Junctions Along the ADR Spectrum

As ADR practitioners get out and educate the public about the various alternative dispute resolution processes, we frequently hear some of the same questions asked. People want to know the differences between this approach and that one, between what I do and what other lawyers do, between facilitative and evaluative mediation styles.  In order to best help our clients, we need to be able to successfully and clearly answer their questions.

What’s the difference between arbitration and mediation?

What is the difference between mediation and collaborative law? What does a case evaluator do differently from a mediator?

Where does the word “ombuds” come from, and how is an ombuds different from a human resources person?

How is mediation used as part of the collaborative process different from mediation that takes place in litigation?

Is arbitration all that different from litigation?

If we as ADR practitioners educate the public about the tremendous untapped resources available to them within the ADR spectrum, and engage in ongoing discussion with our potential clients about the value of ADR and the differences between approaches, we will be more successful in educating end users and referral sources about our respective services.  And we will achieve greater buy-in and use of our ADR services by the public.

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Collaborative Law — A New Choice for Divorcing Families

When a family is divorcing, they can choose to go the typical route–litigation–or an increasingly common alternative–mediation.  In addition to those more traditional choices, couples now have the option of what’s been come to be known as the “collaborative process.”

In the collaborative law model (also known as Collaborative Practice), each client hires a collaboratively-trained attorney.  Clients and their attorneys sit down together for four-way meetings structured with the goals of fair dealing and transparent negotiating. The parties and their attorneys articulate the underlying goals and interests of the divorcing parties and strive to reach those goals in order to create a fair and reasonable separation agreement.

There are several keys, in my view, to a successful collaborative law situation. Together, all of these requirements comprise the total “collaborative commitment.”

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