St. Louis Collaborative Lawyer Practicing in the Business Arena
Never has there been a time when lawsuits were more prolific and prolonged. Business owners are wary, and insurance premiums have risen to epic proportions. At a time such as this, it is important to ask, “Why this is happening and what can be done about it?”
The original purpose of the attorney and “counselor at law” was to help clients resolve their legal issues while at the same time keeping them out of court. Unfortunately, the role of “legal counselor” has eroded over the years. Currently, the trend seems to be to seek out an attorney with a reputation as a ferocious litigator. If lawyers feel their clients want them to be the “toughest in town,” protracted litigation and skyrocketing costs logically follow.
We need an alternative to the oft-used threat of “See you in Court!” One such alternative is the process of collaborative law wherein our St. Louis collaborative lawyer and our clients both agree to resolve legal issues without litigation. The goal of collaborative law is to reach a settlement without going to trial. Each party hires an attorney from a pool of collaborative law practitioners who then, by virtue of a binding agreement, help the parties reach an agreement outside of the courtroom. This is accomplished by four-way meetings where the parties meet face-to-face and explore options that might be mutually agreeable to everyone.
In the case of a business owner dealing with an unsatisfied consumer, the collaborative process can be beneficial to all parties involved. Obviously, the business owner does not want to be taken to court and have his or her good name and reputation disparaged. The consumer, on the other hand, wants to “right the wrong,” but most importantly, wants to be heard and acknowledged by the business owner. Airing these issues at the four-way meetings is usually productive in helping the parties reach a settlement without having to go to trial. If the four-way meetings are successful, the agreement is put into writing by the attorneys and implemented by the parties. If, however, the four-way meetings fail, the parties are then referred to litigation attorneys who pursue their clients’ objectives in an adversarial manner.
This new approach of attorneys using their expertise to collaborate is cost-effective and less time consuming than a typical courtroom battle. The end result is less litigation, more satisfied business owners and consumers, and a return to the premise that attorneys are here to help. Obviously, there are cases that cannot be settled outside of the courtroom. Collaboration is not the answer in every situation, but a lot of “over-litigating” takes place simply because people do not realize that there are alternative methods available. In today’s litigious climate, utilizing non-adversarial techniques to resolve legal issues is both a welcome and encouraging change.
Call (314) 862-0202 or contact our office online today to arrange your meeting with a St. Louis collaborative lawyer. We practice throughout Missouri and Southern Illinois.