I believe in the potential of Collaborative Law to help clients resolve their disputes with agency and dignity. In the Collaborative Law process, the parties voluntarily share information and sit down face to face with their lawyers and other professionals in a non-adversarial context to reach agreements consistent with their high-end goals and interests. The free exchange of information and the commitment not to go to court reduces the fear and distrust that can drive a dispute in a direction the parties don't want to go. This can minimize the damage to a relationship that litigation can cause, enhance clients' sense of control in an uncertain situation, and result in agreements the parties are committed to honoring.
My approach in a Collaborative Law matter is, as always, to advocate for the client. But the skills that are brought to bear and the orientation are different. "Advocacy" means helping to identify and articulate goals and interests, skillfully communicating and facilitating dialog between the parties, crafting clear and comprehensive agreements, and providing careful guidance to my clients throughout the process.
I completed the 36-hour Professional Mediation Skills Training Program at the University of Washington Law School in 2005 and the Basic Collaborative Law Training in 2008.
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