What Is The Difference Between Collaborative Practice And Mediation?
In mediation, there is one neutral professional who helps the disputing parties try to settle their case. Mediation can be challenging where the parties are not on a level playing field with one another, because the mediator cannot give either party legal advice, and cannot help either side advocate their position. If one side or the other becomes unreasonable or stubborn, or lacks negotiating skill, or is emotionally distraught, the mediation can become unbalanced. If the mediator tries to deal with the problem, the mediator may be seen by one side or the other as biased. If the mediator does not find a way to deal with the problem, the mediation can break down, or any agreement that is reached may be seen as unfair and not be durable.
In mediation if there are lawyers for the parties at all, they may not be present at the negotiation and their advice may come too late to be helpful. Collaborative Practice was designed to deal with these problems, while maintaining a commitment to settlement. Each side has legal advice at all times during the process. If one party lacks negotiating skill or financial understanding, or is emotionally upset or angry, they are supported by the participation of their lawyer. It is the job of the lawyers to work with their own clients if the clients are being unreasonable, to make sure that the process stays positive and productive.