Monday, September 1, 2008

What if I Don't Want My Attorney to Withdraw?

Simple Answer: Unfortunately for you, and also fortunately for you, the attorney must withdraw in a Collaborative case if the process breaks down. That is one of the fundamental characteristics of the Collaborative process, according to the Texas Family Code. Without the requirement for the attorneys to withdraw, a case cannot be considered a Collaborative Law case.

Why must the attorneys withdraw? There is logic to back up the law on this issue. Forcing the attorneys to withdraw if the process breaks down means that the parties and attorneys will work their hardest to get the case settled. Obviously, the attorney loses a good client and the clients incur substantial duplicate attorneys' fees. With financial pressure on all parties to the process, there is good reason for them to try new alternatives and to be creative. If the attorneys did not need to withdraw, attorneys and parties would fall back into the old pattern common in litigated cases where one party (sometimes both) would reach a certain point and then boldly proclaim that if the other side didn't accept this one final offer, then they would all just go to court, which implicitly conveyed the threat of stress, additional cost and adverse rulings, among other things.

Don't worry. As good as your attorney may seem to you, please remember that there are plenty of good attorneys around and your present attorney can be replaced with another attorney. In fact, in most cases, your present Collaborative attorney can help you find another excellent attorney and then help transition the new attorney in. (I almost hate to disclose that all attorneys are replaceable, but it's true.) There is certainly an additional cost, but that's just part of the incentive for you.

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