A typical Collaborative case consists of two clients. Each client selects an independent Collaborative attorney, working in a team approach who may also be supported by other trained professionals. The goal is a successful mutual resolution all of the issues.
Both parties and their attorneys enter into a formal agreement that under no circumstances will they go to court. Everyone agrees they will settle the case using the Collaborative process. If you cannot reach a settlement, or if one of you chooses to withdraw and seek court intervention, both of you must hire new attorneys. This insures that the Collaborative attorneys are truly focusing on settlement rather than being distracted by thoughts of litigation strategies or positioning. The process requires a significant shift in thinking for the attorney, for you and for the other party involved.
New roles are based on you as clients controlling the outcome, voluntary and good faith exchange of all relevant information and refraining from making threats of litigation. It also means you must accept an important responsibility to participate and negotiate in good faith.