Sunday, January 13, 2008

How Collaborative Law Protects Your Privacy

This is one in a series of postings about the advantages of Collaborative Law. For many people, privacy is one of the most valuable aspects of Collaborative Law. There are various reasons why someone might not want all of his or her dirty laundry or even clean laundry exposed to the public. The following are 5 ways that privacy can be an advantage of Collaborative Law.

  • In Collaborative matters, there is a series of relatively brief, private meetings between the parties. In contrast, litigation usually involves open court rooms and public testimony. There is always some interest in having cameras in the court room, and that would really make the events public through television and the web. With cell phone cameras, even testimony in court could show up on YouTube.

  • Collaborative cases feature confidential negotiations directly between the parties. The meetings are not open to the public and discussions are not to be disclosed. Litigation provides for the judge (or occasionally a jury) to make decisions which become part of the public record of the file.

  • The Collaborative approach allows records to remain private. Litigation, on the other hand, involves a lot of public documents, pleadings and testimony, which are produced and displayed in the case. Many people would prefer to keep the personal information and records private.

  • The privacy of Collaborative Law helps create a respectful atmosphere which is often in sharp contrast to parties who get out of control and create a public spectacle in litigation. Private sessions reduce the bad behavior that often develops in litigation.

  • Working in a private and respectful atmosphere, Collaborative Law focuses on the future, not rehashing and emphasizing each other's faults. In litigation, attacks on one party usually draw out a stronger response in retaliation and a lot of negative energy develops. There is no actual or perceived need to strike back in Collaborative Practice, and such behavior would be quickly managed by the attorneys or a mental health professional acting as a neutral to help both parties.

Most people see the advantage of privacy in making important personal and financial decisions for themselves and their families. There is very little about litigation that permits privacy. Collaborative Law, on the other hand, provides excellent privacy for both parties in the case, and that's one of the significant reasons why people choose to solve their marital issues by using Collaborative Law.

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