Why do the parties have to retain new lawyers if they decide to move from the collaborative process to litigation?
Amy Zylman Shimalla’s Answer:
A cornerstone of the collaborative process is the premise that, if the parties drop out of collaborative, they must retain new lawyers. This is based on the fact that the lawyers and clients are both totally committed to reaching settlement. They have a different relationship in the collaborative process. There’s open communication and a certain level of trust, even with the other party’s attorney. The client knows the other attorney will not be taking their deposition or cross-examining them at a trial. If there is a threat that the matter will proceed to litigation, this level of trust and open communication is not achievable.