Find Lawyers in America for Collaborative Law: Civil
Practice Area Overview
Collaborative Law is a voluntary dispute resolution process that often creates mutually agreeable outcomes without the need for litigation or unnecessary judicial decision-making. Couples agree to work together respectfully, honestly and in good faith in order to settle their case in a way that addresses their competing needs and shared interests. In many instances, collaborative settlements can resolve matters faster, with greater privacy and less cost, and can enable couples to resolve their issues without subjecting their children to the potentially damaging effects of courtroom litigation.
In the Collaborative Law process, both parties retain separate, specially trained lawyers to advocate for their interests. The divorcing parties may also choose to involve other professionals such as an estate planning attorney, accountant, forensic accountant, financial planner/wealth manager, therapist, communications coach, or child custody specialist. During this process, the parties may also enter mediation to resolve one or more issues.
The first step is the signing of an agreement by both parties and their attorneys which sets forth the nature and scope of the collaborative process, typically including:
- Negotiating in good faith;
- Acting respectfully toward one another;
- Disclosing all relevant information to the other party;
- Pledging not to go to court to settle disputes while in the collaborative process;
- Employing jointly hired neutral experts when appropriate; and
- Protecting the confidentiality of the collaborative proceedings.
Either party may stop the Collaborative Law process at any time; however, both attorneys are legally obligated to withdraw from the case, and cannot represent either party against the other if the case goes to litigation. This requirement protects the confidentiality of the collaborative meetings and also provides incentive and motivation to the couple and the participating lawyers for the process to succeed. In this way, all participants are equally invested in finding solutions to all the issues in the case and settling outside the traditional divorce process through the court system.
Founder and Managing Principal of Phillips Lerner, ALC.
David A. Hoffman is a mediator, arbitrator, attorney, and founding member of Boston Law Collaborative, LLC. David is listed in the book “The Best Lawyers in America” in five categories (Mediation, Arbitration, Collaborative Law – Civil, Collaborative Law - Family, and Family Law Mediation). He was named Boston's "Lawyer of the Year" in Collaborative Law in 2014, in Mediation for 2016, in Arbitration in 2018, and again in Mediation for 2020. He has been named a Massachusetts ...
Douglas P Mahoney is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and holds Advocate status with the American Board of Trial Advocates. He is a Past President of the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association and the Greater Bridgeport Bar Association. After practicing law together at their former firm for 28 years, Attorney Mahoney and his partner Attorney Cindy Robinson formed their present firm. They continue to limit their practice to representing the injured with a particular focus on th...
Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Our methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.
Best Lawyers employs a sophisticated, conscientious, rational, and transparent survey process designed to elicit meaningful and substantive evaluations of the quality of legal services. Our belief has always been that the quality of a peer review survey is directly related to the quality of the voters.