By Michael Zeytoonian, Esq. & R. Paul Faxon, Esq.
Transactional law, centered on structuring voluntary and private business deals, and civil litigation, involving legal disputes between parties who need the public courts to impose a judgment, occupy different worlds in the practice of law. On those rare occasions that these legal disciplines do intersect, it is neither by design nor is it typically welcomed with enthusiasm. However, one noteworthy exception exists – in the freeing and creative world of collaborative law. Within the framework of resolving disputes collaboratively, the skill sets and insights of these two disciplines within the law not only are allowed to complement each other, they bring out the best in each other and their practitioners. The result is a synergy in which the sum is greater than each of its parts, and the elusive win-win resolution of a dispute.
The two authors know this to be true not only in theory, but also because they experienced this outstanding result in a collaborative case. The proof is found in the outcome of a breakup, and resulting successful re-structuring, of a closely-held corporation of four partners. Paul Faxon, a commercial transactional attorney, represented three majority shareholder partners, and Michael Zeytoonian, a litigator, represented the minority shareholder partner. The two collaborative lawyers discovered that each of their respective perspectives brought different insights into the collaborative process, feeding off each other and providing the necessary elements to complete the resolution of the dispute in a way that met the needs of all parties.