We've saved your place!

by Talia Katz October 12, 2012

Have you had a Collaborative "ah-ha" moment? We're holding open this spot for conversations you want to initiate. Go ahead - post away - we're eager to see where this takes us!

Comments (2) -

9/10/2013 5:57:26 PM #


Although we've all likely segued into comparisons to and negative descriptions about family law in the courts when courting (pardon the pun!) new clients, Collaborative Practice stands alone on its own merits.

This revelation comes not from the inherent financial, psychological, and institutional shortcomings of litigation:  rather, it evolves from doing a lot of really good work in the CL team model and focusing on client-centered settlement skills.  To "sell" CP as the "best option" among a handful of inferior choices short-changes not only our value to clients but it's misleading and unfair, too.

Newbie CP professionals may indeed enter the collaborative ADR community out of frustration and disillusionment from client experiences in the judicial system (just like I did).  However, that negativity has little place in making the empathic connection with clients transitioning to living apart and moving forward.  So, I say start the dialogue about interests and needs head-on instead of merely bashing litigation--and the proverbial "light bulb" about the wisdom and benefits of CP will shine onward!  

View my profile on www.collaborativepractice.com

9/10/2013 10:37:55 PM #

Well said, DGC.  I do not know that I have ever "sold" a client on CP . . . . .   Okay, I have, when I was first getting started and trying to understand it myself.  Since then my focus has not been on "selling".  Rather it is on "screening" the client to see if she/he is a good fit for CP or some other form of ADR to which the use of collaborative skills can be used.  

I have no need to bash litigation.  My website is clear that I do not litigate.  In my initial consultation I make clear that my retainer agreement is a no-litigation retainer agreement, whether the case is a litigation case or not.  As you say, in the initial consultation I the the "interests and needs head-on" as that information provides me the information I need to give information on what process the client will be choosing.

I would say 90% of the people who come to see me already have decided they do not want to litigate.  When the issue comes up during our conversation I simply say that over 20 years of litigating I have been part of too much damage being done to families and I will not do it.  If the client's case is clearly a litigation case (or a non-collaborative case), I tell them so directly and tell them that I can help them to a certain point of trying to reach an out of court resolution but that if it comes to a court proceeding then I will find them a great attorney who is good at that work and willing to do it.

In being clear about ourselves and what we offer as Collaborative Practitioners, and living the paradigm shift, I think that we, ourselves, are the "light bulb" that shines the wisdom of benefits of CP.  When we shine transparently and authentically our prospective clients cannot help but "see the light".

View my profile on www.collaborativepractice.com

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