Kirk Beler has been a practising lawyer since he was called to the bar in 2000. In addition to his legal and academic studies, Kirk has a background in business, leadership and social services. Kirk believes that his professional and personal experience allows him to better understand and assist his clients.
Kirk has been involved in Collaborative Practice as long as he’s been practising law. He actually did the paperwork to create the Medicine Hat Collaborative Law group back in 2000 and then the Lethbridge one in 2001. Helping to create the foundation for this new approach to dispute resolution was important to him: he saw the stress and difficulty that the breakup of marriages was causing families; he wanted to help them heal and move on without the litigation process causing even more strife and discord in their lives.
Kirk believes that Collaborative Practice offers clients options that are focused on healing and enables them to move forward into a new chapter in their lives. More importantly, because Collaborative Practice looks to the future, it focuses clearly on how clients can be better parents and better former partners. This is a clear contrast to the approach of litigation where clients, their parenting energy and their positive values can get drained away in litigation and the animosity that fuels it.
Kirk knows that keeping a client’s matters out of court is a goal that other lawyers don’t necessarily share with him. Nonetheless, he believes that court should always be the last resort – and only when all other options have failed. Asking a complete stranger (the judge) to impose their will upon you, your former partner and your children – which is what the Court does – seems to Kirk to be something that no one should want. He knows from experience that the best agreements are those that the parties create themselves – not those imposed upon them by lawyers and courts. That’s why he works so carefully to prepare settlement agreements that reflect the uniqueness of each individual situation and, at the same time, will stand up to scrutiny by the legal community. A properly crafted settlement agreement will anticipate the future needs of the parties and create a framework for cooperation that hopefully can be relied upon. One size does not fit all ….