Dispute Resolution

Many disputes do not warrant the cost of litigation. Many legal disputes can be sensibly resolved by compromise. Lawyers can assist in negotiated outcomes using their skills to gather and distil information, to take an objective viewpoint to apply the law and to reach outcomes that avoid the stress, expense, uncertainty and acrimony of litigation.

SETTLING OUT OF COURT IN AUSTRALIA

There are many paths to dispute resolution. In Australia, some of those are prescribed by the courts. Most court matters do not proceed to a hearing without some attempt at dispute resolution.

DISPUTE RESOLUTION ALTERNATIVES

Your matter might suit mediation. It might suit the collaborative approach. Regardless, Biddulph and Salenger lawyers can assist in resolving your dispute.

Collaborative law

Collaborative Practice is a process that helps people in conflict resolve their differences in a humane, dignified and respectful way in private without going to Court.

Collaborative Practice was pioneered in the early 1990’s and there are now a number of collaborative models and you ultimately decide the best one for you. When you commit to a collaborative process you agree to maintain open communication and share information.

You are represented by your collaborative lawyer who works together with you to tailor the process to address your specific needs and issues. You take control of the process to find solutions that suit you.

Other professionals, including accountants, financial advisors, counsellors and children’s experts can be brought into the process to provide specific advice where the circumstances require it.

Collaborative Practice has been used mainly for separating couples and in the area of family disputes but has application for all kinds of disputes especially including contested Wills and Estates.

ADVANTAGES OF COLLABORATIVE PRACTICE

  • You protect yourself and your children from the harmful effects of a high conflict dispute.
  • You work together to resolve your disputes in private with the support of professional assistance.
  • You maintain control of the process and keep your affairs private and maintain an atmosphere of fair play and respect even in areas where there may be disagreement.
  • You create win/win solutions for everyone and maintain civil relationships.

THE PROCESS

Both parties and their lawyers sign a Collaborative Participation Agreement in which everyone agrees not to go to Court. If the process fails both lawyers must cease to act for their clients and those participants must then retain new lawyers to represent them in Court.

Negotiations are conducted in confidential face-to-face meetings, with lawyers and participants present. Lawyers’ correspondence is kept to a minimum and all negotiations take place during these meetings. In this way misunderstanding and miscommunication is reduced and matters can be resolved more quickly and usually more cheaply than if the participants took their dispute to Court.

Once an agreement has been reached the lawyers work together to draft the agreement into a legally binding document.

YOUR COLLABORATIVE LAWYER

  • Your collaborative lawyer will help you:-
  • Understand fully legal aspects of your issues.
  • Assert your wants, needs and interests and advocate on your behalf in a non-adversarial way.
  • Reach fair and sensible outcomes.
  • Organise and document the facts and data.
  • Identify where and when other professionals and experts are necessary and work with them.
  • Report and guide you through the process.

Collaborative Practice is not appropriate for every matter. A trained collaborative practitioner can identify whether or not the process is suitable for your dispute.
Maryanne Ofner is a trained collaborative lawyer who is also an active Committee Member of Collaborative Practitioners New South Wales. Click here to contact Maryanne Ofner for advice and assistance in this process.

Mediation, Negotiation and Alternative Dispute Resolution

If you are involved in a dispute, there are a number of “Alternative Dispute Resolution” options available to you. These include negotiations between parties (and roundtable conferences between parties and their legal representatives), mediation and arbitration. Mediation is the most common form of alternative dispute resolution and involves a third party (the mediator) who assists the parties to reach an agreement. There are different forms of mediation which may impact on the level of involvement that the mediator has (for example, in evaluative mediation models, the mediator may express a view on the reasonableness of settlement or may highlight weaknesses in a party’s case). Mediation enables parties to voice their views and attempt to reach agreement or at least narrow the issues in dispute. It is important to note that mediation is private and confidential.

Whilst there is no obligation to mediate disputes generally, mandatory mediation or other forms of dispute resolution are becoming increasingly common in certain jurisdictions. For example, in disputed estate claims, parties must mediate the matter prior to a hearing. In family law, the pre-litigation processes emphasise early dispute resolution through counselling and negotiation. When proceedings are commenced in property matters, parties must attend conciliation conferences with Registrars of the court.

We are experienced at the various forms of alternative dispute resolution and strongly support attempts to facilitate resolution at all stages of a matter.

We also suggest you read the material under Collaborative Law.

Collaborative law

Collaborative Practice is a process that helps people in conflict resolve their differences in a humane, dignified and respectful way in private without going to Court.

Collaborative Practice was pioneered in the early 1990’s and there are now a number of collaborative models and you ultimately decide the best one for you. When you commit to a collaborative process you agree to maintain open communication and share information.

You are represented by your collaborative lawyer who works together with you to tailor the process to address your specific needs and issues. You take control of the process to find solutions that suit you.

Other professionals, including accountants, financial advisors, counsellors and children’s experts can be brought into the process to provide specific advice where the circumstances require it.

Collaborative Practice has been used mainly for separating couples and in the area of family disputes but has application for all kinds of disputes especially including contested Wills and Estates.

ADVANTAGES OF COLLABORATIVE PRACTICE

  • You protect yourself and your children from the harmful effects of a high conflict dispute.
  • You work together to resolve your disputes in private with the support of professional assistance.
  • You maintain control of the process and keep your affairs private and maintain an atmosphere of fair play and respect even in areas where there may be disagreement.
  • You create win/win solutions for everyone and maintain civil relationships.

THE PROCESS

Both parties and their lawyers sign a Collaborative Participation Agreement in which everyone agrees not to go to Court. If the process fails both lawyers must cease to act for their clients and those participants must then retain new lawyers to represent them in Court.

Negotiations are conducted in confidential face-to-face meetings, with lawyers and participants present. Lawyers’ correspondence is kept to a minimum and all negotiations take place during these meetings. In this way misunderstanding and miscommunication is reduced and matters can be resolved more quickly and usually more cheaply than if the participants took their dispute to Court.

Once an agreement has been reached the lawyers work together to draft the agreement into a legally binding document.

YOUR COLLABORATIVE LAWYER

  • Your collaborative lawyer will help you:-
  • Understand fully legal aspects of your issues.
  • Assert your wants, needs and interests and advocate on your behalf in a non-adversarial way.
  • Reach fair and sensible outcomes.
  • Organise and document the facts and data.
  • Identify where and when other professionals and experts are necessary and work with them.
  • Report and guide you through the process.

Collaborative Practice is not appropriate for every matter. A trained collaborative practitioner can identify whether or not the process is suitable for your dispute.
Maryanne Ofner is a trained collaborative lawyer who is also an active Committee Member of Collaborative Practitioners New South Wales. Click here to contact Maryanne Ofner for advice and assistance in this process.

Mediation, Negotiation and Alternative Dispute Resolution

If you are involved in a dispute, there are a number of “Alternative Dispute Resolution” options available to you. These include negotiations between parties (and roundtable conferences between parties and their legal representatives), mediation and arbitration. Mediation is the most common form of alternative dispute resolution and involves a third party (the mediator) who assists the parties to reach an agreement. There are different forms of mediation which may impact on the level of involvement that the mediator has (for example, in evaluative mediation models, the mediator may express a view on the reasonableness of settlement or may highlight weaknesses in a party’s case). Mediation enables parties to voice their views and attempt to reach agreement or at least narrow the issues in dispute. It is important to note that mediation is private and confidential.

Whilst there is no obligation to mediate disputes generally, mandatory mediation or other forms of dispute resolution are becoming increasingly common in certain jurisdictions. For example, in disputed estate claims, parties must mediate the matter prior to a hearing. In family law, the pre-litigation processes emphasise early dispute resolution through counselling and negotiation. When proceedings are commenced in property matters, parties must attend conciliation conferences with Registrars of the court.

We are experienced at the various forms of alternative dispute resolution and strongly support attempts to facilitate resolution at all stages of a matter.

We also suggest you read the material under Collaborative Law.