Just like the playgrounds, the courts are closed. I think it’s a golden opportunity – for you.
Over the last week, there have been a lot of webinars with our judges about what it means for family lawyers that the courts are closed and are going to remain closed. It is going to take years for the court system to recover and catch up with hearing cases.
One judge said that the way around this coming backlog is for lawyers to use their skills as problem solvers and embrace the one process in which parties to a dispute agree not to use the courts, and use their lawyers to help them reach their own solutions to their problems: Collaborative Law. That’s right, a judge who hears family law cases all the time, who hears all the possible issues, thinks YOU can resolve your own family law issues without her help. That is so powerful. What she’s saying is that if the people she sees come before her have the right attorneys and the right help, they never need to be there. Remember, she sees the people who say they can’t reach agreement and who think they can’t work together; those are the people who end up before a judge. This judge thinks even those people can resolve their cases with Collaborative Law….if only they had attorneys who believed strongly enough in the process to try.
That’s the kicker about Collaborative Law. It’s a process for the strong. The weak are happy to let someone else make decisions for them. The strong know that a solution is out there. Even if they don’t think they can find it by themselves, they trust that the people they hire will have the commitment and the knowledge to help them find a way to the end. It’s hard work, for both the client and the lawyer. Not everyone wants to try, and I include in that group lawyers as well as clients. It’s a leap of faith, but the rewards are immense. Imagine that instead of having someone else make a decision, you kept the power to decide what happens in your own life and not only do you reach an agreement but you learn how to solve problems as they come up in the future. Isn’t that a greater value in the end than presenting a case before a judge and hoping they see the facts your way?
So back to that golden opportunity. Those who embrace Collaborative Law not only keep control over their outcome but also the timing of their divorce or custody issue. Which do you think will be heard first when the courts reopen, a 3 day trial or a 10 minute hearing? I teach Collaborative Law to lawyers and to law students. I believe in the process. I believe in you. Call me and let’s get started.