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.
  • Public.
  • 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.

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