Collaborative Process - Overview
The lawyers actually contract with the clients that if they are not able to resolve the dispute through negotiation, then they must disqualify themselves. This is one of the central principals of Collaborative Practice.
Similar rules affect the experts who are also part of the settlement team. Neither the lawyers nor the experts can be called to give evidence in Court of what transpired through the Collaborative Process.
The clients are focused on settling their dispute and are therefore willing and committed to entering into good faith negotiation with the other party. In fact, if the lawyers become aware that the parties or either of them are not being frank and honest, are withholding information or have some other "agenda" then the lawyers are required to terminate the process and cannot act further for the parties.
Lawyers acting in Collaborative cases find that removing the possibility of going to Court for the parties results in them directing all their energies and expertise to finding an acceptable solution to the dispute, and takes away the likelihood of strategic and tactical manouvering taking place. This helps to ensure that open and honest communication is promoted as the highest ideal.
In theory any matter that can be litigated can be resolved through the Collaborative Process. By way of example, disputes in the areas of family law, children’s issues, defacto and domestic partners issues, workplace and industrial relations, disputes, disputes between partners, directors or directors and shareholders, franchisees and franchisors, lessors and lessees are all well suited to the Collaborative Process. The list goes on and on.