Friday, July 20

What is the difference between mediation and collaborative law?

This interesting post yesterday on the difference between mediation and collaborative law from Dan Nunley over at Oklahoma Family Law Blog


See also Dan's post on How to Pick the Right Divorce Mediator and other thoughtful posts on mediation in the family realm.

4 comments:

Rina Goodman said...

I think that Dan's description of mediation demonstrates a very limited understanding of the process and/or a lawyer's bias. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence suggesting that collaborative law sessions can break down because the lawyers just don't "get" the mediative paradigm. The problems Dan points to are what we mediators are trained to address. Unless I've missed something???

Barbara Bishop said...

I found the comments about mediation quite unbalanced and quite disrespectful to professional mediators. I have done thousands of mediations and quite a few were referred from collaborative lawyers. Mediators are skilled in dealing with emotions, the relationship aspect of human dynamics, cultures, brain development, knowledge of personality disorders, etc. These are all part of a mediator's training. As a mediator we can act as a triage neutral referring clients back to their lawyers, accountants, counselors or other professionals to deal with whatever their concerns are.
Collaborative law actually originated out of Family Mediation and was meant as a cross disciplinary process providing clients with expertise from appropriate professionals, not just lawyers....
I hope we can get to a place where lawyers and mediators can align and allow the mediators to deal with the emotions/relationships and the lawyers can provide the legal expertise. I am sure none of us would be out of work.

Geoff Sharp said...

Come in Dan...you have the right of reply

Dick Price said...

The practice of Collaborative Law varies somewhat from state to state and even from community to community within states. In Texas, many of us include a neutral mental health professional from the beginning to help both parties deal with communication and emotional issues. Collaborative Law is my preference for representing a client, but where we cannot get the parties into the Collaborative process (usually because the other lawyer isn't trained), we inevitably rely on mediators to save the day. Good mediators are invaluable in defusing the emotions and unrealistic expectations that many parties live with during a divorce. There is certainly a need for both processes, sometimes in the same case.--Dick Price