Q) How is a Lawyer’s Relationship With a Client Different in the Collaborative Law Process, and How Do Lawyers Prepare Clients For It?
A) First, the lawyer never ceases to be the client’s advocate and the client is so assured. By entering into the participation agreement the client has already decided and declared the intent to neither threaten nor pursue litigation (an entitlement, however, which the client never waives). The objective is to discern and attempt to satisfy the interests of both (all) parties. To that end, all parties and counsel must cooperate. Counsel will encourage their clients to speak candidly about their own needs and desires, and to listen carefully to those expressed by others. Collaborative lawyers remind and reassure their clients that by treating the other side’s interests with respect, they are serving their client’s goals and interests. Collaborative lawyers are trained in collaborative communication skills and will assist the parties in this endeavor.
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