The Following is a comparison between the litigation process and the Collaborative process.
Litigation Process Description
- Parties in disputes often feel intimidated, fearful, anxious, powerless, out gunned, and not in control. The litigation does nothing to calk this uneasiness and, in fact, a common successful litigation tactic is to make the other side so uncomfortable they are coerced into settling.
- Process focused on determining blame for problems.
- Unpredictable results.
- Things happen that you do not want to happen.
- Unsafe atmosphere – subject to cross examination, depositions.
- Inconvenient scheduling – court determines the parties’ schedules.
- Secretive – play hide the ball, mislead, and deceive the other side. Usually negotiate through lawyers.
- Much more time and money spent getting ready for the trial that most likely will never occur. Little time spent on settlement. 95% of cases settle but 95% of legal fees are not spent on settlement efforts.
- Legal expenses can become uncontrollable. Other side can force you to spend lots of money on activity you do not want to participate in – depositions, discovery, hearings.
- Cannot just “try” litigation.
Collaborative Process Description
- Collaboration process affirmatively seeks to make both parties feel safe, respected, in control of their lives, and as comfortable as possible while working towards resolution – coercion is not part of the process.
- Process focused on reaching solutions to problems.
- Predictable results.
- Nothing happens unless you agree to it.
- Safe atmosphere – civil, dignified, respectful.
- Private and confidential.
- Schedules for meetings are by agreement.
- Transparent process – same information available to both parties. Parties develop options for resolution in “four way” meetings.