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The Development of Collaborative Law

Many people intrigued by the concept of mediation are unwilling or hesitant to proceed without an attorney, even with a neutral mediator present. Collaborative law offers a cooperative forum and yet retains the protections of individual representation. Contact an attorney experienced in collaborative law at our firm today to discuss your case.

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The Development of Collaborative Law

Processes similar to collaborative law have been around a long time. In fact, the processes lawyers use in criminal law, juvenile law and child protective services have their roots in practices that incorporate many of the principles now enshrined in collaborative law. Consult a skilled collaborative attorney from The Law Offices of Jerome P. Ventura, P.A. in Pembroke Pines, FL, to discuss the advantages of the collaborative approach in your legal matter.

The practice of collaborative law is new to the legal system. However, other types of practices that focus on removing the parties from adversarial proceedings and emphasize healing and party-initiated problem-solving have been in use for much longer. The following list provides some examples of precursors to collaborative law. These methods helped influence the eventual development of collaborative practices.

  • Conferencing circles Conferencing circles attempt to make the victim, offender and society whole. Everyone with primary or secondary interests in the outcome of the case is included in the conference. The facilitator brings out all the issues for the group to discuss. Using a consensus approach, the group then comes up with a plan for resolution. Victims are allowed to confront their offenders, providing a sense of closure.
  • Victim-Offender Mediation/Victim-Offender Reconciliation Program (VOM/VORP) VOM/VORP meetings are most often used in violent crimes to give the victim a human face. The victim, offender and a trained mediator attend the meeting. Participants report that VOM/VORP provides a forum for healing to take place.
  • Victim impact panels Victim impact panels provide offenders with an opportunity to meet the people whom they have harmed with their actions. Many communities have instituted victim impact panels as part of drunk-driving reduction strategies.
  • Family group conferencing/family group decision-making This restorative practice is often used by Child Protective Services (CPS) to develop a plan for keeping the child in the home after accusations of abuse and maltreatment. The parents, child and any other family members integral to the child's life meet with social workers to create the plan, with a focus on providing support and education to the parents and creating a safe environment for the child.
  • Problem-solving courts The phrase "problem-solving courts" refers to court interventions that focus on the underlying chronic behaviors of criminal defendants. For example, drug courts are devoted to drug-related crimes, often involving addiction. Thus, the purpose of a drug court program is to get at the underlying addiction. Criminal sanctions are used as a means to compel compliance with addiction treatment. The judge usually works with a team of treatment providers, social workers, probation officers and other law enforcement officers.

Speak to a collaborative law attorney

Collaborative processes are being introduced to an ever-increasing range of legal issues — from family law issues to criminal matters to civil cases. Clients and attorneys have begun to realize that legal matters can be resolved in a more collective, positive environment than traditional legal processes may provide. Contact The Law Offices of Jerome P. Ventura, P.A. in Pembroke Pines, FL, today to speak with an attorney about the collaborative law process. He or she can evaluate your case and discuss how this method may benefit you.

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