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Lawyers Form "Collaboration" Group

handshake 2009195 1280Hartford: “Our goal is to avoid litigation, save time and money by working together to reach a fair result to both parties,” explains Attorney Nicholas Paindiris, Managing Partner of Brown Paindiris & Scott. “We have seen the collaborative concept work successfully in the area of family law and recognize a need to apply this process to business and other civil disputes.”

Citing “collaborative dispute resolution” in areas such as divorce, a group of fifteen Connecticut attorneys have come together to offer that same process to the business community. The newly formed group, called Collaborative Business Dispute Resolution (CBDR), provides an alternative to litigation. The group says it is the first such collaboration in the state.

The “collaborative” method is not mediation. In Mediation, one neutral professional works with the parties to resolve disputes. The mediator assists, the parties in reaching a conclusion and the mediator cannot give legal advice or advocate for either party 

CBDR says, ‘in collaborative dispute resolution, both parties have an attorney advocating on their behalf while working collaboratively toward a mutual resolution. The process requires a commitment at the outset that the parties act in good faith to settle the case without filing a lawsuit. The participating lawyers are vested in the success of the collaborative process, and are contractually disqualified to represent their client in court if the case is not settled, providing a huge incentive for everyone to succeed.”

“The collaborative process allows parties to prioritize the issues at hand and to consider and present many alternative solutions.  This can be especially important in a situation where the dispute will result in some type of transition process, such as the buyout of one owner of a closely-held business by another.  The parties can plan out each step, minimizing disruption of the business interests at issue,” said Attorney Bridget C. Gallagher, a member of the group.

Brian Henebry of Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey, noted that “any litigator will tell you that clients’ frustrations with the cost of litigation often arise from the time and expense of the discovery process, which typically precedes any serious settlement discussions. The collaborative process minimizes the cost of the information exchange so that parties can devote their resources toward resolving the dispute, not getting the information needed to resolve the dispute.  It is not appropriate for every business dispute, but it offers huge benefits to clients where it can be applied.”

Bloomfield attorney David Markowitz noted, “I have been practicing for over 30 years, and this is a new and exciting legal adventure for me.”

Collaborative Business Dispute Resolution (CBDR) is a group of independent Connecticut attorneys who utilize a non-adversarial team approach to resolve business, probate, property or other civil disputes without court involvement. All members have been specifically trained in the collaborative process and have at least ten years of experience in the practice of law. For more information and for a list of members visit: collabbusinessdispute.com.