How does Collaborative Practice work?
Collaborative lawyers and their clients sign a Participation Agreement that outlines the Collaborative Process for the participant’s particular dispute. The Participation Agreement includes a commitment to resolve the dispute without resorting to litigation, and in good faith.
If the matter goes to court, the attorneys for both sides will be disqualified from any further participation. The participants and their professional team will work in a series of meetings in which goals are identified, information is collected, options to resolve the dispute are generated and agreements are reached and memorialized in writing. Throughout the Collaborative Process attorneys assist their clients in their communications and negotiations while at the same time providing their clients with legal advice and guidance.
What are the benefits of using the Collaborative Process?
The Collaborative Process offers participants the opportunity to control outcomes, to be creative and to work through problems with the support of their attorneys, mental health professionals and financial specialists as needed. The Collaborative Process fosters trust and respect rather than eroding it as often happens in a traditional, adversarial process.
How long does it (replace with Collaborative Process) take?
The Collaborative Process is designed to avoid most of the problems usually associated with litigation such as the high cost and time-consuming nature of trial preparation, the wide-ranging and often invasive discovery into one’s personal life or business activities, and the adversarial, hardball approach that fosters greater animosity between clients. The Collaborative Process moves at the rate at which the participants choose to move. If participants are motivated to expedite a resolution and can expeditiously gather information and schedule meetings the process can be swift; however, the speed of the process is dependent on the motivation of the participants and the complexity of their issues.