Q) Can One Lawyer Practice Collaborative Law If The Other Side Has Not Signed A Participation Agreement?
A) It is assumed that in most cases the parties will proceed on a collaborative law basis only when all lawyers and clients have signed the participation agreement. Circumstances could arise, however, when one party and their lawyer decide to contract with each other with the premise that the lawyer is hired only for settlement purposes, even when the other side has not signed a participation agreement. For example, some lawyers might decide they do not wish to litigate and a client might still want their services, or some clients might be certain enough that litigation is not in their interests that they would choose to establish that limit up front. It may also be a useful strategy for one party to approach another through their collaborative lawyer with a participation agreement already signed. This would demonstrate a clear intent to seek resolution through non-adversarial means and thus encourage a more open and less defensive response.
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