Collaborative Law: An Oxymoron or an Effective Approach to Legal Disputes?

How do you fight a war, but still work together?  Countries, politicians, and yes ex-spouses and former business partners have agonized over this question, but may not have been aware of the dispute resolution process of Collaborative Law.  Well, let us tell you about a highly effective way to bury the hatchet, save face, and preserve a long-term working relationship. 

What is Collaborative Law?

Collaborative Law is a highly specialized conflict resolution process that saves clients time, money, and stress.  The practice of Collaborative Law requires special training and certification to represent clients with this approach. The Collaborative Law process avoids litigation and court hearings.  The process is streamlined using a series of meetings with specially trained attorneys, their clients, and experts to move the resolution process forward at the pace that is appropriate to meet the parties’ needs at a fraction of the cost and time required for litigated hearings.

Is Collaborative Law right for everyone?

Although Collaborative Law can be used for any type of legal dispute, the Collaborative Law conflict resolution process is best-suited to highly emotional legal disputes such as business partnership disputes, construction claims, and family law cases, particularly where a need exists for the parties to have a continuing business or personal relationship to continue to work together to run a business, complete a project, or parent their children.

What are the benefits of Collaborative Law?

In Collaborative Law, resolutions can be reached in weeks, rather than being at the mercy of over-loaded court calendars that can take months or even years to reach a conclusion while the parties are assigned court dates without consideration of how the timing of a resolution will impact other business or personal matters, let alone their availability for the assigned court dates.  The Collaborative Process moves at the parties’ pace on a schedule agreed upon by the parties.

Resolutions are obtained at a fraction of the cost of contested hearings since the parties are able to decrease the time spent in preparing for and arguing in court, and focus on exchanging the information required to narrow the issues in dispute and consider resolutions that a court is not able to grant based on the restraint of “what the law allows”. 

Most important, in Collaborative Law, the parties, not a judge or jury make all decisions and the parties can choose to make their resolution confidential and move forward with a solution focused on the future.  The remedies that the law provides to address disputes are much more narrow or limited than the various creative options that parties can consider in the Collaborative Process to reach a mutual agreement. Technical legal arguments, or contract language can create extreme outcomes in some contested hearings that fails to address the underlying problem.  You can obtain a ruling in Court, and still not have a solution to the problem that resulted in going to Court.  

What if the parties are not agreeing on a resolution?

Sometimes parties will have to agree to disagree….your collaborative law attorney will re-direct criticisms and look forward to focusing on the outcome that each party values.  Attorneys trained in the Collaborative process can identify opportunities for all parties to meet objectives that do not rely upon proving whether someone is right or wrong on each and every issue in dispute.  By contrast, contested hearings require for there to be a right or wrong answer, or said another way, a winner and a loser, much like in a sports competition.  The court system itself is flawed for reaching resolutions that allow parties to work together following a court ruling. 

For additional information or to schedule a consultation, please contact the Attorneys at Skufca Law at 704-376-3030.