1. Initial consultation between the lawyer and the client
The lawyer collects information about the client’s situation and problems. The lawyer then presents to the client various options for dealing with his situation such as: collaborative law, mediation and litigation. If the client chooses collaborative law, he can suggest this approach to the other party or the lawyer can send this person a letter, asking him to consider the collaborative process.
2. The first contact with the other party
Once both parties have agreed to use the collaborative process and have chosen their respective collaborative lawyer, the lawyers communicate to determine whether there are urgent matters to deal with and to identify each client’s concerns which will be on the agenda for discussion and negotiation during the first settlement meeting.
3. Client preparation
The collaborative lawyer meets his client in order to gain an understanding of the facts and the conflict in order to determine what is important to his client. The lawyer explains to his client what are his rights and obligations. He also explains to him how settlement meetings unfold and what is the role of each of the participants: the
lawyers and the parties. He will also discuss communication strategies that are useful in promoting positive and constructive negotiations based on the interests of each party.