaborative Law Practice Group


Central Vermont Collaborative Lawyers

The Central Vermont Collaborative Law Practice Group holds meetings every month. Meetings are open to qualified members of the professional community by invitation. Please contact Phyllis Rubenstein at 802-262-3300 or any of the other contacts listed to be considered for an invitation.

 Karen Cooper

Attorney Cooper has been a sole practitioner in Montpelier since 1999.  She has received extensive training in Collaborative Law and is looking forward to making this an integral part of her family law practice.  She believes that her role as attorney is to help her clients navigate through the process of separation and divorce, creating solutions that are tailored to each family’s needs, in an environment that respects and supports the individuals as they transition to the next phase of their lives.  In addition to family law, her areas of practice also include: residential real estate; wills, trusts and estates; elder law and guardianships; landlord tenant relations; as well as consumer complaints.  She received her Juris Doctor from Vermont Law School in 1995, and attended the year-long Mediation / Conflict Management Program at Woodbury College from 1999 to 2000.

Email Attorney Cooper or call 802-223-6818.

Stephen J. Murphy

Stephen J. Murphy has been practicing as an attorney in a solo private practice in Montpelier, VT since 1975.  A majority of his practice is in the area of family law, including divorce, custody, parentage, relief from abuse, juvenile matters in which the State is terminating parental rights, and other family matters.  He was the Chairman of the Family Law Committee of the Vermont Bar Association for several years.

Mr. Murphy received his B.A., with a major in Economics from Loyola College (now Concordia University) in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 1971 and his Juris Doctor degree from New England School of Law in Boston, MA in 1974.     Mr. Murphy has advanced training in the Collaborative Law Process and is a member of the Vermont Bar Association Section of Collaborative Law.  He has numerous years of family law experience which allows him to advise clients effectively in the collaborative law process and what an equitable resolution of their case would be and what the likely outcome would have been if they had completed the conventional divorce process.  This helps his clients to achieve effective and equitable resolutions to the issues in the collaborative process.

     For more information, visit www.smurphylawoffice.com, Email Attorney Murphy or call 802-229-0444.

Nanci A. Smith

Nanci A. Smith, Esq. PLLC is exclusively dedicated to resolving complex family disputes in the most productive manner given each client’s circumstances. She opened her firm in 2005 with the intent to provide individualized attention to clients at a time when they need it most. After 20 years of adversarial family law practice, Nanci realized that many clients would prefer a non-adversarial process where they can be heard, common goals explored and their highest needs met without the stress, anxiety and fear of a public court battle and its aftermath.  She understands that this is a major life transition, a grieving process and an opportunity for personal growth and liberation. Collaborative Law is a model of decency and open, honest communication. Nanci has been involved in many Collaborative law cases, has received basic and advanced Collaborative Law training since 2008, advanced Collaborative Negotiation training, and basic mediation training.  She enjoys practicing this modern, sensible approach to family dispute resolution. Collaborative Law is a viable option for clients who wish to engage in respectful, dignified, honest negotiation. Nanci is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. She is a regular instructor for National Business Institute on all areas of family law practice. 

For more information, visit www.nancismithlaw.comEmail Attorney Smith or call 802-878-8775.

E. Darby Herrington

Attorney Herrington is trained in Collaborative Law and is experienced in resolving a variety of conflicts through mediation, arbitration and litigation. Currently practicing with the firm of Darby Kolter & Nordle, LLP in Waterbury, Vermont, her practice includes family law matters, civil litigation, corporate and business law, and estate planning. Attorney Herrington's Collaborative Law practice has grown substantially in the last few years as more and more people come to understand the benefits of resolving their dispute outside of litigation. She earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Maine School of Law in 2000, where she served as a member of the Moot Court Board. Attorney Herrington has been in private practice in Vermont since 2001. She is also admitted to practice law in Maine and is a member of the Vermont Bar Association and the Vermont Association for Justice.

For more information, visit www.dstkwlaw.com, Email Attorney Herrington or call 802-244-7352.

Phyllis Rubenstein

Ms. Rubenstein represents people who desire to resolve family matters without court intervention or litigation.  A leader in the practice of collaborative family law in Vermont, she offers a wide range of collaborative and negotiation alternatives to effectively help separating and divorcing clients reach fair and mutually-acceptable solutions about legal financial and parenting issues in a respectful and dignified manner.  Ms. Rubenstein is a former chairperson of the Vermont Bar Association Family Law Committee.  She helped found and is currently chairperson of the Vermont Bar Association Section of Collaborative Law and is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.  She regularly attends and/or presents at collaborative family law conferences.  Ms. Rubenstein also represents claimants seeking social security disability benefits. 

For more information, visit www.PhyllisRubensteinLaw.com, Email Attorney Rubenstein or call 802-262-3300.