While collaborative law has its roots in the family law arena, the practice has become increasingly more utilized in civil cases, such as business, employment, and probate disputes. Collaborative law is a form of alternative dispute resolution that requires the commitment of both parties to work together to find a resolution outside of the litigation process. In collaborative law, each party is represented by his or her own attorney whose sole role is to help the respective clients settle the dispute.
The collaborative law process requires open communication and disclosure of information between the parties. All parties must agree to actively participate in good faith to reach a settlement that serves the needs and interests of both sides of the dispute. Unlike litigation, the process is not adversarial in nature and makes use of problem-solving negotiation techniques that focus on finding a solution to the problem. The collaborative law approach is often ideal for companies that are aiming to resolve disputes without destroying critical business relationships.
In the event the dispute cannot be settled using the collaborative law model, the attorneys for both sides must withdraw their involvement in the case and are not permitted to participate in court proceedings. This ensures that the collaborative law participants are focused on working together to achieve the best possible outcome for their clients.
Our Civil Collaborative Law Services
The lawyers in our ADR Practice Group are trained in utilizing collaborative law services to resolve civil disputes when appropriate for our clients. Under a collaborative law model, negotiations and meetings between the parties are conducted in private so that clients can feel comfortable discussing sensitive issues away from the public’s eyes and ears. The scheduling of negotiations is flexible and our attorneys take the time to carefully guide clients through each step of the civil collaborative law process.